Shivaramu Keelara Veerappa Profile


Shivaramu Keelara Veerappa

Shivaramu Keelara Veerappa, BVSc & AH, MVSc, PhD

Research Assistant Professor 


Shivaramu Keelara Veerappa is a research assistant professor in the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology who specializes in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance and Global One Health training.

Originally, from Mandya-Karnataka, India, Keelara Veerappa received his BVSc & AH degree (DVM equivalent) in 2005 from Bengaluru Veterinary College, KVAFSU, India. After receiving a junior research fellowship from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), he completed a master’s degree in veterinary science, focusing on Listeria – a zoonotic bacterial pathogen responsible for causing listeriosis in humans and animals. In 2009, he traveled to the United States to join NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine as a PhD student in Sid Thakur’s team, and examined the dissemination of AMR from farm to fork by studying the molecular epidemiology of Salmonella species in pigs, humans and environment.

After completing his PhD, he joined the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Maryland as a research associate, and explored the use of natural essential oils as alternatives to toxic cleaning agents such as chlorine in food production. In 2015, he returned to NC State as a research associate in Paula Cray’s lab. He also became a facilitator for the WHO ESBL E. coli Tricycle Project, which aims to establish a new global AMR surveillance system. In this role, he travels around the world with Jorge Matheu, the project leader, to provide training in surveillance protocols, ESBL E. coli isolation, antimicrobial susceptibility testing and data analysis.

In 2018, Keelara Veerappa was promoted to research assistant professor in the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology. In addition to the WHO ESBL E. coli Tricycle Project, he continues to work with Cray to assess the global AMR burden using the IBM Watson platform. He also teaches the laboratory component of the Veterinary Microbiology selective for veterinary students, and provides laboratory training for undergraduate, graduate students and visiting scholars.


Global Health Research Fields

  • Antimicrobial resistance and surveillance
  • Foodborne pathogens

Main Areas of Expertise

  • Antimicrobial susceptibility testing
  • Antimicrobial resistance training 
  • Bacterial pathogen isolation and molecular characterization
  • IBM Watson analytics

Global Health Research Interests

  • Establishing integrated global antimicrobial resistance surveillance by providing training and establishing new laboratories in countries worldwide
  • Utilizing IBM Watson analytics to track antimicrobial resistance, identify resistance determinants and predict drug resistant outbreaks across the globe

Countries of Experience

  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Indonesia
  • Jordan
  • Malaysia
  • Senegal
  • South Africa

Ongoing Projects

  • Examining antimicrobial resistance in Enterococci isolated from retail meat in the US
  • WHO Tricycle Project: Establishing a global integrated antimicrobial resistance surveillance system

Network (collaborators)

  • Jorge Matheu, lead for the ESBL E. coli Tricycle AMR Surveillance Project

Selected Publications

Nayakvadi S, Alemano, CA, Kumar HBC, Rajkumar RS, Rajkumar S, Chakurkar EB, Keelara S. Detection and molecular characterization of sorbital fermenting non-O157 Escherichia coli from goats. Small Ruminant Research 2018 Apr; 161 (2018) 7-12 (Article)

Patel J, Green J, Keelara S, Macarisin D, Chen Yi, Hsin-Bai Y, and Kumar V. Control of Listeria Innocua and Escherichia coli O157:H12 on cantaloupes at farm level by Octenidine Hydrochloride. Lett Appl Microbiol (2018; Under review)

Patel J, Keelara S, Green J. Inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella on Fresh herbs by plant essential oils. Foodborne Pathog Dis 2018 Mar; 15(6): 332-338. (Pubmed)

Keelara S, Thakur S, Patel J. Biofilm formation by environmental isolates of Salmonella and their sensitivity to natural antimicrobials. Foodborne Pathog Dis 2016 Sep; 13(9):509-16 (Pubmed)

Keelara S, SVS Malik, Nayakvadi S, Das S, Barbuddhe SB. Isolation and characterization of Listeria spp. from organized and migratory sheep flocks in India. Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences 2015 Jan; 3(6): 325-331 (ResearchGate)

Patel J, Keelara S, Kumar V. Reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella on fresh-cut produce by caprylic acid. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation 2015 Mar; doi:10.1111/jfpp.12468 (Article)

Keelara SThakur S. Dissemination of plasmid-encoded AmpC β-lactamases in antimicrobial resistant Salmonella serotypes originating from humans, pigs and environment. Vet Microbiol 2014 Sep; 173 (1-2):76-83 (Pubmed)

Borst LB, Suyemoto MM, Keelara S, Dunningan SE, Guy JS, and Barnes JH. A chicken embryo lethality assay for pathogenic Enterococcus cecorum. Avian Dis 2014 Jun; 58(2):244-248 (Pubmed)

Keelara S, Scott HM, Morrow WE, Hartley CS, Griffin DL, Gebreyes WA, Thakur S. Comparative phenotypic and genotypic characterization of temporally and spatially related Salmonella isolated from human clinical cases, pigs and the environment. Foodborne Pathog Dis 2014 Feb; 11(2):156-64 (Pubmed)

Keelara S, Scott HM, Morrow WE, Gebreyes WA, Correa M, Nayak R, Stefanova R, Thakur S. Longitudinal study of distributions of similar antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella serovars in pigs and their environment in two distinct swine production systems. Appl Environ Microbiol 2013 Sep; 79(17):5167-78 (Pubmed)

Thakur S, Brake J, Keelara S, Zou M, Susick E. Farm and environmental distribution of Campylobacter and Salmonella in broiler flocks. Research in Veterinary Science 2013 Feb; 94(1): 33-42 (Pubmed)

Zou M, Keelara S, Thakur S. 2012. Molecular characterization of Salmonella enterica serotype enteritidis isolates from humans by antimicrobial resistance, virulence genes and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Foodborne Pathog Dis 2012 Mar; 9(3): 232-238 (Pubmed)

Pérez C, Whitacre MD, Thakur S, Keelara S, Fauls M, Breitschwerdt EB. Unilateral epididymitis associated with Salmonella bacteremia in a dog. Clinical Theriogenology Journal 2012 Jan; 4(1): 61-65 (ResearchGate)

Maninder S, Singh DK, Shivaramu KV, Ripan B, Shriya R, Rupa B, Singh S, Cheema PS. Serum as clinical specimen in PCR for diagnosis of ovine brucellosis. Indian Journal of Animal Science 2010 Sep; 80(1): 17-18 (ResearchGate)

Global Health Memberships

  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
  • International Association for Food Protection (IAFP)
  • Indian Association of Veterinary Public Health Specialists (IAVPHS)


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