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Olivia McAuliffe

Research Officer

Research Interests

  • Genetics and genomics of food cultures, including probiotics and fermentation starter cultures.
  • Genomic analysis and characterisation of bacteriophage infecting food cultures and various relevant pathogens.
  • Influence of bacteriophage on the microbial ecology of the human gastrointestinal tract.
  • Development of therapeutic uses for bacteriophage against multi-drug resistant pathogens including MRSA, E. coliO157:H7, Clostridium difficile and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  • Development of new genetic tools for application in food cultures used in biotechnology/food industry.


Ph.D. Microbiology (1995-1999)
National University of Ireland-Cork, Ireland.
Thesis: ‘Molecular characterisation of lacticin 3147, a two-component lantibiotic from Lactococcus lactis DPC3147’.

B.Sc. Microbiology (1991-1995)
National University of Ireland-Cork, Ireland

Alemayehu, D., R. P. Ross, O. O’Sullivan, A. Coffey, C. Stanton. G. F. Fitzgerald and O. McAuliffe. 2009. Genome of a virulent bacteriophage Lb338-1 that lyses the probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei cheese strain. Gene 448: 29-39.

Fallico, V., O. McAuliffe, G. F. Fitzgerald, C. Hill and R. P. Ross. 2009. The presence of pMRC01 promotes greater cell permeability and autolysis in lactococcal starter cultures. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 133: 217-24.

Horgan, M., G. O’Flynn, J. Garry, J. Cooney, A. Coffey, G. F. Fitzgerald, R. P. Ross and O. McAuliffe. 2009. Phage lysin, LysK, can be truncated to its CHAP domain and retain lytic activity against live antibiotic-resistant staphylococci. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 75: 872-4.

McAuliffe, O., R. J Cano and T. R. Klaenhammer. 2005. Genetic analysis of two bile salt hydrolase activities in Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 71: 4925-9.

McAuliffe, O., T. O’Keeffe, C. Hill, and R. P. Ross. 2001. Regulation of immunity to the two-component lantibiotic, lacticin 3147, by the transcriptional repressor, LtnR. Mol. Microbiol. 39: 982-993.