Dr Charlene Rodrigues

Research Interests

My research focuses on the genomic epidemiology of childhood infections, with the aim of improving disease prevention and clinical management. My vision is an integrated approach, applying the principles of genomic epidemiology to specific clinical questions that face paediatricians and microbiologists daily, ranging from individual to  public health and addressed through collaborative working with multiple disciplines.  I work on Neisseria meningitidis as an exemplar organism, a major cause of sepsis and meningitis (invasive meningococcal disease) in children, adolescents and adults globally and central to the World Health Organisation’s “Defeating meningitis by 2030” agenda. My work has focused on the diversity and distribution of meningococcal antigens using genomics and performing national genomic surveillance for the UK. I am interested in the drivers for meningococcal carriage and transmission and how this can inform preventiative strategies.

My career objectives include supporting clinicians and public health teams (non-specialists) in handling genomic data. To this end, I instruct on the Wellcome Trust Advanced Course in Genomics and Clinical Microbiology, in both the UK and The Gambia, co-leading the HCAI theme (from January 2021) and St George's University of London MSc in Genomics.


I am a clinician specialising in paediatric infectious diseases and trained in the UK.

  • I graduated from Leicester University medical school in 2007 having also completed an Intercalated BSc in breast cancer pathology.
  • On completion of the Academic Foundation Programme, I entered paediatric training in London as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow at Imperial College London. It was here that I developed an interest in meningococcal disease and the genomics of host and pathogen.
  • I completed core registrar training and obtained a GRID sub-specialty infectious diseases, immunology and allergy training post in Newcastle upon Tyne in September 2014.
  • I had a renewed interest in microbiology following my DPhil so trained for 6 months alongside adult ID and microbiology colleagues at St George’s Hospital, London.
  • I obtained CCT in Paediatrics and subspecialty infectious diseases, immunology and allergy in February 2019.

Selected Publications

(2020) Rodrigues CMC and Plotkin SA. Impact of Vaccines on Human, Health; Health, Economic and Social Perspectives. Frontiers in Microbiology 2020 11:1526. 

(2020) Rodgers, E., Bentley, S. D., Borrow, R., Bratcher, H. B., Brisse, S., Brueggemann, A. B., Caugant, D. A., Findlow, J., Fox, L., Glennie, L., Harrison, L. H., Harrison, O. B., Heyderman, R. S., van Rensburg, M. J., Jolley, K. A., Kwambana-Adams, B., Ladhani, S., LaForce, M., Levin, M., Lucidarme, J., MacAlisdair N., MacLennan J., Maiden MCJ., Maynard-Smith L., Muzzi A., Oster P., Rodrigues CMC., Ronveaux O., Serino L., Smoth V., van der Ende A., Vazquez J., Wang X., Yezli S., Stuart, J. M. (2020). The global meningitis genome partnership. Journal of infection, S0163-4453(20)30446-1.

(2019) Bratcher HB, Rodrigues CMC, Finn A, Wootton M, Cameron JC, Smith A, Heath P, Ladhani S, Snape MD, Pollard AJ, Cunningham R, Borrow R, Trotter C, Gray SJ, Maiden MCJ, MacLennan JM. UKMenCar4: A cross-sectional survey of asymptomatic meningococcal carriage amongst UK adolescents at a period of low invasive meningococcal disease incidence. Version 2. Wellcome Open Res. 2019 Oct 28 [revised 2019 Jan 1];4:118.

(2019) Rodrigues CMC, Handy L, Plotkin S. Vaccine Innovation and Development, Maxey-Rosenau-Last Public Health and Preventive Medicine. In press.

(2018) Rodrigues CMC, Chan H, Vipond C, Jolley K, Harrison OB, Wheeler J, Whiting G, Feavers IM and Maiden MCJ Typing complex meningococcal vaccines to understand diversity and population structure of key vaccine antigens. Wellcome Open Research. 2018 Nov 29;3:151. 

(2018) Chen M, Rodrigues CMC, Harrison OB, Zhang C, Tan T, Chen J, Zhang X, Chen M, Maiden MCJ. Invasive meningococcal disease in Shanghai, China from 1950 to 2016: implications for serogroup B vaccine implementation. Scientific Reports. 2018 Aug 17;8(1):12334. 

(2018) Rodrigues CMCand Maiden MCJ. A world without bacterial meningitis: how genomic epidemiology can inform vaccination strategy. F1000Research. 2018 Mar 27;7:401. 

(2018) Rodrigues CMC, Lucidarme J, Borrow R, Smith A, Cameron JC, Moxon ER, Maiden MCJ. Genomic Surveillance of 4CMenB Vaccine Antigenic Variants among Disease-Causing Neisseria meningitidis Isolates, United Kingdom, 2010-2016. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2018 Apr;24(4):673-682. 

(2017) Rodrigues CMC, Groves H. Community-acquired pneumonia in children; the challenges of microbiological diagnosis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2017 Dec 13. pii: JCM.01318- 17.

(2017) Rodrigues CM,Pinto MV, Sadarangani M, Plotkin SA. Whither Vaccines? Journal of Infection. 2017 74, S2−S9

(2017) Rodrigues CM, Brehony C, Borrow R, Smith A, Cunney R, Moxon ER, Maiden MC. Genomic surveillance and meningococcal group B vaccine coverage estimates in the UK and Ireland after the national immunisation programme. Lancet. 2017 389, S85

(2016) Brehony C*,Rodrigues CM*, Borrow R, Smith A, Cunney R, Moxon ER, Maiden MC. Distribution of Bexsero® Antigen Sequence Types (BASTs) in invasive meningococcal disease isolates: Implications for immunisation. Vaccine. 2016 Sep 7;34(39):4690-7. *authors contributed equally and should be considered as joint first author.