University of Malta

Professor Paul Cuschieri
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Prof. Paul Cuschieri

Qualification and Experience

Prof. Paul Cuschieri M.D., Dip. Bact (Manch), FMCPath, FRCPath (UK) is the Head of the Bacteriology Laboratory, Pathology Department, St Luke’s Hospital. He is a part-time Senior Lecturer in Microbiology, Immunization and Chemotherapy and has been involved in teaching and examining in the M.D., B.Pharm. (Hons), B.Ch.D (Hons), B.Sc. (Hons) in Medical Laboratory Science, and the B.Sc. (Hons) in Nursing and Midwifery since 1977.

He obtained his degree in medicine from the University of Malta in 1971, the Diploma in Bacteriology (with distinction) from the University of Manchester in 1977 and the FRCPath (UK) in 2003. He is also a founder member of the Malta College of Pathologists, which was founded in 1994. In November 1977, he was appointed Consultant Microbiologist in-charge of the Bacteriology Laboratory of St Luke’s Hospital, with the additional duties of lecturing in Microbiology and, for several years Forensic Medicine too, performing also medicolegal autopsies for some time, with well established colleagues. During the forensic decade, he introduced the then novel discipline of Postmortem Microbiology.

Since 1977 he has supervised numerous dissertations by B.Pharm. (Hons), B.Sc. (Hons) MLS and to a lesser extent, M.Sc. and M.Phil. students, at the University of Malta.

In 1981 he investigated the local ecology of Vibrio cholerae 01 by a large-scale screening of patients with diarrhoeal disease and with the use of the Moore-swab-technique in sewer systems.  In all, twenty isolates of non-toxigenic, Vibrio cholerae 01, biovar El Tor were isolated and correctly identified. 

Since 1986, he has been regularly appointed as Examiner in Pathology, Microbiology and Forensic Medicine in the statutory examinations held by the Medical Council of Malta.

He has also participated in various WHO and other international meetings and conferences, held locally and abroad.

Prof. Cuschieri is a member of:
The European and now The International Verotoxin-Producing E. coli Club (EVC and IVC)
The Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices 
The Antibiotic Committee
The Antibiotic Team of St Luke’s Hospital
The National Steering Committee on Antibiotic Use and Resistance
The Cross-Infection Committee of St Luke’s Hospital
The Antibiotic and Medicinal Plants Project Board of the Institute of Agriculture
The Board of Studies BSc (Hons) and Diploma Courses in Medical Laboratory  Science
The American Society for Microbiology
The WHO Global Salmonella Survey and the EU EnterNet

He is a co-author/contributor of six Dept of Health Publications entitled: 
An Antimicrobial Policy for the Govt Health Services
A Guide to Laboratory Services in Malta
Immunisation Against Communicable Diseases
Reducing Bacterial Resistance in Malta Through Better Use of Antibiotics
The Malta Guidelines for the Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Tuberculosis – A Code of Practice for Malta

Moreover, he has conducted extensive epidemiological investigations with Dr H Lenicker on Citrobacter koseri neonatal meningitis, involving the processing of over 6,000 laboratory specimens. He has also carried out a three-year study on the investigation and management of severe, recurrent, staphylococcal furunculosis.

In 1994, with L. Vella, a new Salmonella serovar in adult cattle on the sister island of Gozo was discovered. The isolate was named Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica ser. Gozo, having the antigenic formula 28:eh:enz15, and bearing the Pasteur Institute Reference Number 8084/93. This is included in the current edition of the Kauffmann – White – Le Minor Scheme, issued by the Pasteur Institute in Paris, which is the WHO Reference Laboratory for Salmonella.

Within the past fifteen years, he has delivered over 200 post-graduate lectures, both locally and abroad, to members of the dental, pharmacy and medical professions on a wide variety of subjects, including the pharmacology, use and misuse of antibiotics; infectious and communicable diseases; vaccination; antibiotic resistance; zoonoses; case-studies, etc. He is a member of a multi-disciplinary team for diagnosing and treating serious life-threatening infections, both community acquired and nosocomial ones.

Prof. Cuschieri has been a speaker at various clinico-pathological meetings, CME programmes, journal clubs, seminars, etc. organised by the Depts of Surgery, Medicine, Paediatrics and Pathology.
Fields of particular interest include enteric pathogens, zoonoses, immunization, antimicrobial chemotherapy, helminths affecting man, Nocardiosis.

Research Capacity

He is author / co-author of ca forty-five (45) poster presentations and peer-reviewed papers in local and international conferences and journals, respectively. Six other papers are awaiting submission / publication at the time of writing. He is also a reviewer for the Malta Medical School Journal.

Selected references:
• September, 1995, peer-reviewed paper, L. Vella and P Cuschieri, published in the Scientific and Technical Review of the Office International des Epizooties of the World Organisation of Animal Health, in Paris, entitled Salmonella Excretion in Adult Cattle on the Maltese Island of Gozo  (Vol 14, No 3, pages 777 - 785)

• July, 1996, peer-reviewed paper, J. Vassallo, P Cuschieri and A. Caruana Galizia, in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, entitled Mixed Pulmonary Infection with Nocardia, Candida, MRSA and Group D Streptococcus Species (1996; 72 : 680 – 693)

• Contribution to the Notizario dell’Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Vol 9, N.9, Supp.1, dated September 1996; National Surveillance of E.coli O157 in the Maltese Islands, by P Cuschieri and T. Borg.

• Publication in Vol III, Issue II, 1996, of The Maltese Medical Journal.  Guest editorial on E.coli O157 : H7 in Malta.

• A peer-reviewed publication in Vol III, Issue II, 1996, of The Maltese Medical Journal, entitled E.coli O157 : H7 in Malta for the First Time  (co-authors D. Falzon, T. Borg and N. Stokes).

• July, 1997, accepted for publication without amendments or corrections, a peer-reviewed paper entitled An Unusual Case of Flexor Sheath Tenosynovitis, by R. Gatt, P Cuschieri and C. Sciberras, in the Journal of Hand Surgery.  Published in the British and European Volume, 1998 23B:5:698-699.

• Publication, in the issue of September – October, 2000, of the peer-reviewed journal Ophthalmologica (Karger), a paper entitled Contamination of Contact Lens-Related Sources with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, by C. Micallef, P Cuschieri and M. Bonnici. (Ophthalmologica 2000; 214:324-331)

• Publication, in the issue of August, 2001, of an invited review written for Ophthalmologica, entitled Ocular Infections due to Contaminated Solutions, by C. Micallef and P Cuschieri. (Ophthalmologica 2001; 215:337-350)

• April, 2003 – A paper entitled A Comparison of Salmonella Chromogenic Medium with DCLS Agar for the Isolation of Salmonella spp. from Stool Specimens, by R Cassar and P Cuschieri, accepted for publication on first submission without any changes, deletions or additions, in the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Microbiology, an American Society for Microbiology publication.

• July, 2004 – A peer-reviewed paper entitled Drug-Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (DRSP) in the Maltese Islands by C Micallef, C Barbara, P Cuschieri and R Cassar  in the Malta Medical Journal, Vol 16, Issue 02, July 04

• September, 2004 – Publication entitled Absence of Carriage of Glycopeptide-Resistant Enterococci by At-Risk Hospitalised Patients in Malta, by S Decelis, MA Borg and P Cuschieri, in the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, Vol 10, Number 9, Pages 861-862.

• September 2004 – Publication entitled Isolation of Drug-Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae in the Maltese Islands, by C Micallef, C Barbara, P Cuschieri and R Cassar, appearing in Eurosurveillance Weekly, 2004;8 (36): 02/09/2004, Pages 4-5.

• November, 2004 – Publication by I Fisher, on behalf of all the Enter-net participants, including the undersigned, entitled International Trends in Salmonella Serotypes 1998-2003 - A Surveillance Report from the Enter-Net International Surveillance Network, in the peer-reviewed journal Eurosurveillance Monthly, Vol 9, Issue 11, Pages 9-10.

• April, 2005 – Publication entitled Incidence of Glycopeptide Hetero-Intermediate Staphylococcus aureus Strains in Maltese Hospitals, by M A Borg, R Zerafa, P Cuschieri and D Morrison, in the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, Vol 11, Number 5, May 2005, Pages 405-407.

• February, 2006 – Publication entitled Characterisation of Rickettsial Disease in a Hospital-Based Population in Malta by I Tonna, C Mallia Azzopardi, T Piscopo, P Cuschieri, F Fenollar and D Raoult, in the peer-reviewed journal, Journal of Infection (British Infection Society), Vol 53, Issue 6, Pages 394 to 402 (Dec 2006); available on-line since Feb 2006, published in the Dec 2006 issue.

• November, 2006 - Publication entitled Prevalence of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae in Maltese Hospitalised Patients by E A Scicluna, J Haider, M A Borg and P Cuschieri, in the peer-reviewed journal, Journal of Hospital Infection (2006), doi: 10.1016 / j.jhin. 2006.06.032.


Last Updated: 12 December 2008

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