I graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2010 with a first class degree in BSc (Hons) Bioveterinary Science and went on to complete my PhD in feline coronavirus pathogenicity at the University of Bristol in 2014.
Swine influenza virus (SIV) is one of the most important primary swine respiratory pathogens and is a zoonotic threat. Approximately 50% of pigs in the UK are reported to have antibodies to SIV, but whilst much attention has focussed on human pandemics, little interest has been directed towards SIV infection of pigs. Many cases of swine influenza are so mild that they pass unnoticed, until a secondary bacterial infection becomes severe enough to require treatment and it is estimated that the effect of infection may increase the cost of production by £7 per finished pig, not to mention the health and welfare costs involved. Therefore, we need to know how immune responses and viral replication are influencing the onset and cessation of transmission. The aim of the project is to describe and define transmission of SIV and based on these findings, to identify targets for transmission blocking vaccines. In particular, a cross protective ‘universal vaccine’ would be an enormous advantage.