Department: Pathobiology & Population Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Food Safety, Antimicrobial Resistance, IRLFS (Research Programme)

Research Centres: Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health

Lucy is a lecturer in molecular epidemiology and part of the Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health group. She divides her time between epidemiology teaching and research. Her main research interests are antimicrobial resistance and bovine tuberculosis. 

Lucy obtained her degree in microbiology from the University of Leeds in 2006, where she then took up a BPEX sponsored PhD to investigate the effect of rearing environment on the incidence of zoonotic bacteria in pigs. After completing her PhD in 2010, Lucy joined the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (now APHA) as an epidemiological scientist where she conducted research in the areas of food-borne disease and antimicrobial resistance and led the production of a number of reports for EFSA. In 2014 Lucy was promoted to epidemiologist and expanded her research interests to bovine tuberculosis. She conducted research in to the factors associated with the spread of bovine TB in England and Wales, the impact of badger culling on the incidence of bovine TB in England, and was responsible for the production of bovine TB epidemiology and surveillance reports for Wales.

Lucy completed a Masters in veterinary epidemiology at the RVC in 2017. She joined the VEEPH group at the RVC in February 2017 to develop molecular epidemiological expertise in the areas of antimicrobial resistance and bovine tuberculosis. Her research focuses on understanding the molecular epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance and using One Health systems approaches to tackle this complex problem.

Lucy is a co-lead of the RVC AMR research group, and co-lead of the UK-Nigeria One Health AMR Interest Group.

Her research focuses on understanding the molecular epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance and using One Health systems approaches to tackle this complex problem. She is particularly interested in the role that food animal production plays in contributing to the emergence and spread of AMR, and the increased burden of AMR on health and livelihoods in LMICs. Lucy is also interested in improving understanding of the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis in England to support TB policy making.

Current and recent PhD studentships

Strang, C, Alarcon, P, Cardwell, JM, Brunton, L. Assessing antibiotic usage data capture accuracy on dairy farms in England and Wales. Veterinary Record. 2023;e3505.

Romero, M. P., et al. (2023). Assessing the potential impact of applying a higher sensitivity test to selected cattle populations for the control of bovine tuberculosis in England. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 219: 106004.

Elkholly, D., Fraser, A., Booth, R., O’Neill, D., Mateus, A., Brunton, L., Brodbelt, D. 2023. Antimicrobial usage in farm animal practices in the UK: A mixed-methods approach. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 213: 105870.

Romero, M. P.,Chang, Y.-M., Brunton, L.A., Parry, J., Prosser, A., Upton, P., Drewe, J.A. 2022. Machine learning classification methods informing the management of inconclusive reactors at bovine tuberculosis surveillance tests in England. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 199: 105565.

Olorunleke, S. O., Kirchner, M., Duggett, N., AbuOun, M., Okorie-Kanu, O.J., Stevens, K., Card, R.M. Chah, K.F., Nwanta, J.A., Brunton, L.A., Anjum, M.F. 2022. Molecular characterization of extended spectrum cephalosporin resistant Escherichia coli isolated from livestock and in-contact humans in Southeast Nigeria. Front Microbiol 13: 937968.

Garza, M., Mohan, C.V., Brunton, L., Wieland B., Häsler, B. 2022. Typology of interventions for antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in aquaculture systems in low- and middle-income countries. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 59(1): 106495.

Kock, R., Michel, A.L., Yeboah-Manu, D., Azhar, E.I., Torrelles, J.B., Cadmus, S.I., Brunton, L., Chakaya, J.M., Marais, B., Mboera, L., Rahim, Z., Haider N., Zumla, A. 2021. Zoonotic Tuberculosis – The Changing Landscape. International Journal of Infectious Diseases 113: S68-S72.

Desbois, A.P., Garza, M., Eltholth, M., Hegazy, Y.M., Mateus, A., Adams, A., Little, D.C., Høg, E., Mohan, C.V., Ali S.E., Brunton, L.A. 2021. Systems-thinking approach to identify and assess feasibility of potential interventions to reduce antibiotic use in tilapia farming in Egypt. Aquaculture 540: 736735.


Romero, M.P., Chang, Y-M., Brunton, L.A., Prosser, A., Upton, P., Rees, E., Tearne, O., Arnold, M., Stevens, K., Drewe, J.A. 2021. A comparison of the value of two machine learning predictive models to support bovine tuberculosis disease control in England, Preventive Veterinary Medicine 188, 105264.

Enticott, G., Ward, K., Ashton, A., Brunton, L., Broughan, J. 2021. Mapping the geography of disease: a comparison of epidemiologists' and field-Level experts' disease maps. Applied Geography 126, 102356.

Romero, M.P., Chang, Y.-M., Brunton, L.A., Parry, J., Prosser, A., Upton, P., Rees, E., Tearne, O., Arnold, M., Stevens, K., Drewe, J.A., 2020. Decision tree machine learning applied to bovine tuberculosis risk factors to aid disease control decision making. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 175, 104860.

Enticott, G., Maye, D., Naylor, R., Brunton, L., Downs, S.H., Donnelly, C.A., 2020. An assessment of risk compensation and spillover behavioural adaptions associated with the use of vaccines in animal disease management. Vaccine 38, 1065-1075.

May, E., Prosser, A., Downs, S.H., Brunton, L.A., 2019. Exploring the Risk Posed by Animals with an Inconclusive Reaction to the Bovine Tuberculosis Skin Test in England and Wales. Vet. Sci. 6, 97.

Downs, S.H., Prosser, A., Ashton, A., Ashfield, S., Brunton, L.A., Brouwer, A., Upton, P., Robertson, A., Donnelly, C.A., Parry, J.E., 2019. Assessing effects from four years of industry-led badger culling in England on the incidence of bovine tuberculosis in cattle, 2013–2017. Scientific Reports 9, 14666.

Brunton, L.A., Desbois, A.P., Garza, M., Wieland, B., Mohan, C.V., Häsler, B., Tam, C.C., Le, P.N.T., Phuong, N.T., Van, P.T., Nguyen-Viet, H., Eltholth, M.M., Pham, D.K., Duc, P.P., Linh, N.T., Rich, K.M., Mateus, A.L.P., Hoque, M.A., Ahad, A., Khan, M.N.A., Adams, A., Guitian, J., 2019. Identifying hotspots for antibiotic resistance emergence and selection, and elucidating pathways to human exposure: Application of a systems-thinking approach to aquaculture systems. Sci Total Environ 687, 1344-1356.

Brunton, L.A., Prosser, A., Pfeiffer, D.U., Downs, S.H., 2018. Exploring the Fate of Cattle Herds With Inconclusive Reactors to the Tuberculin Skin Test. Frontiers in veterinary science 5, 228-228.

Brunton, L. A., Donnelly, C. A., O'Connor, H., Prosser, A., Ashfield, S., Ashton, A., Upton, P., Mitchell, A., Goodchild, A. V., Parry, J. E. & Downs, S. H. (2017) Assessing the effects of the first 2 years of industry-led badger culling in England on the incidence of bovine tuberculosis in cattle in 2013–2015. Ecology and Evolution 7(18): 7213-7230.

Brunton, L.A., Alexander, N., Wint, W., Ashton, A. & Broughan, J.M. (2016) Using geographically weighted regression to explore the spatially heterogeneous spread of bovine tuberculosis in England and Wales. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment 31: 339

Horton, R.A., Duncan, D., Randall, L.P., Chappell, S., Brunton, L.A., Warner, R., Coldham, N.G. & Teale, C.J. Longitudinal study of CTX-M ESBL-producing E. coli strains on a UK dairy farm (2016) Research in Veterinary Science 109: 107-113

Broughan, J.M., Maye, D., Carmody, P., Brunton, L., Ashton, A., Wint, W., Alexander, N., Naylor, R., Ward, K., Goodchild, A.V., Hinchliffe, S., Eglin, R., Upton, P., Nicholson, R. & Enticott, G. (2016) Farm characteristics and farmer perceptions associated with bovine tuberculosis incidents in areas of emerging endemic spread. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 129: 88-98

Enticott, G., Maye, D., Carmody, P., Naylor, R., Ward, K., Hinchliffe, S., Wint, W., Alexander, N., Eglin, R., Ashton, A., Upton, P., Nicholson, R., Goodchild, T., Brunton, L. & Broughan, J. (2015) Farming on the edge: farmer attitudes to bovine tuberculosis in newly endemic areas. Veterinary Record 177: 439

Brunton, L. A., Nicholson, R., Ashton, A., Alexander, N., Wint, W., Enticott, G., Ward, K., Broughan, J.M. & Goodchild, A. V. (2015) A novel approach to mapping and calculating the rate of spread of endemic bovine tuberculosis in England and Wales. Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology 13: 41-50

Horton, R. A., L.P. Randall, L.P., Bailey-Horne, V., Heinrich, K., Sharman, M., Brunton, L.A., La Ragione, R.M, Jones, J.R. (2015). Degradation of cefquinome in spiked milk as a model for bioremediation of dairy farm waste milk containing cephalosporin residues. Journal of Applied Microbiology 118(4): 901-910

Brunton, L.A., Reeves, H.E., Snow, L.C., Jones, J.R. (2014). A longitudinal field trial assessing the impact of feeding waste milk containing antibiotic residues on the prevalence of ESBL-producing Escherichia coli in calves. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 117, 403-412.

Randall, L., Heinrich, K., Horton, R., Brunton, L., Sharman, M., Bailey-Horne, V., Sharma, M., McLaren, I., Coldham, N., Teale, C., Jones, J. (2014). Detection of antibiotic residues and association of cefquinome residues with the occurrence of Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria in waste milk samples from dairy farms in England and Wales in 2011. Research in Veterinary Science 96, 15-24.

Brunton, L.A., Duncan, D., Coldham, N.G., Snow, L.C., Jones, J.R., (2012). A survey of antimicrobial usage on dairy farms and waste milk feeding practices in England and Wales. Veterinary Record 171, 296.

Lucy is module leader for the BSc3 module "Epidemiology: the Bigger Picture". She teaches on a variety of topics in the areas of epidemiology and publlic health across the College at undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as delivering teaching externally at LSHTM.

  • Antibiotic usage on dairy farms in GB: improving data capture and exploring drivers

    The aims of this PhD were to determine the accuracy of antibiotic usage data being recorded by dairy farmers on farm, identify factors influencing accurate recording, assess the drivers and barriers to record and share such data and to explore the economic cost of recording. Antibiotic usage (ABU) has become recognised as the main driver for the selection and spread of antibiotic resistance (ABR) within the human and livestock sectors.

  • Epidemiology of Tuberculosis in Cattle

    We study the epidemiology of tuberculosis in cattle using a combination of fieldwork and the analysis of big data. Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is caused by infection with Mycobacterium bovis. It is the most pressing animal health problem in Great Britain. Around 40,000 cattle test bTB-positive each year and are slaughtered in an effort to control this disease. This comes at a cost to the taxpayer of around £100 million per year in surveillance testing and compensation.

  • Molecular analysis of the prevalence of antibiotic resistance among Enterobacteriaceae in food-producing animals and humans in Southeast Nigeria

    A study of extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL)-producing bacteria in food-producing animals and in-contact humans in Southeast Nigeria.

    The indiscriminate use of antimicrobial agents in humans and livestock imposes a selective pressure for the emergence of antimicrobial resistance among bacteria. In Nigeria, the production of extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) has been recognised as a common mechanism of resistance to third-generation cephalosporins among Enterobacteriaceae.

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