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Shaohua Zhao DVM, MPVM, PhD.

Shaohua Zhao, DVM, MPVM, PhD
Shaohua Zhao DVM, MPVM, PhD.


Dr. Shaohua Zhao is a Senior Research Scientist in the Office of Applied Science, FDA/Center for Veterinary Medicine. She received her veterinary degree from College of Veterinary Medicine, Guizhou University, China in 1982, and Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine (MPVM) in 1988 and Ph.D. in 1991 from University of California, Davis. She joined FDA as a research microbiologist in 1998.  Her primary responsibilities at CVM include conducting and coordinating research for National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) retail meat program with CDC and USDA, studying the mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance, advancing genotyping technologies to support foodborne outbreak investigations, and foodborne diseases source attribution. 


  • Antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, and emerging resistance genes and their origin, evolution and dissemination 
  • MDR plasmid biology, evolution, epidemiology and selective pressure associated with MDR development and dissemination in bacteria from different sources
  • Advanced molecular subtyping technologies for outbreak investigations, foodborne disease source attribution and molecular epidemiology of MDR zoonotic foodborne pathogens 

Select Publications

Harrison, L., S. Zhao, C. Li, P. F. McDermott, G. H. Tyson and E. Strain. 2023. Lociq rovides a loci-seeking approach for enhanced plasmid subtyping and structural characterization. Communications biology. (2023) 6:595.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-023-04981-1.

Cao, G., S. Zhao, D. Kuang, C-H. Hsu, L. Yin, Y. Luo, Z. Chen, X. Xu, E. Strain, P. McDermott, M. Allard, E. Brown, J. Meng, J. Zheng. 2023.  Geography Shapes the Genomics and Antimicrobial Resistance of Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis Isolated from Humans. Scientific Reports |(2023) 13:1331. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-24150-4 

Tate, T., C. H. Hsu, J. Chen, J. Han, S. Foley, J. Folster, L. K. Francois Watkins, J. Reynolds, G. E. Tillman, E. Nyirabahizi, and S. Zhao. 2022. Genomic Diversity of Salmonella Serovar Kentucky Isolated from Humans, Food and Animal Ceca Content Sources in the United States.  Journal of Food Protection.  2022. 19 (8): 509-521. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/fpd.2022.0005 

Li, C., G. H. Tyson, C. H. Hsu, L. Harrison, E. Strain, T-T. Tran, G. E. Tillman, U. Dessai, P. F. McDermott and S. Zhao. 2021. Long-read sequencing reveals evolution and acquisition of antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes in Salmonella enterica. Frontiers in Microbiology. November 2021, Volume 12, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.777817

Harrison, L., S. Mukherjee, C. H. Hsu, S. Young, E. Strain, Q. Zhang, G. E. Tillman, C. Morales, J. Haro and S. Zhao. 2021. Genome MLST for Source Attribution of Campylobacter coli. Frontiers in Microbiology. July 2021. Vol.12, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.703890

Zhao, S., C. Li, C. H. Hsu, G. H. Tyson, E. Strain, H. Tate, T.T. Tran, J. Abbott, and P. F. McDermott. Comparative Genomic Analysis of Four Hundred Fifty Salmonella Strains Isolated from Diseased Animals. Genes 2020, 11, 1025. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes11091025

Tyson, G., C. Li, L. Harrison, G. Martin, C.H. Hsu, H. Tate, T.T. Tran, E. Strain, and S. Zhao. 2021. A Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Infantis Clone Is Spreading and Recombining in the United States. Microb Drug Resist. 2021. Jun;27(6):792-799. https://doi.org/10.1089/mdr.2020.0389.

Hsu, C.H., L. Harrison, S. Mukherjee, E. Strain, P. McDermott, Q. Zhang, S. Zhao. 2020. Core Genome Multilocus Sequence Typing for Food Animal Source Attribution of Human Campylobacter jejuni. 2020. Pathogens. On line published: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9070532. 

Zhao, S., S. Mukherjee, C. H. Hsu, S. Yang, C. Li1, H. Tate, C.  Morales, J. Haro, S. Thitaram, G. Tillman, U. Dessai and P. McDermott. 2019. Genomic Analysis of Emerging Florfenicol Resistant Campylobacter coli isolated from the Cecal Contents of Cattle in the U.S. mSphere. May/June 2019 4(3): e00367-19. https://dol.org/10.1128/mSphere.00367-19.

Hsu, C. H., C. Li, M. Hoffmann, P. McDermott, J. Abbott, S. Ayers, G. Tyson, H. Tate, K. Yao, M. Allard, and S. Zhao. 2019.  Comparative Genomic Analysis of Multidrug-resistant Salmonella Dublin from Sick Cattle and Retail Beef.  Microbial Drug Resistance. DOI: 10.1089/mdr.2019.0045

Nguyen, M., S. W. Long, P. F. McDermott, R. J. Olsen, R. Olsen, R. L. Steven, G. H. Tyson, S. Zhao and J. J. Davis.  2019. Using Machine Learning to Predict Antimicrobial Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations and Associated Genomic Features for Nontyphoidal Salmonella. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 57 (2). E01260-18. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.01260-18.

Feldgarden, M., V. Brover, D. Haft, A. B. Prasad, D. Slotta, I. Tolstoy, G. H. Tyson, S. Zhao, C.H. Hsu, D. Tadesse, C. Morales, M. Simmons, G. Tillman, J. Wasilenko, J. Folster, P. F. McDermott and W. K. Klimke.  2019. Using the NCBI AMRFinder Tool to Determine Antimicrobial Resistance Genotype-Phenotype Correlations Within a Collection of NARMS Isolates. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 63(11):1-19. https://doi.org/10.1128/aac.00483-19

Contact Information
Shaohua Zhao
+1 (240) 402-5472
+1 (301) 210-4685
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