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Ronan O'Toole
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Clinical Microbiology

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Leong, K.W.C. and Cooley, L.A. and O'Toole, R.F., Draft genome sequence of new vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium sequence type 1421, Genome Announcements, 6, (20), 2018, pe00438-18 Journal Article, 2018 DOI TARA - Full Text

Roycroft E, O'Toole RF, Fitzgibbon MM, Montgomery L, O'Meara M, Downes P, Jackson S, O'Donnell J, Laurenson IF, McLaughlin AM, Keane J, Rogers TR., Molecular epidemiology of multi- and extensively-drug-resistant mycobacterium tuberculosis in ireland, 2001-2014., The Journal of infection, 76, (1), 2018, p55-67 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Gautam, S.S. and Aogáin, M.M. and Cooley, L.A. and Haug, G. and Fyfe, J.A. and Globan, M. and O†Toole, R.F., Molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis in Tasmania and genomic characterisation of its first known multi-drug resistant case, PLoS ONE, 13, (2), 2018, p1-- Journal Article, 2018 DOI TARA - Full Text

Leong, K.W.C. and Cooley, L.A. and Anderson, T.L. and Gautam, S.S. and McEwan, B. and Wells, A. and Wilson, F. and Hughson, L. and O'Toole, R.F., Emergence of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecium at an Australian Hospital: A Whole Genome Sequencing Analysis, Scientific Reports, 8, (1), 2018, p6274- Journal Article, 2018 DOI TARA - Full Text

Gautam, S.S. and Aogáin, M.M. and O'Toole, R.F., Draft genome sequence of the first confirmed isolate of multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Tasmania, Genome Announcements, 5, (44), 2017, pe01230-17 Journal Article, 2017 TARA - Full Text DOI

O'Toole, R.F. and Gautam, S.S., Limitations of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis reference genome H37Rv in the detection of virulence-related loci, Genomics, 109, (5-6), 2017, p471-474 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

O'Toole R.F, Shukla S.D, Walters E.H, Does upregulated host cell receptor expression provide a link between bacterial adhesion and chronic respiratory disease?, Journal of Translational Medicine, 14, (1), 2016 Journal Article, 2016 TARA - Full Text URL DOI

Aogáin, M.M. and Gautam, S.S. and Bower, J.E. and Basu, I. and O'Toole, R.F., Draft genome sequence of a New Zealand Rangipo strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Genome Announcements, 4, (4), 2016, pe00657-16 Journal Article, 2016 DOI TARA - Full Text

Hanway A, Comiskey C.M, Tobin K, O'Toole R.F, Relating annual migration from high tuberculosis burden country of origin to changes in foreign-born tuberculosis notification rates in low-medium incidence European countries, Tuberculosis, 101, 2016, p67 - 74 Journal Article, 2016 DOI URL

Gautam S.S, O'Toole R.F, Convergence in the Epidemiology and Pathogenesis of COPD and Pneumonia, COPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 13, (6), 2016, p790 - 798 Journal Article, 2016 URL DOI

O'Toole RF, Jackson S, Hanway A, O'Donnell J, Comiskey CM, Rogers TR, O'Flanagan D, Tuberculosis incidence in the Irish Traveller population in Ireland from 2002 to 2013., Epidemiology and infection, 2015, p1-7 Journal Article, 2015 TARA - Full Text DOI

O'Toole R.F, Shukla S.D, Walters E.H, TB meets COPD: An emerging global co-morbidity in human lung disease, Tuberculosis, 95, (6), 2015, p659 - 663 Journal Article, 2015 DOI URL

Shukla S.D, Sohal S.S, O'Toole R.F, Eapen M.S, Walters E.H, Platelet activating factor receptor: Gateway for bacterial chronic airway infection in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and potential therapeutic target, Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, 9, (4), 2015, p473 - 485 Journal Article, 2015 URL DOI

Hasnain SE, O'Toole RF, Grover S, Ehtesham NZ, Whole genome sequencing: A new paradigm in the surveillance and control of human tuberculosis., Tuberculosis (Edinburgh, Scotland), 95, (2), 2015, p91-4 Journal Article, 2015 URL

Campen R.L, Ackerley D.F, Cook G.M, O'Toole R.F, Development of a Mycobacterium smegmatis transposon mutant array for characterising the mechanism of action of tuberculosis drugs: Findings with isoniazid and its structural analogues, Tuberculosis, 95, (4), 2015, p432 - 439 Journal Article, 2015 URL DOI

Roycroft E, Mac Aogáin M, O'Toole RF, Fitzgibbon M, Rogers TR, Draft Genome Sequence of the First Isolate of Extensively Drug-Resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Ireland., Genome announcements, 2, (5), 2014 Journal Article, 2014 TARA - Full Text DOI

O'Toole RF, Johari BM, Mac Aogáin M, Rogers TR, Bower JE, Basu I, Freeman JT, Draft Genome Sequence of the First Isolate of Extensively Drug-Resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in New Zealand, Genome announcements, 2, (3), 2014 Journal Article, 2014 TARA - Full Text DOI

Dasyam N, Munkacsi AB, Fadzilah NH, Senanayake DS, O'Toole RF, Keyzers RA, Identification and bioactivity of 3-epi-xestoaminol C isolated from the New Zealand brown alga Xiphophora chondrophylla., Journal of natural products, 77, (6), 2014, p1519-23 Journal Article, 2014 URL

Mac Aogáin M, Johari BM, Bower JE, O'Toole RF, Draft Genome Sequence of a Multidrug-Resistant New Zealand Isolate of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Lineage 3., Genome announcements, 2, (5), 2014 Journal Article, 2014 TARA - Full Text URL DOI

Bassett IM, Lun S, Bishai WR, Guo H, Kirman JR, Altaf M, O'Toole RF, Detection of inhibitors of phenotypically drug-tolerant Mycobacterium tuberculosis using an in vitro bactericidal screen, Journal of Microbiology, 51, (5), 2013, p651 - 658 Journal Article, 2013 URL

Yen S, Bower JE, Freeman JT, Basu I, O'Toole RF, Phylogenetic lineages of tuberculosis isolates in New Zealand and their association with patient demographics, Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 17, (7), 2013, p892 - 897 Journal Article, 2013

Koh EY, Cowie ROM, Simpson AM, O'Toole R, Ryan KG , The origin of cyanobacteria in Antarctic sea ice: marine or freshwater?, Environmental Microbiology Reports, April, 2012, p1 - 5 Journal Article, 2012

Maas EW, Simpson AM, Martin A, Thompson S, Koh EY, Davy SK, Ryan KG, O'Toole RF , Phylogenetic analyses of bacteria in sea ice at Cape Hallett, Antarctica, New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research , 46, (1), 2012 Journal Article, 2012

Dogra M, Palmer BD, Bashiri G, Tingle MD, Shinde SS, Anderson RF, O'Toole R, Baker EN, Denny WA, Helsby NA, Comparative bioactivation of the novel anti-tuberculosis agent PA-824 in Mycobacteria and a subcellular fraction of human liver., British journal of pharmacology, 162, (1), 2011, p226-36 Journal Article, 2011

Miller CH, O'Toole RF , Navigating tuberculosis drug discovery with target-based screening, Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery, 6, (8), 2011, p839 - 854 Review Article, 2011 URL

Finlayson R, Brackovic A, Simon-Levert A, Banaigs B, O'Toole RF, Miller CH, Copp BR , Establishment of the absolute configuration of the bioactive marine alkaloid eudistomin X by stereospecific synthesis, Tetrahedron Letters, 52, 2011, p837 - 840 Journal Article, 2011 URL

Lawrence SA, O'Toole R, Taylor MW, Davy SK, Subcuticular bacteria associated with two common New Zealand echinoderms: Characterization using 16S rRNA sequence analysis and fluorescence in situ hybridization., The Biological bulletin, 218, (1), 2010, p95-104 Journal Article, 2010

Oehlers SH, Flores MV, Hall CJ, O'Toole R, Swift S, Crosier KE, Crosier PS, Expression of zebrafish cxcl8 (interleukin-8) and its receptors during development and in response to immune stimulation., Developmental and comparative immunology, 34, (3), 2010, p352-9 Journal Article, 2010

O'Toole R, Experimental models used to study human tuberculosis., Advances in applied microbiology, 71, 2010, p75-89 Journal Article, 2010

Earl EA, Altaf M, Murikoli RV, Swift S, O'Toole R, Native New Zealand plants with inhibitory activity towards Mycobacterium tuberculosis., BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 10, 2010, p25 Journal Article, 2010

Altaf M, Miller CH, Bellows DS, O'Toole R, Evaluation of the Mycobacterium smegmatis and BCG models for the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis inhibitors., Tuberculosis (Edinburgh, Scotland), 90, (6), 2010, p333-7 Journal Article, 2010

Nisa S, Blokpoel MC, Robertson BD, Tyndall JD, Lun S, Bishai WR, O'Toole R, Targeting the chromosome partitioning protein ParA in tuberculosis drug discovery., The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy, 65, (11), 2010, p2347-58 Journal Article, 2010

Miller CH, Nisa S, Dempsey S, Jack C, O'Toole R, Modifying culture conditions in chemical library screening identifies alternative inhibitors of mycobacteria., Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, 53, (12), 2009, p5279-83 Journal Article, 2009

Childs AM, Mountain BW, O'Toole R, Stott MB, Relating Microbial Community and Physicochemical Parameters of a Hot Spring: Champagne Pool, Wai-o-tapu, New Zealand, Geomicrobiology Journal, 25, (7&8 ), 2008, p441 - 453 Journal Article, 2008

Martin A, Hall JA, O'Toole R, Davy SK, Ryan KG, High single-cell metabolic activity in Antarctic sea ice bacteria, Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 52, (1), 2008, p25 - 31 Journal Article, 2008

Cashin P, Goldsack L, Hall D, O'Toole R, Contrasting signal transduction mechanisms in bacterial and eukaryotic gene transcription., FEMS microbiology letters, 261, (2), 2006, p155-64 Journal Article, 2006

Ryan KG, Hegseth, E, Martin A, Davy, S, O'Toole R, Ralph PJ, McMinn A, Thorn C, Abundance and distribution of the microalgal community within sea-ice along a latitudinal gradient in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, Antarctic Science , 18, (4), 2006, p583 - 594 Journal Article, 2006

Zlosnik JE, Tavankar GR, Bundy JG, Mossialos D, O'Toole R, Williams HD, Investigation of the physiological relationship between the cyanide-insensitive oxidase and cyanide production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa., Microbiology (Reading, England), 152, (Pt 5), 2006, p1407-15 Journal Article, 2006

Blokpoel MC, Murphy HN, O'Toole R, Wiles S, Runn ES, Stewart GR, Young DB, Robertson BD, Tetracycline-inducible gene regulation in mycobacteria., Nucleic acids research, 33, (2), 2005, pe22 Journal Article, 2005

O'Toole R, Von Hofsten J, Rosqvist R, Olsson PE, Wolf-Watz H, Visualisation of zebrafish infection by GFP-labelled Vibrio anguillarum., Microbial pathogenesis, 37, (1), 2004, p41-6 Journal Article, 2004

O'Toole R, Williams HD, Universal stress proteins and Mycobacterium tuberculosis., Research in microbiology, 154, (6), 2003, p387-92 Journal Article, 2003

Blokpoel MC, O'Toole R, Smeulders MJ, Williams HD, Development and application of unstable GFP variants to kinetic studies of mycobacterial gene expression., Journal of microbiological methods, 54, (2), 2003, p203-11 Journal Article, 2003

O'Toole R, Smeulders MJ, Blokpoel MC, Kay EJ, Lougheed K, Williams HD, A two-component regulator of universal stress protein expression and adaptation to oxygen starvation in Mycobacterium smegmatis., Journal of bacteriology, 185, (5), 2003, p1543-54 Journal Article, 2003

Ormonde P, Hörstedt P, O'Toole R, Milton DL, Role of motility in adherence to and invasion of a fish cell line by Vibrio anguillarum., Journal of bacteriology, 182, (8), 2000, p2326-8 Journal Article, 2000

O'Toole R, Lundberg S, Fredriksson SA, Jansson A, Nilsson B, Wolf-Watz H, The chemotactic response of Vibrio anguillarum to fish intestinal mucus is mediated by a combination of multiple mucus components., Journal of bacteriology, 181, (14), 1999, p4308-17 Journal Article, 1999

O'Toole R, Milton DL, Hörstedt P, Wolf-Watz H, RpoN of the fish pathogen Vibrio (Listonella) anguillarum is essential for flagellum production and virulence by the water-borne but not intraperitoneal route of inoculation., Microbiology (Reading, England), 143 ( Pt 12), 1997, p3849-59 Journal Article, 1997

O'Toole R, Milton DL, Wolf-Watz H, Chemotactic motility is required for invasion of the host by the fish pathogen Vibrio anguillarum., Molecular microbiology, 19, (3), 1996, p625-37 Journal Article, 1996

Milton DL, O'Toole R, Horstedt P, Wolf-Watz H, Flagellin A is essential for the virulence of Vibrio anguillarum., Journal of bacteriology, 178, (5), 1996, p1310-9 Journal Article, 1996

Research Expertise


Tuberculosis, Mycobacterium Genus, Bacterial Phylogenetics, Metagenomics, Infectious Diseases, Molecular Diagnostics, Epidemiology, Healthcare Infection Control, Antibiotic Discovery, Target Validation, Drug Development, Environmental Microbiology, Bacterial Pathogenesis, Signal Transduction, Drug Resistance Mechanisms


  • Title
    • Role of Mycobacterium tuberculosis phylogenetic lineage in TB disease in Ireland
  • Summary
    • The objective of this project is to relate Mycobacterium tuberculosis lineage data determined using SNP, LSP and MIRU-24 analyses to patient demographics and disease phenotypes in Ireland. The project is being conducted in collaboration with Prof. Thomas Rogers (Trinity College Dublin), Prof. Joseph Keane (St. James's Hospital, Dublin), and Dr. Margaret Fitzgibbon (Irish Mycobacteria Reference Laboratory).
  • Title
    • Determination of phylogenetic lineages of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates in New Zealand
  • Summary
    • The objective of the project is to determine the genetic lineages of Mycobacterium tuberculosis present in New Zealand using SNP, LSP and MIRU-24 analyses and to relate the lineage data to transmission, patient demographics, and disease phenotypes. The project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Joshua Freeman and Dr. Indira Basu (Auckland City Hospital), and Dr. James Bower (LabPLUS, Auckland District Health Board).
  • Title
    • Synthetic gene array analysis for determining the mode of action of unique tuberculosis drugs
  • Summary
    • For the determination of specific cellular pathways targeted by candidate drugs, the applicant has conducted global transposon mutagenesis in Mycobacterium smegmatis. The mutant library has been utilised for the identification of suppressor and enhancer mutations which modulate susceptibility to anti-mycobacterial inhibitors. These data provide information on the mode of action of tuberculosis lead compounds. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Prof. Greg Cook (University of Otago).
  • Title
    • Development of a single-target tuberculosis/HIV drug
  • Summary
    • Antagonism and overlapping toxicities between tuberculosis and anti-retroviral drugs pose a significant challenge to control efforts. The aim of this project is to determine whether a single target, dual inhibitor would be feasible in the treatment of HIV/TB co-infections. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Mudassar Altaf (Victoria University of Wellington) and Prof. Ted Baker and Dr. Stephanie Dawes (University of Auckland).





Working Group on New TB Drugs, Stop TB Partnership 2011 – present

New Zealand Microbiological Society 2003 – present

American Society for Microbiology 1999 – present

Society for General Microbiology, UK 1999 – present

Last updated 23 November 2016 Stephen Smith (Email).