Scot E.coli warrior's lab has contract axed

September 17, 1999

Hugh Pennington, Aberdeen University's professor of bacteriology, who two years ago led the investigation into the country's worst E.coli outbreak, has been shocked by the Scottish Executive's decision to axe its contract with his research laboratories next April. Work on E.coli 0157 will be put out to tender, while work on campylobacter, the commonest cause of food poisoning in Britain, will cease altogether. A Scottish Executive spokeswoman said there had been concern for some time about the quality of service in the laboratories, of which Professor Pennington is co-director. But Professor Pennington said there had been no opportunity to comment on accusations of poor turnaround times on E.coli samples, which could be justified on technical grounds. He strongly disputed the decision that Scotland did not need a laboratory to investigate campylobacter.

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