Bacterial diseases have a major impact on the health, welfare and sustainability of farm livestock and the human populations that are dependent on these animals. These diseases can be long standing problems that have never been properly controlled or (re)emerging diseases.
Effective control of these diseases depends on understanding these pathogens, how they are transmitted, how they cause disease, how the host responds to infection and how immunity can be promoted.
Bacteriology research at Moredun addresses important respiratory, reproductive, environmental and waterborne, gut, skin and mammary gland pathogens as well as pathogens of comparative value for human diseases.
Our studies incorporate identification, characterisation and validation of bacterial and host factors involved in pathogen-host interactions in order to develop novel or improved approaches for pathogen detection, differentiation and disease control.
Moredun uses a variety of themes (listed below) which share resources, techniques, reagents and equipment to take common approaches to understanding and controlling bacterial diseases and each theme is applied to each pathogen under investigation.
- Pathogen Biology focuses on characterising bacteria to identify factors (genes, proteins or other factors) that differentiate pathogens, determine adaptation to the pathogen’s environment (fitness) and promote infection or damage (virulence factors).
- Host Susceptibility & Immune Response incorporates characterisation of bacterial factors that are recognised by host immune responses (immunogens) and addresses the basis of processes and host factors underlying damage, immune responses and defences against infection.
- Outputs from these areas are integrated and exploited in the Detection and Intervention theme in order to apply them towards disease control through detection and differentiation (typing) of bacteria, diagnosis of infection through molecular or immunological procedures or by promoting immunity or resistance to infection, for example, though vaccines.
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