Bacterial SIG

The Bacterial Special Interest Group (BSIG) works under the auspices of BASHH to provide educational and research support in the field of bacterial sexually transmitted infections.

To promote communication between microbiologists and clinicians involved in the diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infection by:

  • Offering courses in specialist areas e.g. microscopy course
  • Production of educational material
  • Organisation of symposia on new areas
  • Arranging update meetings, e.g. syphilis update days



Core Group
  • Professor Emeritus Catherine Ison PhD, FRCPath [Chair]
    Clinical Scientist, Public Health England

  • Achyuta Nori
    Consultant Physician in Genitourinary Medicine & HIV, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh
  • Dr. Frances Keane MD, FRCP [Secretary]
    Consultant Physician in Genitourinary Medicine & HIV
    Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro.

  • Dr. Suneeta Soni FRCP [Web Master]
    Consultant Physician in Genitourinary Medicine & HIV
    Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton

  • Dr. Sundar Uthayakumar MMBS, MRCOG, MRCS [Microscopy course coordinator]
    Consultant Physician in Genitourinary Medicine & HIV
    Lister Hospital, Stevenage

  • Dr. Sarah Alexander PhD [Web Master]
    Clinical Scientist (Microbiology)
    Public Health England, Colindale, London.

  • Dr. Sheel Patel MBBS (Hons), MRCP, DipHIV, DFSRH, DipGUM [Treasurer]
    Consultant Physician in Genitourinary Medicine & HIV
    Dean Street Clinic, London
  • Dr. Achyuta Nori MBBS, MRCP (UK), DipGUM, DipHIV [OGM Organiser]
    Clinical Research Fellow
    eSTI2 consortium, St George's Hospital, University of London



Extended group
  • Dr. Emma Harding-Esch, PhD
    Principal Scientist, Public Health England, Colindale, London
    Senior Trials Coordinator, St. George's, University of London

  • Dr. Elizabeth Claydon FRCP
    Consultant Physician in Genitourinary Medicine & HIV
    North Devon District Hospital, Devon.

  • Dr Patrick Horner MD, FRCP
    Consultant Senior Lecturer in Genitourinary Medicine
    Bristol University and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol.

  • Dr. Nigel O'Farrell MSc, MD, FRCP
    Consultant Physician in Genitourinary Medicine & HIV
    Ealing Hospital, London.

  • Dr Bavithra Nathan MBBS, MRCP, DipGUM, Dip HIV, DFSRH
    Consultant Physician in Genitourinary Medicine & HIV
    Kingston Hospital, Kingston-upon-Thames

  • Dr. Amanda Samarawickrama MBBS, MRCP, DipGUM, DTMH, DFSRH
    Specialist Registrar in Genitourinary Medicine & HIV
    Kings College Hospital, London

  • Dr. Rachael Drayton MBChB, MRCP, Dip GUM, DipHIV, DFSRH
    Consultant Physician in Genitourinary Medicine & HIV
    Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Cardiff

  • Dr. Tariq Sadiq, MD, FRCP
    Reader and Hon. Consultant in Genitourinary Medicine & HIV
    St. George’s Hospital, London

  • Dr. Helen Fifer BMBS, MRCP, FRCPath
    Consultant Microbiologist
    Public Health England, Colindale, London.

  • Dr John Saunders PhD, MRCP
    Clinical Champion, National Chlamydia Screening Programme
    Public Health England, Colindale, London

  • Mr. Michael D. Perry MSc
    Clinical Scientist (Microbiology)
    Public Health Wales, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff
How to join the BSIG

Any member of BASHH with an interest in bacterial sexually transmitted infections can apply to join the Bacterial Special Interest Steering Group. For informal enquiries please contact members of the Group directly or via [BASHH, Chester House, 68 Chestergate, Macclesfield, SK11 6DY, United Kingdom]



Microscopy for Sexually Transmitted Infections DVD

HPA dvd labelThe BSIG of BASHH has produced an educational DVD on "Microscopy for sexually transmittted infections (STIs). The DVD has video demonstrations of how to perform genital examinations of male and female patients and how to take appropropriate samples. Clinical images of common STIs and other genital conditions are shown throughout these sections.

In addition, there are demonstrations of various staining techniques, such as the Gram stain and how to set up a microscope for both brighfield and darkfield microscopy as well as sections on the interpretation of microscopy images. There is a section on genital ulceration and microscopy videos of Trichomonas vaginalis and spirochaetes. The DVD also contains advice on quality assurance and health and safety. Back-up PDF files accompany the video demonstrations.

Feedback from users of the DVD has been uniformly positive; many using it within their departments as a teaching aid for new staff members as well as medical and nursing students.

Please click here for a link to the DVD site, with some sample footage and ordering information



STI Slide Bank

Please find below a bank of test slides and corresponding questions put together by members of the BSIG to assess your microscopy interpretation skills.

STI slide-bank



BSIG Microscopy Courses

Date: Saturday 22nd September 2018

Sir Alexander Fleming Building
Laboratory MDL2 (Bays A-C) Imperial College London, Exhibition Road,
South Kensington,

For more detailed information including programme and registration please Click Here



Microscopy Training

As part of its commitment to training the BSIG have produced the following draft microscopy competency and assessment documents.

The period of consultation is 3 months and all feedback should be sent to Dr. Keane (Frances.Keane@Cornwall.NHS.UK) by the 1st of October.

Microscopy for Sexually Transmitted Infections

Appendix 1 Training log

appendix 2 Competency assessment



BSIG Annual Reports

BSIG Annual Report 2016

BSIG Annual Report 2015

BSIG Annual Report 2014

BSIG Annual Report 2013

BSIG Annual Report 2012



Links to other sites



Medical Societies

Mycology Network Report

Click here to view the by the Report by the Working Group of the Health Protection Agency Advisory Committee for Fungal Infection and Superficial Parasites, entitled "Fungal Diseases in the UK. The current inadequate provision of support for diagnosis and treatment: assessment and proposed network solution" produced " (Nov 2004)