IDReC-University of Otago-ESR Mini-Symposium IDReC_identity_final_rev_stack_crop_a.jpg

Two-day Mini-Symposium 2014

9th and 10th September

The aim of this symposium was to provide scientists and policy makers with an opportunity to share information and ideas on current research in the field of infectious disease. The symposium was co-hosted by Massey University (IDReC), the University of Otago (The Infection Group) and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd, under the ‘One Health Aotearoa’ umbrella. 

One Health Aotearoa is an alliance between researchers working at the interface between human, animal and environmental health. One Health Aotearoa brings together scientists working in a wide range of disciplines of relevance to the control of diseases of humans and animals; including both wildlife and domestic animals. It recognises the fact that many of our most important diseases, both globally and within New Zealand, are transmitted between animals and humans (the zoonoses) and many of the tools and techniques required to treat, prevent and control diseases generally (i.e. not just zoonoses) are equally applicable to both human and veterinary medicine.

One Health Aotearoa also recognises the importance of interdisciplinary and translational research, as well as comparative approaches that cut across traditional boundaries, such as comparative pathology and medicine. The disciplines of relevance include: microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, microbial genetics, mathematical modelling and evolutionary modelling, all of which were represented at this symposium. 

The talks at the symposium covered a wide range of diseases of both human and animals including gastro-intestinal diseases, pneumonia, skin disease, neurological disease and generalised infections. They also covered important issues such as antimicrobial resistance, vaccine development and the need to improve diagnostic tools.  Specific diseases covered included tuberculosis, paratuberculosis, Staphylococcus aureus infection, campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis, toxoplasmosis, Rheumatic Fever, Neisseria meningitis, measles and Ebola.

The symposium was well attended by over 100 delegates, including individuals from academia and the Ministries of Health and Primary Industries, and was a great success. 

Presentations from the symposium can be found below.

Presentations from previous symposiums can be found here.

Day 1

Session 1 Antimicrobial resistance in humans and other animals

  • Game of clones: S. aureus infections in New Zealand: Dr Debbie Williamson pdf DebbieWilliamson
  • Discovery of inhibitors of energy generation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a game changer in the fight against MDR/XDR TB: Prof Greg Cook pdf GregCook
  • What do we know about multidrug-resistant bacteria in New Zealand pets?: Dr Eve Pleydell pdf EvePleydell
  • Contemporary epidemiology of Gram-negative resistance in New Zealand: Helen Heffernan pdf HelenHeffernan

Session 2 New research on infectious disease

  • MAIT cells - a new player in innate immunity to bacterial infection: Dr James Ussher pdf JamesUssher
  • Fever aetiology: bacterial zoonoses and global health: Prof John Crump pdf JohnCrump
  • Investigations on the use of BCG vaccine and DIVA tests for control of Mycobacterium bovis infection in cattle in New Zealand: Prof Bryce Buddle pdf BryceBuddle

Session 3 The role of microbiomes and pathogens in both communicable and non-communicable diseases

  • Microbial community analysis of the ruminant gut and potential impact on pathogen colonisation and excretion: A/Prof Adrian Cookson pdf AdrianCookson
  • Dysbiosis - what are you going to do about it?: Prof Gerald Tannock pdf GeraldTannock
  • Microbial diversity and non-communicable diseases: Prof Jeroen Douwes pdf JeroenDouwes
  • We don't know why you're sick, it must be a virus. Metagenomics may provide the answer: Dr Richard Hall pdf RichardHall

Session 4 Dealing with emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in New Zealand

  • Can comparing models of measles introductions into New Zealand and Ebola virus outbreaks in West Africa lead to better control of both?: Dr David Hayman pdf DavidHayman
  • Epidemics models with uncertainty - application to influenza: Prof Mick Roberts pdf MickRoberts
  • Bayesian data assimilation for Theileriosis in New Zealand -  has anyone seen the vector?: Dr Chris Jewell pdf ChrisJewell

 Day 2

Session 1 New research on infectious disease 

  • A new concept in Immunodiagnosis that discriminates between Infection, Disease, Protective immunity, Heritability Resilience and Susceptibility: Prof Frank Griffin
  • Pneumonia aetiology: why is it so difficult to distinguish pathogens from innocent bystanders?: Prof David Murdochpdf DavidMurdoch
  • Toxoplasma in the marine environment: from cat poo to kai moana: Dr Wendi Roe pdf WendiRoe
  • The rising incidence of rheumatic fever in Maori and Pacific children: can it be stopped?: Prof Michael Baker pdf MichaelBaker

Session 2 Genomic epidemiology and pathogen evolution in New Zealand - more data, better tools, greater insight

  • From phylogenetic trees to phylodynamic trees: Dr David Welch pdf DavidWelch
  • Genomic epidemiology: what is it and how will it influence public health decision making: Prof Nigel French pdf NigelFrench
  • Recombination-aware analysis of bacterial sequence data using BEAST 2: Dr Tim Vaughan pdf TimVaughan
  • Whole genome sequencing for sourcing Bovine Tuberculosis herd breakdowns in New Zealand: Dr Marian Price-Carter pdf MarianPriceCarter
 Session 3 New research on infectious disease
  • Household contact Neisseria meningitidis disease-carriage pairs: a tool to dissect virulence: Dr Una Ren pdf UnaRen
  • Paratuberculosis -pathogen typing and modelling to explore transmission and virulence: Prof Cord Heuer pdf CordHeuer