Dr Shahista Nisa staff profile picture

Contact details +6469516918

Dr Shahista Nisa BScHon, PhD

Research Officer

School of Veterinary Science

I am an infectious disease researcher with expertise in molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, and epidemiology. I have a strong commitment to One Health research and investigate zoonotic pathogens which have the potential to cross between animals, humans, and the environment. My aim is to advance our understanding of infectious diseases, make significant contributions to their prevention and control and contribute to the overall improvement of health outcomes.



  • Bachelor of Science with Honours - Victoria University (2006)
  • Doctor of Philosophy - Victoria University (2010)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Infectious diseases

Zoonotic disease

Public Health

Molecular diagnostics


Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Bacteriology (060501): Biochemistry and Cell Biology (060100): Biological Sciences (060000): Infectious Agents (060502): Microbial Genetics (060503): Microbiology (060500): Proteomics and Intermolecular Interactions (excl. Medical Proteomics) (060109)


Molecular biology



Molecular diagnostics

Infectious diseases

Genetic engineering

Project management

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 1 4

Research Outputs


Prinsen, G., Baker, M., Benschop, J., Collins-Emerson, J., Douwes, J., Fayaz, A., . . . Yeung, P. (2023). “We don't really do doctors.” messages from people diagnosed with occupational leptospirosis for medical professionals on infection, hospitalisation, and long-term effects. Heliyon. 9(9)
[Journal article]Authored by: Benschop, J., Collins-Emerson, J., Douwes, J., Fayaz, A., Littlejohn, S., Nisa, S., Prinsen, J., Yeung, P.
Wilkinson, DA., Edwards, M., Shum, C., Moinet, M., Anderson, NE., Benschop, J., . . . Nisa, S. (2023). Molecular typing of Leptospira spp. in farmed and wild mammals reveals new host-serovar associations in New Zealand. New Zealand Veterinary Journal. 72(1), 1-9
[Journal article]Authored by: Benschop, J., Nisa, S.
Nisa, S., Vallee, E., Marshall, J., Collins-Emerson, J., Yeung, P., Prinsen, G., . . . Benschop, J. (2023). Leptospirosis in Aotearoa New Zealand: Protocol for a Nationwide Case-Control Study. JMIR Research Protocols. 12
[Journal article]Authored by: Benschop, J., Collins-Emerson, J., Douwes, J., Fayaz, A., Littlejohn, S., Marshall, J., Nisa, S., Prinsen, J., Vallee, E., Yeung, P.
Bolwell, C., Gee, E., Adams, B., Collins-Emerson, J., Scarfe, K., Nisa, S., . . . Benschop, J. (2022). Longitudinal Testing of Leptospira Antibodies in Horses Located near a Leptospirosis Outbreak in Alpacas. Veterinary Sciences. 9(8)
[Journal article]Authored by: Benschop, J., Collins-Emerson, J., Gee, E., Gordon, E., Nisa, S., Rogers, C.
Wilkinson, DA., Edwards, M., Benschop, J., & Nisa, S. (2021). Identification of pathogenic Leptospira species and serovars in New Zealand using metabarcoding. PLoS ONE. 16(9 September)
[Journal article]Authored by: Benschop, J., Nisa, S.
Springer Browne, A., Midwinter, AC., Withers, AH., Cookson, AL., Biggs, PJ., Marshall, JC., . . . French, NP. (2021). Transmission Dynamics of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in New Zealand Cattle from Farm to Slaughter. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 87(11), 1-16
[Journal article]Authored by: Benschop, J., Biggs, P., French, N., Marshall, J., Midwinter, A., Nisa, S.
Benschop, J., Nisa, S., & Spencer, SEF. (2021). Still 'dairy farm fever'? A Bayesian model for leptospirosis notification data in New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 18(175)
[Journal article]Authored by: Benschop, J., Nisa, S.
Nisa, S., Wilkinson, DA., Angelin-Bonnet, O., Paine, S., Cullen, K., Wight, J., . . . Benschop, J. (2020). Diverse epidemiology of leptospira serovars notified in New Zealand, 1999-2017. Pathogens. 9(10), 1-17
[Journal article]Authored by: Benschop, J., Nisa, S.
Nisa, S., Bercker, C., Midwinter, AC., Bruce, I., Graham, CF., Venter, P., . . . Wilkinson, DA. (2019). Combining MALDI-TOF and genomics in the study of methicillin resistant and multidrug resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius in New Zealand. Scientific Reports. 9(1)
[Journal article]Authored by: Benschop, J., French, N., Midwinter, A., Nisa, S.
Nisa, S., Martinez de la Peña, CF., De Masi, L., Mulvey, G., Tong, J., Donnenberg, MS., . . . Armstrong, GD. (2016). BfpI, BfpJ, and BfpK Minor Pilins Are Important for the Function and Biogenesis of Bundle-Forming Pili Expressed by Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli. Journal of Bacteriology. 198(5), 846-856
[Journal article]Authored by: Nisa, S.
Nisa, S., Wilson, N., Boyd, M., Baker, MG., & Clement, C. (2016). Did exposure to a severe outbreak of pandemic influenza in 1918 impact on long-term survival?. Epidemiology and Infection. 144(15), 3166-3169
[Journal article]Authored by: Nisa, S.
Nisa, S., Kessler, R., Hazen, TH., Horneman, A., Amoroso, A., Rasko, DA., . . . Donnenberg, MS. (2015). Diarrhea, bacteremia and multiorgan dysfunction due to an extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli strain with enteropathogenic E. coli genes. Pathogens and Disease. 73(8)
[Journal article]Authored by: Nisa, S.
Nisa, S., Long, TM., Donnenberg, MS., & Hassel, BA. (2014). Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli inhibits type I interferon- and RNase L-mediated host defense to disrupt intestinal epithelial cell barrier function. Infection and Immunity. 82(7), 2802-2814
[Journal article]Authored by: Nisa, S.
Nisa, S., Blasche, S., Mörtl, M., Steuber, H., Siszler, G., Schwarz, F., . . . Kögl, M. (2013). The E. coli effector protein NleF is a caspase inhibitor. PLoS One. 8(3)
[Journal article]Authored by: Nisa, S.
Nisa, S., Hazen, TH., Assatourian, L., Nougayrede, J-P., Rasko, DA., & Donnenberg, MS. (2013). In Vitro Evolution of an Archetypal Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Strain. JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY. 195(19), 4476-4483
[Journal article]Authored by: Nisa, S.
Nisa, S., Blokpoel, MCJ., Robertson, BD., Tyndall, JDA., Lun, S., Bishai, WR., . . . O'Toole, R. (2010). Targeting the chromosome partitioning protein ParA in tuberculosis drug discovery. JOURNAL OF ANTIMICROBIAL CHEMOTHERAPY. 65(11), 2347-2358
[Journal article]Authored by: Nisa, S.
Nisa, S., Miller, CH., Dempsey, S., O'Toole, R., & Jack, C. (2009). Modifying culture conditions in chemical library screening identifies alternative inhibitors of mycobacteria. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 53(12), 5279-5283
[Journal article]Authored by: Nisa, S.


Nisa, S., Scanlon, K., & Donnenberg, MS. (2013). Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli. Escherichia coli: Pathotypes and Principles of Pathogenesis. In MS. Donnenberg (Ed.) Escherichia coli: Pathotypes and Principles of Pathogenesis.
[Chapter]Authored by: Nisa, S.


Benschop, J., Collins-Emerson, J., Aberdein, D., Haack, N., Moinet, M., Nisa, S., . . . Heuer, C. (2018). Emerging sources and pathways for leptospirosis. 2018 Conference Proceedings of the Epidemiology and Animal Health Management Branch of the NZVA. (pp. 71 - 72). : 2018 NZVA conference
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Aberdein, D., Benschop, J., Collins-Emerson, J., Nisa, S., Vallee, E., Weston, J.
Moinet, M., Wilkinson, D., Nisa, S., Haack, N., Oosterhof, H., Aberdein, D., . . . Benschop, J. (2017). Is mammalian wildlife a source of leptospira infection in livestock in New Zealand?. , 10th International Leptospirosis Society Conference
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Aberdein, D., Benschop, J., Collins-Emerson, J., Nisa, S., Vallee, E.

Consultancy and Languages


  • English
    Last used: Today
    Spoken ability: Excellent
    Written ability: Excellent
  • Hindi
    Last used: Weekly
    Spoken ability: Excellent
    Written ability: Needs work

Teaching and Supervision

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Co-supervisor 2 0

Current Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • Abbie Uy - Doctor of Philosophy
    Estimating the burden of leptospirosis – a case study in Taranaki.
  • Maryna Sokolova - Doctor of Philosophy
    Changing epidemiology of Leptospirosis in New Zealand, with a focus on the novel strain of Leptospira Borgpetersenii sv Tarassovi.

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