Professor Peter O'Donoghue

Professor

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Faculty of Science
p.odonoghue@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 52584

Overview

Clinical protozoology.

My area of specialization is clinical protozoology and I practice essentially as a diagnostician; i.e. I detect and study unicellular protozoan parasites infecting vertebrate hosts. I have long been fascinated by their extreme biodiversity as manifest by considerable variation in their structure, function and mode of existence. The prevailing theme of my research is to discover and describe protozoan species in Australian animals. My studies are deliberately parochial as our continent is simply the last great unexplored bastion for micro-fauna. Little is known about protozoa in the gut, blood and tissues of native mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. I seek to define the morphology, biology, historical zoogeography and pathogenicity of endemic protozoan species. I want to know their identity, origins and interactions with their hosts. Despite the diversity of hosts sampled, I confine my studies to four main protozoan assemblages: flagellates, amoebae, ciliates and sporozoa. I have detected a high degree of endemicity of these groups in Australian vertebrates suggesting their evolution in long isolation.

I determine the cellular and subcellular structure of protozoan isolates, explore their developmental cycles and examine their pathogenicity. I employ special techniques in light and electron microscopy, biochemical and immunological assays and protein and nucleic acid analyses. I evaluate morphological and molecular characters for the differential diagnosis of species and to provide reliable markers for biological traits of clinical and epidemiological significance. I determine relationships between the site of infection, parasite pathogenicity, host specificity and mode of transmission. Many protozoan species have fast life-cycles which out-race host immune responses. They invade host tissues, proliferate rapidly and then exit the host as encysted stages infective to other hosts. Resultant diseases are therefore often rapid, acute and severe. Other protozoan species have slow life-cycles where they hide in host tissues to optimize their chances of being taken up by predators or invertebrate vectors. These species cause protracted, chronic diseases often characterized by space-occupying lesions. Effective treatment and control relies on a thorough knowledge of the parasites involved, their effects on their hosts and the epidemiology of infections.

Research Interests

  • Enteric protozoa in humans:
    Various anaerobic protozoa cause gastro-intestinal or urogenital diseases in humans, including Trichomonas and Entamoeba. Parasite isolates vary markedly in their pathogenicity and drug susceptibility/resistance. Molecular biological studies are being conducted with colleagues at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research to find genetic markers for traits of biological and clinical significance.
  • Endosymbiotes in herbivores:
    Many herbivorous animals rely on endosymbiotic protozoa to help digest their food but little is known about the species inhabiting native Australian herbivores. Studies are being conducted to determine the microbial fauna of introduced eutherian mammals (ruminants and horses), native marsupials (kangaroos and wallabies), herbivorous reef-fish and wood-eating insects. Many novel ciliates and flagellates have been detected which are unique to their Australian hosts.
  • Haemoprotozoa in birds:
    A national survey is being conducted to determine the taxa of enteric and blood protozoa occurring in Australian birds. Specific projects are currently being conducted with Currumbin Sanctuary, The University of Queensland Veterinary School, Taronga Zoo, Queensland Museum and the International Reference Centre for Avian Haematozoa. Morphological taxonomic characters have proven unreliable in many instances therefore molecular studies are being conducted to characterize species.
  • Parasitic diseases of reptiles:
    Several projects are being conducted to identify protozoan parasites in blood and faecal samples from snakes and lizards in northern Australia, New Guinea and various Pacific Islands. These studies are focussed on parasites which may cause clinical diseases to indicate their involvement in declining host populations and to assess their potential for biological control of pest species.
  • Protozoa of fish and shellfish:
    The Department participates in the CRC for Aquaculture and has a strong history of research on marine parasites, mainly helminths and crustaceans. These studies are now being augmented by parallel studies on protozoan parasites of fish and shellfish. Projects are being conducted on endoparasites and ectocommensal fouling organisms of marine and freshwater fish and shellfish using facilities at the Stradbroke Island and Heron Island Research Stations.
  • Water contamination:
    Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts are being detected with increased frequency in both raw and treated freshwater sources. However, little is known about their origin, viability, infectivity, virulence and pathogenicity. Parasites are being recovered from different hosts and genetically typed to indicate their host range and distribution. Different water treatment options are also being examined for their efficacy in removing or killing parasitic cysts.
  • Diagnostic keys:
    Modern information technology is being applied to the identification of protozoan parasites and their diseases. Differential diagnosis is frequently complicated by parasite pleomorphy, broad host specificity and geographic range and the relative nonspecificity of associated clinical disease. I want to amalgamate these discordant character sets into one comprehensive database using LucID software from CPITT (Centre for Pest Information Technology and Transfer) to develop interactive, random-access, multimedia keys to protozoan parasites in Australian hosts.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Science, The University of Queensland
  • Graduate Certificate in Education, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Adelaide
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Adelaide
  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Adelaide

Publications

View all Publications

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • O'Donoghue, P. J. (2005). Protistan parasites and myxozoa. In K. Rohde (Ed.), Marine Parasitology 1st ed. (pp. 12-17) Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Hoang, Jennifer Que Phuong, Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle, O'Donoghue, Peter, You, Hong and Jones, Malcolm (2014). Determinant of host-specificity in Schistosomiasis haematobia. In: 2014 ASP Annual Conference, Canberra, ACT, Australia, (). 30 June - 3 July 2014.

  • Ly, Linda, Turner, Coralyn and O'Donoghue, Peter (2014). Discovery and characterization of endosymbiotic flagellates from Australian termites. In: 2014 ASP Annual Conference, Canberra, ACT, Australia, (). 30 June - 3 July 2014.

  • O'Donoghue, P and O'Donoghue, A (2011). Biodiversity of enteric coccidia in Australian lizards and snakes.. In: Australian Society for Parasitology Annual Conference, Cairns Australia, (35-36). 10-13 July, 2011.

  • Ly, Linda, Turner, Coralyn, Cameron, Stephen and O'Donoghue, Peter (2011). Taxonomy of endosymbiotic protozoa of native termites from northeastern Australia. In: Australian Society for Parasitology Annual Scientific Meeting, Cairns, Australia, (). 10-13 July 2011.

  • Mahadi, N. S., Rowcliffe, K., O'Donoghue, P., Waters, N. C., Edstein, M. D. and Chavchich, M. (2010). Role of glutathione in antimalarial susceptibility to dihydroartemisinin in vitro. In: XII International Congress of Parasitology (ICOPA), Melbourne, Australia, (). 15-20 August 2010.

  • Chavchich, M., Kissell, R., Birrell, G., Rowcliffe, K., Travers, T., Smith, S., McLeod-Robertson, S., Cobbe, M., O'Donoghue, P., Waters, N.C., Edstein, M.D. and Ovenden, S. (2010). Three novel phenolic glycosides with antimalarial activity from Grevillea "Poorinda Queen".. In: XII International Congress of Parasitology, Melbourne, Australia, (). 15-20 Aug.

  • Wright, J., Webb, R., O'Donoghue, P., Upcroft, P. and Upcroft, J. (2008). Hydrogenosomes of laboratory induced metronidazole-resistant Trichomonas vaginalis lines are down-sized; those from clinically metronidazole-resistant isolates are not.. In: Australian Society for Parasitology Annual Scientific Meeting, Adelaide Australia, (). 6-9 July.

  • Michaletos, S. and O'Donoghue, P.J. (2007). Host range of rumen ciliates in sheep and goats.. In: Australian Society for Parasitology Annual Scientific Meeting, Canberra ACT, Australia, (). 8-11 July.

  • Tenni, G. and O'Donoghue, P.J. (2007). Identification of haemoprotozoan parasites of Australian wildlife.. In: Australian Society for Parasitology Annual Scientific Meeting, Canberra ACT, Australia, (). 8-11 July.

  • O'Donoghue, P. J., Yuen, S. Y. and Ariotti, N. R. (2007). Protozoan symbionts in hindgut-fermenting mammals. In: Australian Society for Parasitology Annual Scientific Meeting, Canberra, ACT, Australia, (). 8-11 July 2007.

  • Norman, L. G. and O'Donoghue, P J (2006). Cyst-forming sporozoa in meats purchased from retail outlets. In: ASP & ARC/NHMRC Network for Parasitology Annual Conference. ASP & ARC/NHMRC Network for Parasitology Annual Conference, Gold Coast, (Abstract). 2-5 July, 2006.

  • Dunne, R. L., Upcroft, J. A., O'Donoghue, P J and Upcroft, P. (2006). Fluorescent in situ hybridisation of rDNA to Trichomonas vaginalis whole chromosomes. In: ASP & ARC/NHMRC Network for Parasitology Annual Conference. ASP & ARC/NHMRC Network for Parasitology Annual Conference, Gold Coast, (Abstract). 2-5 July, 2006.

  • Wright, T, Upcroft, J. A., O'Donoghue, P J and Upcroft, P. (2006). Nucleoside analogues to combat metronidazole resistant Trichomonas vaginalis. In: ASP & ARC/NHMRC Network for Parasitology Annual Conference. ASP & ARC/NHMRC Network for Parasitology Annual Conference, Gold Coast, (Abstract). 2-5 July, 2006.

  • Bursle, L. A. and O'Donoghue, P J (2006). Parasites and fouling organisms of redclaw crayfish in Queensland. In: ASP & ARC/NHMRC Network for Parasitology Annual Conference. ASP & ARC/NHMRC Network for Parasitology Annual Conference, Gold Coast, (Abstract). 2-5 July, 2006.

  • Ariotti, N. R. and O'Donoghue, P J (2006). Unique endosymbiotic ciliates of wombats in Australia. In: ASP & ARC/NHMRC Network for Parasitology Annual Conference. ASP & ARC/NHMRC Network for Parasitology Annual Conference, Gold Coast, (Abstract). 2-5 July, 2006.

  • Montali, R. J., Rose, K., Smith, H. and O'Donoghue, P. J. (2005). Clinical coccidiosis due to Caryospora (Acicomplexa) in tawny frogmouths, Podargus strigoides (Caprimulgiformes) in Australia. In: Wildlife Disease Association International Conference. Wildlife Disease Association International Conference, Cairns, (Abstract). 26 June - 1 July, 2005.

  • Nimmo, J.S., Snowden, K.F. and O'Donoghue, P. (2005). Enteric microsporidiosis in two koalas.. In: Australian Society for Veterinary Pathology Annual Conference, Cairns Australia, (). 26 June - 1 July.

  • Don, T., O'Donoghue, P. J., Hotez, P.J, Ranjit, N. and Loukas, A. C. (2005). Pore-forming proteins from blood-feeding helminths. In: Molecular & Cellular Biology of Helminth Parasites. Molecular & Cellular Biology of Helminth Parasites, Hydra, Greece, (Abstract). 6-11 Sept, 2005.

  • Don, T., O'Donoghue, P. J., Hotez, P.J, Ranjit, N. and Loukas, A. C. (2005). Pore-forming proteins from blood-feeding helminths. In: 20th International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology. 20th International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology, Christchurch, New Zealand, (Abstract). 16-20 October, 2005.

  • Don, T. A., Jones, M. K., O'Donoghue, P. J., Hotez, P.J and Loukas, A. (2004). Haemolysis in blood feeding helminthes. In: 46th Annual Scientific Meeting for the Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. 46th Ann Mtg of Aust Society for Parasitology Inc, Fremantle, ((Abstract)). 26-30 Sept, 2004.

  • O'Donoghue, P. J., Miller, V. M., Oldfield, E. G., Gregg, G. and Tobin, A. (2004). Peer-assisted study sessions (PASS) workshop. In: CQU Teaching & Learning Showcase. CQU Teaching & Learning Showcase, CQU, Rockhamptom, (). 16 Feb, 2004.

  • O'Donoghue, P. J. (2004). Problem-based learning (PBL) workshop. In: CQU Teaching & Learning Showcase. CQU Teaching & Learning Showcase, CQU, Rockhampton, (). 16 Feb, 2004.

  • O'Donoghue, P. J., Gasser, R. B., Cribb, T. H. and Jones, M. K. (2004). Teaching in Parasitology. In: 48th Annual Scientific Meeting of Australian Society for Parasitology. 48th Ann Scientific Mtg of Aust Society for Parasitology, Fremantle, (Abstract). 26-30 Sept, 2004.

  • O'Donoghue, P. J. (2004). Teaching quality matters in higher education: Instigating cultural change. In: Teaching Showcase. Teaching Showcase, CQU, Rockhampton, (). 16 Feb, 2004.

  • Turner, C., O'Donoghue, P. J. and Cameron, S. L. (2003). Characterization of endosymbiotic flagellates from Australian termites. In: 45th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Society for Parasitology. 45th Ann Scientific Mtg of the Aust Society for Parasitology, Darwin, (Abstract). 6-10 July, 2003.

  • Dunn, L., Dunne, R. L., O'Donoghue, P. J., Upcroft, J. A. and Upcroft, P. (2003). Condensed chromosomes of the sexually transmitted protozoa, Trichomonas vaginalis. In: 45th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Society for Parasitology. 45th Ann Scientific Mtg of Aust Society for Parasitology, Darwin, (Abstract). 6-10 July, 2003.

  • Hawthorne, T., O'Donoghue, P. J. and Cameron, S. L. (2003). Rumen ciliate community structures in Australian cattle. In: 45th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Society for Parasitology. 45th Ann Scientific Mtg of the Aust Society for Parasitology, Darwin, (Abstract). 6-10 July, 2003.

  • Wright, J., Dunne, R. L., Upcroft, P., O'Donoghue, P. J. and Upcroft, J. A. (2003). Variation among Trichomonas vaginalis strains. In: 45th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Aust Society for Parasitology. 45th Ann Scientific Mtg of Aust Society for Parasitology, Darwin, (Abstract). 6-10 July, 2003.

  • Gunn, A. A., Landmann, J., Taylor, L, Stoessel, Z., O'Donoghue, P. J., Coleman, G. T., McGowan, M. R. and Tranter, W. (2002). Investigations into the prevalence of Neospora caninum abortion in Queensland. In: Proc. of the Australian Association of Cattle Veterinarians 2002. Embracing change through Technology, Adelaide, (41-47). 6-10 May 2002.

  • O'Donoghue, P. J., Holz, P., Vogelnest, L. and O'Callaghan, M. (2001). Implications of broad host specificity of avian Isopora spp. for conservation breeding programs. In: VIIIth International Coccidiosis Conference and Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Society for Parasitology. VIIIth International Coccidiosis Conference and Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Society for Parasitology, Cairns, (124-124). 9th - 13th July, 2001.

  • Landmann, J. K., McGowan, M. R., Tranter, W., Gunn, A., Green, P. and O'Donoghue, P. J. (2001). Neospora caninum in Queensland cattle and dogs. In: 2001 Annual Conference of Australian Veterinary Association, Qld Division. 2001 Ann Conf of Aust Veterinary Association, Qld Div, Brisbane, (40-40). 2-4 March, 2001.

  • Landmann, J. K., McGowan, M. R., Tranter, W., Gunn, A., Green, P. and O'Donoghue, P. J. (2001). Neospora caninum in Queensland cattle and dogs. In: VIIIth International Coccidiosis Conference and Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Society for Parasitology, Cairns, Australia, (105-105). 9-13 July, 2001.

  • Cameron, S. L. and O'Donoghue, P. J. (2001). Symbiotic flagellates from Australian termites. In: VIIIth International Coccidiosis Conference and Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Society for Parasitology. As above, Cairns, Qld, (77-77). 9-13 July, 2001.

  • O'Callaghan, M. and O'Donoghue, P. J. (2001). The attempted cross-transmission of Eimeria species from goats to sheep. In: VIIIth International Coccidiosis Conference and Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Society for Parasitology. as above, Cairns, (180-180). 9-13 July, 2001.

  • Lederer, R., Adlard, R. D. and O'Donoghue, P. J. (2000). Pathology of Haematozoan parasites in birds from southeast Queensland. In: Joint Meeting of the New Zealand Society for Parasitology and Australian Society for Parasitology. , Te Papa, Wellington, (C68). 24-28 September, 2000.

  • Jakes, K. A., O'Donoghue, P. J. and Adlard, R. D. (2000). Phylogenetic relationships of Trypanosoma chelodinae from Australian turtles inferred from small subunit rDNA analyses. In: New challenges in tropical medicine and parasitology conference. , Oxford, UK, (69). 18-22 September, 2000.

  • Cameron, S., O'Donoghue, P. J. and Adlard, R. D. (2000). The origin of diversification of the Australian Trichostomes (Litostomatea: Ciliphora). In: Joint Meeting of the New Zealand Society for Parasitology and Australian Society for Parasitology. , Te Papa, Wellington, (C37). 24-28 September, 2000.

  • Handlinger, J. H., Rawlin, G., Wilson, J., Johnston, H., Condron, R., O'Donoghue, P. J. and Phillips, P. (1999). Bonamiasis in Australia. In: Annual International Conference and Exposition of the World Aquaculture Society. Annual International Conference and Exposition of the World y, Sydney, (310). 26 April - 2 May 1999.

  • Evans, P., McGowan, M. R. and O'Donoghue, P. J. (1999). Efficacy of maternal serology for the diagnosis of protozoal abortion in cattle. In: Australian Society for Parasitology Capricorn 1999 Conference Handbook. The Australian Society for Parasitology Annual Scientific Meeting, Yepoon, Central Queensland, (52). 26-30 September, 1999.

  • O'Donoghue, P. J. (1999). Emerging protozoal disease. In: M. Bredhauer, Continuing Veterinary Education: Pets, People and Parasites. Pets, People and Parasites, The University of Qld, Brisbane, (137-147). 20-21 Feburary 1999.

  • Jakes, K. A., O'Donoghue, P. J. and Adlard, R. D. (1999). Haemoprotozoan parasites of tortoises in southeast Queensland. In: Australian Society for Parasitology Capricorn 1999 Conference Handbook. The Australian Society for Parasitology Annual Scientific Meeting, Yepoon, Central Qld, (47). 26-30 September 1999.

  • Cameron, S., O'Donoghue, P. J. and Adlard, R. D. (1999). Has Macropodinium (Ciliophora: Litostomatea) coevolved with its kangaroo hosts?. In: The Systematics Association Abstracts for Talks. The Systematics Association Second Biennial Conference, Glasgow, UK, (11). 23-27 August 1999.

  • Williamson, A. L., O'Donoghue, P. J., Upcroft, J. A. and Upcroft, P. (1999). Immune and pathophysiological responses to strains of Giardia duodenalis differing in virulence and pathogenicity in neonatal outbred Quackenbush Swiss mice. In: Peter O'Donoghue and Robert Adlard, Program & Abstracts The Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Society for Parasitology. Annual Scientific Meeting Australian Society for Parasitology ASP'99, Yepoon, Central Qld, (66-66). 26-30 September, 1999.

  • Lederer, R., Adlard, R. D., O'Donoghue, P. J. and Rommel, M. (1999). Leucocytozoon spp. in birds of southern Queensland. In: The Australian Society for Parasitology Capricorn 1999 Conference Handbook. The Australian Society for Parasitology Annual Scientific Meeting, Yepoon, Central Qld, (29). 26-30 September 1999.

  • Cameron, S., O'Donoghue, P. J. and Adlard, R. D. (1999). Phylogenetic studies on Macropodinium (Ciliophora: Litostomatea). In: Australian Society for Parasitology Capricorn 1999 Conference Handbook. The Australian Society for Parasitology Annual Scientific Meeting, Yepoon, Central Qld, (27). 26-3- September 1999.

  • Cameron, S., O'Donoghue, P. J. and Adlard, R. D. (1999). Phylogenetic studies on the ciliates (Ciliophora: Litostomatea) associated with macropodid marsupials. In: Proceedings of the Australian Society for Parasitology Capricorn 1999 Conference Handbook. Australian Society for Parasitology Annual Scientific Meeting, Yepoon, Central Queensland, (57). 26th - 30th September, 1999.

  • Cameron, S., Adlard, R. D. and O'Donoghue, P. J. (1999). The phylogeny of the ciliates (Ciliophora: Litostomatea) associated with macropodid marsupials. In: The Systematics Association Abstracts for Talks. Second Biennial Conference of the Systematics Association, Glasgow, UK, (6). 23-27 August 1999.

  • Adlard, RD and O'Donoghue, PJ (1998). Perspectives on the biodiversity of parasitic protozoa in Australia. In: International Journal for Parasitology. Annual Meeting of the Australian-Society-for-Parasitology, Canberra Australia, (887-897). Jul 14-18, 1997. doi:10.1016/S0020-7519(98)00043-5

  • Odonoghue, PJ, Adams, M and Dixon, B (1985). Characterization of Sarcocystis Spp. In: New Zealand Journal of Zoology. , , (451-451). .

Other Outputs

  • O'Donoghue, Peter (2015): Kingdom PROTISTA. Australian Biological Resouces Study. Dataset.

  • O'Donoghue, Peter John (2004). Characterization of parasitic protozoa in Australia Professional Doctorate, School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Completed Supervision

  • (2015) Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • (2010) Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • (2008) Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • (2007) Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • (2004) Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • (2004) Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • (2003) Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • (2002) Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • () Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • (2007) Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor