Vaccine Implementation and Impact

Todd Swarthout, Senior Research Fellow – Epidemiology


Areas of interest
Todd Swarthout is an infectious diseases epidemiologist. His research interests are in understanding how to optimise vaccine schedules to reduce the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases in low-resourced high mortality settings, how best to protect vulnerable groups, and how to optimise methods to evaluate vaccine impact and effectiveness.

At MLW, Todd currently leads the Pneumonia and Meningitis Pathogens Associate Research Group.

Todd obtained his MSc (Public Health in Developing Countries) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2001. He subsequently worked 12 years as epidemiologists with Médecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) and Médecins du Monde (MDM), including 7 years as field epidemiologist and clinical trial leader (locations including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Nigeria) and 5 years as Senior Health Advisor and emergency/outbreak epidemiologist during headquarter postings in Paris and Amsterdam. He subsequently worked for 2 years in Amsterdam with Novartis Vaccines, leading the epidemiology portfolio in work to develop a GBS vaccine. Prior to joining UCL, Todd worked with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, based in Malawi with the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme.

With UCL, Todd will continue the vaccines work he started with LSTM, leading a number of projects, including the PAVE study. PAVE is a 4-year BMGF-funded programme to evaluate the impact of an alternative WHO-approved PCV13 vaccine schedule in Blantyre District, Malawi.
Prior to his work in infectious diseases epidemiology, Todd trained in the field of forestry and natural resource conservation. Todd lived in rural coastal northern California, teaching field biology at an independent secondary school and leading a number of local environmental campaigns, including the 1999 creation of the Headwaters State Forest Reserve along California’s Redwood Coast.


Recent Publications

1. Evaluation of pneumococcal serotyping in nasopharyngeal carriage isolates by latex agglutination, whole-genome sequencing (PneumoCaT), and DNA microarray in a high pneumococcal carriage prevalence population in Malawi. Swarthout TD, Gori A, Bar-Zeev N, et al. J Clin Microbiol (2020); 02103-20. 5.1)

2. High residual carriage of vaccine-serotype Streptococcus pneumoniae after introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in Malawi. Swarthout TD, Fronterre C, Lourenço J, et al. Nat Commun (2020) 11, 2222. (IF: 11.9)

3. Pan-GWAS of Streptococcus agalactiae highlights lineage-specific genes associated with virulence and niche adaptation. Gori A, Harrison O, Mlia E, Nishihara Y, Chinkwita-Phiri J, Mallewa M, Dube Q, Swarthout TD, et al. mBio (2020) 11(3), (IF: 6.7)

4. Determinants of high residual post-PCV13 pneumococcal vaccine type carriage in Blantyre, Malawi: a modelling study. Lourenço J*, Obolski U*, Swarthout TD*, et al. BMC Med (2019) 17, 219 doi:10.1186/s12916-019-1450-2 (IF: 8.3)

5. Pneumococcal carriage in households in Karonga District, Malawi, before and after introduction of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination. Ellen Heinsbroek, Terence Tafatatha, Amos Phiri, Todd D Swarthout, et al. Vaccine (2018) 36(48), 7369-7376; (IF: 3.3)

Division of Infection and immunity, University College London
Honorary Senior Lecturer, University of Liverpool
Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine