Dr Caroline Millins

  • Senior University Clinician in Anatomic Pathology (Veterinary Pathology, Public Health & Disease Investigation)
  • Associate (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health & Comparative Medicine)

Research interests

I have broad interests in the ecology and pathology of infectious diseases. In my research I have used a combination of fieldwork, genetic analysis of pathogens and modelling to identify ecological drivers of zoonotic pathogens. These findings can be used to develop recommendations for management interventions and also public health policy. Current projects include:

  • Ecological drivers of the vector-borne pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi and its vector Ixodes ricinus in Scotland.
  • Developing next generation sequencing methods to detect mixed strain infections in hosts and vectors.
  • Investigating zoonotic and environmental reservoirs of Clostridium difficile.

Ecological drivers of Lyme borreliosis in Scotland

Lyme borreliosis is an emerging zoonosis in parts of Europe and North America. Blanket dragging for questing ticksWe are using a variety of approaches to identify ecological drivers of the tick vector and bacterial pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi. These include collections of ticks and environmental data from woodland sites across Scotland‌, around Loch Lomond and non-forested sites in the Outer Hebrides, ‌long term studies of tick infestations on a woodland bird community and studies on the role invasive grey squirrels in Scotland, and invasive populations of hedgehogs in the Hebrides ‌may play in pathogen dynamics. Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)We have found that host communities, habitat and climate can affect the local transmission dynamics of B. burgdorferi and the potential risk of infection for humans. These types of studies can inform how environmental changes such as changes to habitats and host communities may affect the dynamics of this pathogen and the vector and can be useful in forming management recommendations. If you would like to hear more about my research, you can listen to a podcast recorded at the Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment (SCENE) by the Society for Microbiology.

Collaborators: Roman Biek, Reader, IBAHCM, Lucy Gilbert, Senior Research Fellow, IBAHCM, Mafalda Viana, Research Fellow, IBAHCM, University of Glasgow

Funding: NERC- Case PhD studentship with Scottish Natural Heritage

Developing next generation sequencing methods to detect mixed strain infections in hosts and vectors.

Detection of mixed strain infections is important in the epidemiological study of infection in hosts and vectors and the ecology and evolution of these pathogens. Measuring the dominant strain in genus or strain specific PCR’s can result in partial or mixed strain types which masks transmission events and mechanisms driving the ecology and evolution of these pathogens. Next generation sequencing offers great potential to provide the resolution needed to quantify mixed strain infections.

Collaborators: Roman Biek, Reader, IBAHCM, Willie Weir, Bioinformatician, IBAHCM, Graham Hamilton, Bioinformatician, Glasgow Polyomics, University of Glasgow, Xavier Bailly, Maude Jacquot, INRA, France.

Funding: Wellcome Trust ISSF 

Investigating zoonotic and environmental reservoirs of Clostridium difficile 

Clostridium difficile infection is the most common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in the developed world with significant morbidity and mortality in the elderly. As well as health care associated infections, infection of the elderly, adults and children living within the community is a globally emerging and potentially underdiagnosed problem. At present, the source and risk factors for this type of infection remain unclear. Currently there are many hypotheses about possible sources of infection as the bacteria can infect and generate contaminating spores in a variety of warm-blooded animals and can persist as spores in soil and water. Potential reservoirs include healthy human carriers, as well as domestic animal reservoirs and contamination of food and water. We are currently testing for faecal carriage of this bacteria in companion animals and livestock as well as in soil and water samples.

Collaborators: Dr Gillian Douce, Senior lecturer in Bacteriology, University of Glasgow, Professor John Coia and Dr Derek Brown, ‎Scottish Microbiology Reference Laboratories, Glasgow, Alison Ridyard, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow

Funding: Veterinary Fund Small Grant scheme: Risk factors for Clostridium difficile carriage in dogs and association with clinical disease. 

               Veterinary Fund PhD Scheme: A One Health Approach to investigation of colonisation and disease with C. difficile in animals and humans

Graduate student supervision

PhD Students

2016 - Sara Gandy: The effects of Host Community Composition on Lyme Disease transmission in Scotland. Co-supervisor with Dr Roman Biek and Dr Lucy Gilbert

2018 - Davide Pagnossin: A One Health approach to assess linkages between Clostridium difficile colonisation and disease in animals and humans. Supervisor with Dr Gill Douce 

2018 - Daisy Gates: Assessing the impact of red deer and hedgehogs on Lyme disease risk in the Outer Hebrides. Co-supervisor with Dr Roman Biek, Lucy Gilbert and Mafalda Viana.

MSc Quantitative Methods, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow

2016. Rachel Steenson: Factors affecting tick infestations on breeding woodland bird communities and the relative importance of different bird species as transmission hosts for B. burgdorferi s.l. Co-supervisor with Dr Stewart White

2015-2016. Eleanor Dickinson: The effect of deer in the spatial distribution of ticks, Ixodus ricinus,and tick-borne Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in a naturally fragmented habitat. Co-supervisor with Dr Roman Biek

2017-2018. Walter Leo: The role of deer and rodents in maintaining ticks and Borrelia burgdorferi in non-forested habitats in the Hebrides. Co-supervisor with Dr Roman Biek

MSc Infection Biology, Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflamation, University of Glasgow

2016. Amy Irvine: Investigating the prevalence and diversity of Clostridium difficile carriage by dairy cattle in Scotland. Supervisor with Dr Gillian Douce.

2016. Samantha McNaught: Identification of novel environmental reservoirs of Clostridium difficile infection. Co-supervisor with Dr Gillian Douce.

MVetSc Conservation Medicine, University of Edinburgh

2016-2017. Kari-Anne Heald: Could disease be a limiting factor in polecat recovery? Co-supervisor with Professor Anna Meredith, University of Edinburgh

MRes Biomedical Sciences

2019. Reece Davidson: Assessing peri-domestic risk of Lyme disease in the Outer Hebrides. Supervisor with Dr Roman Biek


Grants

Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.

  • Bird Transmission Lyme Disease
    Glasgow Natural History Society
    2016 - 2017
     
  • Could disease be a limiting factor in polecat recovery
    Glasgow Natural History Society
    2016 - 2017
     
  • Could disease be a limiting factor in polecat recovery?
    The Zebra Foundation for Veterinary Zoological Education
    2016 - 2017
     
  • Quantifying multiple strain infections for a tick-borne pathogen using next-generation sequencing (ISSF STS)
    Wellcome Trust
    2015 - 2015
     

Supervision

  • Gandy, Sara
    Biodiversity impacts on Lyme disease rosk and pathogen genetics

Teaching

Wildlife disease investigation: I teach wildlife disease investigation as part of the final year veterinary student Wildlife and Livestock Management elective. This includes group discussions on the principles of wildlife disease investigation and surveillance, a practical on post mortem examination of wildlife and an outbreak investigation exercise.

Final year rotation: This hands on week in pathology strengthens final year veterinary students day one skills in post mortem examination, description of gross pathological lesions and the collection of samples for diagnostic testing. With the pathologist and resident on duty, students discuss the history of the submitted cases and possible differential diagnoses. All students have the opportunity to carry out at least one or more post mortem examinations and prepare a written report with the gross findings and recommendations for further testing or treatment/management as appropriate. Farm animal clinicians, residents and students join for case discussions following post mortem examinations of livestock.

Final year Selective: A four week elective training in veterinary pathology focusing on post-mortem examination, description of gross pathology, writing of post-mortem reports and learning basic histopathology skills.

Resident training: I contribute to supervision and training of residents in anatomic veterinary pathology.

University of Glasgow pathology club:  I am the advisor for the American College of Veterinary Pathology student group. The students organise several lectures and ‘wet lab’ practicals during the year.

Pathology lectures and practicals

BVMS 1

Overview of inflammation and the acute inflammatory response

Chronic inflammation

Patterns of disease in the kidney

Histopathology practical

BVMS 2

Osteoarthritis

Patterns of disease in the lung, inflammation

Patterns of disease in the lung, neoplasia

Endocrine Pathology

Respiratory pathology practical

Collection of samples for diagnostic testing practical

Blue Sky Lecture: 'Ticks as Vectors'

BVMS 3

Post mortem demonstrations – interactive tutorial using pathology specimens from the previous weeks post-mortem submissions.

Specimen description practical – practice of describing gross pathology based on abbatoir specimens

Medical Microbiology

Ticks as Vectors


Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2011 | 2010
Number of items: 15.

2019

Francesio, A., Durand, A., Viora, L. , Orr, J., Millins, C. and José‐López, R. (2019) Clinical and magnetic resonance imaging findings of a cerebellar medulloblastoma in a heifer. Clinical Case Reports, 7(1), pp. 94-99. (doi:10.1002/ccr3.1925) (PMID:30656017) (PMCID:PMC6332746)

Ward, P. M., McLaughlan, G., Millins, C. , Mullen, D. and McBrearty, A. R. (2019) Leishmaniosis causing chronic diarrhoea in a dog. Veterinary Record Case Reports, 7(1), e000768. (doi:10.1136/vetreccr-2018-000768)

2018

Millins, C. et al. (2018) Landscape structure affects the prevalence and distribution of a tick-borne zoonotic pathogen. Parasites and Vectors, 11, 621. (doi:10.1186/s13071-018-3200-2) (PMID:30514350) (PMCID:PMC6278045)

McNaught, K. A., Morris, J. , Lazzerini, K., Millins, C. and José‐López, R. (2018) Spinal extradural T-cell lymphoma with paraneoplastic hypereosinophilia in a dog: clinicopathological features, treatment, and outcome. Clinical Case Reports, 6(6), pp. 999-1005. (doi:10.1002/ccr3.1503) (PMID:29881551) (PMCID:PMC5986171)

McNaught, K.A., Morris, J., Lazzerini, K., Millins, C. and José-López, R. (2018) Spinal Extradural T-cell Lymphoma with Paraneoplastic Hypereosinophilia in a Dog: Clinicopathological Features, Treatment and Outcome. 4th British Veterinary Neurology Society (BVNS) Annual Meeting, Birmingham, UK, 04 Apr 2018.

2017

Millins, C. , Gilbert, L., Medlock, J., Hansford, K., Thompson, D. B.A. and Biek, R. (2017) Effects of conservation management of landscapes and vertebrate communities on Lyme borreliosis risk in the United Kingdom. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 372(1722), 20160123. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2016.0123) (PMID:28438912) (PMCID:PMC5413871)

2016

Millins, C. , Gilbert, L., Johnson, P. , James, M., Kilbride, E., Birtles, R. and Biek, R. (2016) Heterogeneity in the abundance and distribution of Ixodes ricinus and Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) in Scotland: implications for risk prediction. Parasites and Vectors, 9, 595. (doi:10.1186/s13071-016-1875-9) (PMID:27876087) (PMCID:PMC5084683)

Millins, C. L. , Brereton, A. and Everest, D. (2016) The role of invasive grey squirrels as hosts of selected viruses, bacteria and parasites; implications for conservation and public health. In: Shuttleworth, C. M., Lurz, P. W.W. and Gurnell, J. (eds.) The Grey Squirrel: Ecology and Management of an Invasive Species in Europe. European Squirrel Initiative: Bangor, UK, pp. 173-191. ISBN 9780954757649

2015

Fournié, G., Goodman, S. J., Cruz, M., Cedeño, V., Vélez, A., Patiño, L., Millins, C. , Gibbons, L. M., Fox, M. T. and Cunningham, A. A. (2015) Biogeography of parasitic nematode communities in the Galápagos giant tortoise: implications for conservation management. PLoS ONE, 10(9), e0135684. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135684) (PMID:26332126) (PMCID:PMC4567182)

Millins, C. , Magierecka, A., Gilbert, L., Edoff, A., Brereton, A., Kilbride, E., Denwood, M., Birtles, R. and Biek, R. (2015) An invasive mammal (the gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis) commonly hosts diverse and atypical genotypes of the zoonotic pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 81(13), pp. 4236-4245. (doi:10.1128/AEM.00109-15) (PMID:25888168) (PMCID:PMC447589)

2014

Millins, C. , Howie, F., Everitt, C., Shand, M. and Lamm, C. (2014) Analysis of suspected wildlife crimes submitted for forensic examinations in Scotland. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, 10(3), pp. 357-362. (doi:10.1007/s12024-014-9568-1)

2011

Millins, C. , Reid, A., Curry, P., Drebot, M. A., Andonova, M., Buck, P. and Leighton, F. A. (2011) Evaluating the use of house sparrow nestlings as sentinels for West Nile Virus in Saskatchewan. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 11(1), pp. 53-58. (doi:10.1089/vbz.2009.0235)

2010

Brook, R. K., Kutz, S. J., Millins, C. , Veitch, A. M., Elkin, B. T. and Leighton, T. (2010) Evaluation and delivery of domestic animal health services in remote communities in the Northwest Territories: a case study of status and needs. Canadian Veterinary Journal: Revue Veterinaire Canadienne, 51(10), pp. 1115-1122.

Shrubsole-Cockwill, A. N., Millins, C. , Jardine, C., Kachur, K. and Parker, D. L. (2010) Avian pox infection with secondary Candida albicans encephalitis in a juvenile golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, 24(1), pp. 64-71. (doi:10.1647/2009-010R.1)

Millins, C. , Hill, J. E. and Wobeser, G. (2010) Intracellular yeasts in endothelial cells of a great blue heron (Ardea Herodias). Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, 22(1), pp. 131-134. (doi:10.1177/104063871002200128)

This list was generated on Fri Sep 20 08:40:28 2019 BST.
Number of items: 15.

Articles

Francesio, A., Durand, A., Viora, L. , Orr, J., Millins, C. and José‐López, R. (2019) Clinical and magnetic resonance imaging findings of a cerebellar medulloblastoma in a heifer. Clinical Case Reports, 7(1), pp. 94-99. (doi:10.1002/ccr3.1925) (PMID:30656017) (PMCID:PMC6332746)

Ward, P. M., McLaughlan, G., Millins, C. , Mullen, D. and McBrearty, A. R. (2019) Leishmaniosis causing chronic diarrhoea in a dog. Veterinary Record Case Reports, 7(1), e000768. (doi:10.1136/vetreccr-2018-000768)

Millins, C. et al. (2018) Landscape structure affects the prevalence and distribution of a tick-borne zoonotic pathogen. Parasites and Vectors, 11, 621. (doi:10.1186/s13071-018-3200-2) (PMID:30514350) (PMCID:PMC6278045)

McNaught, K. A., Morris, J. , Lazzerini, K., Millins, C. and José‐López, R. (2018) Spinal extradural T-cell lymphoma with paraneoplastic hypereosinophilia in a dog: clinicopathological features, treatment, and outcome. Clinical Case Reports, 6(6), pp. 999-1005. (doi:10.1002/ccr3.1503) (PMID:29881551) (PMCID:PMC5986171)

Millins, C. , Gilbert, L., Medlock, J., Hansford, K., Thompson, D. B.A. and Biek, R. (2017) Effects of conservation management of landscapes and vertebrate communities on Lyme borreliosis risk in the United Kingdom. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 372(1722), 20160123. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2016.0123) (PMID:28438912) (PMCID:PMC5413871)

Millins, C. , Gilbert, L., Johnson, P. , James, M., Kilbride, E., Birtles, R. and Biek, R. (2016) Heterogeneity in the abundance and distribution of Ixodes ricinus and Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) in Scotland: implications for risk prediction. Parasites and Vectors, 9, 595. (doi:10.1186/s13071-016-1875-9) (PMID:27876087) (PMCID:PMC5084683)

Fournié, G., Goodman, S. J., Cruz, M., Cedeño, V., Vélez, A., Patiño, L., Millins, C. , Gibbons, L. M., Fox, M. T. and Cunningham, A. A. (2015) Biogeography of parasitic nematode communities in the Galápagos giant tortoise: implications for conservation management. PLoS ONE, 10(9), e0135684. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135684) (PMID:26332126) (PMCID:PMC4567182)

Millins, C. , Magierecka, A., Gilbert, L., Edoff, A., Brereton, A., Kilbride, E., Denwood, M., Birtles, R. and Biek, R. (2015) An invasive mammal (the gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis) commonly hosts diverse and atypical genotypes of the zoonotic pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 81(13), pp. 4236-4245. (doi:10.1128/AEM.00109-15) (PMID:25888168) (PMCID:PMC447589)

Millins, C. , Howie, F., Everitt, C., Shand, M. and Lamm, C. (2014) Analysis of suspected wildlife crimes submitted for forensic examinations in Scotland. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, 10(3), pp. 357-362. (doi:10.1007/s12024-014-9568-1)

Millins, C. , Reid, A., Curry, P., Drebot, M. A., Andonova, M., Buck, P. and Leighton, F. A. (2011) Evaluating the use of house sparrow nestlings as sentinels for West Nile Virus in Saskatchewan. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 11(1), pp. 53-58. (doi:10.1089/vbz.2009.0235)

Brook, R. K., Kutz, S. J., Millins, C. , Veitch, A. M., Elkin, B. T. and Leighton, T. (2010) Evaluation and delivery of domestic animal health services in remote communities in the Northwest Territories: a case study of status and needs. Canadian Veterinary Journal: Revue Veterinaire Canadienne, 51(10), pp. 1115-1122.

Shrubsole-Cockwill, A. N., Millins, C. , Jardine, C., Kachur, K. and Parker, D. L. (2010) Avian pox infection with secondary Candida albicans encephalitis in a juvenile golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, 24(1), pp. 64-71. (doi:10.1647/2009-010R.1)

Millins, C. , Hill, J. E. and Wobeser, G. (2010) Intracellular yeasts in endothelial cells of a great blue heron (Ardea Herodias). Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, 22(1), pp. 131-134. (doi:10.1177/104063871002200128)

Book Sections

Millins, C. L. , Brereton, A. and Everest, D. (2016) The role of invasive grey squirrels as hosts of selected viruses, bacteria and parasites; implications for conservation and public health. In: Shuttleworth, C. M., Lurz, P. W.W. and Gurnell, J. (eds.) The Grey Squirrel: Ecology and Management of an Invasive Species in Europe. European Squirrel Initiative: Bangor, UK, pp. 173-191. ISBN 9780954757649

Conference or Workshop Item

McNaught, K.A., Morris, J., Lazzerini, K., Millins, C. and José-López, R. (2018) Spinal Extradural T-cell Lymphoma with Paraneoplastic Hypereosinophilia in a Dog: Clinicopathological Features, Treatment and Outcome. 4th British Veterinary Neurology Society (BVNS) Annual Meeting, Birmingham, UK, 04 Apr 2018.

This list was generated on Fri Sep 20 08:40:28 2019 BST.