Professor Mike Barer

Professor of Clinical Microbiology and Honorary Consultant Microbiologist


Mike's research is focussed on understanding how bacteria leads to human infection - concentrating on Tuberculosis and gastrointestinal infections. He is responsible for pioneering the use of 3D printed polyvinyl acetate strips in surgical masks to trap exhaled TB bacteria – this is currently being trialled for use in COVID19 pandemic.

This project is part of the University of Leicester’s portfolio of Global Challenges Research Fund projects, carrying out cutting-edge research in partnership with local universities, policymakers and communities that addresses the challenges faced by countries experiencing chronic disadvantage.


We work at the interface between bacterial physiology and human infection concentrating on Tuberculosis and gastrointestinal infections.

Themes include:

  • The physiology of M. tuberculosis during infection;
  • TB genomics applied to public health and strain characterisation in real time;
  • The nature of bacterial viability and its practical detection;
  • The biological properties of enteric bacteria that underpin their transmission;
  • Methods to determine the properties of bacteria in their natural environments;
  • Culture-independent approaches to determining the aetiology and pathogenesis of bacterial diseases.


Bafadhel M, Clark TW, Reid C, Medina, MJ, Batham S, Barer MR, Nicholson KG, Brightling CE. Procalcitonin and C-reactive protein in hospitalized adult patients with community-acquired pneumonia or exacerbation of asthma or COPD. Chest 2011;139(6):1410-8

Cheah ES, Malkin J, Free RC, Lee SM, Perera N, Woltmann G, Patel H, Kimmitt PT, Smith RJ, Rajakumar K, Barer MR. A two-tube combined TaqMan/SYBR Green assay to identify microbacteria and detect single global lineage-defining polymorphisms in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J Mol Diagn 2010;12(2):250-6

Mukamolova GV, Turapov O, Malkin J, Woltmann G, Barer M. Resuscitation-promoting factors reveal an occult population of tubercle Baccilli in sputum. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2010;181(2):174-80

Pardini M, Niemann S, Varaine F, Iona E, Meacci F, Orru G, Yesilkaya H, Jarosz T, Andrew P, Barer M, Checchi F, Rinder H, Orefici G, Rusch-Gerdes S, Fattorini L, Oggioni MR, Bonnet M. Characteristics of drug-resistant tuberculosis in Abkhazia (Georgia), a high-prevalence area in Eastern Europe. Tuberculosis (Edinb) 2009;89:317-24.

Mukamolova GV, Turapov O, Malkin J, Woltmann G, Barer MR, Resuscitation promoting factors reveal an occult population of tubercle bacilli in sputum. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2009 epub online.

Malkin J, Shrimpton A, Wiselka M, Barer MR, Duddridge M, Perera N. Olecranon bursitis secondary to Mycobacterium kansasii infection in a patient receiving infliximab for Behcet's disease. J Med Microbiol 2009;59(3):371-3

Garton NJ, Waddell SJ, Sherratt AL, Lee SM, Smith RJ, Senner C, Hinds J, Rajakumar K, Adegbola RA, Besra GS, Butcher PB,Barer MR. Cytological and transcript analyses reveal fat and lazy persister-like bacilli in tuberculous sputum. PLoS Med 2008;5(4):e75.

Stanley EC, Mole RJ, Smith RJ, Glenn SM, Barer MR, McGowan M, Rees CE, Development of a new, combined rapid method using phage and PCR for detection and identification of viable Mycobacterium paratuberculosis bacteria within 48 hours. Appl Environ Microbiol 2007;73(6):1851-7.

Ou HY, Ju CT, Thong KL, Ahmad N, Deng Z, Barer MR, Rajakumar K. Translational genomics to develop a salmonella enterica serovar paratyphi A multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay. J Mol Diagn 2007;9(5):624-30.

Ou HY, He X, Harrison EM, Kulasekara BR, Thani AB, Kadioglu A, Lory S, Hinton JC, Barer MR, Deng Z, Rajakumar K. MobilomeFINDER: web-based tools for in silico and experimental discovery of bacterial genomic islands. Nucleic Acids Res 2007;35(Web Server issue): W97-W104.

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