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:

  • Livestock and poultry health and management of food safety in dairy and meat chains
  • Control of neglected zoonoses (brucellosis)
  • Impact of livestock diseases on livelihoods of smallholders and sustainable control strategies

Specific ongoing research projects include studies on the impact of Animal African Trypanosomiasis for smallholders, epidemiology and control of brucellosis in Jordan, Indian Punjab and West Africa, surveillance for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, Trichinellosis and Cysticercus bovis in the UK and the assessment of the risk of food-borne toxoplasmosis.

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.

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.

Using mixed methods to investigate factors influencing reporting of livestock diseases: a case study among smallholders in Bolivia. Limon G, Lewis EG, Chang YM, Ruiz H, Balanza ME, et al. Preventive veterinary medicine. 2014; 113(2):185-96.

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. 

Poultry movement networks in Cambodia: implications for surveillance and control of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI/H5N1). Van Kerkhove MD, Vong S, Guitian J, Holl D, Mangtani P, et al. Vaccine. 2009; 27(45):6345-52.

Assessment and simulation of the implementation of brucellosis control programme in an endemic area of the Middle East. Hegazy YM, Ridler AL, Guitian FJ. Epidemiology and infection. 2009; 137(10):1436-48.

Contamination of food products with Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis: a systematic review. Eltholth MM, Marsh VR, Van Winden S, Guitian FJ. Journal of applied microbiology. 2009; 107(4):1061-71.

Classical sheep scrapie in Great Britain: spatial analysis and identification of environmental and farm-related risk factors. Stevens KB, Del Río Vilas VJ, Guitián J. BMC veterinary research. 2009; 5:33.

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 3rd cohort of veterinary epidemiologists. 

Javier is actively involved in promoting veterinary science and its potential contribution to public health with the general public, and in particular with school students, through different outreach activities. As a STEM ambassador Javier regularly runs educational activities for students of schools in North London where he enjoys sharing his passion for epidemiology and veterinary public health.

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