Dr Tim Planche is a senior clinical lecturer in microbiology, honorary consultant and clinical lead for microbiology.
He combines work in a busy clinical laboratory with basic science to do research that benefits patients directly. He has a particular focus on early diagnosis and diagnostic technologies. His main research focuses are in hospital acquired bacterial infection, particularly those caused by Clostridium difficile, paediatric infections, and sexually transmitted infections.
Dr Planche’s research overlaps between the work of a clinical laboratory and research in infection. A good example of this co-operative work for patient benefit was when clinical concerns led Dr Planche to publish a review of C difficile diagnostics. This review was, in part, responsible for the recognition of the urgent need to improve C difficile testing, and led to the largest study on C difficile diagnostics, which in turn resulted in changes to testing policy across the UK and elsewhere. Dr Planche continues to work on C difficile including diagnostics, immunology and drug treatments.
In addition, Dr Planche also provides laboratory support for a number of local and national studies. He has been principal investigator at St George’s on a number of clinical trials of treatments for infections such as C difficile, resistant Gram negative infections and MRSA. He works with many other investigators at St George’s and elsewhere including with industry such as Sanofi-Pasteur, Astellas, Cepheid, Techlab and others.
Dr Planche is a member of the eSTI2 research consortium at St George’s where he works on the clinical and diagnostic work stream. Here he has a particular interest in diagnostics and trial design for sexually transmitted infections. Dr Planche also works closely with the paediatric infectious disease research group at St George’s on the laboratory and bacteriological aspects of childhood infections.
He is one of the lead microbiologists on the TEAMM study of levofloxacin prophylaxis in myeloma. Dr Planche also has an advisory role for a number of academic, professional and commercial organisations.
After qualifying in medicine and training in general medicine and infectious diseases, Dr Planche started his research working in Ghana and Gabon for a number of years conducting clinical trails and research on severe malaria. These were a series of intensive clinical, pharmacokinetic and diagnostic studies in severely ill children. This work was a part of the development of rectal and intramuscular artesunate (a group of drugs used to treat malaria) and the understanding of the role of fluid replacement therapy for severe malaria.
Dr Planche then completed his clinical training in medical microbiology and infectious diseases. He now works as a medical microbiologist working at St George's, University of London and is currently the head of the Department of Medical Microbiology. Dr Planche switched the focus of his research in this time from malaria to bacterial infections, particularly healthcare associated infections, C. difficile (type of bacterial infection that can affect the digestive system and sexually transmitted infections). In recognition of this new work he was awarded a Higher Education Funding Council for England funded clinical senior lecturer. He has an interest in diagnostics in general.
Dr Planche splits his time equally between clinical service and research. This means that his research is clinically focused and improves his ability to assess the applicability of research to the current clinical practice.
In addition to his clinical and research work, Dr Planche is the head of Department of Medical microbiology at StGeorge’s where he keenly implements the St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University policy of joint working for translational research and innovation healthcare.
Kremsner PG, Taylor T, Issifou S, et al. A simplified intravenous artesunate regimen for severe malaria. The Journal of infectious diseases 2012; 205(2): 312-9.
Knight GM, Budd EL, Whitney L, et al. Shift in dominant hospital-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (HA-MRSA) clones over time. The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy 2012; 67(10): 2514-22.
Breathnach AS, Cubbon MD, Karunaharan RN, Pope CF, Planche TD. Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa outbreaks in two hospitals: association with contaminated hospital waste-water systems. The Journal of hospital infection 2012; 82(1): 19-24.
Planche T, Wilcox M. Reference assays for Clostridium difficile infection: one or two gold standards? Journal of clinical pathology 2011; 64(1): 1-5.
Pope CF, Hay P, Alexander S, et al. Positive predictive value of the Becton Dickinson VIPER system and the ProbeTec GC Q x assay, in extracted mode, for detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Sexually transmitted infections 2010; 86(6): 465-9.
Arnold A, Pope C, Bray S, et al. Prospective assessment of two-stage testing for Clostridium difficile. The Journal of hospital infection 2010; 76(1): 18-22.
Planche TD, Davies KA, Coen PG, et al. Differences in outcome according to C. difficile detection: a multicentre study of C. difficile infection. Lancet Infectionus Diseases 2013: In press.
Planche T, Aghaizu A, Holliman R, et al. Diagnosis of Clostridium difficile infection by toxin detection kits: a systematic review. The Lancet infectious diseases 2008; 8(12): 777-84.
Planche T, Onanga M, Schwenk A, et al. Assessment of volume depletion in children with malaria. PLoS medicine 2004; 1(1): e18.
Clare Soares – PhD student
Dr Irene Monahan – research co-ordinator
In addition to these dedicated members of his team the clinical department has around 70 members of staff including doctors, clinical scientists, biomedical scientists and nurses. Many of these staff contribute to the collaborative work in the department.
Professor Pippa Oakeshott
Prof Mark Wilcox (Leeds General Infirmary)
Dr Mark Wilks (Royal London Hospital)
Dr Stella Shee (South London)
Prof Peter Kremsner (University of Tuebingen)
Studies with Dr Tim Planche as chief inverstigator/principal investigator at St George’s:
C. difficile diagnostic study Department of Health and Health Protection Authority. Dec-10 - Dec-11
Myeloma prophylaxis study – (TEAMM study) National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Feb-12-Feb-15
Clinical Trial of an Investigational Medicinal Product (CTIMP) vaccination for secondary prevention of C. difficile commercial. 2009-2010
ARREST – CTIMP – rifampicin adjunctive therapy for S. aureus bacteraemia NIHR. Apr 2013-2016
Pharmaco-economics of Fidaxomicin. Commercial. Sep 2012-Sep 2013
Studies with Doctor Tim Planche providing significant lab support:
Paediatric urinary tract infection study – (DUTY study). NIHR. Mar-11-Mar-13
DINOSAUR – paediatric bone infectins study. NIHR. Aug 2013 -2016
eSTI2. UK Clinical Research Network. Mar-12-Mar-14
NeoMero. EU (FP7). Oct-11- Apr-15
CHIMES – paediatric meningitis study. NIHR. Apr 2013-2016
Neonatal-Healthcare associated Infection Epidemiology Cohort. HIEC. 2013-2106
Smaller lab based studies whcih Dr Panche provides lab support include:
GRASP (N. gonorrhoea)
S. aureus sequencing
Lectures and tutorials on infection to undergraduate, trainees and nursing staff
Postgraduate - PhD
Primary supervisor – Clare Soares. Immunology of C. difficile
Secondary supervisor – Clarrissa Oesser. Molecular diagnostics of neonatal sepsis
Supervisor of trainees MSc projects in medical microbiology