Centre for Biological Sciences

Bill Keevil

BSc Biochemistry, University of Birmingham; PhD Biochemistry, University of Birmingham; Chartered Biologist (CBiol); Fellow of the Society of Biology (FSB); Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (FAAM); Fellow of the World Innovation Foundation (FWIR); Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (FRSM)

Primary position:
Chair in Environmental Healthcare
Other positions:
Principal Investigator (Microbiology & environmental health), Director of the Environmental Healthcare Unit, Chair of the University Genetic Manipulation and Safety Committee

Background

The University of Southampton
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Southampton;
  • Visiting Research Fellow, University of Manitoba;
  • Scientific Advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee on Science & Technology;
  • Previously Head of the Environmental Technology Department, Centre for Microbiology and Research, Salisbury;
  • Visiting Professor of Microbiology, University of Exeter;
  • Presently Head of the Microbiology Group and Director of the Environmental Healthcare Unit, University of Southampton
Professor Bill Keevil's photo

Publications

Additional publications

Warner, J., Rothwell, S.D. and Keevil, C.W. (2008). Use of Episcopic Differential Interference Contrast microscopy to identify bacterial biofilms on salad leaves and track colonisation by Salmonella Thompson. Environmental Microbiology, 10, 918-925.

Weaver, L.. Michels, H.T. and Keevil, C.W. (2008). Survival of Clostridium difficile on copper and steel: futuristic options for hospital hygiene. Journal of Hospital Infection 68, 145-151.

Azevedo N.F., Almeida, C., Fernandes, I., Dias, S., Keevil C.W. and Vieira M.J. (2008). Survival of gastric and enterohepatic Helicobacter spp. in water: implications for transmission. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74, 1805–1811.

Abdel Ghani, S., Louise Weaver, L., Zidan, Z.H., Ali, H.M., Keevil, C.W. and Brown, R.C.D. (2008). Microwave assisted synthesis and antimicrobial activities of flavonoid derivatives. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 18, 518–522.

Lipscomb, I., Sihota, A.K and Keevil, C.W. (2008). Comparison between visible analysis and microscopy assessment of surgical instrument cleanliness from sterile service departments. Journal of Hospital Infection 68, 52-58.
(Selected as one of the six best articles for all ASM journals for the Journal Highlights section of Microbe (formerly ASM News), January 2008 issue)

Braganca, S.M., Azevedo, N.F., Simoes, L.C., Keevil, C.W. and Vieira, M.J. (2007). Use of fluorescent in situ hybridization for the visualization of Helicobacter pylori in real drinking water biofilms. Water Science and Technology 55, 387-93.

Wilks , S.A. , Azevedo, N., Juhna, T., Lehtola, M. and Keevil, C.W. (2005). Tools for the rapid detection of pathogens in mains drinking water supplies. In Water Contamination Emergencies: Enhancing our Response (ed. K.C. Thompson and J. Gray). London : IWO , in press. ISBN 0 85404 658 5.

Branganca, S. M., Azevedo, N. F., Chaves, L., Vieira, M. J. and Keevil C. W. (2005). Detection of H. pylori in biofilms formed in a real drinking water distribution system using peptide nucleic acid fluorescence i n situ hybridization. In Biofilms (Ed. A. McBain et al.), pp. 231-240. Manchester : BiofilmClub. ISBN 0 9551030 0 2

Azevedo, N. F., Vieira M. J. and Keevil C. W. (2005). Development of an optimized technique for the recovery of H. pylori from water and drinking water biofilms. In Biofilms (Ed. A. McBain et al.), pp. 221-230. Manchester : BiofilmClub. ISBN 0 9551030 0 2

Warnes, S.L. and Keevil, C.W. (2004). Feasibility of horizontal standard methods for detection of Clostridium perfringens and enterococci in sludges, soil, soil improvers, growing media and biowastes. EC HORIZONTAL. Petten: ECN http://www.ecn.nl/docs/society/horizontal/hor4_enter_clos.pdf

Warnes, S.L. and Keevil, C.W. (2004). Feasibility of horizontal standard methods for the rapid detection of E. coli (including E. coli O157) and Salmonella in sludge. EC HORIZONTAL . Petten: ECN http://www.ecn.nl/docs/society/horizontal/hor3b_ec_salm_rapid.pdf

Cairns , G., Boyle, J.D., Keevil, C.W. and Lappin-Scott, H.A. (2003). The effect of saliva on the attachment and detachment rates of oral bacteria. In Biofilm communities: Order from Chaos? (Ed. McBain, A., Allison, D., Brading, M., Rickard, A., Verran, J. and Walker, J.), pp. 61-70. Cardiff ; Bioline.

Azevedo, N.F, Vieira, M.J. and Keevil (2003). Development of peptide nucleic acid probes to detect Helicobacter pylori in diverse species potable water biofilms. In Biofilm communities: Order from Chaos? (Ed. McBain, A., Allison, D., Brading, M., Rickard, A., Verran, J. and Walker, J.), pp. 105-112. Cardiff ; Bioline.
Caddy, D.L., Earley, F. and Keevil, C.W. (2003). Structure and viability assessment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) using episcopic differential interference contrast microscopy. In Biofilm communities: Order from Chaos? (Ed. McBain, A., Allison, D., Brading, M., Rickard, A., Verran, J. and Walker, J.), pp. 37-50. Cardiff ; Bioline.

Wilks, S.A. and Keevil, C.W. (2003). Structure of diverse species potable water biofilms under defined shear flow regimes in the Propella® reactor. In Biofilm communities: Order from Chaos? (Ed. McBain, A., Allison, D., Brading, M., Rickard, A., Verran, J. and Walker, J.), pp. 341-351. Cardiff ; Bioline.

Noyce, J.O. and Keevil, C.W. (2003). Biofilm formation by Escherichia coli O157. In Biofilm communities: Order from Chaos? (Ed. McBain, A., Allison, D., Brading, M., Rickard, A., Verran, J. and Walker, J.), pp. 401- 408. Cardiff ; Bioline.

Clark, S.A., Watkins, J., Wilks, S.A. and Keevil, C.W. (2003). The use of commercial products for the detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts throughout the food chain. In Cryptosporidium parvum in Food and Water (ed. G. Duffy). Dublin: Teagasc, pp. 84-93. (ISBN 1 84170 3273).

Warnes, S. and Keevil, C.W. (2003). Warnes, S. and Keevil, C.W. (2003). Survival of C ryptosporidium parvum in faecal wastes and salad crops. In Cryptosporidium parvum in Food and Water (ed. G. Duffy). Dublin: Teagasc, pp. 15-24 (ISBN 1 84170 3273).

Surman, S., Morton, G., Keevil, C.W. and Fitzgeorge, R. (2002). Legionella pneumophila proliferation is not dependent on intracellular replication. In Legionella (ed. Marre, R. et al.). Washington , DC : ASM Press, 86-89.

Keevil, C.W. (2002). Pathogens in environmental biofilms. In The Encyclopedia of Environmental Microbiology (ed. G. Bitton). New York: Wiley, 2339-2356.

Keevil, C.W. (2001). Suitability of microbial assays for potable water and wastewater applied to land. In Rapid Detection Assays for Food and Water. (ed. S.A. Clark, C.W. Keevil, K.J. Thompson and M. Smith). Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry, 3-26. (ISBN 0 85402 - 7794)

Nicholson, F.A., Hutchison, M.L., Smith, K.A., Keevil, C.W., Chambers, B.J. and Moore, A. (2000). A study of farm manure applications to agricultural land and an assessment of the risks of pathogen transfer into the food chain. HMSO: MAFF Publications.

Keevil, C.W. (2000). Survival of Escherichia coli O157 in water and organic wastes on land: the potential to contaminate untreated private water supplies. SCIEH Weekly Report Supplement 34, 24-26.

 

Research

Research Interests

  • Physiology and adaptive mechanisms for survival of pathogens, in vivo and in vitro e.g. Legionella, Helicobacter, E. coli O157, MRSA, C. difficile.
  • Biofilms in the environment, the built environment and clinical practice.
  • Surface contamination, including prions; fouling and corrosion.
  • Survival of sublethally damaged pathogens in water and human and animal wastes recycled to agricultural land, e.g. E coli O157 Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, Cryptosporidium

PhD supervision:

  • Nicola Gibbins - BBSRC Industrial CASE student / Role of nitric oxide in the control of biofilm and zoonotic pathogen colonisation on the salad leaf phylloplane
  • Tom Secker - BBSRC Industrial CASE student / Development of rapid, sensitive neuroblastoma and stem cell culture systems to assess the efficacy of prion decontamination technologies
  • Aaron Dye – EC FP7 student / FeS production by sulphate reducing bacteria for the decontamination of radionuclides in drinking water
  • David Walker - EC FP7 student / Biofilm prevention on microfluidic sensor devices

Affiliated research Group: Institute of Life Sciences

Primary research group:  Environmental Biosciences

Affiliate research group:  Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS)

Research projects

Biofouling control for in-situ lab-on-a-chip environmental sensors

Using microscopy and molecular community analysis techniques, the effects of antifouling methods will be assessed.

Development of endoscope decontamination procedures

Antimicrobial copper: Biocidal efficacy and killing mechanism of copper and copper alloy dry surfaces against bacterial and viral pathogens

Touch surfaces are an important conduit for transmission of bacteria, viruses and fungi, leading to mass outbreaks of disease in the community and healthcare acquired infections by multiple antibiotic resistant microorganisms causing great morbidity and mortality.

BioliSME II: Demonstration, validation and preliminary promotion of a commercial prototype speedy system for sampling and detecting Listeria monocytogenes

Cold Atmospheric Plasma (CAP) for the decontamination of reusable surgical instruments

To evaluate the potential of Cold Atmospheric Plasma as a tool for the decontamination of reusable surgical instruments and endoscopes, thus significantly reducing the risk of iatrogenic infections with prions and potentially other resilient agents.

Development of anti-fouling strategies for long-term deployed in situ sensors in marine environments

Analysis of biofilms in the marine environment and of the effectiveness of antifouling strategies

Environmental Healthcare Unit Consultancy

Our Consultancy Service has dealt with a wide range of projects in collaboration with both small and large multinational companies.We offer a range of testing services using up-to-date microbiological methods and the latest techniques in specialised microscopy.

Microbial interactions in multi-species drinking water biofilm community

Using the model organism Pseudomonas aeruginosa to investigate mechanisms by which drinking water biofilms harbour important pathogenic microorganism and how these interactions within multi-species biofilms can enhance genetic adaptation and evolution of microbial pathogens.

Rapid assessment of surface contamination and decontamination efficacy

Development of rapid, sensitive, advanced EDIC/EF light microscopy based protocols to assess the efficacy of current bio-decontamination systems.

Role of hypoxia and DNA mismatch repair in tumorigenesis

Using a multicellular tumour spheroid model to investigate the role of hypoxia and DNA mismatch repair on the fundamental processes of importance in tumour development

The role of nitric oxide in the control of biofilm and zoonotic pathogen colonisation of the salad phylloplane

Investigating the use of the signalling molecule nitric oxide for microbial control at the phylloplane

SecurEau – Security and decontamination of drinking water distribution systems following a deliberate contamination event.

This work aims to design novel methodologies for the detection of low levels of contaminants, model the distribution of contaminants throughout a network and identify the point of origin, develop the use of sensors for surveillance and provide decontamination protocols for polluted networks and installations, including the neutralisation of contaminated water and residues.

Teaching Responsibilities

Lecturing in BIOL1007, BIOL1020; BIOL2022, BIOL2038, BIOL3017, BIOL3057
Project Supervisor BIOL3031; BIOL3032, BIOL3034, BIOL30

Contributions

  • Member of EPSRC National Centre for Advanced Tribology (nCATS) Management Board
  • CfBS Liaison Officer with Society of Biology, London
  • MOD Independent Scientific and Technical Advice (ISTA) Register
  • DEFRA Drinking Water Inspectorate Rapid Methods Committee, London
  • DoH Decontamination Working Group, London
  • IWW Rheinisch-Westfaelisches Institut für Wasser, Mulheim, External Management Board
  • CEN TC308 WG1 Committee, Brussels
  • British Standards Institute EH/5 Wastes Committee, London

Contact

Professor Bill Keevil
Centre for Biological Sciences
Faculty of Natural & Environmental Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
Southampton
SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 85/4059

Telephone: (023) 8059 4726
Email: C.W.Keevil@soton.ac.uk