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Research interest

Dr Patrick Harris is an Infectious Disease Physician, Medical Microbiologist and NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow at The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR).    

Dr. Harris obtained a BSc in Psychology and Anthropology from Durham University, prior to acquiring his medical degree from University College London Medical School.  Following postgraduate training in the UK he worked as a clinical lecturer at the College of Medicine in Malawi, and completed specialist training in infectious diseases and microbiology in Australia.  For his final year of training he was a Senior Visiting Fellow in Infectious Disease at the National University Hospital in Singapore. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, many as first author, including publications in JAMA, Lancet, Lancet Infectious Diseases and Clinical Infectious Diseases. He completed his PhD in 2018 under the supervision of Prof. David Paterson. He was the lead author on the MERINO trial, reported in JAMA in 2018. This was an international multicentre randomised clinical trial (RCT) to compare carbapenem-sparing treatment options for ESBL and AmpC-producing species.  This has been the first large RCT to specifically address this question, using a protocol developed and endorsed by the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Network (ASID-CRN). The trial enrolled over 390 patients from 30 centres in 9 countries. 

His research has a focus on antibiotic resistant bacteria and the use of randomised clinical trials to define optimal treatment for these problematic infections as well as the application of bacterial genomics to clinical practice. 

Research projects

Current active projects include:

  1. Pilot Randomised controlled trial of meropenem versus piperacillin-tazobactam for definitive treatment of bloodstream infections due to AmpC-producing Enterobacter, Citrobacter, Serratia, Providencia and Morganella (MERINO-2 trial).
  2. Queensland Genomic Health Alliance (QGHA) Clinical Demonstration Project: Whole genome sequencing to track, treat and prevent nosocomial infections. 
  3. Using whole genome sequencing to characterise carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae from QLD (the CREATE-Q Study), in collaboration with Pathology Queensland and A/Prof Scott Beatson (
  4. Susceptibility of Burkholderia pseudomallei to a novel siderophore cephalosporin (cefiderocol) 
  5. Assessing the effects of antibiotics on the human gut microbiome of patients admitted to the ICU (with Dr. Sanmarie Schlebusch)
  6. Personalisation of antimicrobial therapy in critically ill patients: meeting a global challenge (Health Outcomes Program, with Prof. Jason Roberts)

Grant support

  1. NHMRC Early Career Fellowship Grant - Health Professional Research Fellowship 2019-2022: $232,315
  2. Pathology Queensland SERC 2018: CI-A, Rapid genomic detection of resistance in gram-negative pathogens causing bloodstream infection. $49,000.
  3. RWBH Foundation Grant 2018; CI-B (with CI-A David Paterson); Rapid characterisation of pathogens for personalised antimicrobial selection in critically ill patients. $49,634
  4. RWBH Foundation Grant 2018; AI with (CI-A Jason Roberts); Can software optimise antibiotic dosing in critically ill patients? $36,000
  5. Queensland Genomic Health Alliance 2017/8 Clinical Demonstration Project: Whole genome sequencing to track, treat and prevent nosocomial infections. $600,000 CIB with CIA Paterson.
  6. UQ Medicine Equipment and Infrastructure grant 2017; $84,950 – for Illumina MiniSeq instrument; with CI David Paterson
  7. RWBH Foundation Grant 2017: with Prof. David Paterson (CI-A) and Dr Andrew Henderson, $58,500. Pilot randomised controlled trials of Penicillin or Cefazolin versus Flucloxacillin for definitive treatment of invasive Penicillin Susceptible or Methicillin Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus.
  8. RCPA Foundation Postgraduate Research Fellowship 2017: $25,000
  9. Pathology Queensland Study, Education and Research Trust Fund 2016/7: $49,632. Assessing the effects of antibiotics in a randomised trial on the human gut microbiome
  10. Pathology Queensland Study, Education and Research Trust Fund 2016/7: A$45,000 awarded as co-investigator with Dr Claire Heney (funding for whole genome sequencing of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae from QLD – the “CREATE-Q Study”)
  11. NUHS Clinician Researcher Grant FY2014: S$142,000 awarded for 2 years, collaborator with local PI Prof Paul Tambyah in Singapore (support for the MERINO Trial)
  12. Pathology Queensland Study, Education and Research Trust Fund 2015/6: A$47,136 awarded as co-investigator with Prof David Paterson (funding for whole genome sequencing of bacterial isolates from MERINO trials)
  13. RBWH Foundation Grant 2015: A$40,000, CIB with Prof David Paterson and Prof Jeff Lipman (to support the MERINO-2 trial)
  14. Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF) 50:50 Sequencing Grant 2015/6: A$7,250 awarded as co-investigator with Prof David Paterson (to support whole genome sequencing)

Key publications

  1. Harris P, Tambyah PA, Lye DC, et al. Effect of piperacillin-tazobactam vs meropenem on 30-day mortality for patients with E coli or Klebsiella pneumoniae bloodstream infection and ceftriaxone resistance: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2018;320(10):984-994.
  2.  Stewart A, Harris P, Henderson A, Paterson D. Treatment of Infections with OXA-48 producing Enterobacteriaceae. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018.
  3. McNamara JF, Righi E, Wright H, Hartel GF, Harris PNA, Paterson DL. Long-term morbidity and mortality following bloodstream infection: A systematic literature review. J Infect. 2018 May 7. pii: S0163-4453(18)30120-8.
  4. Roberts MJ, Scott S, Harris PN, Naber K, Wagenlehner FME, Doi SAR. Comparison of fosfomycin against fluoroquinolones for transrectal prostate biopsy prophylaxis: an individual patient-data meta-analysis. World J Urol. 2017 Dec 29. 
  5. Forde BM, Zowawi HM, Harris PNA, et al. Discovery of mcr-1-Mediated Colistin Resistance in a Highly Virulent Escherichia coli Lineage. mSphere. 2018;3(5).
  6. Pang L, Harris PNA, Seiler RL, Ooi PL, Cutter J, Goh KT, et al. Melioidosis, Singapore, 2003–2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018 Jan
  7. Harris, P; Ben Zakour, N; Roberts, L; Wailan, A; Zowawi, H; Tambyah, P; Lye, D et al. Whole genome analysis of cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli from bloodstream infections in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore: high prevalence of CMY-2 producers and ST131 carrying blaCTX-M-15 and blaCTX-M-27. Jnl of Antimicrobial Chemother 2018. 
  8. Djoko KY, Achard MES, Phan MD, Lo AW, Miraula M, Prombhul S, Hancock SJ, Peters KM, Sidjabat H, Harris PN, Mitić N, Walsh TR, Anderson GJ, Shafer WM, Paterson DL, Schenk G, McEwan AG, Schembri MA. Copper ions and coordination complexes as novel carbapenem adjuvants. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Nov 13. pii: AAC.02280-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02280-17
  9. Harris PNA, M. Diletta Pezzani, Belén Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez, et al., Geographical variation in therapy for bloodstream infections due to multidrug-resistant : a post hoc analysis of the INCREMENT study, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 2017, 2017 Nov;50(5):664-672. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2017.08.005. Epub 2017 Aug 3.
  10. Webster J, Larsen E, Marsh N, Choudhury A, Harris P, Rickard CM. Chlorhexidine gluconate or polyhexamethylene biguanide disc dressing to reduce the incidence of central-line-associated bloodstream infection: a feasibility randomized controlled trial (the CLABSI trial). J Hosp Infect. 2017 Apr 16. pii: S0195-6701(17)30195-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2017.04.009. 
  11. Harris, PNA, Peri AM, Pelecanos AM, et al. (2017). Risk factors for relapse or persistence of bacteraemia caused by Enterobacter spp.: a case–control study. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control 6(1): 14. 2017 Jan 21
  12. Roberts MJ, Bennett HY, Harris PN, et al. Prostate Biopsy Related Infection: a Systematic Review of Risk Factors, Prevention Strategies and Management Approaches. Urology 2016.104:11-21. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2016.12.011. Epub 2016 Dec 19.
  13. Righi E, Peri AM, Harris PN, et al. Global prevalence of carbapenem resistance in neutropenic patients and association with mortality and carbapenem use: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Antimicrob Chemother 2016.
  14. Rafiei N, Peri AM, Righi E, Harris P, Paterson DL. Central nervous system nocardiosis in Queensland: A report of 20 cases and review of the literature. Medicine (Baltimore) 2016; 95(46): e5255
  15. Harris PN, McNamara J, Lye D, Davis J, Bernard L, Cheng A, Doi Y, Fowler V, Kaye K, Leibovici L, Lipman J, Llewelyn M, Munoz-Price SL, Paul M, Peleg A, Rodriguez-Baño J, Rogers B, Seifert H, Thamlikitkul V, Thwaites G, Tong S, Turnidge JD, Utili R, Webb S & Paterson DL. Proposed primary endpoints for use in clinical trials that compare treatment options for bloodstream infection in adults: a consensus definition. Clinical Microbiology and Infection 2016. Nov 1. pii: S1198-743X(16)30512-2. 
  16. Huber CA, Sidjabat HE, Zowawi HM, Kvaskoff D, Reed S, McNamara JF, McCarthy KL, Harris P, Toh B, Wailan AM. Detection of carbapenemase activity in Enterobacteriaceae using LC-MS/MS in comparison with the neo-rapid CARB kit using direct visual assessment and colorimetry. J Microbiol Methods 2016; 131: 68-72.
  17. Ng TM, Khong WX, Harris PN, De PP, Chow A, Tambyah PA, Lye DC. Empiric Piperacillin-Tazobactam versus Carbapenems in the Treatment of Bacteraemia Due to Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae. PLoS One. 2016 Apr 22;11(4):e0153696.
  18. Paterson DL, Harris PN. Colistin resistance: a major breach in our last line of defence. Lancet Infect Dis. 2016 Feb;16(2):132-3.
  19. Harris PN, Oltvolgyi C, Islam A, Hussain-Yusuf H, et al. An outbreak of scrub typhus in military personnel despite protocols for antibiotic prophylaxis: doxycycline resistance excluded by a quantitative PCR-based susceptibility assay. Microbes Infect. 2016 Jun;18(6):406-11.
  20. Harris PN, Wei JY, Shen AW, Abdile AA, Paynter S, Huxley RR, Pandeya N, Doi Y, Huh K, O'Neal CS, Talbot TR, Paterson DL. Carbapenems versus alternative antibiotics for the treatment of bloodstream infections caused by Enterobacter, Citrobacter or Serratia species: a systematic review with meta-analysis. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2016 Feb;71(2):296-306.
  21. Zowawi HM*, Harris PN*, Roberts MJ, Tambyah PA, Schembri MA, Pezzani MD, Williamson DA, Paterson DL. The emerging threat of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria in urology. Nat Rev Urol. 2015 Oct;12(10):570-84. [*Joint 1st author].
  22. Khatri A, Naeger Murphy N, Wiest P, Osborn M, Garber K, Hecker M, Hurless K, Rudin SD, Jacobs MR, Kalayjian RC, Salata RA, van Duin D, Perez F, Bonomo RA, Paterson DL, Harris PN. Community-Acquired Pyelonephritis in Pregnancy Caused by KPC-Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 Aug;59(8):4375-8.
  23. Harris PN, Le BD, Tambyah P, Hsu LY, Pada S, Archuleta S, Salmon S, Mukhopadhyay A, Dillon J, Ware R, Fisher DA. Antiseptic Body Washes for Reducing  the Transmission of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus: A Cluster Crossover Study. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2015 May 22;2(2).
  24. Harris PN, Yin M, Jureen R, Chew J, Ali J, Paynter S, Paterson DL, Tambyah PA. Comparable outcomes for β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations and carbapenems in definitive treatment of bloodstream infections caused by cefotaxime-resistant Escherichia coli or Klebsiella pneumoniae. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2015 May
  25. Paterson DL, Harris PN. Editorial commentary: the new Acinetobacter equation:  hypervirulence plus antibiotic resistance equals big trouble. Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Jul 15;61(2):155-6.
  26. Harris PN, Tambyah PA, Paterson DL. β-lactam and β-lactamase inhibitor combinations in the treatment of extended-spectrum β-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae: time for a reappraisal in the era of few antibiotic options?  Lancet Infect Dis. 2015 Apr;15(4):475-85.
  27. Harris PN. Clinical management of infections caused by Enterobacteriaceae that express extended-spectrum β-lactamase and AmpC enzymes. Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Feb;36(1):56-73.
  28. Harris PN, Peleg AY, Iredell J, Ingram PR, Miyakis S, Stewardson AJ, Rogers BA, McBryde ES, Roberts JA, Lipman J, Athan E, Paul SK, Baker P, Harris-Brown T,  Paterson DL. Meropenem versus piperacillin-tazobactam for definitive treatment of bloodstream infections due to ceftriaxone non-susceptible Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp (the MERINO trial): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials. 2015 Jan 27;16:24
  29. Fisher DA, Harris PN. Melioidosis: refining management of a tropical time bomb. Lancet. 2014 Mar 1;383(9919):762-4. Epub 2013 Nov 25.
  30. Harris PN, Wang AD, Yin M, Lee CK, Archuleta S. Atypical hand, foot, and mouth disease: eczema coxsackium can also occur in adults. Lancet Infect Dis. 2014 Nov;14(11):1043.
  31. Harris PN, Alder L, Paterson DL. Antimicrobial susceptibility reporting and treatment selection for AmpC-producing Enterobacteriaceae: what do microbiologists and infectious disease practitioners actually practice? Pathology 2015; 47(4): 386-8.
  32. Harris P, Paterson D, Rogers B. Facing the challenge of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacilli in Australia. The Medical journal of Australia 2015; 202(5): 243-7.
  33. Harris P, Eales KM, Squires R, Govan B, Norton R. Acute Q fever in northern Queensland: variation in incidence related to rainfall and geographical location. Epidemiol Infect 2013; 141(5): 1034-8.
  34. Harris PN, Ferguson JK. Antibiotic therapy for inducible AmpC beta-lactamase-producing Gram-negative bacilli: what are the alternatives to carbapenems, quinolones and aminoglycosides? International journal of antimicrobial agents 2012; 40(4): 297-305.

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