Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Ecosystems Health, Safe and Sustainable Food

Research Centres: Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health

Javier is a Professor of Veterinary Public Health and a member of the Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health Group

Javier qualified in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Santiago, Spain, in 1993. He then studied for a PhD in epidemiology at the same University, conducted research in the USA and Canada as a visiting scientist, and spent a short period doing international cooperation work in Northeast Brazil. After three years working for a diagnostic laboratory and for dairy producers in Galicia, Spain while lecturing part time at the University of Porto in Portugal, he joined The Royal Veterinary College as a Lecturer in Population Medicine in 2002. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2006 and in 2010 he was appointed as Professor of Veterinary Public Health. Javier is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Public Health. He is a member of the scientific committee of the Basque Foundation for Food Safety and of the epidemiology working group of the Caribbean Animal Health Network

Javier conducts applied epidemiological research on diseases of livestock and poultry that can be transmitted to humans or compromise the sustainable production of safe food. His work integrates field-based observational studies and quantitative methods such as statistical modelling, system dynamics modelling, disease transmission modelling, spatial epidemiology and probabilistic risk assessment. Increasingly, he is trying to incorporate qualitative research methods to allow a more integrated approach to veterinary public health problems. Javier is currently involved in research projects in UK, India, Middle East and West Africa. The main themes of his current research are:

  • Management of food safety in dairy and meat chains
  • Control of zoonoses (brucellosis, MERS-CoV)

Recent and ongoing research projects include studies on MERS-CoV in Jordan, epidemiology and control of brucellosis in India and West Africa, antibiotic resistance in poultry chains in India, surveillance for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, Trichinellosis and Cysticercus bovis in the UK and the assessment of the risk of food-borne toxoplasmosis and hepatitis E.

Past projects include, among others, studies on the epidemiology and control of avian influenza in endemic settings, management of zoonotic risks in UK open farms, evaluation of the impact of FMD for smallholders in the Andean region and monitoring the health impacts of genetically modified animal feeds in livestock.

This research work involves a team or around 10 mostly London-based research assistants and PhD students and close collaboration with staff from the RVC’s farm animal and infection and immunity groups and with UK-based external collaborators from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (Mark Arnold, Trevor Drew, Adrian Whatmore, John McGiven), Pirbright Institute (Simon Gubbins, David Schley), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Punam Mangtani), Imperial College (Azra Ghani) and University of Nottingham (Martin Green). International work is carried out through a network of international collaborators. Research activities are currently funded by Defra, BBSRC, FSA, DFID, EU, UN Agencies, charities and industry partners.

For a full list of publications click here.

The applicability of animal health surveillance systems for post-market monitoring of potential adverse effects of genetically modified (GM) feed. Vince L, Kleter GA, Kostov K, Pfeiffer DU, Guitian J. Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association. 2018; 117:79-88.

Microbial diversity and community composition of caecal microbiota in commercial and indigenous Indian chickens determined using 16s rDNA amplicon sequencing. Pandit RJ, Hinsu AT, Patel NV, Koringa PG, Jakhesara SJ, Thakkar JR, Shah TM, Limon G, Psifidi A, Guitian J, Hume DA, Tomley FM, Rank DN, Raman M, Tirumurugaan KG, Blake DP, Joshi CG. Microbiome. 2018; 6(1):115.

Risk-based inspection as a cost-effective strategy to reduce human exposure to cysticerci of Taenia saginata in low-prevalence settings. Chengat Prakashbabu B, Marshall LR, Crotta M, Gilbert W, Johnson JC, Alban L, Guitian J. Parasites & vectors. 2018; 11(1):257.

Integrated cost-benefit analysis of tsetse control and herd productivity to inform control programs for animal African trypanosomiasis. Meyer A, Holt HR, Oumarou F, Chilongo K, Gilbert W, Fauron A, Mumba C, Guitian J. Parasites & vectors. 2018; 11(1):154.

Knowledge gaps in host-parasite interaction preclude accurate assessment of meat-borne exposure to Toxoplasma gondii.Crotta M, Limon G, Blake DP, Guitian J. International journal of food microbiology. 2017; 261:95-101.

Evidence for more cost-effective surveillance options for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and scrapie in Great Britain. Wall BA, Arnold ME, Radia D, Gilbert W, Ortiz-Pelaez A, Stärk KD, Van Klink E, Guitian J. Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles. European communicable disease bulletin. 2017; 22(32).

Cross-Sectional Study of Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Pig Farms in England. Limon G, Beauvais W, Dadios N, Villena I, Cockle C, Blaga R, Guitian J. Foodborne pathogens and disease. 2017; 14(5):269-281.

Quantitative risk assessment of Campylobacter in broiler chickens–Assessing interventions to reduce the level of contamination at the end of the rearing period. Crotta M, Georgiev M, Guitian J. Food control. 2017 May; 75:29.

Towards an integrated food safety surveillance system: a simulation study to explore the potential of combining genomic and epidemiological metadata. Hill AA, Crotta M, Wall B, Good L, O'Brien SJ, Guitian J. Royal Society open science. 2017; 4(3):160721.

High Prevalence of Middle East Respiratory Coronavirus in Young Dromedary Camels in Jordan. van Doremalen N, Hijazeen ZS, Holloway P, Al Omari B, McDowell C, Adney D, Talafha HA, Guitian J, Steel J, Amarin N, Tibbo M, Abu-Basha E, Al-Majali AM, Munster VJ, Richt JA. Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.). 2017; 17(2):155-159.

Effect of enhanced biosecurity and selected on-farm factors on Campylobacter colonization of chicken broilers. Georgiev M, Beauvais W, Guitian J. Epidemiology and infection. 2017; 145(3):553-567.

Risk factors for Taenia saginata cysticercus infection in cattle in the United Kingdom: A farm-level case-control study and assessment of the role of movement history, age and sex. Marshall LR, Prakashbabu BC, Ferreira JP, Buzdugan SN, Stärk KDC, Guitian J. Preventive veterinary medicine. 2016; 135:1-8.

Toxoplasma gondii detection in cattle: A slaughterhouse survey. Hosein S, Limon G, Dadios N, Guitian J, Blake DP. Veterinary parasitology. 2016; 228:126-129.

Live bird markets characterization and trading network analysis in Mali: Implications for the surveillance and control of avian influenza and Newcastle disease. Molia S, Boly IA, Duboz R, Coulibaly B, Guitian J, et al. Acta tropica. 2016; 155:77-88.

Systematic review of brucellosis in the Middle East: disease frequency in ruminants and humans and risk factors for human infection. Musallam II, Abo-Shehada MN, Hegazy YM, Holt HR, Guitian FJ. Epidemiology and infection. 2016; 144(4):671-85.

Multiple-Strain Approach and Probabilistic Modeling of Consumer Habits in Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment: A Quantitative Assessment of Exposure to Staphylococcal Enterotoxin A in Raw Milk. Crotta M, Rizzi R, Varisco G, Daminelli P, Cunico EC, et al. Journal of food protection. 2016; 79(3):432-41.

Consumers' behavior in quantitative microbial risk assessment for pathogens in raw milk: Incorporation of the likelihood of consumption as a function of storage time and temperature. Crotta M, Paterlini F, Rizzi R, Guitian J. Journal of dairy science. 2016; 99(2):1029-38.

Assessment of animal African trypanosomiasis (AAT) vulnerability in cattle-owning communities of sub-Saharan Africa. Holt HR, Selby R, Mumba C, Napier GB, Guitian J. Parasites & vectors. 2016; 9(1):53.

Vaccination control programs for multiple livestock host species: an age-stratified, seasonal transmission model for brucellosis control in endemic settings. Beauvais W, Musallam I, Guitian J. Parasites & vectors. 2016; 9(1):55.

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Associated with Brucellosis in Livestock Owners in Jordan. Musallam II, Abo-Shehada MN, Guitian J. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. 2015; 93(6):1148-55.

Policies and Livestock Systems Driving Brucellosis Re-emergence in Kazakhstan. Beauvais W, Coker R, Nurtazina G, Guitian J. EcoHealth. 2015;

Cross-sectional study of brucellosis in Jordan: Prevalence, risk factors and spatial distribution in small ruminants and cattle. Musallam II, Abo-Shehada M, Omar M, Guitian J. Preventive veterinary medicine. 2015; 118(4):387-96.

Emergence of highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (HP-PRRS) in medium-scale swine farms in southeastern Cambodia. Tornimbene B, Frossard JP, Chhim V, Sorn S, Guitian J, et al. Preventive veterinary medicine. 2015; 118(1):93-103.

Knowledge, attitudes and practices of Cambodian swine producers in relation to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS). Tornimbene B, Chhim V, Sorn S, Drew TW, Guitian J. Preventive veterinary medicine. 2014; 116(3):252-67.

Sarcocystis spp. in llamas (Lama glama) in Southern Bolivia: a cross sectional study of the prevalence, risk factors and loss in income caused by carcass downgrades. Rooney AL, Limon G, Vides H, Cortez A, Guitian J. Preventive veterinary medicine. 2014; 116(3):296-304.

Interventions for avian influenza A (H5N1) risk management in live bird market networks. Fournié G, Guitian J, Desvaux S, Cuong VC, Dung do H, et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2013; 110(22):9177-82.

Identifying live bird markets with the potential to act as reservoirs of avian influenza A (H5N1) virus: a survey in northern Viet Nam and Cambodia. Fournié G, Guitian J, Desvaux S, Mangtani P, Ly S, et al. PloS one. 2012; 7(6):e37986.

Impact of the implementation of rest days in live bird markets on the dynamics of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza. Fournié G, Guitian FJ, Mangtani P, Ghani AC. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society. 2011; 8(61):1079-89.

Herd contact structure based on shared use of water points and grazing points in the Highlands of Ethiopia. Waret-Szkuta A, Ortiz-Pelaez A, Pfeiffer DU, Roger F, Guitian FJ. Epidemiology and infection. 2011; 139(6):875-85.

Brucella spp. infection in large ruminants in an endemic area of Egypt: cross-sectional study investigating seroprevalence, risk factors and livestock owner's knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAPs). Holt HR, Eltholth MM, Hegazy YM, El-Tras WF, Tayel AA, et al. BMC public health. 2011; 11:341.

Ruminant brucellosis in the Kafr El Sheikh Governorate of the Nile Delta, Egypt: prevalence of a neglected zoonosis. Hegazy YM, Moawad A, Osman S, Ridler A, Guitian J. PLoS neglected tropical diseases. 2011; 5(1):e944.


Recent conference papers:

Brucellosis in periurban dairy farms in West and Central Africa: livestock keepers’ knowledge and practices. Seventh biennial conference of  The International Association for Ecology and Health (Ecohealth). Cali, Colombia 15-18 August, 2018.

Barriers towards sustainable brucellosis control in endemic settings. Keynote presentation. Brucellosis 2016 International Research Conference. New Delhi, India November 17-19, 2016.

Javier is involved with undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health. He is co-director for the MSc Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health by distance learning . Javier regularly contributes to international training courses and in the last 5 years he has designed and taught courses in Eastern Europe, South East Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. Internationally, Javier co-leads the OIE Veterinary Education Twinning Programme between the RVC and the Jordan University for Science and Technology, one of the first education twinning programs endorsed by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Javier is also involved in the design and delivery of the China Field Epidemiology Training Program for Veterinarians, which is currently training its 5th cohort of veterinary epidemiologists. 

Javier is actively involved in promoting veterinary science and its potential contribution to public health with the general public, in particular with school students, through different outreach activities.



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