Veterinary Microbiology


Introduction

Veterinary microbiology. comprising virology, bacteriology and mycology, has always been a very active area of research in the Faculty of Veterinary Science with the emphasis and focus changing over the years along with community needs, interests of Faculty members and available funding.

Professor Daria Love

The prolific research efforts of the late Professor Daria Love (photo left) in many areas of microbiology including anaerobic bacterial infections, mycobacterial diseases and equine and feline respiratory disease has left an ongoing legacy of research methodology, an extensive freeze dried bacterial and fungal collection and well resourced research laboratories which have recently been totally refurbished.

The current staff within veterinary microbiology provide a range of clinical diagnostic services to the University Veterinary Teaching Hospitals and nearby practices as well as an Australia wide diagnostic service for FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) using immunohistochemistry and immunocytochemistry techniques. The range of viral diagnostic services will soon be expanding.

This research group is also involved in the design and delivery of veterinary microbiology teaching within the Bachelor of Veterinary Science and the Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Biosciences degree programs. Their approach to teaching veterinary microbiology is centred on the interactions between the host, environment and agent(s) of disease in the development of disease, diagnostic approaches, treatment and control strategies. This has resulted in the development of clinically applied courses that use blended delivery methods including the use of novel online resources.


Areas of Research

  • Veterinary Microbiology research is currently concentrated on:
  • Diagnosis, prevalence and pathogenesis of viral diseases of companion animals especially those caused by feline coronaviruses, feline retroviruses, feline herpesvirus, canine distemper virus and canine parvovirus
  • Aetiology and pathogenesis of feline chronic renal disease
  • Fungal diseases of companion animals and wildlife
  • Mycobacterial diseases in companion animals
  • Antimicrobial susceptibility studies
  • Pathogenesis of a range of dental diseases
  • Rhodococus equi pneumonia: epidemiology, pathogenesis, treatment, prevention methods, ecology and diagnostic testing
  • Transport pneumonia: disease ecology, causative agent identification, development factors, airborne contamination and transport biosecurity methods
  • Equine Amnionitis and Foetal Loss (EAFL) Syndrome: epidemiology, significance and identification of unusual bacterial isolates

Resources

  • Diagnostic bacteriology, virology and mycology services
  • Extensive freeze dried bacterial and fungal collection
  • Newly refurbished PC2 and PC1 laboratories
  • Flow cytometry facilities accessed via Advanced Cytometry Facility
  • Canine Research Foundation (NSW)
  • Feline Health Research Fund
  • Australian Companion Animal Health Foundation
  • Waratah Cat Alliance