The Inverness-based Epidemiology Research Unit is focused on improving and maintaining animal population health and welfare by integrating a range of science, including epidemiology, to develop our understanding of animal disease control.
We also engage in research into animal diseases that can affect humans (zoonoses). We are currently engaged in a range of studies to help provide an evidence base to all stakeholders involved with the livestock industry.
Current areas of research include:
Reducing the impact of animal disease outbreaks
Comparing existing biosecurity measures for endemic diseases against biosecurity needs for exotic threats
Evaluating animal disease surveillance systems
EPIC (Epidemiology, Population Health and Infectious Disease Control)
Knowledge exchange for control of Johne’s disease with Scottish farmers
Measuring and monitoring disease to enhance livestock health
Administrative and analytical support for Scottish and GB pig health schemes
Provide research base and consultancy to support UK cattle health schemes
In addition we input to a range of important zoonotic disease projects
The team is recognised for expertise in animal disease surveillance and large-scale field studies investigating the epidemiology of infectious diseases. In particular, focus has been on pestiviruses (BVDV), mycobacteria (paratuberculoses), sheep viral diseases and with high profile funding for epidemiological investigations of zoonotic pathogens (VTECs 0157 and 026). Research supported by the Scottish Government, DEFRA, EU, Wellcome, BBSRC, British Pig Executive, Quality Meat Scotland, FSA among others.
Another area of recognition is the coupling of social sciences, including animal health economics, to population medicine to explore the drivers and barriers to uptake of emerging new disease control measures.
Aside from research the team is involved in consultancy at regional, national and international level and regularly host meetings, workshops and conferences.