Dr Kathleen O'Reilly

Associate Professor

United Kingdom

I am an epidemiologist who specialises in the use of statistical and mathematical models for infectious diseases. My current interests are in polio eradication, and the control of other viral and bacterial infections (norovirus, SARS-CoV-2, vector-borne viral diseases). I am an active member of the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases (CMMID). I am the academic liaison for the Alan Turing Institute, where we aim to co-ordinate and support the use of advanced statistics and machine learning in research at the LSHTM, via the Centre for Statistical Methodology.

My research team are the modelling partners of Unicef within the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. We carry out analysis and modelling to better understand epidemiology and inform policy decisions. My current collaborations involve close interaction with the WHO, BMGF and UNICEF to support the final stages of polio eradication such as understanding the effectiveness of vaccination campaigns and developing suitable strategies for response to vaccine-derived polioviruses. I am a member of the polio SAGE at WHO.

More recently, several projects have been initiated in wastewater surveillance. I lead a project on the validation and application of wastewater to control infectious diseases in LMICs, which is funded by the BMGF. Previous projects include a secondment to UKHSA to support analysis of wastewater data, and an engagement project on analytics development.
For my own Publications please see my regularly updated Google Scholar profile. I have highlighted several recent publications at the bottom of this page.

Current PhD students include Megan Auzenbergs, and Tomoka Nakamura, with co-supervisors being Kaja Abbas, and Koya Ariyoshi (Nagasaki University).

I regularly supervise MSc and MPH students, and have co-authored papers with 3 previous MSc students. Getting everyone interested in science is very important to me and I regularly visit schools as part of the Inspire Initiative.


Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Dynamics
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health


Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases


I am a co-organise the module for Statistics for Health Data Science, part of the Health Data Science MSc.


At the LSHTM I am involved with several projects:
• Effectiveness of supplementary immunisation strategies in preventing poliomyelitis outbreaks (BMGF funded, PI, and primary supervisor of Megan Auzenbergs)
• ES Analytics: Validation, Application and Interventions for Public Health (BMGF funded, PI). Involves collaboration with SACEMA (South Africa), NICD (South Africa), CMC Vellore (India), and Bristol University. Joe Mesri Pryce is leading the research on this project.
• Polio-SPEC: Surveillance Modelling to Support Polio Elimination and Certification (WHO funded, PI). This project focusses on developing and applying statistical methods to assess elimination of polio. Emily Nightingale is leading the research on this project.
• Investigating the role of social contact patterns on the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan (primary supervisor of Tomoka Nakamura - part of the WISE program)

Projects that have now been completed (as of Sept 2023):
• Modelling and analysis for the use of wastewater to understand the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 and other priority pathogens (UKHSA secondment, and extra funding from the Alan Turing Institute)
• Why do norovirus pandemics occur and how can we control them? (Wellcome Trust funded project with UCL, PHE, Univ Liverpool)
• Epidemiology and vaccination strategies for type-2 vaccine-derived poliovirus (primary supervisor of MRC funded student Grace Macklin).
• Understanding the future trajectory of the Zika virus epidemic and strategies to prevent transmission (as part of the ZikaPLAN and ZikaAlliance consortia, with Oliver Brady and Laith Yakob)
• Development of suitable scale-up strategies for Wolbachia use in high transmission settings applied to Dengue (BMGF funded, led by Oliver Brady)
Research Area
Bayesian Analysis
Disease control
Global Health
One Health
Public health
Statistical methods
Vector control
Genetic epidemiology
GIS/Spatial analysis
Mathematical modelling
Disease and Health Conditions
Diarrhoeal diseases
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
Pandemic diseases
Tropical diseases
Infectious diseases
Emerging infectious diseases
Vector borne diseases

Selected Publications

Defining a research agenda for environmental wastewater surveillance of pathogens.
Shaw, AG; Troman, C; Akello, JO; O'REILLY, KM; Gauld, J; Grow, S; Grassly, N; Steele, D; Blazes, D; Kumar, S; Environmental Surveillance Working Group,;
Nature medicine
An analysis of 45 large-scale wastewater sites in England to estimate SARS-CoV-2 community prevalence.
Morvan, M; Jacomo, AL; Souque, C; Wade, MJ; Hoffmann, T; Pouwels, K; Lilley, C; Singer, AC; Porter, J; Evens, NP; Walker, DI; Bunce, JT; Engeli, A; Grimsley, J; O'REILLY, KM; Danon, L;
Nature Communications
Predicted norovirus resurgence in 2021-2022 due to the relaxation of nonpharmaceutical interventions associated with COVID-19 restrictions in England: a mathematical modeling study.
O'REILLY, KM; Sandman, F; ALLEN, D; JARVIS, CI; Gimma, A; Douglas, A; Larkin, L; WONG, KL M; BAGUELIN, M; Baric, RS; Lindesmith, LC; Goldstein, RA; Breuer, J; EDMUNDS, WJ;
BMC medicine
A cross-sectional analysis of meteorological factors and SARS-CoV-2 transmission in 409 cities across 26 countries.
SERA, F; ARMSTRONG, B; ABBOTT, S; MEAKIN, S; O'REILLY, K; Von Borries, R; Schneider, R; Royé, D; Hashizume, M; Pascal, M; Tobias, A; Vicedo-Cabrera, AM; MCC Collaborative Research Network,; CMMID COVID-19 Working Group,; GASPARRINI, A; LOWE, R;
Nature communications
Evolving epidemiology of poliovirus serotype 2 following withdrawal of the serotype 2 oral poliovirus vaccine.
MACKLIN, GR; O'REILLY, KM; Grassly, NC; EDMUNDS, WJ; Mach, O; Santhana Gopala Krishnan, R; Voorman, A; Vertefeuille, JF; Abdelwahab, J; Gumede, N; Goel, A; Sosler, S; Sever, J; Bandyopadhyay, AS; Pallansch, MA; Nandy, R; Mkanda, P; Diop, OM; Sutter, RW;
Science (New York, N.Y.)
Stakeholder Interviews to Inform Best Practice for Public Facing COVID-19 Wastewater Dashboards
Morales, D; RHODES, T; O’Reilly, KM;
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Emergent variant modeling of the serological repertoire to norovirus in young children.
Lindesmith, LC; Brewer-Jensen, PD; Conrad, H; O'REILLY, KM; Mallory, ML; KELLY, D; Williams, R; EDMUNDS, WJ; ALLEN, DJ; Breuer, J; Baric, RS;
Cell Rep Med
Robust smoothing of left-censored time series data with a dynamic linear model to infer SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations in wastewater
Lewis-Borrell, L; Irving, J; Lilley, CJ; Courbariaux, M; Nuel, G; Danon, L; O'REILLY, KM; Grimsley, JM S; Wade, MJ; Siegert, S;
AIMS Mathematics
Immune Imprinting Drives Human Norovirus Potential for Global Spread.
Lindesmith, LC; Boshier, FA T; Brewer-Jensen, PD; Roy, S; Costantini, V; Mallory, ML; Zweigart, M; May, SR; Conrad, H; O'REILLY, KM; KELLY, D; Celma, CC; Beard, S; Williams, R; Tutill, HJ; Becker Dreps, S; Bucardo, F; ALLEN, DJ; Vinjé, J; Goldstein, RA; Breuer, J; Baric, RS;
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