Understanding how pathogens interact with their hosts at molecular, cellular and whole animal levels is essential to the development of strategies to control the spread of disease.

RVC researchers are working towards a better understanding of host-pathogen molecular interactions, with a view to increasing our knowledge of disease pathology, immunology and genetics that underpin the development and testing of new vaccines and methods of delivery.

We focus on on important (re)-emerging animal diseases, including some zoonoses and have an inter-disciplinary approach to ensure that our research translate to the field in collaboration with the ESH and SSF groups. We have access to the College's Centre for Emerging, Endemic and Exotic Diseases, which offers wet laboratory and study space.

Our researchers have expertise in pathogenesis of bacterial respiratory disease and pneumonia including a growing focus on the study of mycoplasma species. Viral pathogenesis and immunology are a priority, with major projects on porcine circovirus 2, bovine viral diarrhoea virus and canine coronavirus and growing expertise in viral vaccinology, including the production of viral-like particles as prototype vaccines in insect cells.

We also have expertise and specialised laboratory and animal facilities for handling parasitic protozoa and worms.

Specific areas of interest and expertise include:

  • Coccidial parasites of chickens
  • Ectoparasites of chickens
  • Immunoparasitology of protozoa that constrain cattle production in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Basic studies on control of parasite infections by the immune system.

Led by Professor Damer Blake

Professor of Parasite Genetics

Damer is Professor of parasite genetics. His research interests are focused on protozoan parasites and pathogens of poultry using genetics and molecular biology.

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