David Speicher, Doctor.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


david J. Speicher, PhD

Molecular Virology & Clinical Epidemiology

I’m a molecular virologist and clinical epidemiologist with a passion for detection and surveillance of infectious diseases.

I’m a Canadian who completed a PhD (2012) on the detection and characterization of HHV-8 under Prof. Newell W. Johnson CMG.

This work led to the first HHV-8 quantitative PCR assay in Australia. This was used to successfully treat several patients by monitor HHV-8 viral load and treatment efficacy.

I relocated to Canada in 2014. At St. Joseph’s Healthcare and McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, I held a position as a postdoctoral fellow working on a range of projects. They included C. difficile diversity and associated phages, salivary biomarkers for viral infections and immunity, and detection of sexually transmitted infections and antimicrobial resistance, including Mycoplasma genitalium.

I have a passion for translational research and collaborations surrounding the accurate diagnostics and surveillance of a range of infectious diseases.

Professional Credentials

Honors, Awards

Honors & Awards

  • Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM)
  • Griffith Award for Academic Excellence
  • Griffith Award for Academic Excellence



  • English
  • French
  • Khmer



  • Australian Virology Society
  • Australian Society for Microbiology
  • Toastmasters International

education background

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Field Of Study: Virology

Dates attended  – 

PhD Thesis Awarded in 2012:
Speicher, D. J. 2012. Detection and Genotyping of HHV-8 in Australia and Kenya: Disease association with special reference to Kaposi’s sarcoma and Castleman’s disease. 

Griffith University

Degree: Master of Science (M.Sc.) with Honours

Field Of Study: Clinical Microbiology

Dates attended  – 


Redeemer University College

Degree: Bachelor of Science (BSc) with Honours

Field Of Study: Biology (Major); Chemistry (Minor)

Dates attended:  – 

3 Courses

  • Advanced Security in the Field (ASITF), United Nations Department of Safety and Security
  • Basic Security in the Field II (BSITF II), United Nations Department of Safety and Security
  • McGill Summer Institute in Infectious Diseases and Global Health McGill University, June 2016

Professional Experience

23 Publications

  • Saliva as a non-invasive sample for the detection of SARS-CoV-2: a systematic review
  • Non-invasive Detection of IgG Antibodies From Common Pathogenic Viruses Using Oral Flocked Swabs
  • Rapid Design of a Bait Capture Platform for Culture- and Amplification-Free Next-Generation Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2
  • Performance of AmpFire HPV assay on neck cervical lymph node aspirate and oropharyngeal samples
  • CARD 2020: Antibiotic resistome surveillance with the comprehensive antibiotic resistance database
  • Pathogen Taxonomy Updates at the Comprehensive Antibiotic Resistance Database: Implications for Molecular Epidemiology
  • Children’s untreated decay is positively associated with past caries experience and with current salivary loads of mutans Streptococci; negatively with self-reported maternal iron supplements during pregnancy: a multifactorial analysis
  • Inflammatory Bacteriome and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • A dysbiotic mycobiome dominated by Candida albicans is identified within oral squamous-cell carcinomas
  • Emerging role of bacteria in oral carcinogenesis: A review with special reference to perio-pathogenic bacteria
  • Possible interaction between tobacco use and EBV in oral squamous cell carcinoma
  • Viral infections associated with oral cancers and diseases in the context of HIV: A workshop report Protocol for assessing maternal, environmental and epigenetic risk factors for dental caries in children.
  • Diagnostic challenges of oral and cutaneous Kaposi’s sarcoma in resource-constrained settings.
  • Detecting DNA viruses in oral fluids: evaluation of collection and storage methods.
  • Successful Treatment of Iatrogenic Multicentric Castleman’s Disease Arising Due to Recrudescence of HHV-8 in a Liver Transplant Patient.
  • Comparison of salivary collection and processing methods for quantitative HHV-8 detection.
  • Successful treatment of an HIV-positive patient with unmasking Kaposi’s sarcoma Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome.
  • Co-circulation of four human coronaviruses (HCoVs) in Queensland children with acute respiratory tract illnesses in 2004.
  • Detection of Human Herpesvirus 8 by quantitative polymerase chain reaction: development and standardisation of methods…