Back to Main

Faculty Detail    
Campus Address SHEL 407 Zip 2182
Phone  (205) 934-4960
Other websites

Undergraduate  Birmingham-Southern College    1977  B.S. 
Medical School  University of Alabama School of Medicine    1981  MD 
Fellowship  University of Alabama School of Medicine    1983  fellow in microbiology 
Residency  University of Alabama School of Medicine    1986  resident in pathology 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Pathology   Laboratory Medicine Professor

Biographical Sketch 
Ken B. Waites, M.D. (b. 1955) Dr. Waites is a medical microbiologist with joint appointments as Professor in the Departments of Pathology, Microbiology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Diagnostic and Critical Care. He received his B.S. degree in Biology summa cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College in 1977, and his M.D. from UAB in 1981. He completed an internship in Pediatrics at UAB in 1982, a fellowship in medial microbiology at UAB in 1982 and a residency in pathology at UAB in 1986. Dr. Waites joined the UAB faculty as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology in 1986. He served as Section Head of the Microbiology Laboratory of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital and Medical Director of the Diagnostic Mycoplasma Laboratory from 1991 through 2010 and currently serves as Staff Pathologist and Consultant Microbiologist for the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, overseeing all microbiology procedures for that facility. Dr. Waites is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the Infectious Disease Society of America, a member of the American Society for Microbiology, the International Organization for Mycoplasmology, the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists, and the Southeastern Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. He is a Senior Scientist in the UAB Injury Control Research Center, the HIV and Mucosal Immunobiology Center and Scholar in the John Sparkman Center for International Public Health Education at UAB. He has served as President of the Southeastern Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, Secretary-General of the International Organization for Mycoplasmology and Chair of the International Program on Comparative Mycoplasmology. Dr. Waites has received numerous honors and awards including the E.O. King Award in Medical Microbiology from the Southeastern Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, the Peter Hannan award in Applied and Clinical Mycoplasmology, the Emmy KLieneberger-Nobel Award for research achievements in mycoplasmology and various teaching awards within the university. He is author of over 200 journal articles and book chapters in the field of medical microbiology.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Academy of Microbiology     
American Society for Microbiology     
American Society for Microbiology, Southeastern Branch     
International Organization for Mycoplasmology  Chair   

Research/Clinical Interest
Diagnostic microbiology, epidemiology and mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance, mycoplasma and ureaplasma diseases
Research encompasses work that includes basic and applied aspects of medical microbiology. Areas of interest include epidemiology, laboratory detection, pathogenesis and treatment of mycoplasmal and ureaplasmal infections.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Xiao, L., Paralanov, V., Glass, J.I., Duffy, L.B., Robertson, J.A., Cassell, G.H, Chen, Y.Y., Waites, K.B. Extensive horizontal gene transfer in human ureaplasmas questions the utility of serotyping for diagnostic purposes. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 49:2818-2826, 2011.   
Xiao, L., Atkinson, T.P., Hagood, J.A., Makris, C., Duffy. L.B., Waites, K.B. Emerging macrolide resistance in Mycoplasma pneumoniae in children: detection and characterization of resistant isolates with real-time PCR. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 28:693-698, 2009.   
Waites, K.B., Duffy, L.B., Bébéar, C.M., Matlow, A., Talkington, D.F., Kenny, G.E., Totten, P.A., Bade, D.J., Zheng,X., Davidson, M.K., Shortridge, V.D., Watts, J,L., Brown, S.D. Standardized methods and quality control limits for agar and broth microdilution susceptibility testing of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Mycoplasma hominis, and Ureaplasma urealyticum. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 50:3542-3547, 2012.   
Atkinson, T.P., Waites,K.B. Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections in childhood. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 33:92-94, 2014.   
Waites, K.B. Antimicrobial susceptibilities and treatment options for Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections in children –does macrolide resistance matter? Current Pediatric Reviews 9:279-288, 2013.   
Viscardi, R.M., Othman, A.A., Hassan, H., Eddington, N., Abebe, E., Terrin, M.L., Kaufman, D.A., Waites, K.B. Azithromycin to prevent BPD in Ureaplasma-infected preterm infants: pharmacokinetics, safety, microbial response and clinical outcomes of 20 mg/kg single IV dose. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 57:2127-2133, 2013.   
Hennigan, S.L., Drisjell, J.D., Dluhy, R.A., Zhao, Y., Tripp, R.A., Waites, K.B., Krause, D.C. Detection of Mycoplasma pneumoniae in simulated and true clinical throat swab specimens by nanorod array-surface-enhanced raman spectroscopy. PLoSOne 5(10): e13633, 2010.   
Xiao, L., Glass, J.I., Paralanov, V., Yooseph, S., Gassell, G.H., Duffy, L.B., Waites, K.B. Detection and characterization of human Ureaplasma species and serovars by real-time PCR. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 48:2715-2723, 2010.   
Xiao, L., Atkinson, T.P., Hagood, J.A., Makris, C., Duffy. L.B., Waites, K.B. Emerging macrolide resistance in Mycoplasma pneumoniae in Children: Detection and Characterization of Resistant Isolates with Real-time PCR. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 28:693-698, 2009.   
Xiao, L., Crabb, D.M., Duffy, L. B., Glass, J.I., Waites, K.B. Chromosomal mutations responsible for fluoroquinolone resistance in Ureaplasma species in the United States. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 56:2780-2783, 2012.   
Xiao, L., Crabb, D.M., Duffy, L.B., Paralanov, V., Glass, J.I., Waites, K.B. Mutations in ribosomal proteins and 23S rRNA confer resistance to macrolides in Ureaplasma species. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 37:377-379, 2011.   
Moser, S.A., Box, M.J., Patel, M., Amaya, M., Schelonka, R., Waites, K.B. Multiple Locus Variable Tandem Repeats Analysis of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus discriminates within USA PFGE types. Journal of Hospital Infection 71:333-339, 2009.   
Waites, K.B. What’s new in the diagnosis and treatment approaches for Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections in children? Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 719:47-57, 2011.   
Zheng, X., Lee, S., Selvarangen, R., Qin, X., Tang, Y-W., Stiles, J., Hong, T., Todd, K., Ratliff, A., Crabb, D.M., Xiao, L., Atkinson, T.P., Waites,K.B. Multicenter study of macrolide-resistant Mycoplasma pneumoniae in the United States. Emerging Infectious Diseases 21:1470-1472, 2015.   

mycoplasma, ureaplasma