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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School


I am a research associate with an interest in pathogen genomics, in particular Mycobacterium bovis and non-tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM).    I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biology and a MRes in Bioinformatics from the University of York in 2006 and 2007 respectively.  Following three years working as a genome analyst at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, I moved to the University of Oxford as a research assistant in the Brueggemann lab in the Department of Zoology.  This position transitioned into a DPhil in Clinical Medicine focusing on pneumococcal genomics and evolution.  Following my graduation in 2017, I took up a post as a postdoctoral fellow in the Parkhill group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute working on Mycobacterium bovis transmission dynamics and evolution, and non-tuberculous mycobacteria in cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis patients.  In June 2019, the Parkhill group moved to the Department of Veterinary Medicine where I’m currently based.


My main research interests are bacterial genomics and transmission dynamics in different Mycobacterium species.  I also have a longstanding interest in pneumococcal capsular genetics.




Key publications: 


Ganaie F, Saad JS, McGee L, van Tonder AJ, Bentley SD, Lo SW, Gladstone RA, Turner P, Keenan JD, Breiman RF, Nahm MH. 2020. A New Pneumococcal Capsule Type, 10D, is the 100th Serotype and Has a Large cps Fragment from an Oral Streptococcus. MBio. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00937-20.

van Tonder AJ, Gladstone RA, Lo SW, Nahm MH, du Plessis M, Cornick J, Kwambana-Adams B, Madhi SA, Hawkins PA, Benisty R, Dagan R, Everett D, Antonio M, Klugman KP, von Gottberg A, Breiman RF, McGee L, Bentley SD, The Global Pneumococcal Sequencing Consortium. 2019. Putative novel cps loci in a large global collection of pneumococci. Microb Genom. doi: 10.1099/mgen.0.000274.

Gladstone RA, Lo SW, Lees JA, Croucher NJ, van Tonder AJ, Corander J, Page AJ, Marttinen P, Bentley LJ, Ochoa TJ, Ho PL, du Plessis M, Cornick JE, Kwambana-Adams B, Benisty R, Nzenze SA, Madhi SA, Hawkins PA, Everett DB, Antonio M, Dagan R, Klugman KP, von Gottberg A, McGee L, Breiman RF, Bentley SD, Global Pneumococcal Sequencing Consortium. 2019. International genomic definition of pneumococcal lineages, to contextualise disease, antibiotic resistance and vaccine impact. EBioMedicine. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.04.021.

van Tonder AJ, Bray JE, Quirk SJ, Haraldsson G, Jolley KA, Maiden MCJ, Hoffmann S, Bentley SD, Haraldsson A, Erlendsdóttir H, Kristinsson KG, Brueggemann AB. 2016. Putatively novel serotypes and the potential for reduced vaccine effectiveness: capsular locus diversity revealed among 5405 pneumococcal genomes.  Microbial Genomics 2(10). doi: 10.1099/mgen.0.000090.

van Tonder AJ, Bray JE, Roalfe L, White R, Zancolli M, Quirk SJ, Haraldsson G, Jolley KA, Maiden MC, Bentley SD, Haraldsson Á, Erlendsdóttir H, Kristinsson KG, Goldblatt D, Brueggemann AB. 2015. Genomics reveals the worldwide distribution of multidrug-resistant serotype 6E pneumococci. J Clin Microbiol. 53(7):2271-85. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00744-15.

van Tonder AJ, Mistry S, Bray JE, Hill DM, Cody AJ, Farmer CL, Klugman KP, von Gottberg A, Bentley SD, Parkhill J, Jolley KA, Maiden MC, Brueggemann AB.  2014. Defining the estimated core genome of bacterial populations using a Bayesian decision model. PLoS Comput Biol. 10(8):e1003788. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003788

Other publications: 

Rodrigues R, Araujo F, Dávila A, Etges R, Parkhill J, van Tonder AJ. 2021.  Genomic and temporal analyses of Mycobacterium bovis in Southern Brazil. Microb Genom. doi: 10.1099/mgen.0.000569

Almaw G, Mekonnen GA, Mihret A, Aseffa A, Taye H, Conlan AJK, Gumi B, Zewude A, Aliy A, Tamiru M, Olani A, Sombo M, Gebre S, Lakew M, Diguimbaye C, Hilty M, Fané A, Müller B, Hewinson RG, Ellis RJ, Nunez-Garcia J, Palkopoulou E, Abebe T, Ameni G, Parkhill J, Wood JLN, Berg S, van Tonder AJ. 2021. Population structure and transmission of Mycobacterium bovis in Ethiopia. Microb Genom. doi: 10.1099/mgen.0.000539

Dr Andries  van Tonder
Research Associate

Contact Details

Available for consultancy


Local Affiliations: 
Person keywords: 
non- tuberculous mycobacteria
Pathogen genomics
Bovine tuberculosis
Pathogen transmission
Alborada Research Fund