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Otago Medical School staff profiles

Dr Sandy Slow

PositionResearch Fellow
DepartmentDepartment of Pathology and Biomedical Science(UOC)
QualificationsBSc Hons, PhD
Research summaryInfectious diseases; Medical Microbiology

Research

Sandy is a Research Fellow in The Infection Group. She has fifteen years research experience both laboratory and analytically based, including coordinating trials, with expertise in areas of biochemistry, infectious diseases and aspects of molecular genetics.

Current and previous clinical trials include the Vitamin D and Acute Respiratory Infections Study (VIDARIS) and the Vitamin D and Community Acquired Pneumonia Study (VIDCAPS).

Research in infectious diseases has primarily focused on pneumonia, particularly Legionnaires’ disease, while biochemical research has focused on the field of one-carbon metabolism with particular expertise in regards to the nutrients betaine and choline.

Publications

Priest, P. C., Slow, S., Chambers, S. T., Cameron, C. M., Balm, M., Beale, M. W., Blackmore, T. K., … Ussher, J. E., van der Linden, A., … Murdoch, D. R. (2019). The burden of Legionnaires' disease in New Zealand (LegiNZ): A national surveillance study. Lancet Infectious Diseases. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(19)30113-6

Slow, S., Epton, M., Storer, M., Thiessen, R., Lim, S., Wong, J., Chin, P., Tovaranonte, P., Pearson, J., Chambers, S. T., Murdoch, D. R., and VIDCAPS Group, including Jardine, D., & Pithie, A. (2018). Effect of adjunctive single high-dose vitamin D3 on outcome of community-acquired pneumonia in hospitalised adults: The VIDCAPS randomised controlled trial. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 13829. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32162-2

Osborne, A. J., Jose, B. R., Perry, J., Smeele, Z., Altken, J., Gardner, P. P., & Slow, S. (2017). Complete genome sequences of two geographically distinct Legionella micdadei clinical isolates. Genome Announcements, 5(22), e00436-17. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00436-17

McClatchie, T., Meredith, M., Ouédraogo, M. O., Slow, S., Lever, M., Mann, M. R. W., … Baltz, J. M. (2017). Betaine is accumulated via transient choline dehydrogenase activation during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 292, 13784-13794. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.803080

Slow, S., Anderson, T., Miller, J., Singh, S., Murdoch, D., & Biggs, P. J. (2017). Complete genome sequence of a Legionella longbeachae Serogroup 1 strain isolated from a patient with Legionnaires' disease. Genome Announcements, 5(24), e00564-17. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00564-17

Chapter in Book - Research

Lever, M., Slow, S., & Ueland, P. M. (2011). Betaine: Osmolyte and methyl donor. In W. Herrmann & R. Obeid (Eds.), Vitamins in the prevention of human diseases. (pp. 563-598). Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110214499

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Journal - Research Article

Priest, P. C., Slow, S., Chambers, S. T., Cameron, C. M., Balm, M., Beale, M. W., Blackmore, T. K., … Ussher, J. E., van der Linden, A., … Murdoch, D. R. (2019). The burden of Legionnaires' disease in New Zealand (LegiNZ): A national surveillance study. Lancet Infectious Diseases. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(19)30113-6

Slow, S., Epton, M., Storer, M., Thiessen, R., Lim, S., Wong, J., Chin, P., Tovaranonte, P., Pearson, J., Chambers, S. T., Murdoch, D. R., and VIDCAPS Group, including Jardine, D., & Pithie, A. (2018). Effect of adjunctive single high-dose vitamin D3 on outcome of community-acquired pneumonia in hospitalised adults: The VIDCAPS randomised controlled trial. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 13829. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32162-2

Osborne, A. J., Jose, B. R., Perry, J., Smeele, Z., Altken, J., Gardner, P. P., & Slow, S. (2017). Complete genome sequences of two geographically distinct Legionella micdadei clinical isolates. Genome Announcements, 5(22), e00436-17. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00436-17

Slow, S., Anderson, T., Miller, J., Singh, S., Murdoch, D., & Biggs, P. J. (2017). Complete genome sequence of a Legionella longbeachae Serogroup 1 strain isolated from a patient with Legionnaires' disease. Genome Announcements, 5(24), e00564-17. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00564-17

McClatchie, T., Meredith, M., Ouédraogo, M. O., Slow, S., Lever, M., Mann, M. R. W., … Baltz, J. M. (2017). Betaine is accumulated via transient choline dehydrogenase activation during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 292, 13784-13794. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.803080

Hefni, M., McEntyre, C., Lever, M., & Slow, S. (2016). Validation of HPLC-UV methods for the quantification of betaine in foods by comparison with LC-MS. Food Analytical Methods, 9(2), 292-299. doi: 10.1007/s12161-015-0195-6

Hefni, M., McEntyre, C., Lever, M., & Slow, S. (2015). A simple HPLC method with fluorescence detection for choline quantification in foods. Food Analytical Methods, 8(9), 2401-2408. doi: 10.1007/s12161-015-0131-9

McEntyre, C. J., Lever, M., Chambers, S. T., George, P. M., Slow, S., Elmslie, J. L., Florkowski, C. M., Lunt, H., & Krebs, J. D. (2015). Variation of betaine, N,N-dimethylglycine, choline, glycerophosphorylcholine, taurine, and trimethylamine-N-oxide in the plasma and urine of overweight people with type 2 diabetes over a two-year period. Annals of Clinical Biochemistry, 52(3), 352-360. doi: 10.1177/0004563214545346

Lever, M., McEntyre, C. J., George, P. M., Slow, S., Chambers, S. T., & Foucher, C. (2014). Fenofibrate causes elevation of betaine excretion but not excretion of other osmolytes by healthy adults. Journal of Clinical Lipidology, 8(4), 433-440. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2014.04.001

Corbett, H. E., Dubé, C. D., Slow, S., Lever, M., Trasler, J. M., & Baltz, J. M. (2014). Uptake of betaine into mouse cumulus-oocyte complexes via the SLC7A6 isoform of y+L transporter. Biology of Reproduction, 90(4). doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.113.116939

Lever, M., McEntyre, C. J., George, P. M., Slow, S., Elmslie, J. L., Lunt, H., Chambers, S. T., Parry-Strong, A., & Krebs, J. D. (2014). Extreme urinary betaine losses in type 2 diabetes combined with bezafibrate treatment are associated with losses of dimethylglycine and choline but not with increased losses of other osmolytes. Cardiovascular Drugs & Therapy, 28, 459-468. doi: 10.1007/s10557-014-6542-9

Slow, S., Florkowski, C. M., Chambers, S. T., Priest, P. C., Stewart, A. W., Jennings, L. C., … Murdoch, D. R. (2014). Effect of monthly vitamin D3 supplementation in healthy adults on adverse effects of earthquakes: Randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 349, g7260. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g7260

Lever, M., George, P. M., Slow, S., Bellamy, D., Young, J. M., Ho, M., … Elmslie, J. L., … Troughton, R. W., Frampton, C. M., Richards, A. M., & Chambers, S. T. (2014). Betaine and trimethylamine-N-oxide as predictors of cardiovascular outcomes show different patterns in diabetes mellitus: An observational study. PLoS ONE, 9(12), e114969. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114969

Scragg, R., Slow, S., Stewart, A. W., Jennings, L. C., Chambers, S. T., Priest, P. C., Florkowski, C. M., … Murdoch, D. R. (2014). Long-term high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation and blood pressure in healthy adults: A randomized controlled trial. Hypertension, 64, 725-730. doi: 10.1161/hypertensionaha.114.03466

Palmer, B. R., Slow, S., Ellis, K. L., Pilbrow, A. P., Skelton, L., Frampton, C. M., Palmer, S. C., Troughton, R. W., Yandle, T. G., … Whalley, G. A., … Lever, M., George, P. M., Chambers, S. T., … Richards, A. M., & Cameron, V. A. (2014). Genetic polymorphism rs6922269 in the MTHFD1L gene is associated with survival and baseline active vitamin B12 levels in post-acute coronary syndromes patients. PLoS ONE, 9(3), e89029. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089029

Slow, S., Priest, P. C., Chambers, S. T., Stewart, A. W., Jennings, L. C., Florkowski, C. M., … Murdoch, D. R. (2014). Effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in healthy adults. Clinical Microbiology & Infection, 20(5), 453-458. doi: 10.1111/1469-0691.12350

Murdoch, D. R., Slow, S., Chambers, S. T., Jennings, L. C., Stewart, A. W., Priest, P. C., Florkowski, C. M., … Scragg, R. (2012). Effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on upper respiratory tract infections in healthy adults: The vidaris randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 308(13), 1333-1339. doi: 10.1001/jama.2012.12505

Lever, M., George, P. M., Atkinson, W., Elmslie, J. L., Slow, S., Molyneux, S. L., Troughton, R. W., Richards, A. M., Frampton, C. M., & Chambers, S. T. (2012). The contrasting relationships between betaine and homocysteine in two clinical cohorts are associated with plasma lipids and drug treatments. PLoS ONE, 7(3), e32460. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032460

Lever, M., George, P. M., Elmslie, J. L., Atkinson, W., Slow, S., Molyneux, S. L., Troughton, R. W., Richards, A. M., Frampton, C. M., & Chambers, S. T. (2012). Betaine and secondary events in an acute coronary syndrome cohort. PLoS ONE, 7(5), e37883. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037883

Lever, M., Slow, S., George, P. M., & Chambers, S. T. (2012). Betaine excretion correlates with plasma homocysteine when plasma lipids are elevated. Clinical Biochemistry, 45(1-2), 154-156. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2011.10.021

Lee, M. B., Kooistra, M., Zhang, B., Slow, S., Fortier, A. L., Garrow, T. A., Lever, M., … Baltz, J. M. (2012). Betaine homocysteine methyltransferase is active in the mouse blastocyst and promotes inner cell mass development. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 287, 33094-33103. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.365478

Lever, M., Slow, S., McGregor, D. O., Dellow, W. J., George, P. M., & Chambers, S. T. (2012). Variability of plasma and urine betaine in diabetes mellitus and its relationship to methionine load test responses. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 11, 34. doi: 10.1186/1475-2840-11-34

Lever, M., George, P. M., Atkinson, W., Molyneux, S. L., Elmslie, J. L., Slow, S., Richards, A. M., & Chambers, S. T. (2011). Plasma lipids and betaine are related in an acute coronary syndrome cohort. PLoS ONE, 6(7), e21666. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021666

Lever, M., George, P. M., Slow, S., Elmslie, J. L., Shand, B. I., Scott, R. S., & Chambers, S. T. (2010). Fibrates plus betaine: A winning combination? [Viewpoint]. New Zealand Medical Journal, 123(1324). Retrieved from http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/123-1324/4389/content.pdf

Lever, M., & Slow, S. (2010). The clinical significance of betaine, an osmolyte with a key role in methyl group metabolism. Clinical Biochemistry, 43, 732-744. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2010.03.009

Slow, S., Lever, M., Chambers, S. T., & George, P. M. (2009). Plasma dependent and independent accumulation of betaine in male and female rat tissues. Physiological Research, 58(3), 403-410.

Lever, M., Atkinson, W., Slow, S., Chambers, S. T., & George, P. M. (2009). Plasma and urine betaine and dimethylglycine variation in healthy young male subjects. Clinical Biochemistry, 42(7-8), 706-712. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2009.02.001

Lever, M., George, P. M., Slow, S., Elmslie, J. L., Scott, R. S., Richards, A. M., Fink, J. N., & Chambers, S. T. (2009). Fibrates may cause an abnormal urinary betaine loss which is associated with elevations in plasma homocysteine. Cardiovascular Drugs & Therapy, 23(5), 395-401. doi: 10.1007/s10557-009-6188-1

Atkinson, W., Slow, S., Elmslie, J., Lever, M., Chambers, S. T., & George, P. M. (2009). Dietary and supplementary betaine: Effects on betaine and homocysteine concentrations in males. Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, 19(11), 767-776. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2009.01.004

McEntyre, C. J., Slow, S., & Lever, M. (2009). Measurement of plasma free choline by high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection following derivatization with 1-naphthyl isocyanate. Analytica Chimica Acta, 644, 90-94. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2009.04.014

Anas, M.-K. I., Lee, M. B., Zhou, C., Hammer, M.-A., Slow, S., Karmouch, J., … Baltz, J. M. (2008). SIT1 is a betaine/proline transporter that is activated in mouse eggs after fertilization and functions until the 2-cell stage. Development, 135(24), 4123-4130. doi: 10.1242/dev.026575

Slow, S., Vasudevamurthy, M., Fraser, R., McEntyre, C., Lever, M., Chambers, S., & George, P. (2007). Dimethylthetin treatment causes diffuse alveolar lung damage: A pilot study in a sheep model of Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD). Experimental & Toxicologic Pathology, 58, 285-290.

Slow, S., & Garrow, T. A. (2006). Liver choline dehydrogenase and kidney betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase expression are not affected by methionine or choline intake in growing rats. Journal of Nutrition, 136(9), 2279-2283.

Slow, S., Donaggio, M., Cressey, P. J., Lever, M., George, P. M., & Chambers, S. T. (2005). The betaine content of New Zealand foods and estimated intake in the New Zealand diet. Journal of Food Composition & Analysis, 18, 473-485.

Slow, S., McGregor, D. O., Lever, M., Lee, M. B., George, P. M., & Chambers, S. T. (2004). Dimethylglycine supplementation does not affect plasma homocysteine concentrations in pre-dialysis chronic renal failure patients. Clinical Biochemistry, 37, 974-976. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2004.07.005

Slow, S., Miller, W. E., McGregor, D. O., Lee, M. B., Lever, M., George, P. M., & Chambers, S. T. (2004). Trigonelline is not responsible for the acute increase in plasma homocysteine following ingestion of instant coffee. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 58, 1253-1256.

Hickford, J. G. H., Zhou, H., Slow, S., & Fang, Q. (2004). Diversity of the ovine DQA2 gene. Journal of Animal Science, 82(6), 1553-1563.

Slow, S., Lever, M., Lee, M. B., George, P. M., & Chambers, S. T. (2004). Betaine analogues alter homocysteine metabolism in rats. International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 36, 870-880.

de Zwart, F., Slow, S., Payne, R. J., Lever, M., George, P. M., Gerrard, J. A., & Chambers, S. (2003). Glycine betaine and glycine betaine analogues in common foods. Food Chemistry, 83, 197-204.

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Journal - Research Other

Maze, M. J., Slow, S., Cumins, A.-M., Boon, K., Goulter, P., Podmore, R. G., … Pithie, A. D., Epton, M. J., Werno, A. M., Chambers, S. T., & Murdoch, D. R. (2014). Enhanced detection of Legionnaires' disease by PCR testing of induced sputum and throat swabs. European Respiratory Journal, 43(2), 644-646. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00191913

Slow, S., Lever, M., & Elmslie, J. (2011). Betaine supplementation and the metabolic syndrome [Letter]. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 65(6), 771. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2011.32

Slow, S., Elmslie, J., & Lever, M. (2008). Dietary betaine and inflammation [Letter]. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 88(1), 247-248.

Barrell, G. K., McFarlane, R. G., Slow, S., Vasudevamurthy, M. K., & McGregor, D. O. (2006). CAPD in sheep following bilateral nephrectomy [Short report]. Peritoneal Dialysis International, 26(5), 598.

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