Consultant Microbiologist & Director of the Scottish Mycobacteria Reference Laboratory, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

Research Interests:

Non-tuberculous Mycobacterial Infection Epidemiology
Mycobacterial Diagnostics
Critical Care Collaborations.


CRyPTIC TB Comprehensive Resistance Prediction for Tuberculosis: an International Consortium

Wellcome Trust Digital Technologies Innovator Award. Sequencing Pathogen Pipeline Platform (SP3) – extended to 2021 due to Covid 19 pandemic.


Dr Ian Laurenson is a Consultant Medical Microbiologist and Honorary Clinical Reader at the University of Edinburgh as well as until recently Head of Speciality and Clinical Lead for Microbiology and Virology at NHS Lothian.

Dr Laurenson trained and worked in medicine, infectious diseases and medical microbiology in Cambridge, Edinburgh, London, Papua New Guinea and Fife. His current roles are diverse including Directing the Scottish Mycobacteria Reference Laboratory and advising on mycobacterial infection, caring for patients with infection in critical care and solid organ transplantation, and managing infection control and antimicrobial stewardship. He also contributes to both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research. He was an author on the 2017 British Thoracic Society (BTS) NTM PD guidelines.

Recent Publications:


False detection of rifampicin resistance using Xpert® MTB/RIF Ultra assay due to an A451V mutation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Fitzgibbon MM, Roycroft E, Sheehan G, Mc Laughlin AM,… Laurenson IF,… Rogers TR. JAC Antimicrob Resist. 2021 Aug 11;3(3):dlab101. doi: 10.1093/jacamr/dlab101.

Investigation of two cases of Mycobacterium chelonae infection in haemato-oncology patients using whole-genome sequencing and a potential link to the hospital water supply. Inkster T, Peters C, Seagar AL, Holden MTG, Laurenson IF. J Hosp Infect. 2021 Aug;114:111-116. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2021.04.028. Epub 2021 May 1. PMID: 33945838.

Sensitivity of RT-PCR testing of upper respiratory tract samples for SARS-CoV-2 in hospitalised patients: a retrospective cohort study. Williams TC, Wastnedge E, McAllister G, Bhatia R,…Laurenson I,… Templeton K. Wellcome Open Research 2020, 5:254


A Subgroup of Patients With Hospital-acquired Pneumonia Do Not Require Broad-spectrum Gram-negative Antimicrobial Coverage.Clark D Russell, Ed Whittaker, Dominic P Dee, Eilidh Farquhar, …Ian F Laurenson,… Claire L Mackintosh, Muge Cevik. Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Dec 17;71(10):e710-e713. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa391

Ventilator-associated pneumonia surveillance using two methods. Craven TH, Wojcik G, McCoubrey J, Brooks O,… Laurenson IF,…Walsh TS. Hosp Infect. 2020 Apr;104(4):522-528. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2020.01.020. Epub 2020 Feb 5. PMID: 32035121.


Tractable targets for meropenem-sparing antimicrobial stewardship interventions. Clark D Russell, Ian F Laurenson, Morgan H Evans, Claire L Mackintosh. JAC Antimicrob Resist. 2019 Sep 6;1(2):dlz042. doi: 10.1093/jacamr/dlz042

Lessons learned from a pneumocystis pneumonia outbreak at a Scottish Transplant Centre. A Mclarey, P Phelan, D. O’Shea, L Henderson, R Gunson, IF Laurenson. J Hosp Infect. 2019 Jul;102(3):311-316. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2019.02.013. Epub 2019 Feb 23. 


Three year evaluation of Xpert MTB/RIF in a low prevalence tuberculosis setting: A Scottish perspective. Parcell BJ, Jarchow-MacDonald AA, Seagar AL, Laurenson IF, Prescott GJ, Lockhart M.  J Infect. 2017 May;74(5):466-472. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2017.02.005. Epub 2017 Feb 22.


True rifampicin resistance missed by the MGIT: prevalence of this pheno/genotype in the UK and Ireland after 18 month surveillance.  Gonzalo, Ximena; Claxton, Pauline; Brown, Tim; Montgomery, Lorraine; Fitzgibbon, MM; Laurenson, Ian; Drobniewski, Francis. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2017 Apr;23(4):260-263. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2016.11.015. Epub 2016 Nov 27. PMID: 27903459.

Pulmonary Mycobacterium marinum infection: ‘fish tank granuloma’ of the lung. Velu PP, Fernandes SE, Laurenson IF, Noble DD. Scott Med J. 2016 Nov;61(4):203-206. doi: 10.1177/0036933016680161. Epub 2016 Nov 21. PMID: 27872397.

Emergence and spread of a human-transmissible multidrug-resistant nontuberculous mycobacterium. Bryant JM, Grogono DM, Rodriguez-Rincon D, Everall I,… Laurenson I,… Floto RA. Science. 2016 Nov 11;354(6313):751-757. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf8156. PMID: 27846606; PMCID: PMC5142603.