Areas of Expertise (5)
Dr Sarah Pitt is Principal Lecturer in Microbiology in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Science at the University of Brighton. Her research areas include: viruses, infection control, the role of point of care tests in microbiology services, job satisfaction among biomedical scientists, and the development of novel antimicrobial agents from mollusc mucus (using a particular protein from snails to kill bacteria that causes lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis).
Sarah is a member of the Institute of Biomedical Science’s Virology Specialist Advisory Panel and its Chief Examiner - as part of this role, she works with the IBMS to provide information and guidance about viral diseases and diagnosis. She has contributed regularly to guidance documents for IBMS members and the media about COVID-19. She has written articles for national newspapers and ‘has been interviewed on live radio and television about COVID-19. She has volunteered at her local NHS microbiology laboratory and helping to train staff being re-deployed to SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing. Sarah’s earlier career was as a biomedical scientist and a virologist in hospital laboratories. She also trained lab staff in Africa and Asia.
Liverpool John Moores University: Ph.D., Managing for Quality in Clinical Microbiology Services 2001
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine: M.Sc., Applied Parasitology and Medical Entomology 1996
University of Bristol: B.Sc., Microbiology 1987
- Member of the Society for Applied Microbiology
- Member of the Microbiology Society
- Member of the Higher Education Academy
- Member of the Academy of Healthcare Science Microbiology Professional Group
- Member of IBMS Scientific Advisory Panel for Virology
Media Mentions (5)
COMMENTARY: Do colder temperatures speed up the spread of COVID-19?
Many countries ended their full lockdowns at the start of the summer, but it wasn’t until the autumn that most places began to see a significant increase in the spread of the virus again. The re-opening of schools and universities led to greater mixing of individuals from different households, but could the fall in outside temperatures also be playing a part?
Why we can't learn to live with Covid-19 until we have a vaccine
As we move into the last quarter of 2020, the virus that has defined this troubled year is showing no signs of going away. In the absence of a vaccine or a broadly effective treatment, some are now saying that we must learn to live with Covid-19. But what does that actually look like?
Virologist: We are 'nowhere near close' to end of pandemic
The Argus online
University of Brighton scientist Dr Sarah Pitt fears if a vaccine is not rolled out carefully, it could embolden “anti vaxxers”. She also said everyone in the world would have to be vaccinated and believes more than one dose of a potential vaccine or boosters would be needed to help wipe out Covid-19.
Coronavirus: Couple warn against Covid-19 complacency
BBC News online
Dr Sarah Pitt, a virologist at the University of Brighton told BBC Radio Foyle said people should be "even more careful as lockdown is easing". "As lockdown is easing people are thinking 'oh, the virus has gone away'.
Brighton academic expert calls for end to coronavirus ban on reusable cups
Brighton & Hove News online
Leading virologist Sarah Pitt said that recently washed cups and mugs were likely to be safer in preventing the spread of the coronavirus than single-use containers which could have been sitting around for ages.
Identification and characterisation of anti - Pseudomonas aeruginosa proteins in mucus of the brown garden snail, Cornu aspersumBritish Journal of Biomedical Science
2019 Novel antimicrobial treatments are urgently needed. Previous work has shown that the mucus of the brown garden snail (Cornu aspersum) has antimicrobial properties, in particular against type culture collection strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We hypothesised that it would also be effective against clinical isolates of the bacterium and that investigation of fractions of the mucus would identify one or more proteins with anti-pseudomonal properties, which could be further characterised.
The contribution of hand drying in prevention of transmission of microorganisms: Comparison of the efficacy of three hand drying methods in the removal and distribution of microorganismsJournal of Infection Prevention
2018 Hand hygiene is a key tool in infection control. While methods of hand washing have been widely researched, there have been fewer studies investigating the effectiveness of available ways to dry hands in public areas.
Diagnostic virology and patient care: from vaguely interesting to vitally importantBritish Journal of Biomedical Science
2016 The existence of pathogenic viruses was inferred by experiments at the turn of the twentieth century. Key developments in detection of viruses, including electron microscopy and monolayer cell culture, were made in the middle of that century.
Antimicrobial properties of mucus from the brown garden snail Helix aspersaBritish Journal of Biomedical Science
2015 Research into naturally occurring antimicrobial substances has yielded effective treatments. One area of interest is peptides and proteins produced by invertebrates as part of their defence system, including the contents of mollusc mucus.
Oncolytic virotherapy: improved outcomes for cancer patients?Biomedical Scientist
2015 Viruses are fascinating infectious agents; they have biochemical structures and employ metabolic processes solely for the purposes of entering and replicating within host cells.Their genomes are diverse and subject to variability within species, but they are relatively short in length.