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Animal Susceptibility to Infection and Disease: Do Husbandry and Welfare Drive Microbial Colonisation and Immune Development


This project will aim to achieve this by targeted training and research in microbiology, immunology, behaviour, welfare and epidemiology. We will examine host susceptibility to relevant infectious diseases, which clearly involve interactions between the pathogen, host and the environment including husbandry systems.<P>

We will focus on pig and poultry systems and organisms of public health as well as veterinary importance. Thus, we will achieve these key outputs:
<UL> <LI> Improved training of veterinarians in disciplines relevant to infection in its broadest sense.
<LI> Production of a cohort of veterinarians well trained in research methodology and with expertise in analysing and manipulating the interaction between animal welfare, behaviour, immunity and susceptibility to disease, an issue not addressed elsewhere in the U.K.
<LI> A body of knowledge on how the environment, including husbandry, influences susceptibility to infectious disease
<LI> The identification of rational, cost- effective control measures, not reliant on antibiotics, that will improve animal welfare, and will be equally applicable to intensive and extensive systems.

More information

Project VT0104 aims to develop an understanding of the processes of colonisation in pigs and chickens and particularly to determine why there are differences between carriage rates in broiler flocks. As yet it has not been possible to identify the reasons behind the observed differences but evidence is accumulating that this might be related to bird health and welfare and the presence of naturally occurring inhibitory commensal flora. The research groups also aim to better understand the infection process, why there is a delay in colonisation and the interaction between Campylobacter, its host and commensal gut flora. <P>

University of Bristol
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