This proposal provides a sustainable means of attracting veterinary surgeons into research and training them, within a highly skilled multidisciplinary environment, to tackle some of the most important issues in infectious disease and veterinary public health. <P>
We have designed a programme that builds on strong regional and national collaborations involving research scientists from medical and veterinary fields, and biological and mathematical disciplines. The assembled expertise spans micro- and molecular-biology, population genetics, host ecology, behaviour, statistics and mathematical modelling.
The partners in this programme will provide training in these areas at undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral level.<P>
Four research programmes focus on zoonotic pathogen transmission and evolution. A mechanistic understanding of these processes from within animals to between animals, farms and countries will help to devise effective control and prevention strategies (including surveillance activities) and anticipate future trends. Specifically, we aim to take major steps towards unravelling the complex epidemiology of human Campylobacter infections by accessing recent advances in sequence-typing, statistical-genetics and space-time epidemiology. <P>
Using similar approaches, we consider the role of wildlife as reservoirs of zoonotic pathogens and explore the interaction between bacteriophage, bacteria and host. Further, we will unite theory and observation, using recent developments in modelling and network-theory, to describe the complex interactions that drive the dissemination of pathogens through populations.<P>
Anticipated outputs include:
<UL> <LI> A new cadre of veterinary scientists trained in modern approaches to the control of infectious disease
<LI> Novel approaches to the surveillance and control of endemic and emerging zoonotic infectious disease
Within project VT0103 a study looking at the origins, transmission pathways and emergence of human Campylobacter infections is being undertaken. This study will address fundamental questions concerning transmission and population-genetics of Campylobacter spp. and aims to ascertain, within a risk-based framework, the contribution of different exposure-pathways. In addition, the research group are exploring the role of wildlife in epidemiology of Campylobacter and VTEC, and between animal and between farm transmission contact networks.