Dr. Davis graduated from the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985 and practiced small animal medicine for 3 years She obtained a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology (1992) at UW and worked as an epidemiologist for the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health from 1990-1996. She returned to WSU to pursue a PhD in molecular epidemiology (2002). Her research interests include molecular epidemiology and transmission dynamics of the major zoonotic enteropathogens Campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella. Public health impacts of these pathogens are often complicated by antibiotic resistance and her research area includes the epidemiology of resistance genes and their associated mobile genetic elements. She is currently PI of a Morris Animal Foundation-funded project titled “Evaluation of genotyping methods for Staphylococcus pseudintermedius at local, regional and global scales.” which involves whole genome sequencing of an international set of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius isolates. Dr. Davis is currently serving as the Washington State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital Infection Control epidemiologist and instructs seminar classes on infectious disease epidemiology for graduate students, as well as the elective International Veterinary Medicine for veterinary students.
One of the most important experiences in my life was the large outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections associated with Jack in the Box restaurants in 1992-1993 in Washington State. (Subsequently, previously undetected cases were found in other states like California and Nevada.) Because people died in that outbreak, many of them young children, I became emotionally connected to infection prevention and wanted to learn more about the molecular epidemiological techniques that could be used to track sources of infection in an outbreak. After my PhD at WSU I learned that these techniques could be used to answer much broader questions than food sources in an outbreak – such as sources and transmission routes on a wider geographic and temporal scale. In the meantime I have watched the molecular epidemiological capabilities develop from simple restriction enzyme-based techniques like PFGE to whole genome sequencing, which is becoming the standard now. This is both exciting and daunting as molecular and analytic methods become more sophisticated; it’s gratifying to see a younger generation of scientists being educated and trained to use newer tools.
Outside of work I enjoying hiking, dog sitting, playing the piano and reading fiction.
Education and Training
I was trained at Washington State University (Pullman, WA) for my DVM and my PhD, and at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA) for my MPH in epidemiology.
- Sischo WM, Moore DA, Pereira R, Warnick L, Moore DL, Vanegas J, Kurtz S, Heaton K, Kinder D, Siler J, Davis MA. (2019) Calf care personnel on dairy farms and their educational opportunities. J Dairy Sci pii: S0022-0302(19)30146-8. doi: 10.3168/jds.2018-15401. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30772022
- Afema JA, Ahmed S, Besser TE, Jones LP, Sischo WM, Davis MA. (2018) Molecular Epidemiology of Dairy Cattle-Associated Escherichia coli Carrying blaCTX-M Genes in Washington State. Appl Environ Microbiol. 84(6). pii: e02430-17. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02430-17. PMID: 29305512 PMCID: PMC5835732
- Ahmed S, Besser TE, Call DR, Weissman SJ, Jones LP, Davis MA (2016) Evaluation of two multi-locus sequence typing schemes for commensal Escherichia coli from dairy cattle in Washington State. J Microbiol Methods. 124, 57-61 PMID: 27001705
- Davis MA, Sischo WM, Jones LP, Moore DA, Ahmed S, Short DM, Besser TE (2015) Recent Emergence of Escherichia coli with Cephalosporin Resistance Conferred by blaCTX-M on Washington State Dairy Farms. Appl Environ Microbiol 81(13), 4403-10 PMID: 25911480 PMCID: PMC4475894
- Suthar N, Roy S, Call DR, Besser TE, Davis MA (2014) An individual-based model of transmission of resistant bacteria in a veterinary teaching hospital. PLoS One. 9(6), e98589 PMID: 24893006 PMCID: PMC4043964
- Davis MA, Moore DL, Baker KN, French NP, Patnode M, Hensley J, Macdonald K, Besser TE (2013) Risk factors for campylobacteriosis in two washington state counties with high numbers of dairy farms. J Clin Microbiol 51(12), 3921-7 PMID: 24025908 PMCID: PMC3838072