Dr Kate Mounsey | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Kate Mounsey

PhD C.Darwin, MPH(Tropical Health) Qld., BSc(Hons) C.Darwin

  • Senior Lecturer, Biomedical Science
  • Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Biomedical Science
  • School of Health
+61 7 5456 5245
Office location
Sunshine Coast

Dr Kate Mounsey completed her PhD in 2007 at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. Her PhD and early post-doctoral research focused on elucidating the molecular basis of emerging drug resistance in scabies. Moving to the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in 2008, she received an NHMRC Training Fellowship in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research. During this time she was a lead contributor to the establishment of a world-first porcine model of scabies, facilitating the development of new research directions for scabies.

Dr Mounsey commenced at the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2012, and has been awarded a highly competitive ARC DECRA fellowship, with research to focus on immunopathology and host parasite interactions in scabies. Dr Mounsey has a strong commitment to community engagement, research dissemination and translation, particularly in the area of Indigenous Health. She has consolidated her interest in multidiscplinary approaches to research by completing a Masters in Public Health, and is involved in community based research to improve skin health in Indigenous and other disadvantaged populations.

Research Grants

Project name Investigators Funding body Year Focus
A porcine model to provide new insights on scabies immunopathology. K Mounsey ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award 2012–2014 A limitation to scabies research has been the inability to undertake longitudinal infection studies in humans. This project utilises a porcine model to characterise the development of immune responses in scabies.
Inside the skin: understanding different host responses in scabies. K Mounsey, J McCarthy, S Walton, D Holt and B Currie NHMRC Project Grant 2012–2014 Crusted scabies is a poorly understood form of scabies compromising the success of community control strategies. This research compares the immune response in the skin of patients with different clinical manifestations of scabies. This will reveal immune defects predisposing to severe disease.
Scabies prevalence and management in Sunshine Coast aged-care facilities. K Mounsey, S Walton, F Oprescu and C Pasay USC/Sunshine Coast Council Research Seed Grant 2013 Outbreaks of scabies are common in high-care nursing homes, and pose significant challenges in terms of diagnosis and management. We propose to assess the incidence of scabies in Sunshine Coast aged care facilities, and explore health care worker knowledge and experience. We will use this data to develop accessible control programs that focus on staff education about the transmission, diagnosis and treatment of scabies, which may help prevent future outbreaks.
Molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in the ectoparasitic mite Sarcoptes scabiei. K Mounsey NHMRC Training Fellowship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research 2008–2012 The emergence of ivermectin resistance threatens future control of scabies. This research explores the basis of ivermectin resistance in scabies mites, developing markers to identify the emergence of resistance in the community, leading to improved tools for resistance management and sustainable treatment strategies.
Molecular diagnosis of ivermectin resistance mechanisms in scabies mites from northern Australia. K Mounsey Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health PhD Scholarship 2003–2007  

Research areas

  • molecular medical and veterinary parasitology
  • diagnosis, control and drug resistance in infectious tropical diseases
  • immunology

Teaching areas

  • Immunology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Physiology

Program coordinator


Recent publication highlights include:

  • Prospects for Moxidectin as a New Oral Treatment for Human Scabies.
    Mounsey KE, Bernigaud C, Chosidow O, McCarthy JS.
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Mar 17;10(3):e0004389. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004389.
  • Prospective study in a porcine model of sarcoptes scabiei indicates the association of Th2 and Th17 pathways with the clinical severity of scabies.
    Mounsey KE, Murray HC, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Pasay C, Holt DC, Currie BJ, Walton SF, McCarthy JS.
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 Mar 2;9(3):e0003498. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003498
  • Treatment and control of scabies.
    Mounsey KE, McCarthy JS.
    Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2013 Apr;26(2):133-9. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e32835e1d57

Kate's area of expertise includes Immunology, Pathophysiology, Molecular medical and veterinary parasitology, Diagnosis, control and drug resistance in infectious tropical diseases

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