Centre For Infectious Disease - News from the Infectious Disease Research Centre (IDReC) http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news.html latest research into infectious disease, workshops and seminars in infectious disease en-uk 2022-01-25T12:39:25+01:00 Minister Ayesha Verrall visits mEpiLab http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,230,minister-ayesha-verrall-visits-mepilab.html Stuart Littlejohn and Jackie Benschop look on as Dr Ayesha Verrall observes Leptospira during a visit to mEpiLab. &#160; This week mEpiLab was visited by infectious diseases doctor and the minister for Food Safety, Ayesha Verrall. During the visit, members of our team discussed their work on Leptospira, Campylobacter and infectious diseases of wildlife. Other pics available here: https://www.facebook.com/drayeshaverrall http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,230,minister-ayesha-verrall-visits-mepilab.html PhD position - Antimicrobial resistant bacteria and their genes in dairy farm environments http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,228,phd-position---antimicrobial-resistant-bacteria-and-their-genes-in-dairy-farm-environments.html PhD Do you want to improve stewardship of antibiotics in animal agriculture? Do you want to gain an understanding of the &#8216;wicked problem&#8217; of antimicrobial resistance? If so we have a great PhD position for you working with a multidisciplinary team from farm to lab at Massey University, Palmerston North fully funded (includes stipend and fees) by the NZ-China Food Protection Network. The project titled &#8220;Antimicrobial resistant bacteria and their genes in dairy farm environments&#8221; will integrate farm management data with phenotypic, whole genome sequence and metagenomic data to understand the drivers and potential transmission pathways of antimicrobial resistance in dairy farming environments. Applicants should preferably have a background in microbiology, genomics or epidemiology. Experience with field sampling and statistics is preferable. This is a collaborative project between Massey University, AgResearch, Auckland University of Technology, Cognosco (Anexa Veterinary Services), Nanjing University and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. We are currently accepting applications from international candidates, however due to border restrictions caused by Covid-19 and the worldwide pandemic, we will only process applications from non NZ Citizens or non NZ Residents who are likely to gain border exemption and an appropriate NZ student visa. A current driver&#8217;s license preferable. For further information contact&#160;Sara Burgess (s.burgess1@massey.ac.nz). Closing date for applications is&#160;24 May 2021&#160;(include CV and cover letter). http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,228,phd-position---antimicrobial-resistant-bacteria-and-their-genes-in-dairy-farm-environments.html Ana Luxford presents poster at 2021 Pūhoro intern dinner http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,227,ana-luxford-presents-poster-at-2021-p363horo-intern-dinner.html Masters student Holly Gray and P&#363;horo Internship student Ana Luxford in front of Ana&#8217;s poster for the 2021 P&#363;horo intern presentations and dinner. Ana carried out a 2-month internship in the mEpiLab with Sara Burgess and Holly Gray. Her project involved characterising antibiotic resistant E. coli&#160; from the Manawat&#363; river. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,227,ana-luxford-presents-poster-at-2021-p363horo-intern-dinner.html Merning Mwenifumbo, Masters student in Veterinary Public Health, mEpiLab http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,221,merning-mwenifumbo-masters-student-in-veterinary-public-health-mepilab.html Merning is a Master&#39;s student in Veterinary Public Health from Malawi. She has always been interested in issues related to MRA, hence she was excited when she received the news that her next project will be on MRA. Her current work is on Extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBLs) and AmpC beta lactamase (AmpC) producing E. coli in waste milk fed dairy calves from Canterbury region. By using both culture-based isolation methods and whole genome sequencing, her study aims to determine the prevalence of ESBL and AmpC producing E. coli isolated from recto-anal mucosal swabs from waste milk fed dairy calves and to phenotypically and genotypically characterise ESBL and AmpC producing isolates. Her work is funded by A NZ-China Food Protection Network (led by Sara Burgess) and she was also awarded postgraduate student research fund from the School of Veterinary Science. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,221,merning-mwenifumbo-masters-student-in-veterinary-public-health-mepilab.html New Arrivals Working at IDReC http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,220,new-arrivals-working-at-idrec.html &#160; Sunidhi (Minnie) Srinivas will be working part-time as a research technician with Adrian Cookson and Sara Burgess until mid Nov on a NZ-China Food Protection Network funded project. Holly Gray will be doing her Master of Science project over the next 2 years with Anne Midwinter, Sara Burgess and Patrick Biggs, working on ESBL producing Enterobacteriaceae sourced from the Manawatu region using clinical and environmental isolates. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,220,new-arrivals-working-at-idrec.html David Hayman on Zoonotic Transmission of Coronavirus http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,219,david-hayman-on-zoonotic-transmission-of-coronavirus-.html In a recent interview on RNZ, IDReC&#8217;s David Hayman explains to reporters how coronavirus may have spread from animals to humans causing the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Hear the full interview(s) below. &#160; Link 1 Link 2 http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,219,david-hayman-on-zoonotic-transmission-of-coronavirus-.html Marie Moinet : Cafe Scientifique http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,218,marie-moinet--cafe-scientifique.html Leptospirosis, an important zoonosis and significant cause of production loss in livestock, burdens New Zealand agriculture. While farmers or meat-worker are at risk in New Zealand, sewer workers and people in contact with water or rodents are more at risk in France. The epidemiology of leptospirosis appears radically different in the two countries&#8230; But is it really? This comparison of the situation in both countries aims at broadening your views and go beyond the usual clich&#233; on this disease. &#160;Read more here &#160; &#160; &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,218,marie-moinet--cafe-scientifique.html In the news: Leptospirosis , dairy farm fever http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,217,in-the-news-leptospirosis--dairy-farm-fever.html New Zealand Herald and Hawkes Bay Today have run a story on Leptospirosis featuring IDReC researcher Dr Shahista Nisa, who is currently leading a study into the disease. The study entitled &#39;Emerging sources and pathways for leptospirosis&#39;, aims to measure the severity of the disease in New Zealanders, how long it lasts, and the best use of animal vaccination and personal protective equipment in order to prevent infection. Read the news article here : NZ Herald Further details of the study and its implications can be accessed at: leptospirosis.org.nz http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,217,in-the-news-leptospirosis--dairy-farm-fever.html NZMS conference 2019 in Palmerston North http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,216,nzms-conference-2019-in-palmerston-north.html IDReC students Paul Ogbuigwe, Marie Moinet, Nilukshi Liyanagunawardena and Manjula Meda Gedara presented research at NZMS 2019. &#160; The New Zealand Microbiological Society held its annual conference in Palmerston North last week and several IDReC researchers presented their work. Marie Moinet won third prize for student talk entitled &quot;Can sequencing methods help decipher transmission pathways of Leptospira within a community of hosts in New Zealand ?&quot; which was part of her recently completed PhD. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,216,nzms-conference-2019-in-palmerston-north.html PhD studentship: Emerging Sources and Pathways for Leptospirosis. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,213,phd-studentship-emerging-sources-and-pathways-for-leptospirosis.html Operational research funding and stipend is available from the New Zealand Health Research Council for a PhD studentship based with the School of Veterinary Science, Palmerston North, New Zealand commencing as soon as possible. This fulltime, three-year studentship is a unique opportunity to work with a globally important zoonotic disease in a high quality-training environment with multidisciplinary supervisors and advisors. You will develop or extend your skills in epidemiology, data analysis and social science. &#160;Recruitment and interviewing has commenced on a nationwide prospective case-control study and this studentship involves delivery of a telephone questionnaires and in-home semi-structured interviews and analyses of resultant data. Project aims include appraising risk factors associated with leptospirosis and identifying Leptospira infecting species and sources of infection. The ultimate goal of this study is to guide effective interventions to help reduce the increasing burden of leptospirosis in New Zealand. We are looking for a researcher who is developing their independent thinking and can connect with patients who are often rural based and in farming/meat working occupations. A driver&#8217;s licence is essential. The successful candidate will be residing in New Zealand, be an excellent and empathetic communicator, have a degree in medicine, veterinary science, epidemiology, statistics or a biological or social science with a Master&#8217;s degree in a relevant field. More information about the project is here: Make informal enquiries to Associate Professor Jackie Benschop: J.Benschop@massey.ac.nz or phone +64 6 951 6994 Make enquiries about PhD requirements and enrolment to School of Veterinary Sciences, Postgraduate Studies and Research Administrator, Ms Debbie Hill: D.M.Hill@massey.ac.nz Applications (in the form of a cover letter outlining the candidate&#39;s motivation and fit for the project, together with a CV) should be emailed to Ms Wendy Maharey before 20 December 2019: W.Maharey@massey.ac.nz. &#160; &#160; download PDF :&#160; Lepto_PhD studentship_Nov2019.pdf (0.52MB) &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,213,phd-studentship-emerging-sources-and-pathways-for-leptospirosis.html Associate Professor Tania Ayllon visits mEpiLab http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,212,associate-professor-tania-ayllon-visits-mepilab.html Tania is a veterinarian dedicated to the study of emerging infectious diseases of veterinary and human health importance. Her doctoral thesis on vector-borne pathogens in small animals is an example of her interest, which she has maintained throughout her scientific career in six countries, including five years as a postdoc in Germany and Brazil. More recently, she has extended her research line to the study of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms in veterinary medicine. She is currently assistant professor at Alfonso X El Sabio University -UAX- (Spain) and collaborating researcher at Fiocruz (Brazil). During her visit at Massey University, as part of the UAX mobility program (VII call for scientific mobility Santander-UAX), Tania has learned about genetic analysis of various pathogens using different computer programs, statistical analysis using &#8216;R&#8217; and molecular protocols for the detection of several pathogens. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,212,associate-professor-tania-ayllon-visits-mepilab.html IDReC presents at Leptospirosis conference 2019 http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,211,idrec-presents-at-leptospirosis-conference-2019.html The 11th scientific conference of the International Leptospirosis Society (ILS) took place on July 8th to 12th, 2019 in superb surroundings at the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver, Canada. Jackie Benschop, Julie Collins Emerson, Marie Moinet, Shahista Nisa, Lila Adhikari and Cord Heuer all attended and presented research from IDReC&#8217;s Leptospira Research Unit. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,211,idrec-presents-at-leptospirosis-conference-2019.html PhD student Maria Fernandes visits <sup>m</sup>EpiLab http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,209,phd-student-maria-fernandes-visits-supmsupepilab.html Maria is a PhD student from Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Portugal), working on Leptospirosis in rodents and environmental samples (soils and freshwater collections). Her one month visit was part of a short internship related with her PhD aiming the optimization of a real-time PCR for the detection of Leptospirosis in kidneys, blood and serum of cattle. During her visit, Maria also had the opportunity to present the research she has been involved in Portugal. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,209,phd-student-maria-fernandes-visits-supmsupepilab.html Paul Ogbuigwe makes it to finals of Massey's Three Minute Thesis competition http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,207,paul-ogbuigwe-makes-it-to-finals-of-masseys-three-minute-thesis-competition.html IDReC doctoral candidate Paul Ogbuigwe made it through to the highly competitive Three Minute Thesis (3MT)&#160; competition with a talk on &#8220;The Diarrheic Duo&#8221; of cryptosporidium and giardia. 3MT is a fast paced and exciting speech competition that challenges post graduate candidates to summarise the significance of their thesis work/research project in three minutes for a panel of judges and a diverse audience.&#160; You are allowed one single Powerpoint slide as a visual aid. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,207,paul-ogbuigwe-makes-it-to-finals-of-masseys-three-minute-thesis-competition.html PhD studentship: Leptospirosis - experiences of the patient and their whānau. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,205,phd-studentship-leptospirosis---experiences-of-the-patient-and-their-wh257nau.html Operational research funding is available from the New Zealand Health Research Council for a PhD studentship based with the School of Veterinary Science, Palmerston North, New Zealand commencing on 30 September 2019. This fulltime, three-year studentship is a unique opportunity to work with a globally important zoonotic disease in a high quality training environment with multidisciplinary supervisors and advisors. You will develop or extend your skills in social science, epidemiology and data analysis.&#160;&#160; A current PhD candidate is conducting a nationwide prospective case-control study and this advertised studentship focusses on subsequent nested sub-studies. These include investigating the physical, social and financial burdens faced by leptospirosis patients and exploring patients&#8217; attitudes to interventions such as animal vaccination and the use of personal protective equipment. This would involve delivery of a follow-up questionnaire, in-home semi-structured interviews and analyses of resultant data.&#160;&#160; We are looking for a researcher who is developing their independent thinking, wants to learn new skills or tools and can connect with patients who are often rural based and in farming/meat working occupations. A driver&#8217;s licence is essential.&#160; The successful candidate will be residing in New Zealand, have a degree in social or biological science with a Master&#8217;s degree in a relevant field.&#160; One year of student stipend is secured and candidates will be eligible to apply for a Massey University Doctoral scholarship for the remainder of the stipend. More information about the project is here: http://leptospirosis.org.nz/Research/Emergingsourcesandpathwaysforleptospirosis.aspx Make informal enquiries and/or requests for more detailed information to Associate Professor Jackie Benschop: j.benschop@massey.ac.nz Make enquiries about PhD requirements and enrolment to School of Veterinary Sciences, Postgraduate Studies and Research Administrator, Ms Debbie Hill: D.M.Hill@massey.ac.nz Applications (in the form of a cover letter outlining the candidate&#39;s motivation and fit for the project, together with a CV) should be emailed to Ms Wendy Maharey: W.Maharey@massey.ac.nz. The closing date is 31 August 2019. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,205,phd-studentship-leptospirosis---experiences-of-the-patient-and-their-wh257nau.html IDReC advises media on latest measles outbreak http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,203,idrec-advises-media-on-latest-measles-outbreak-.html IDReC researcher David Hayman has been prominent across several national news sources in the wake of recent outbreak(s) of measles in New Zealand. In a recent (2018)&#160; paper, Professor Hayman reviewed features of measles in highly immunized populations, to highlight why countries with high immunization coverage such as New Zealand are still threatened by measles outbreaks, even after elimination of the virus. &#160; A sample of media coverage, including general information on the latest New Zealand measles outbreak can be found at. www.newsroom.co.nz www.scoop.co.nz www.stuff.co.nz &#160;www.nzherald.co.nz &#160; In addition, a summary of additional original research can be found here http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,203,idrec-advises-media-on-latest-measles-outbreak-.html Update on statistical model for improving campylobacter management http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,200,update-on-statistical-model-for-improving-campylobacter-management.html IDReC research on campylobacter has provided accurate data on high-risk areas for public health officials to guide intervention efforts. Massey University PhD student Jing Liao expands on her research in this area read more&#8230; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,200,update-on-statistical-model-for-improving-campylobacter-management.html Paul Ogbuigwe awarded grant from Massey University Postgraduate Research Fund http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,198,paul-ogbuigwe-awarded-grant-from-massey-university-postgraduate-research-fund.html Paul Ogbuigwe applied for and was awarded a grant from the Massey University postgraduate research fund in support of his PhD project looking at the role of protozoan genetic diversity in outbreaks in New Zealand. This grant will go towards the development of a flow cytometric assay for the assessment of the pathogenicity of Cryptosporidium isolates and genotypes. &#160; &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,198,paul-ogbuigwe-awarded-grant-from-massey-university-postgraduate-research-fund.html Nilukshi Liyanagunawardena awarded Avian Health Research Fund 2018 http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,197,nilukshi-liyanagunawardena-awarded-avian-health-research-fund-2018.html IDReC PhD student Nilukshi Liyanagunawardena is delighted to receive funding from Avian Health Research fund, which she applied for with the support of her IDReC supervisors, Jackie Benschop, Anne Midwinter, Ji Zhang and Nigel French. This funding will be used for material transfer and whole genome sequencing of 180 Salmonella isolates to investigate the molecular epidemiology of Salmonella in the Sri Lankan broiler chicken industry. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,197,nilukshi-liyanagunawardena-awarded-avian-health-research-fund-2018.html IDReC Professor Douwes appointed to EPA Board http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,196,idrec-professor-douwes-appointed-to-epa-board.html Centre for Public Health Research director Professor Jeroen Douwes has been appointed to the Environmental Protection Authority Board. The new appointments were announced by Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage earlier this week. &#8220;I am delighted to be appointed to the board,&#8221; Professor Douwes says, &#8220;and am looking forward to supporting the EPA in achieving its goals of protecting the environment and human health in New Zealand. I also hope to contribute to increased transparency and scientific robustness of EPA processes to ensure public confidence in the important work the EPA undertakes.&#8221; Professor Douwes has extensive public health research and committee experience. He is a leading expert in occupational and environmental health and exposure assessment, particularly with respect to pesticides and other hazardous substances. He serves on the board of the Health Research Council and has collaborated with international organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Through his work, Professor Douwes has gained considerable knowledge of the health consequences associated with various chemicals and hazardous substances, and will provide the board with unique insights from a public health and end-user perspective. The board also appointed a new chairperson, former Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker, and new deputy Steven (Tipene) Wilson. Mr Wilson is the current deputy and former Chair of Ng&#257; Kaihaut&#363; Tikanga Taiao, the authority&#8217;s M&#257;ori Statutory Advisory Committee. He retires from this role later this month. The authority makes decisions for and regulates hazardous substances and new organisms, as well as specified marine activities in New Zealand&#8217;s Exclusive Economic Zone. It also provides administrative support for the decision-making on major infrastructure and called in projects under the Resource Management Act,&#160;and operates the New Zealand Emissions Trading Register under the Emissions Trading Scheme. The board is responsible for the authority&#39;s governance. &#160; [Source:&#160; http://www.massey.ac.nz/news/?id=9209] http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,196,idrec-professor-douwes-appointed-to-epa-board.html IDReC Carolyn Gates : Campaign sets sights on Bovine Viral Diarrhoea http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,194,idrec-carolyn-gates--campaign-sets-sights-on-bovine-viral-diarrhoea.html &#160; A national campaign is asking beef and dairy farmers across New Zealand to help develop frameworks for disease control of bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVD). BVD is an infectious cattle disease which costs New Zealand farmers an estimated $150 million per year, primarily through reproductive issues, reduced growth rates and decreased milk production. Infected animals are also much more likely to fall ill from other significant diseases and spread these within and between herds. The campaign, led by Massey University and the National BVD Steering Committee, will be running from July 15&#160; 2018 to May 15&#160;2019. Cattle farmers can register on the project website, which has interactive tools that makes it easy for farmers to confidentially share what they are currently doing to manage BVD in their herds, or to work in partnership with their veterinarian to develop a new BVD management plan tailored to their unique herd situation. This information will then be used by the research team to predict what the future of BVD in New Zealand might look like if the current voluntary approach is continued, versus adopting more coordinated national efforts. Chairperson of the National BVD Steering Committee Roger Ellison says the more information the project has, the better the support that can be provided to manage the disease. &#8220;Every farm in New Zealand has different management styles, risk factors and priorities that will influence what the optimal strategy would look like for their herd. We want to create a new system that empowers farmers to shape the future of managing animal health issues that impact their business in a way that will have the biggest impact for industry at the lowest cost to individual farms. &#8220;BVD has been costing the New Zealand cattle industry far too much, for far too long,&#8221; he says. Funding is available for the first 500 eligible herds that register to receive a free herd BVD screening test and the website will provide up-to-date information on regional risks for BVD thanks to generous support from the veterinary diagnostic laboratories (Gribbles Veterinary, IDEXX Laboratories, LIC, and SVS Laboratories). A challenge, but achievable&#160; Project Manager, Massey University&#8217;s Dr Carolyn Gates says BVD control is a challenge, but achievable with farmer help. &#8220;Unlike many other infectious cattle diseases such asJohne&#8217;s disease and bovine tuberculosis, we have effective tools available right now to clear BVD from infected herds and we know based on the experiences from European countries with national BVD control programmes that this can substantially improve herd health and performance,&#8221; she says. &#8220;But we also know New Zealand pastoral farming systems are very diverse and certainly very different from the intensive production systems in the northern hemisphere, and so the one-size-fits all BVD control frameworks that have worked in Europe may not be the most cost-effective or practical here. &#8220;That&#8217;s why we&#8217;re asking as many farmers as possible to tell us how BVD currently impacts their business and what control measures would be practical for them to implement so that we can build a better picture of the BVD situation in New Zealand, and make more intelligent decisions around disease control,&#8221; Dr Gates says. The results from the computer simulation models based on this information will be presented back to farmers and industry in July 2019 allowing them to choose a strategy with the biggest long-term benefits for New Zealand cattle businesses. For more information and to get involved, visit the&#160;project website. &#160; [source : http://www.massey.ac.nz/news/?id=9194] &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,194,idrec-carolyn-gates--campaign-sets-sights-on-bovine-viral-diarrhoea.html IDReC Professor Nigel French recognised for food safety impact http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,193,idrec-professor-nigel-french-recognised-for-food-safety-impact.html Massey University Distinguished Professor Nigel French has received the Ministry for Primary Industries Award for Significant Contribution to Food Safety. Professor French was presented the award by Minister of Food Safety Damien O&#39;Connor at the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology conference dinner earlier this month. The award is presented to a group or individual that has made a significant improvement to food safety in New Zealand. Professor French, who heads the New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre, has advanced food safety immensely since arriving in the country in 2004. His innovative research programmes and international standing have allowed him to influence industry, leading to necessary interventions. One example is the application of whole genome sequencing to the study of campylobacter evolution, which proved its worth during the waterborne outbreak in Havelock North. Professor French is a co-director of One Health Aotearoa, adjunct professor at the Medical School in Christchurch, and was made a Distinguished Professor by Massey this year. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of NZ, recognising his contribution to food safety both in New Zealand and internationally. In the past two years, Professor French has brought food safety experts from industry, government and research organisations together to form a cohesive food safety science and research centre. The centre&#39;s mission is to &quot;safeguard the health and welfare of children and families who consume New Zealand food products&quot;. It has 20 research projects completed or underway. Chair of the New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre Governance Board Dr Kevin Marshall says Professor French is a worthy recipient. &quot;Nigel has led research programmes that have made major advances in epidemiology, statistics and modelling, and the tools developed by this research have been applied to great effect to improve public health. &quot;His leadership has impacted on the whole food safety and science research system in New Zealand, and has had considerable impact internationally.&quot; Professor French also received an honorary Fellowship of the Australia and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists at their awards ceremony on the Gold Coast on July 7. [source : http://www.massey.ac.nz/news/?id=9195] http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,193,idrec-professor-nigel-french-recognised-for-food-safety-impact.html IDReC researchers awarded more than $1m in HRC funding to reduce burden of leptospirosis http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,192,idrec-researchers-awarded-more-than-1m-in-hrc-funding-to-reduce-burden-of-leptospirosis.html A study led by IODReCs Associate Professor Jackie Benschop has been awarded $1,199,841 from the latest Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) funding round to undertake a nationwide case-control study of the disease leptospirosis. The three-year study will attempt to address gaps in leptospirosis knowledge that will inform control strategies by identifying risk factors, sources and pathways for human infection. The study will recruit incident cases, including patients from GP practices, hospitals and recruited through Medical Officers of Health. Further details of the study and its implications can be assessed at http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=82FC82A6-CC47-497B-AC4D-558475F978F1 http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,192,idrec-researchers-awarded-more-than-1m-in-hrc-funding-to-reduce-burden-of-leptospirosis.html IDReC welcomes visiting PhD student Renata Muylaert http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,190,idrec-welcomes-visiting-phd-student-renata-muylaert.html Renata&#8217;s biography: I am a Brazilian biologist with experience on landscape ecology and mammal ecology. I have a great interest on disease ecology, teaching, learning, doing research and science communication. Currently, I am investigating the interplay between landscape change and interactions among mammals and hantaviruses in Brazil. My project is funded by S&#227;o Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP 2017/21816-0). I will be visiting David Hayman&#8217;s group for one year to develop a part of my PhD research on hantavirus disease ecology. You can find more about my work here http://www.bv.fapesp.br/pt/pesquisador/176171/renata-de-lara-muylaert/ . Follow me on twitter: @MuyRe My publications are available here: http://www.leec.eco.br/publications http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,190,idrec-welcomes-visiting-phd-student-renata-muylaert.html Concerns over raw meat diet in dogs http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,188,concerns-over-raw-meat-diet-in-dogs.html IDReC research on campylobacter was featured in an article on the risks of raw meat as pet food in The Conversation, an independent, not-for-profit media outlet that uses content sourced from the academic and research community. As well as Campylobacter, the story highlighted contamination of raw pet food by E. coli Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella spp. and offered guidelines for minimising the risks. While dogs themselves are often resistant to these pathogens, they may spread them through their faeces, which can lead to illness&#160; in humans. &#160; Read the full online story at https://theconversation.com/should-you-feed-your-pet-raw-meat-the-real-risks-of-a-traditional-dog-diet-90271 and our paper at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12323/full Image: Shutterstock http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,188,concerns-over-raw-meat-diet-in-dogs.html IDReC researchers in the news this week http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,187,idrec-researchers-in-the-news-this-week.html IDReC researchers Jackie Benschop and Nigel French were featured in articles recently published by Hawkes Bay Today and the stuff.co.nz news website. This week Dr Benschop is visiting the Hawke&#39;s Bay District Health Board with the aim of raising awareness around the symptoms and prevention of Leptospirosis. Transmitted by bacteria in animal urine, Leptospirosis is most common among farmers and meat workers. However, in recent years Leptospirosis has been increasingly reported in people outside those traditional occupations, which suggests increasing environmental exposure.&#160; IDReC executive director Nigel French was interviewed on the risks of raw milk consumption due to concerns over its safety. In the article, Professor French raises concerns over the risks involved in the production and lack of processing in raw milk, stating that it was almost impossible to produce raw milk that was free of bacteria from cow faeces, which may include the pathogens campylobacter, listeria, and toxin-producing strains of E. coli.&#160; Read the full leptospirosis story online at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&#38;objectid=12009761 and the raw milk story online at https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/food-news/102123278/Its-almost-impossible-for-raw-milk-to-be-free-of-faeces-bacteria-expert http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,187,idrec-researchers-in-the-news-this-week.html IDReC professor joins elite group http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,186,idrec-professor-joins-elite-group.html Scientist Nigel French have been appointed distinguished professor, a title bestowed on up to 15 Massey University professors who have achieved outstanding international eminence in their fields. They were confirmed by Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas last week. Formal presentations will be made next month. Distinguished Professor Nigel French, a world leader in molecular epidemiology and public health research, heads the New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre. The centre is jointly funded by industry and the Government to deliver world-class strategic scientific research that benefits consumers. A graduate of the University of Bristol, where he attained his Bachelor of Veterinary Science (1987) and PhD (1993), he also has a Master of Science in Epidemiology from the University of London (1993). In 2004 he was appointed Professor of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health at Massey. He has led research programmes that have informed the control of infectious diseases in New Zealand, with a focus on reducing the public health impact of food and water-borne pathogens. He founded the Molecular Epidemiology and Public Health laboratory in 2005, which has grown to become a leading infectious disease and public health research group in New Zealand. In 2012, he established the Infectious Disease Research Centre bringing together six research groups across Massey University, including mEpiLab and the EpiCentre, in a multidisciplinary network, comprising mathematical modellers and statisticians, micro and molecular biologists and evolutionary biologists. In 2014 he was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, in recognition of his contribution to the control of foodborne disease, both in New Zealand and overseas. In 2012, he received the Massey University Research Medal, the University&#8217;s highest award for an individual researcher, in recognition of his work on food safety and the control of infectious disease. His work has seen him acquire more than $60 million in research funding since 1998, including two prestigious Royal Society Marsden Fund grants. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,186,idrec-professor-joins-elite-group.html MinION real-time DNA sequencer launched http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,184,minion-real-time-dna-sequencer-launched.html IDReC now has a portable real-time device for DNA and RNA sequencing, known as a MinION. The technology works by passing long strands of DNA through a nanopore and enables sequencing of longer DNA read lengths than previously feasible. Initially the MinION will sequence the genomes of some of the more common pathogens that we work with, e.g. campylobacter and leptospirosis, and compare the outputs to existing references. &#160; &#160; &#160;Staff from Massey Genome Services and Hopkirk research laboratory discuss the applications of the MinION during the initial instrument checks. Photo P. Biggs. &#160; Further information and applications at nanoporetech.com/products/minion www.bbc.com/news/health-42838821 http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,184,minion-real-time-dna-sequencer-launched.html New PhD student Paul Ogbuigwe joins IDReC http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,183,new-phd-student-paul-ogbuigwe-joins-idrec-.html Paul&#39;s Biography: I did my BSc and MRes in The University of Glasgow. During both degrees I looked at the study of oxidative stress, first in C. elegans then in D. melanogaster. Following that I did an MSc in Synthetic Biology at Newcastle University, wherein I gained experience with bioinformatics and computational modelling. I worked in Vox Technolgies, Dallas, as a system administrator where I built a relational database for an industrial automation firm. My PhD is on the role of protozoan genetic diversity in disease in New Zealand, graciously funded by MicroAquaTech. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,183,new-phd-student-paul-ogbuigwe-joins-idrec-.html One Health Aotearoa conference highlights and successes http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,182,one-health-aotearoa-conference-highlights-and-successes.html The third One Health Aotearoa Symposium was held in Wellington on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 December 2017. The symposium brought together around 180 infectious diseases scientists and professionals from the fields of human, animal, and environmental health, including many IDReC researchers. Among the presenters were Alicia Coupe, Jackie Benschop, David Wilkinson, Ji Zhang, Springer Browne, Sara Burgess and Nigel French. Presentations focussed on a range of pathogens, with the aim of integrating this work across animal, human, and environmental health sectors. IDReC research was also well represented in the poster session, where students Sabrina Greening and Rose Collis (pictured) both won prizes for their work. &#160; The full list of speakers and talk titles is available at https://onehealth.org.nz/research/2017-one-health-aotearoa-symposium/ http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,182,one-health-aotearoa-conference-highlights-and-successes.html NZ Herald: Concern over leptospirosis spike in Northland http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,180,nz-herald-concern-over-leptospirosis-spike-in-northland.html IDReCs ongoing research into leptospirosis has been featured in an article on the disease in Northland. Due to a notable increase in the number of leptospirosis cases in 2016, workers in susceptible industries are being warned about the potential risks and likely transmission pathways. While usually associated with cattle, results of recent IDReC research conducted by Dr Jackie Benschop and Marie Moinet suggest that wildlife such as rodents might play a larger role in transmitting the disease to humans than previously recognised. Read the full article. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,180,nz-herald-concern-over-leptospirosis-spike-in-northland.html IDReC researchers involved with recent NZ-China Food Protection Network antimicrobial resistance workshop http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,179,idrec-researchers-involved-with-recent-nz-china-food-protection-network-antimicrobial-resistance-workshop.html A workshop, in support of the NZ-China Food Protection Network project &#8216;Antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial usage in New Zealand and China, with particular reference to the dairy value chain&#8217; (led by IDReC researchers Adrian Cookson and Sara Burgess), was held in Beijing, China on 27 and 28 November 2017. It was hosted by Professor Shuntang Guo (China Agriculture University) and Professor Nigel French (NZFSSRC) and was attended by 27 university and industry experts in the area of antimicrobial research (AMR) and antimicrobial use (AMU). Presentations covered a number of broad AMR/AMU research areas relating to the respective NZ and China animal production systems, human health, national surveillance strategies and action plans, together with research on antibiotic-free feed strategies and methods for the detection of antibiotics in animal feed. China research institutes and dairy companies represented included China Agricultural University, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhejiang University, COFCO NHRI, Fonterra, Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co., Ltd., China Mengniu Dairy Co., Ltd., New Hope Dairy Co., Ltd., and Sanyuan Group. New Zealand research institutes and dairy companies represented included, AgResearch Ltd., Massey University, Cognosco, NZFSSRC and Fonterra. New Zealand Governments represented were MBIE and MFAT. Further directions are aimed at further developing NZ-China relationships in the AMR/AMU area with research staff exchanges between institutes. &#160;&#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,179,idrec-researchers-involved-with-recent-nz-china-food-protection-network-antimicrobial-resistance-workshop.html Poster wins award at international <i>Campylobacter</i> conference http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,178,poster-wins-award-at-international-icampylobacteri-conference.html In September 2017, IDReC researchers Sih Jing Liao, Johnathan Marshall, Nigel French and Martin Hazelton presented a poster at the International Workshop on Campylobacter, Helicobacter and related organisms (CHRO) in Nantes, France. The poster, entitled &quot;Chickens in the city, cows and sheep in the country: A simple model for the source of campylobacteriosis&quot; won one of 3 poster prizes. Using statistical models, the work demonstrated that campylobacteriosis cases from very rural areas are likely ruminant associated, whereas cases from highly urban areas are likely poultry associated. This research addresses an important public health question by helping determine the source(s) of Campylobacter infections in New Zealand. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,178,poster-wins-award-at-international-icampylobacteri-conference.html IDReC researchers among successful Marsden funding recipients http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,177,idrec-researchers-among-successful-marsden-funding-recipients.html IDReC researchers have played an important role in the record amount of funding gained by Massey from this year&#39;s Marsden awards. Members of IDReC are on four successful grants, researching a wide range of topics. These are:&#160; Distinguished Professor PB Rainey - Population Genomics of an Emergent Plant Infectious Disease Professor ML Hazelton - Lattice polytope samplers: theory, methods and applications Professor MG Roberts - Biodiversity and the ecology of emerging infectious diseases Associate Professor PJ Biggs - Rewiring life: using synthetic biology and experimental evolution to unravel the evolutionary origins of DNA. &#160;Congratulations to all recipients! Further information on the awards and the research that they fund can be found though the following link. &#160; https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/marsden/awarded-grants/marsden-awards-2017/ http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,177,idrec-researchers-among-successful-marsden-funding-recipients.html Rutherford Discovery Fellowship awarded to IDReC researcher David Hayman http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,176,rutherford-discovery-fellowship-awarded-to-idrec-researcher-david-hayman.html Associate Professor David Hayman has been awarded one of the 10 highly sought-after Rutherford Discovery Fellowships announced by New Zealand&#39;s Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith. &#160;Dr. Hayman&#39;s research will focus on animal infectious diseases that can naturally transfer to humans, known as &#8216;zoonoses&#39;. Well known examples of zoonoses include Ebola virus, HIV/AIDS, and pandemic influenza. Understanding the dynamics of these diseases is essential for predicting when, where, and why the disease jumps from the animal to human hosts. By employing cutting-edge molecular and epidemiological techniques, the research programme will help to answer fundamental, real-world questions on the conditions which give rise to the emergence of zoonoses, and provide advice on how to prevent their spread to humans. &#160;Further information on the awards and the research that they fund can be found though the following links https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/rutherford-discovery-fellowships/rutherford-discovery-fellowship-recipients/2017-rutherford-discovery-fellows/#Hayman http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=885AFCCB-3F93-4A76-9FBC-A95774DFBE77 http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,176,rutherford-discovery-fellowship-awarded-to-idrec-researcher-david-hayman.html Global Health Security Agenda Consortium launch website http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,174,global-health-security-agenda-consortium-launch-website-.html The Global Health Security Agenda Consortium is a voluntary and open collective of non-governmental stakeholders, committed to helping make the world safe and secure from threats posed by infectious diseases. They are dedicated to implementing the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and promoting the adherence of the International Health Regulations (IHRs) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) Pathways, the Alliance for Country Assessments for Global Health Security and IHR Implementation, and the Biological Weapons Convention and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540. Massey University Veterinary School is among several participating organizations from around the world, highlighting the global reach of our group: To learn more, visit the website: www.ghsacngs.org http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,174,global-health-security-agenda-consortium-launch-website-.html Reed Hranac presents at 2nd Internation Symposium on Infectious Diseases of Bats in Fort Collins Colorado. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,171,reed-hranac-presents-at-2nd-internation-symposium-on-infectious-diseases-of-bats-in-fort-collins-colorado.html PhD student Reed Hranac has recently returned from Fort Collins Colorado after presenting at talk entitled, Modeling the impact of White-nose syndrome on two species of Western bats. The conference was the 2nd Internation Symposium on Infectious Diseases of Bats in Fort Collins Co from June 29th-July 1st. Emerging infectious diseases have increasingly been associated with bats and this conference allowed for a cross-sectional glimpse at projects underway in the global research community. The breadth of research presented at this conference was vast, from immunology to the value of body scoring. The novel approaches taken by investigators could help any of our IDREC groups. Additionally, the meeting provided for great networking opportunities including groups from South Africa, and Singapore, and the United States. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,171,reed-hranac-presents-at-2nd-internation-symposium-on-infectious-diseases-of-bats-in-fort-collins-colorado.html Leptospirosis cases on the increase in 2017 http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,170,leptospirosis-cases-on-the-increase-in-2017.html Radio New Zealand&#8217;s Rural Reporter Alexa Cook interviews IDREC&#8217;s Dr Jackie Benschop about the concerning increase in the number of Leptospirosis cases in New Zealand this year. So far in 2017 we have had a tripling in the number of reported cases. Possible causes and preventative measures are discussed. &#160; Listen to interview here http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,170,leptospirosis-cases-on-the-increase-in-2017.html IDReC research presented at International Giardia & Cryptosporidium Conference, Cuba http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,169,idrec-research-presented-at-international-giardia--cryptosporidium-conference-cuba.html In April, Dr Juan Carlos Garcia Ramirez travelled to Cuba to attend the VI International Giardia &#38; Cryptosporidium Conference. The conference was an excellent opportunity to present the latest research findings from our group and discuss within a truly interdisciplinary scenario with professionals around the globe. The scientific programme of the conference embraces all aspects of research on these two parasites (global and public health, zoonotic aspects, practice of disease surveillance, transmission in food and water, cell biology, etc) and included keynote lectures presented by international experts in their fields, poster session and workshops. This&#160;is the world&#39;s largest scientific meeting dedicated to improving the knowledge of these two diseases/parasites.&#160; This event also facilitated interaction with scientific professionals (e.g. Prof. Una Ryan from Murdoch University, Australia) who share a common interest in Giardia and Cryptosporidium and offer insights of latest progress in the field towards future contributions of IDREC and New Zealand in general, which ultimately will generate a major impact for the country. Dr Garcia Ramirez presented two posters entitled &quot;Local and global genetic diversity of protozoan parasites: Spatial distribution of Cryptosporidium and Giardia genotypes&quot; and &quot;Origin of a major infectious disease in vertebrates: The timing of Cryptosporidium evolution and its hosts&quot; and was funded by MicroAqua Tech and IVABS. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,169,idrec-research-presented-at-international-giardia--cryptosporidium-conference-cuba.html IDReC Health researchers secure more than $5m in HRC funding http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,168,idrec-health-researchers-secure-more-than-5m-in-hrc-funding.html Professor Jeroen Douwes, Director of Wellington&#8217;s&#160;Centre for Public Health Research&#160;has been awarded $4,999,989 over five years - the largest grant in this year&#8217;s funding round. His research, entitled&#160;Interventions to reduce occupational disease&#160;will centre around three intervention studies targeting agricultural, construction and vehicle collision repair workers exposed to pesticides, silica, and solvents. &#8220;Occupational disease is largely preventable through the reduction of causal exposures. However, interventions to reduce work-related disease &#8211; estimated to contribute to 600-900 deaths and 30,000 new cases of work-related disease each year, at an annual cost of $2.4 billion in New Zealand alone &#8211; remain rare,&#8221; Professor Douwes says. &#8220;These exposures can cause respiratory conditions, cancer and neurotoxicity. We will conduct three cluster randomised controlled trials comparing pre and post intervention exposure levels; biomarkers in serum, urine and the airways; and reversible respiratory and neuropsychological effects, with controls. The intervention will entail technical control measures, improved use of protective equipment, and behavioural changes, and be guided by extensive airborne and skin exposure assessment. This will provide the scientific evidence to successfully reduce common harmful exposures and related ill health in high-risk industries in New Zealand,&#8221; he says. &#8220;Causal risk factors are known for many occupational diseases, but surprisingly few studies evaluating occupational interventions have been conducted. The programme will be the first health-focused occupational intervention study in New Zealand and given its size and scope, will be unique in the world. &#8220;In addition to contributing to primary prevention of occupational disease, it will also contribute to developing human capacity in occupational intervention studies which is currently lacking in New Zealand and is rare internationally,&#8221; Professor Douwes says. The research programme, which will be conducted in collaboration with scientists from the United States, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Scotland and Australia, will build on previous HRC-funded studies conducted by Massey&#8217;s Centre for Public Health Research, which identified major occupational risk factors for cancer, asthma and neuropsychological deficits in New Zealand workers. &#8220;It is important we now take the next step and develop the evidence-base to effectively reduce the high occupational health burden in New Zealand and internationally,&#8221; Professor Douwes says. &#160; Read full article here http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,168,idrec-health-researchers-secure-more-than-5m-in-hrc-funding.html Dr Kath Allan visits mEpiLab http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,165,dr-kath-allan-visits-mepilab.html Kath is a Wellcome Trust Veterinary Training Fellow (Post Doc), completed her PhD on Leptospirosis in Northern Tanzania and is a co-founder of the African Leptospirosis Network. Her three month visit is a continuation of collaborative work between researchers at IDReC and University of Glasgow. During her visit, Kath has contributed to field and lab work and presented findings from her research on Leptospirosis in Tanzania. http://www.gla.ac.uk/researchinstitutes/bahcm/staff/postgraduates/kathrynallan/ http://www.idrec.ac.nz/research-highlights-new,listing,141,idrec-and-university-of-glasgow-researchers-establish-an-african-leptospirosis-network.html &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,165,dr-kath-allan-visits-mepilab.html Leptospirosis Research in National Geographic Blog http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,164,leptospirosis-research-in-national-geographic-blog.html IDReC collaborator Dr James Russell (University of Auckland) blogs about identifying leptospirosis reservoirs in New Zealand wildlife. This work is part of the PhD project of Marine Moinet from the Massey University mEpiLab. Read full article here http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,164,leptospirosis-research-in-national-geographic-blog.html Nigel French interviewed by Radio New Zealand about swimmability targets http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,163,nigel-french-interviewed-by-radio-new-zealand-about-swimmability-targets-.html IDREC&#39;s Nigel French discusses the governments recently announced plans for improving freshwater quality on Radio New Zealand Nine to Noon. What are the health risks from a molecular epidemiology perspective and how can we monitor this? &#160;Listen to interview or read full article here &nbsp; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,163,nigel-french-interviewed-by-radio-new-zealand-about-swimmability-targets-.html Leptospirosis risk from New Zealand dairy herd http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,162,leptospirosis-risk-from-new-zealand-dairy-herd-.html Radio New Zealand&#39;s Rural Reporter Alexa Cook interviews IDREC&#39;s Professor Cord Heuer about our recent research on Leptospirosis strains in the New Zealand dairy herd. &#160;&quot; About 30 percent of New Zealand&#39;s dairy herds pose a risk of infecting humans with a different strain of Leptospirosis not covered by the existing animal vaccine, a study has revealed. &quot; Listen to interview or read full article here &nbsp; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,162,leptospirosis-risk-from-new-zealand-dairy-herd-.html IDReC researcher: Ebola linked to deforestation http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,153,idrec-researcher-ebola-linked-to-deforestation.html New research co-authored by a New Zealand scientist has linked deforestation in Central and West Africa to the deadly Ebola virus. The study, published today in journal Scientific Reports, finds that forested areas that were being cleared were also hotspots for the bat-borne virus, which killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa and caused global panic in the most recent epidemic. While previous research has addressed how the virus spread among human populations, and how it could be contained after an outbreak, scientists have been trying to better understand the processes that led to the outbreak, in hope of stopping future epidemics before they can start. Massey University&#39;s Dr David Hayman and colleagues looked at forested regions in Central and West Africa where Ebola outbreaks had already occurred, and then analysed how fragmented the forest cover was in these areas. &quot;We found that Ebola virus disease outbreaks had occurred in areas that were hotspots of deforestation,&quot; Hayman said. &quot;This suggests that the risk of Ebola virus disease is increased for people in fragmented forest regions.&quot; In this context, deforestation was a concern as it brought humans into contact with wild animals, some of which could infect people. &quot;In the case of Ebola virus, it appears bats are reservoirs, and although we do not know the exact mechanisms, other research has shown more generalist fruit bats, such as those that have been linked to Ebola virus, increase in numbers in fragmented forest patches,&quot; he said. &quot;Based on our finding, we speculate that when people fragment the forests they inadvertently are increasing the likelihoods that they will come into contact with Ebola virus hosts.&quot; Read full article here http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,153,idrec-researcher-ebola-linked-to-deforestation.html Cryptosporidium researcher Maggie Chan exchange to Murdoch University http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,151,cryptosporidium-researcher-maggie-chan-exchange-to-murdoch-university.html This Summer, with funding from Palmerston North Medical Research Foundation, IDReC technician Maggie Chan visited Murdoch University in Perth to compare laboratory methods and strengthen research networks. Professor Una Ryan&#8217;s Cryptick lab group, who specialise in vector and water-borne parasites hosted Maggie during her three week stay. Under the guidance of Dr Alireza Zahedi, Maggie was shown procedures used by their group for Cryptosporidium purification, isolation, handling, molecular detection and in vitro infections. This involved the purification of Cryptosporidium oocysts from raw samples followed by visual confirmation with light microscopy and molecular confirmation with PCR and DNA sequencing. These Cryptick lab group protocols may be used to augment our existing surveillance programs for the Ministry of Health.&#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,151,cryptosporidium-researcher-maggie-chan-exchange-to-murdoch-university.html "As the bat flies". Perspective by David Hayman published in Science. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,149,as-the-bat-flies-perspective-by-david-hayman-published-in-science.html Last week Dr David Hayman had a perspective published in Science entitled &#8220;As the Bat Flies&#8221;: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6316/1099.full.pdf+html. In this perspective Dr Hayman discusses the need for multiscale data sets to predict virus transmission from bats to humans.&#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,149,as-the-bat-flies-perspective-by-david-hayman-published-in-science.html IDReC Juan Carlos recent paper in Parasitology has been picked by the journal editor as this month's 'Paper of the month' http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,148,idrec-juan-carlos-recent-paper-in-parasitology-has-been-picked-by-the-journal-editor-as-this-months-paper-of-the-month.html Juan Carlos recent paper in Parasitology called &#39;Origin of a major infectious disease in vertebrates: The timing of Cryptosporidium evolution and its hosts&#8217; has been picked by the journal editor as this month&#8217;s &#8216;Paper of the month&#8217; &#160; &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,148,idrec-juan-carlos-recent-paper-in-parasitology-has-been-picked-by-the-journal-editor-as-this-months-paper-of-the-month.html It's World Antibiotic Awareness Week http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,147,its-world-antibiotic-awareness-week.html The world antibiotic awareness week (14 - 20 November) was initiated by the World Health Organisation as part of a global campaign to raise awareness around antibiotic resistance. For more information on the world antibiotic awareness week and how you can help reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance see www.who.int/campaigns/world-antibiotic-awareness-week/en/ . As part of the world antibiotic awareness week Vetscript has published a feature on the IDReC project &quot;Is the family pet a risk factor for multidrug resistant bacterial infections?&quot; (funded by the Health Research Council). VetScript spoke to PhD student Leah Toombs-Ruane, Dr Jackie Benschop and Prof Nigel French. &#160; &#160;Poster on infographics-how-it-spreads.jpg (1.64MB)&#160; &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,147,its-world-antibiotic-awareness-week.html Dr Jackie Benschop gives VetScript an insight into leptospirosis research in the mEpiLab http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,145,dr-jackie-benschop-gives-vetscript-an-insight-into-leptospirosis-research-in-the-mepilab.html &#160; &#160;An overview of leptospirosis research is given in the October 2016 issue of VetScript (The magazine of the New Zealand Association). &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,145,dr-jackie-benschop-gives-vetscript-an-insight-into-leptospirosis-research-in-the-mepilab.html mEpiLab Strategy Day http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,144,mepilab-strategy-day-.html mEpiLab Strategy Day on Tuesday 30th August 2016 &#160; &#160; &#160; Picture taken at The Chalet (Boatshed Catering) on Centennial Lagoon. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,144,mepilab-strategy-day-.html David Hayman and Reed Hranac present at the International Bat Research Conference http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,143,david-hayman-and-reed-hranac-present-at-the-international-bat-research-conference.html Dr David Hayman and PhD student Reed Hranac recently presented at the International Bat Research Conference in Umhlanga, Durban. With warm weather and beautiful scenery (as depicted in some of the photos) it was clearly an ideal location for a conference. The conference brings together researchers from around the world to present their research on a range of topics including disease ecology, bats and pollution, reproduction, bat hunting, and the biology of sensory adaptations. Dr Hayman gave two presentations: &quot;Can survival analyses detect hunting pressure in a highly connected species? Lessons from Straw-coloured fruit bats&quot; [in the hunting session], &quot;Maternal antibody and the persistence of Lagos bat virus in populations of the African Straw-coloured fruit bat&quot; [in the disease ecology session]. In addition, Dr Hayman presented to the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling &#38; Analysis (SACEMA) on predicting undiscovered filovirus reservoirs and patterns of disease emergence. Reed Hranac presented some of the work from his PhD. His talk was titled &quot;:Modeling the Impact of White-Nose Syndrome on Two Western Myotis Bats&quot; [in the disease ecology session]. Reed&#39;s PhD is focused on modelling infectious diseases of wildlife, specifically bats and is broken into two parts. The first involves spatial-temporal modelling of Filoviruses in central and western Africa to investigate potential sylvatic viral maintenance within the Chiropteran community. The other half of his project concerns the White-nose Syndrome outbreak among bats in North America and uses models to evaluate the metabolic consequences of fungal infection during hibernation. &#160; &#160; &#160; Photo 1: Lighthouse in Umhlanga, Durban Photo 2: South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling &#38; Analysis (SACEMA), Stellenbosch University Photo 3: Botanical gardens in Durban Photo 4: Beach in Durban http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,143,david-hayman-and-reed-hranac-present-at-the-international-bat-research-conference.html IDReC Marie Moinet, Leptospirosis: should we shift the focus to wildlife? http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,142,idrec-marie-moinet-leptospirosis-should-we-shift-the-focus-to-wildlife.html There has been a recent increase in human notifications and change in the serovars, of leptospirosis cases, reported in Northland. From Jan 1 to 30 July 2016 there were 13 notified cases of leptospirosis (10 confirmed and 3 suspect) compared with the average over the last 9 years (2007 to 2015) of 4 per year. Of the 10 confirmed cases, 8 were wildlife associated serovars. Although wildlife (especially rodents) have been pinpointed as a probable source of infection, its role remains poorly defined and has not been thoroughly investigated in New Zealand for more than 30 years. A pilot study carried out in 2014/2015 on a small sample of brush-tailed possums, feral cats, mustelids, rodents and hedgehogs confirmed that exposure, colonisation and shedding were present. The rising importance of serovar Ballum in humans, a serovar associated with rodents and hedgehogs, and issues around cattle vaccine efficacy raised further critical questions about the role of wildlife. The launch of a new study focusing on leptospirosis in wildlife is thus very timely. Marie Moinet recently joined the mEpiLab as a PhD student and will be investigating the potential role of abundant wildlife species and the risk it poses for Leptospirosis in cattle and humans. Marie comes from France, where she was scientific and technical project manager at the Wildlife Surveillance &#38; Eco-Epidemiology Unit at Anses - Nancy Laboratory for Rabies and Wildlife. She has a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, from the Nantes National Veterinary School (France) and an MSc in Veterinary, Epidemiology and Public Health, from the Royal Veterinary College (UK). Marie&#39;s veterinary thesis was about Leptospirosis in endangered European Mink and other small carnivores in South-Western France. In Nancy she worked for the SAGIR Network, the French wildlife diseases surveillance network, and studied various species and zoonoses, with a focus on bats and rabies and on rodents and tick-borne diseases. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,142,idrec-marie-moinet-leptospirosis-should-we-shift-the-focus-to-wildlife.html IDReC and University of Glasgow researchers establish an African Leptospirosis Network http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,141,idrec-and-university-of-glasgow-researchers-establish-an-african-leptospirosis-network.html There is growing evidence of a substantial burden of human leptospirosis in Africa but it is rarely considered as a differential diagnosis for acute febrile illness, and there is little access to diagnostic services for leptospirosis on the continent. Research efforts have remained fragmented with researchers often working in isolation, and little sustainable investment in disease-specific infrastructure or expertise in many African countries. &#160; Collectively, we have identified a need to bring together researchers and other professionals, interested in leptospirosis in Africa who would benefit from international support and collaboration. In early 2016 a virtual African Leptospirosis Network was founded by Dr Jackie Benschop, co-director mEpiLab, Massey University and Dr Kathryn Allan, Wellcome Trust Veterinary Training Fellow, University of Glasgow. &#160;Dr Allan&#8217;s work in Northern Tanzania has identified that cattle appear to be important sources of human infection. One serovar identified from cattle in this area, Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo is an important cause of human leptospirosis in farming communities around the world, including in New Zealand. &#160; Dr Benschop is a steering committee member of the World Health Organisation&#8217;s Global Leptospirosis Environmental Action Network and investigates food safety risks in Northern Tanzanian. The African Leptospirosis Network currently has 41 members from academia, clinical practice, government and non-governmental agencies and others. Founding members were based predominantly in institutions outside the continent but increasingly colleagues based in public health, laboratories, veterinary, and academic institutions within Africa are joining. &#160; Work to date has included identification of new members, preparing a proposal for the WHO to support the network, document sharing, linking colleagues with mentors and a submission of an abstract to a One Health meeting. Future plans are focused on capacity building and include protocol sharing and seeking funding support to identify and address knowledge gaps in our understanding of leptospirosis in Africa. Picture : A cattle market in Northern Tanzania, which Dr Jackie Benschop visited in early 2016. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,141,idrec-and-university-of-glasgow-researchers-establish-an-african-leptospirosis-network.html Fang Fang was awarded "Best Full JVDI Manuscript Award" http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,140,fang-fang-was-awarded-best-full-jvdi-manuscript-award.html Fang completed her PhD 2014. Her paper &quot;Interlaboratory and between-specimen comparisons of diagnostic tests for leptospirosis in sheep and cattle&quot; was awarded the best Full Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation Manuscript award for 2015 by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. Award details here http://www.aavld.org/best-full-jvdi-manuscript-award Journal details here http://vdi.sagepub.com/content/26/6/734.full http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,140,fang-fang-was-awarded-best-full-jvdi-manuscript-award.html IDReC Sam Bloomfield , Research into cause of human salmonellosis cases in New Zealand. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,139,idrec-sam-bloomfield--research-into-cause-of-human-salmonellosis-cases-in-new-zealand.html In New Zealand, most salmonellosis cases are caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. In 1998, Salmonella Typhimurium DT160 was isolated from a human salmonellosis patient in New Zealand. S. Typhimurium DT160 then became the predominant strain isolated from human salmonellosis cases until 2010. During this time, S. Typhimurium DT160 infected and killed multiple wild birds throughout New Zealand, and was isolated from a large number of other animals (e.g. cows and chickens). Samuel has been using whole genome sequencing to determine how S. Typhimurium evolved over the course of the outbreak, how it was transmitted between the various affected populations, and how it was superseded by other Salmonella strains as the predominant cause of human salmonellosis cases in New Zealand. Current work indicates that S. Typhimurium DT160 radiated out from a point source over time, and that there was a large amount of transmission between the various affected populations. &#160; &#160; Figure 1. NeighbourNet tree of 109 Salmonella Typhimurium DT160 isolates (based on 793 core SNPs) and coloured by year. The red dots represent DT160 isolates collected from 1999 &#8211; 2000, the orange dots represent DT160 isolates isolated from 2001 &#8211; 2003, the green dots represent DT160 isolates collected from 2004 &#8211; 2006, the blue dots represent DT160 isolates collected from 2007 &#8211; 2009, and the purple dots represent DT160 isolated collected from 2010 &#8211; 2012. &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,139,idrec-sam-bloomfield--research-into-cause-of-human-salmonellosis-cases-in-new-zealand.html New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre launched http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,138,new-zealand-food-safety-science-and-research-centre-launched.html The New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre was launched by Ministers Joyce and Goodhew at the Massey University Turitea campus. IDReC Director Professor Nigel French led the team that developed the successful bid, worth NZ$21M, and is the Establishment Director of the Centre. The research partners are the Universities of Auckland and Otago and Massey University, Environmental Science and Research, AgResearch, Plant &#38; Food and the Cawthron Institute. The Centre is funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, the Meat Industry Association, the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, and Zespri. &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,138,new-zealand-food-safety-science-and-research-centre-launched.html Centre for Computational Evolution launched in Auckland http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,137,centre-for-computational-evolution-launched-in-auckland.html IDReC Director Nigel French attended the launch of the Centre of Computational Evolution and the University of Auckland and gave a presentation at the event&#39;s mini-symposium. &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,137,centre-for-computational-evolution-launched-in-auckland.html One Health Aotearoa symposium 2016 - presentations available http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,136,one-health-aotearoa-symposium-2016---presentations-available.html We would like to thank everyone who participated in the OHA Symposium, which took place in March of 2016. The event itself had a fantastic turn-out of nearly 200 scientists, veterinarians, doctors and policy makers from across New Zealand and the world. The event has been highly praised for bringing together experts from different disciplines, who are all focused on managing disease. A big thank you to all speakers for the excellent standard of their presentations, some of which are now available for download HERE http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,136,one-health-aotearoa-symposium-2016---presentations-available.html PhD scholarship available http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,135,phd-scholarship-available.html PhD scholarship&#160; Epidemiology and evolution of pathogens in livestock networks This position has now been filled&#160; &nbsp; &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,135,phd-scholarship-available.html STEC Workshop - presentations available on-line http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,134,stec-workshop---presentations-available-on-line.html &#160; &#160; STEC Workshop 15 December 2015 Wharerata Conference Centre, Massey University, Palmerston North. &#160; &#160;AGENDA. &#160; Ministry for Primary Industries. STEC and regulation - the issues and future directions (Roger Cook). &#160; Meat Industry Association. STEC from an industry perspective (Kevin Cresswell). &#160; STEC_Workshop_KevinCresswell.pdf (4.16MB) &#160; STEC clinical research. HUS in New Zealand children: epidemiology, clinical aspects and outcome (William Wong) &#160; STEC_Workshop_WilliamWong.pdf (2.29MB) &#160; Massey University STEC research. Epidemiology and evolutionary studies on STEC O157 and O26 in cattle and humans in New Zealand (Patricia Jaros) STEC_Workshop_PatriciaJaros.pdf (3.14MB) The application of new molecular and genomic technologies to understand the epidemiology of STEC7 in dairy cattle in New Zealand (Springer Browne). STEC_Workshop_SpringerBrowne.pdf (11.06MB) Comparative genomics of E. coli O26 (Patrick Biggs). STEC_Workshop_PatrickBiggs.pdf (4.72MB) Supershedders - how &#8216;super&#39; are they? (Nigel French). &#160; STEC workshop_NigelFrench.pdf (1.06MB) &#160; AgResearch STEC research. Understanding the cycling of STEC7 on dairy farms (Delphine Rapp). &#160; STEC_workshop_DelphineRapp.pdf (16.30MB) On-farm/pre-harvest control strategies for the reduction of STEC (Adrian Cookson). STEC workshop_AdrianCookson.pdf (7.89MB) Antimicrobial interventions against STEC used on New Zealand meat plants (John Mills) &#160;TBA &#160; ESR STEC research. Increase in human non-O157 STEC (Muriel Dufour) Trials and tribulations of STEC detection (Angela Cornelius) Bio-control of STEC (Craig Billington) From PFGE to WGS (Brent Gilpin) &#160; STEC_workshop_ESR.pdf (3.47MB) &#160; Discussion&#160; STEC whole genome sequencing in the post PulseNet landscape. New technologies for STEC detection. Emerging trends with human STEC infection in NZ. Phylogenetic analysis of NZ STEC. On-farm STEC transmission dynamics - is there a &#8216;source&#39;? Best-practice farm management to reduce bovine STEC carriage. Post-farm gate/on-plant STEC interventions. Environmental transfer of stx-encoding bacteriophage. &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,134,stec-workshop---presentations-available-on-line.html Health Check: How does household mould affect your health? http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,133,health-check-how-does-household-mould-affect-your-health-.html Health Check: how does household mould affect your health? Jeroen Douwes, Massey University &#160; Exposure to harmful agents inside the home can have profound effects on our health. After all, we spend an average of 16 hours a day at home &#8211; and even more when aged under seven and over 64. Mould accumulates in damp and poorly ventilated buildings. Inhaling mould fragments or spores can inflame the airways, causing nasal congestion, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and throat irritation. Prolonged exposure to high levels of indoor dampness can reduce lung function and cause chronic health problems such as asthma. Those who already suffer from asthma and allergies are more likely to have more severe symptoms when exposed. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a considerable proportion of the world&#8217;s 300 million cases of childhood asthma is attributable to exposure to indoor dampness and mould. People who live in damp and mouldy homes are also at increased risk of depression which, in turn, may increase the risk of respiratory symptoms and asthma. The most infamous type of mould is &#8220;black mould&#8221; (Stachybotrys chartarum), which can grow on water-damaged building materials and produce toxic spores. In 1994, it was linked to a serious respiratory illness after ten children experienced idiopathic pulmonary haemosiderosis (bleeding from the lung) and one subsequently died. But despite significant media interest and public concern, a causal link was never established. Who is at risk? It&#8217;s commonly assumed that mould causes the health problems described above, though the evidence for this is generally weaker than for dampness itself. This may be related to the fact that scientists are still struggling to accurately measure indoor mould exposures. &#160; Indoor dampness and mould may not only aggravate pre-existing respiratory conditions, there is also (limited) evidence it may cause new symptoms. KristyFaith/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND &#160; The WHO estimates that in cold climates, 15% of dwellings have signs of dampness and 5% have signs of mould problems. In warm climates, the estimates are 20% for dampness and 25% for mould. Since dampness is more likely to occur in houses that are overcrowded and lack appropriate heating, ventilation and insulation, the prevalence of damp indoor problems in low-income communities and rental accommodation can be substantially higher. Climate change and its effects on the weather (storms, heavy rainfall and floods) are likely to further increase the proportion of buildings with damp problems. What can you do? In addition to visible mould, other signs of damp problems may include: mould odour, water stains, frequent condensation, peeling or cracked paint or wall paper, damp basement, and standing water under or around the house. No safe levels of indoor dampness and or mould have been defined. So health-based standards or guidelines do not exist. Nonetheless, there are several practicable measures you can take to prevent or minimise indoor mould. These include adequately heating and, in colder climates, insulating your home to reduce air humidity levels and condensation. Install and use appropriate ventilation, particularly in wet areas or areas where water vapour may be emitted, such as bathrooms, laundries and kitchen areas. &#160; Don&#8217;t just clean the mould; address the source of the dampness. aimee rivers/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA &#160; It&#8217;s also critical to avoid water leaks by controlling and maintaining rain and surface water drainage. Where holes are created in the roof or walls to allow skylights, windows, doors, pipes or other structures to be fitted, make sure these are watertight. If you find visible mould in your home, remove the mould and identify and address the cause of the excess moisture. Clean hard surfaces using soap and water or, if mould growth is persistent, a bleach solution could be used. You may need to throw away absorbent materials such as carpets, depending on the level of contamination. In case of extensive mould damage, you may need to call on commercial mould remediation services. Although those with pre-existing allergies or asthma are at greater risks, mould can also cause health effects in otherwise healthy people. So measures to prevent or reduce mould exposure are important to everyone. Some regions may require stricter regulations and building codes to prevent dampness and mould. Damp problems are particularly prevalent in rental houses, often due to poor maintenance. So regulators should also consider a periodic inspection system (or &#8220;warrant of fitness&#8221;) to ensure minimal housing standards are met. Jeroen Douwes, Professor of Public Health; Director, Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,133,health-check-how-does-household-mould-affect-your-health-.html IDReC Nelly Marquetoux Best Graduate Student Papers/Poster Presentations at ISVEE 14 Yucatan 2015 http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,132,idrec-nelly-marquetoux-best-graduate-student-papersposter-presentations-at-isvee-14-yucatan-2015.html Congratulations to Nelly on been awarded the Best Graduate Student Papers/Poster Presentations at&#160;ISVEE 14 Yucatan 2015 as voted by forty-five ISVEE judges. Using pathogen strain-typing to inform transmission dynamics in social networks of livestock movements by Nelly Marquetoux. Poster can be view here Marquetoux_ISVEE2015.pdf (2.63MB) http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,132,idrec-nelly-marquetoux-best-graduate-student-papersposter-presentations-at-isvee-14-yucatan-2015.html IDReC Dr David A Wilkinson, has made the front cover of the latest issue of Environmental Microbiology. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,131,idrec-dr-david-a-wilkinson-has-made-the-front-cover-of-the-latest-issue-of-environmental-microbiology-.html Research by one of IDReC&#39;s new postdoctoral researchers, Dr David A Wilkinson, has made the front cover of the latest issue of Environmental Microbiology. Together with other researchers from Reunion Island, in the Indian Ocean, he was looking at the dynamics of microbial infection within a bat maternity colony. The front cover depicts two juvenile bats of the species Mormopterus francoismoutoui, a photo which was taken during field trips for this study. &#160; Figure 1: Front cover of this month&#39;s edition of Environmental Microbiology. &quot;Bats are particularly interesting reservoirs of disease. We often cite the emergence of diseases such as Ebola, the henipaviruses or the coronaviruses SARS and MERS due to the tragic impact that these diseases have had on human populations and that, in one way or another, their emergence has been associated with bat reservoirs. The jury is still out as to whether bats are &#8216;worse&#39; sources of disease than other wild animals such as rodents, and a number of hypotheses have been put forward as to why their physiologies, immune systems or behaviours may influence their ability to carry disease-causing microbes. However, there is no denying that these flying mammals are fascinating. Whether it be because of the wide range of ecological niches that they inhabit, the fact that they can live in huge groups or just the &#8216;spook factor&#39; that you get from vampire bats or some of the weirder-looking old world bats. &#160; &#160; Figure 2: Seasonal dynamics of infections in a maternity colony of M. francoismoutoui. The continuous lines represent the proportion of PCR-positive samples for Leptospira (green) and paramyxovirus (purple), and the shaded area the 95% CI. Studying the bats in Reunion was absolutely amazing - M. francoismoutoui is a very small insectivorous bat that weighs approximately 5-6 grams, and is extremely common in La Reunion. During the breeding season, female bats group together in very large numbers (at one point we estimated nearly 150,000 individuals in the cave we were studying). As we did not want to disturb the colony, we collected urine samples under the bats as they would leave their roost to feed in the evenings, and used these samples to look for two different sorts of microbe - one bacterial and one viral. Our study showed that, despite the different nature of these microbes, the dynamics of infection followed nearly identical patterns over the studied period. This helps us to understand potential risk factors that may lead to spill-over and the emergence of disease, which in this instance seem to be directly linked to animal ecology.&quot; David Wilkinson, Postdoctoral Researcher, IDReC http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,131,idrec-dr-david-a-wilkinson-has-made-the-front-cover-of-the-latest-issue-of-environmental-microbiology-.html Nationwide study to boost prevention of leptospirosis http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,130,nationwide-study-to-boost-prevention-of-leptospirosis.html A nationwide dairy farm survey is under way as part of a project to evaluate the effectiveness of current vaccination&#160; practices to prevent leptospirosis in dairy herds &#8211; the country&#8217;s most common zoonotic disease that affects the health of both animals and people on pastoral farms.&#160; A Massey University pilot study in 2010-11 found 13 per cent of cows that were supposedly properly vaccinated were shedding leptospires in 44 Manawatu, Waikato and Southland herds, with 30 per cent of herds affected. While it was not representative of the New Zealand dairy population it raised questions about the effectiveness of vaccination programmes used on those farms, including the age of calves when first vaccinated. Professor Cord Heuer, from Massey University&#8217;s Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, says the present project, which began in June, aims to clarify the findings from the initial study that provided only limited insight due to the small sample used. The project will focus on reducing leptospirosis risks in dairy cattle by surveying farmers about vaccination practices, collecting blood and urine samples from stock and collating other information to find out best practice for leptospirosis vaccination. &#8220;We will look at the extent of animal exposure and shedding [the release of bacteria into the environment from urine], current vaccination practices against leptospirosis and links with antibody prevalence and shedding. &#8220;Ultimately, this research will be used to update best practice guidelines for farmers, veterinarians and industry stakeholders, to reduce the risk of leptospirosis infection in both animals and the people that work on farms and in the dairy industry.&#8221; Randomly selected dairy farmers throughout New Zealand will be participating in this research and will be contacted initially by the Massey team. Dairy veterinarians are also being encouraged to promote the study to their clients. Sampling is scheduled to begin in December and will target 200 dairy herds across all regions, stratified by the number of lactating cows per herd. Twenty cows per herd will be randomly selected for blood and urine samples by each farm&#8217;s veterinarians. A bulk milk sample will also be collected. The study is being overseen by the Farmers Leptospirosis Action Group (FLAG), which includes representatives from Massey University, the New Zealand Veterinary Association, Rural Women New Zealand and DairyNZ. Funding has been provided by the Sustainable Farming Fund of the Ministry for Primary Industries, AgMardt, industry and stakeholder groups.&#160; The study will be subject to animal ethics approval and farms will not be individually identified to ensure confidentiality. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,130,nationwide-study-to-boost-prevention-of-leptospirosis.html IDReC Nigel French : Superbug found in chicken 'dangerous' http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,129,idrec-nigel-french--superbug-found-in-chicken-dangerous.html Doctors are alarmed at the unprecedented discovery of a superbug found in chickens that has now jumped across to infect people around New Zealand. A new superbug has been found in chicken from three of New Zealand&#39;s four major poultry suppliers. Groundbreaking research reveals the new antibiotic-resistant strain of campylobacter spreads to humans, which could make it hard to treat serious cases of infections. Campylobacter occurs naturally in the gut of chickens but is the leading cause of food poisoning, with about 7000 cases reported each year. The antibiotic-resistant strain was first found in 2014 and has now been identified in human cases in Manawatu, Auckland and Wellington. The study, by Nigel French of Massey University and ESR microbiologist Debbie Williamson, found three of the major poultry suppliers in the North Island tested positive for the strain. A fourth was still waiting for test results. The pair would not name the companies. The resistance means two antibiotics - fluroquinolene and tetracylcines - would fail in treating the infection. But eurythromycin, which is most commonly used to treat the infections, was not resistant. Williamson said it was worrying that the new strain had come from an animal host and had passed to humans. &quot;Any time antibiotic resistance is found in the food chain and passes to human populations, there is no doubt there is a concern for public health,&quot; she said. It was not clear how the campylobacter became resistant but it was possible it was due to DNA mutation or through chicken feed being pumped with antiobiotics. The researchers are now working with the Ministry of Primary Industries to determine where it has come from, the extent to which it has spread, as well as methods to reduce its resistance rate and prevent it spreading. The study&#39;s authors would not reveal which North Island poultry suppliers had tested positive for the strain, but &quot;it was surprising how quickly it appeared in all of them&quot;. The four major suppliers of poultry in the North Island are Inghams, Tegel, Brinks and Turks. A spokeswoman for Inghams would not confirm or deny the company was among those supplying poultry with the antibiotic-resistant strain to supermarkets. The rest did not respond to requests for comment. Poultry Industry Association executive director Michael Brooks said the association funded the study and the antibiotic-resistant strain was &quot;a surprise to us&quot; but there was no danger to humans. &quot;This isn&#39;t about company naming and shaming. The key matter here is letting consumers know that if by some rare chance they contract campylobacter from chicken that has been mishandled or inappropriately cooked ... it doesn&#39;t matter which company the chicken came from - the antibiotic prescribed as the first line of defence, eurythromycin, is resistant to this strain and they will start to feel better,&quot; said Brooks. He said that if other antibiotics were needed to treat a disease other than campylobacter in humans, they should still work. Professor Michael Baker of Otago University said New Zealand has the highest rates of campylobacter in the world, and in some cases it could be fatal. Fresh poultry is the most commonly-sold meat in the country, which could explain the rise of infections. Although cooking and freezing can kill off the bacteria, many people contaminate their kitchens and fridges with it before that happens. &quot;The only way to deal with it properly is to get it out of the food supply. No other food makes that many people sick. If it was a new food it would be off the shelves immediately,&quot; Baker said. &quot;Campylobacter is the most dangerous thing people take into their kitchen but they don&#39;t know about it.&quot; There is no evidence that organic or free-range chickens contain less campylobacter than any other. Earlier this week, a study published by infectious diseases journal The Lancet warned the world was on the cusp of a &quot;post-antibiotic era&quot; that could lead to untreatable infections. If bacteria became completely resistant it would mean a return to the medical dark ages and common infections could again become deadly, while surgery would be extremely difficult. Labour&#39;s spokesperson for health, Annette King, said: &quot;It&#39;s a real worry, the growing resistance to antibiotics. It&#39;s a real threat to human health.&quot; The NZ Veterinary Association has announced 2030 as an aspirational target date for New Zealand to no longer need antibiotics for the maintenance of animal health and wellness. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,129,idrec-nigel-french--superbug-found-in-chicken-dangerous.html IDReC David Hayman : Marsden Fund Grant (Unpacking infection spillover dynamics) http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,128,idrec-david-hayman--marsden-fund-grant-unpacking-infection-spillover-dynamics.html &#160;Dr David Hayman, IDReC: Unpacking infection spillover dynamics, $300,000 The majority of human infections have &#8216;spilled over&#39; from animals. Emerging infectious diseases such as Ebola, HIV and pandemic influenza are examples of such spillovers. As well as being of major importance to human health, infections that cross species boundaries also affect animal populations, including apes, amphibians and bats. A Fast-Start Marsden Fund grant will help Dr David Hayman from Massey University and colleagues from the University of Sussex and the University of California Los Angeles to develop mathematical models that can help understand why spillover events occur. Dr Hayman will develop these models using genomic data on the microorganisms that are shared between humans, livestock and gorillas living in close proximity in a Ugandan National Park. This approach can detect the moment a spillover event occurs. His research will test whether bacteria are more likely to share hosts than viruses, and whether viral spillover between hosts is made easier by their evolutionary relatedness. This study has the potential to be a flagship research project for global health by developing and strengthening international collaborations with world-leading researchers. It is topical given the recent Ebola epidemic and will increase our chances of detecting future disease spillover events early, thus helping to prevent future outbreaks. &#160; Media links : www.royalsociety.org.nz | www.stuff.co.nz | www.massey.ac.nz http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,128,idrec-david-hayman--marsden-fund-grant-unpacking-infection-spillover-dynamics.html IDReC Jeroen Douwes - Pasifika health seminar highlights trio of issues http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,127,idrec-jeroen-douwes---pasifika-health-seminar-highlights-trio-of-issues.html Three crucial issues essential to improving the health of people in the Pacific Islands will be the focus of a seminar organised by Massey University and hosted by the Dutch Embassy later this month. While November 11, Armistice Day, is traditionally a date to remember the fallen soldiers of World War I, organisers of the Pacific Health Seminar to be held on the same date, want seminar participants to also remember the need to acknowledge the challenges faced by Pasifika nations in achieving and maintaining good health. Centre for Public Health Research director Professor Jeroen Douwes says on all three issues to be addressed by the seminar - cancer rates, pesticide use and training and education, Pasifika nations are lacking on information and the ability to offset their worst effects. Dutch Ambassador Rob Zaagman says his Embassy also has a special interest in the issues as it is officially accredited to Fiji, Samoa, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Tonga. College of Health Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Paul McDonald will introduce speakers at the event including Professor Don Matheson, Centre for Public Health research officers Dr Tupa&#39;ilevaililigi Ridvan Firestone and Dr Sunia Foliaki, Fonterra senior research scientist Dr Palatasa Havea and Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries deputy director Dr Sione Foliaki. Professor Douwes hopes that the event may lead to a wider call to action from the international community to get involved in helping address certain health issues in the region that has not had the priority others have. A World Health Organisation non-communicable diseases action plan for 2013 -2020 proposes a series of targets including the reduction of 25 per cent of mortality from four conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory illnesses and cancer. Dr Foliaki says the focus on cancer is particularly pertinent to Pasifika nations that lack both data and effective screening processes for prevention and control of the deadly disease. It has become the second leading cause of death in the majority of Pacific Island countries. &#8220;There is little reliable data on cancer, and cancer registries in the Pacific Islands are either lacking or inadequate. But there is a need to identify how cancer is tracking in the Pacific and tailor research funding applications to that,&#8221; he says. &#8220;The lack of cancer registries makes it very difficult to identify causes for cancer and develop effective interventions.&#8221; Also, without robust screening processes in place it is harder for Pacific health workers to diagnose cancer early hampering effective treatment and control.&#8221; Similarly, pesticide use is another issue that requires urgent attention. Dr Foliaki says up to 80 per cent of deaths caused by pesticides happen in developing countries where many locals are not fully aware of what they&#8217;re being exposed to or the potential health impacts. Studies undertaken in other countries such as Mexico showed severely reduced neuropsychological development among children exposed unnecessarily to such chemicals, though it was still unknown how big an issue it is in the Pacific Islands. Measures such as applying labels to pesticide containers in the relevant local languages as well as community education could help reduce the incidence of poisoning and other exposures to them; as could through appropriate research the use, presence and health impacts of pesticides in Pacific islands environments and communities. Both he and Professor Douwes agreed that while the solutions were challenging, addressing environmental health issues, that also include respiratory illnesses like asthma, was less imposing than others affecting the region such as climate change which require solutions taken in other countries. Many of the solutions lay with training and education, ranging from providing the funds for medical equipment such as lung functioning machines to managing and diagnosing respiratory disease. Dr Foliaki has previously been involved with setting up cancer registers and asthma clinics in the Pacific but he and Professor Douwes stress there is a need to train locals more and encourage the emergence of international mentors for a new generation of health professionals. &#8220;We need cooperation from international countries. If they can find funding for such issues then such a development becomes permanent and it&#8217;s possible to make change,&#8221; Professor Douwes says. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,127,idrec-jeroen-douwes---pasifika-health-seminar-highlights-trio-of-issues.html IDReC Dave Hayman has been awarded the 2015 early career Massey University Medal http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,126,idrec-dave-hayman-has-been-awarded-the-2015-early-career-massey-university-medal-.html Dr Dave Hayman has been awarded the 2015 early career Massey University Medal The award acknowledges high quality research that Dave Hayman has a achieved in field of infectious disease . The University Medal will be presented at the Massey Defining Excellence Awards next year. Dr Hayman was selected from a high quality field - congratulations Dave on this outstanding achievement. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,126,idrec-dave-hayman-has-been-awarded-the-2015-early-career-massey-university-medal-.html IDReC Ben Phiri is a recipient of the Dean's award http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,125,idrec-ben-phiri-is-a-recipient-of-the-deans-award-.html Ben Phiri is a recipient of the Dean&#8217;s award and his doctoral thesis is on the &#39;List of Exceptional Theses&#39;. To gain a place on the &#39;Dean&#39;s List&#39; a doctoral thesis has to meet very stringent criteria. It has to be submitted on time, and in each case all three examiners must agree that the thesis is of exceptional quality in every respect, including research and analytical content, originality, quality of expression, accuracy of presentation and contribution to knowledge in the field. Congratulations Ben on this outstanding achievement http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,125,idrec-ben-phiri-is-a-recipient-of-the-deans-award-.html IDReC : Mick Roberts invited to celebrate oldest scientific journal. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,124,idrec--mick-roberts-invited-to-celebrate-oldest-scientific-journal.html Professor Mick Roberts&#160; invited to celebrate oldest scientific journal.&#160; Massey University mathematical biologist Professor Mick Roberts has contributed to a special issue commemorating 350 years of Philosophical Transactions B, the oldest scientific journal in the English-speaking world. Professor Roberts, from the Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, is co-author of a paper highlighting the importance of a 74-page paper on modelling infectious disease in insects that took up an entire issue of the journal in 1981. Professor Roberts says this paper, by Sir Roy Anderson and Lord Robert May, highlights general theories of infectious disease dynamics - many of which he still uses daily. &quot;Not only was the length of the paper staggering but so was the scientific framework within it. The methodologies are applicable to a wide range of problems.&quot; When the journal was first established, the field of infectious disease dynamics did not exist. Now, it has been used to show the effectiveness of vaccination strategies against everything from smallpox to measles, and is integral for the current and future control of epidemics including the Ebola outbreak. At the moment for example, scientists are concerned that climate change could bring dengue-carrying mosquitos to New Zealand. A potential solution is exploiting a bacterium that not only attacks mosquitos, but interferes with transmission of the virus. Scientists are using mathematical modelling to see if that strategy could be effective. The anniversary edition is available to read for free here. &#160; &#160; &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,124,idrec--mick-roberts-invited-to-celebrate-oldest-scientific-journal.html IDReC Jeroen Douwes has been appointed to the Health Research Council http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,123,idrec-jeroen-douwes-has-been-appointed-to-the-health-research-council.html Professor of Public Health and director at Massey University&#39;s Centre for Public Health Research Jeroen Douwes has been appointed to the Health Research Council. He leads a comprehensive programme of public health research with a focus on respiratory disease and environmental and occupational health. Professor Douwes is also principal investigator at the recently-established Infectious Disease Research Centre at Massey, and associate editor of the International Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. He says, &#8220;It is a privilege to support the HRC as a member of the board and as chair of the Public Health Research Committee. I will be a strong advocate for public health research in New Zealand, but will also look for opportunities to bridge the traditional gap between biomedical, clinical and public health research to ensure the best possible outcome from the HRC&#8217;s investment.&#8221; &#160; The Council invests $75 million per annum in health research, with the majority invested in highly contestable investigator-led research contributing to improved health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders. Professor Douwes says, &#8220;There is a great need for this research given the considerable burden of ill health in New Zealand and the continued health inequalities experienced by M&#257;ori and Pacific peoples. Solutions are not always easy as we often do not fully understand the causes and mechanisms of ill health and health inequalities hampering the development of effective prevention and treatment options. The research supported by the HRC significantly contributes to these solutions.&#8221; He adds, &#8220;I have been well supported by the HRC since moving to New Zealand in 1998 through numerous project grants, a Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship and a Programme Grant and I am excited to be given the opportunity to give back to the agency which has played such a crucial role in shaping my career as a health researcher.&#8221; HRC Board chief executive Professor Kathryn McPherson says, &#8220;We are delighted Professor Douwes is joining the Council. He has had a significant connection to the Health Research Council over many years as a very successful applicant for funding for excellent research and as a member of our Public Health Research Committee. I look forward to working with him to advance health research in New Zealand in his new role.&#8221; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,123,idrec-jeroen-douwes-has-been-appointed-to-the-health-research-council.html IDReC Peter Wilson - Double honours for veterinary professor http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,122,idrec-peter-wilson---double-honours-for-veterinary-professor.html Professor Peter Wilson has been awarded the Deer Farmers Association&#39;s Premier Industry Award as well as life membership of the New Zealand Veterinary Association. Professor Wilson, from Massey University&#39;s Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, specialises in deer nutrition, reproduction, welfare, disease and epidemiology, as well as health and herd profiling of farmed deer and, more recently, mixed species farming. He received the industry award for his outstanding contribution over 40 years. In its citation, the Deer Farmers Association described him as a prolific researcher and author as well someone who has engaged with industry and the community. &quot;Peter Wilson stands tall in the history of the development and evolution of the farmed New Zealand deer industry, clearly in the advancement of deer health programmes, but equally in a whole farm system view based around productivity improvement, and systems analysis.&quot; Professor Wilson also has a long history of involvement with the Veterinary Association. He set up its deer branch more than 30 years ago and chaired it for 20 years. The association is the only membership association representing New Zealand veterinarians. It has more than 2000 members and just seven current life members including Professor Wilson. It says he has &quot;done an exemplary job of leading the deer branch with vision, flair and wisdom&quot;. He says he is humbled to receive the honours. &#8220;It has been an exciting and challenging industry to be part of, but most satisfying is the privilege of working with outstanding colleagues, students and industry people who have contributed so much to my career, so this award recognises their contribution as much as mine.&#8221; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,122,idrec-peter-wilson---double-honours-for-veterinary-professor.html Review tests leptospirosis vaccination success http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,121,review-tests-leptospirosis-vaccination-success.html Massey University scientists have been awarded $480,000 to find out whether the vaccination of dairy cattle against the bacterial disease leptospirosis has been fully effective. Preliminary research suggests perhaps not, and the independent not-for-profit Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust and the Sustainable Farming Fund of the Ministry for Primary Industries, will fund three years of further research to verify this and determine what can be done better in future. The funding recipients are scientists from the Farmer Leptospirosis Action Group, who will quantify vaccine programme efficiency in dairy herds across New Zealand by collecting blood and urine samples from animals and questioning farmers about their vaccination practices. They will then develop best practice guidelines for the industry. Group member Professor Cord Heuer, from the University&#39;s Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, says vaccination programmes were probably compromised by timing and incorrect on-farm management of vaccination. &#8220;By interviewing farms, collecting samples and other information we can find out exactly why [it was not effective],&#8221; Professor Heuer says. A significant component of the project will involve making the guidelines and recommendations from the research readily available to farmers, veterinarians and industry stakeholders through the Know Lepto&#160;website, a DVD and professional meetings. Professor Heuer says people across the dairy industry will benefit from the research. &#8220;We expect people to respond well to the research. There&#8217;s already high awareness and use of vaccines and ongoing marketing campaigns. &#8220;This research is a major contribution to the improvement of vaccination practices of dairy cattle. It will have implications for animal health and welfare as well as occupational safety and health of farmers, farm workers and professionals working in the dairy and allied industry.&#8221; The Leptospirosis Research Group includes world leaders in leptospirosis disease and diagnosis research Dr Jackie Benschop, Dr Julie-Collins-Emerson, Professor Peter Wilson and Professor Heuer. The programme is also supported by Rural Women New Zealand, the New Zealand Veterinary Association, Dairy New Zealand and Federated Farmers. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,121,review-tests-leptospirosis-vaccination-success.html IDReC Jeroen Douwes : How airway micro-organisms affect children with asthma. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,120,idrec-jeroen-douwes--how-airway-micro-organisms-affect-children-with-asthma.html Funding puts asthma anomaly under scrutiny &#160; Health researchers at Massey University have been awarded nearly $1.2 million to identify an anomaly in one particular underlying cause of asthma in New Zealand. &#160;The Health Research Council funding of $1,191,469 is for a three-year study into why some children with no signs of airway inflammation still suffer from asthma - a disease that affects an estimated one in four children and one in five adults in New Zealand. &#160;It is commonly thought that inflammation of the airway causes asthma symptoms such as wheezing, breathlessness and chest tightness. The study led by Professor Jeroen Douwes from the Centre for Public Health Research at the College of Health aims to solve the mystery of why that isn&#8217;t the reason for all asthma cases. &#160;Fellow researcher Dr Collin Brooks says a network of nerves regulates the airways and these may be impaired in asthma, resulting in sensory and structural pathways in the airway not functioning properly without causing inflammation. &#160;&#8220;This may lead to the airways being too constricted in general, more likely to constrict due to psychological influences, such as stress or being overly responsive to stimulation by normally innocuous things like cold air.&#8221; &#160;The funding will test the hypothesis that neurogenic dysfunction is a key mechanism underlying childhood asthma, particularly in those who have no airway inflammation and for the 30 to 50 per cent for whom current asthma treatment is not effective. &#160;Samples from the airways will be collected from 120 asthmatic as well as 60 non-asthmatic children and analysed for immune and neurogenic indicators. &#160;Dr Brooks says if the Massey study shows neurogenic dysfunction is the key mechanism underlying asthma &#8220;it would get us away from the dogma that asthma is always an inflammatory disease and, therefore, should always be treated as an inflammatory disease. &#160;&#8220;It would open up new options for improved asthma treatment particularly for patients who don&#8217;t seem to have airway inflammation and are less likely to respond to treatment targeting inflammation, such as inhaled corticosteroids.&#8221; &#160;The study&#8217;s findings could lead to a radical shift in understanding the causes of asthma and identify innovative pathways for effective interventions for all asthmatics. &#160;Professor Douwes described asthma as a major public health issue in New Zealand, which has one of the highest rates of the illness in the world. &#160;&#8216;It is the most common cause of childhood hospital admissions, causes considerable school and work absenteeism, reduces quality of life and increases stress. It is conservatively estimated to cost the economy $825 million a year.&#8221; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,120,idrec-jeroen-douwes--how-airway-micro-organisms-affect-children-with-asthma.html IDReC Paul Rainey elected to European biology organisation http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,118,idrec-paul-rainey-elected-to-european-biology-organisation.html Distinguished Professor Paul Rainey is the first New Zealander to be elected as an associate member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation. The organisation has more than 1700 of the top life science researchers from Europe and around the world, including 79 nobel laureates. One hundred and forty members are associate members. Election to the organisation is recognition of research excellence and outstanding achievements made by a life scientist. Professor Rainey is part of Massey University&#39;s New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study. Based at the Auckland campus, it comprises a community of internationally recognised researchers whose expertise spans a broad spectrum of fundamental sciences. Established in 2007, it has grown rapidly to become New Zealand&#8217;s premier place for research excellence. Among the faculty is Distinguished Professor Peter Schwertfedger, last year&#8217;s recipient of New Zealand&#8217;s most prestigious science prize, the Rutherford Medal. Institute director Distinguished Professor Gaven Martin says the institute is exceptionally proud of Professor Rainey&#39;s achievement and the recognition given to him by the organisation. &#8220;Election highlights the importance of investing in fundamental research as a platform to build the world&#8217;s knowledge base,&quot; Professor Martin says. &quot;Applications of this knowledge have been instrumental in understanding applied problems such as the kiwifruit pathogen PSA.&#8221; Professor Rainey heads The Rainey Lab within the institute that researches evolutionary process using populations of microbes whose evolution is tracked in real time. Research ranges from the evolution of virulence in bacterial pathogens, to the evolution of cooperation and the evolutionary transition from single cells to multicellular life. From this research have come numerous high-profile publications that have significantly advanced fundamental knowledge in the field of biology. He says he is delighted and honoured to be elected and credits that to the work of his team. &quot;Election is as much an acknowledgement of the commitment and innovation of those members of my team &#8211; past and present &#8211; who have given so much of their own energy, creativity and vitality to the research programme, as it is a personal achievement.&#8221; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,118,idrec-paul-rainey-elected-to-european-biology-organisation.html IDReC Tim Carpenter presented with UC Davis Award http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,117,idrec-tim-carpenter-presented-with-uc-davis-award.html &#160; Tim Carpenter, Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases , Massey University has been selected by his alma mater, the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, to receive the 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. The Alumni Achievement Award is the highest honour bestowed by the school , and recognizes Tim&#39;s exemplary achievements and contributions over four decades to veterinary medical research, teaching and mentoring of students and colleagues. Tim received the award at an event on the UC Davis campus on 18th May 2015. &#160; Read More http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,117,idrec-tim-carpenter-presented-with-uc-davis-award.html IDReC Springer Browne saving animals in Nepal . http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,116,-idrec-springer-browne-saving-animals-in-nepal-.html World Vets Disaster Response Team is extremely busy in Nepal, racing to save animals caught in the wake of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has killed more than 6100 people and countless animals. While the response to human casualties is justifiably prioritized, there are many animals that are in a desperate situation and World Vets is on the ground in the strike zone to help them. Already there has been a huge demand for life-saving veterinary work not only for companion animals but also for street dogs, livestock, horses and donkeys. The livelihood of many people in Nepal is dependent on livestock and working animals, and our work is not only helping the animals but also the families of Nepal who depend on them for their own survival. Dr. Springer Browne of World Vets and Dr. Suman Khadka from Animal Nepal assess a cow that had been trapped between collapsed buildings for three days. The cow had recently been rescued in Baneswor area of Kathmadu and was suffering from a severe metabolic disease from the ordeal. She was in very bad shaped and would have died without treatment. They got to work right away administering intravenous treatments to which she showed rapid signs of improvement. They will go back and check on her tomorrow but thankfully she is expected to make a full recovery. Tragically, another cow died before we knew about the situation and our vets were able to get there. &#160; Read more ;&#160; World Vets website&#160; &#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,116,-idrec-springer-browne-saving-animals-in-nepal-.html New weapons in global war http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,113,new-weapons-in-global-war.html IDReC Director Professor Nigel French discusses the need for new tools if we are to find better ways of controlling new and existing infectious diseases. The article was in the Dominion Post last week. Read the article. New weapons&#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,113,new-weapons-in-global-war.html IDReC PhD student wins Konrad-Bogel-Preis http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,112,idrec-phd-student-wins-konrad-bogel-preis-.html IDReC Alumni Anou Dreyfus has been awarded the prestigious Konrad-Bogel Preis for 2015. The award is for outstanding contributions in veterinary epidemiology and veterinary public health, including research publications from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Masters, DVM and PhD theses. Anou won the award for her PhD research investigating &#8220;Leptospirosis in humans and pastoral livestock in New Zealand&quot;. The award will be presented by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover in February next year. Congratulations Anou and team&#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,112,idrec-phd-student-wins-konrad-bogel-preis-.html Zoonoses and Emerging Livestock Systems programme launched http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,111,zoonoses-and-emerging-livestock-systems-programme-launched.html IDReC researcher Dr Jackie Benschop attended the launch of the international research programme on Zoonoses and Emerging Livestock Systems (ZELS) in Tanzania last week. The initiative is funded through the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Wellcome Trust. IDReC researchers are involved in key research projects as part of the research programme that aims to investigate and mitigate disease risks and economic impacts associated with zoonoses in emerging livestock systems in Africa and Asia. Researchers from IDReC are collaborating with the University of Glasgow (UK), which is leading three projects within this research programme, together with partners in Tanzania, UK, USA. The three projects include: &#8220;Social, Economic and Environmental Drivers in Tanzania (SEEDZ)&#8221; &#8220;Molecular Epidemiology of Brucellosis in Northern Tanzania&#8221; &#8220;Hazards Associated with Zoonotic Enteric Pathogens in Emerging Livestock Meat Pathways (HAZEL)&#8221; Dr Jackie Benschop and other IDReC researchers are involved in the third project HAZEL, which aims to develop a robust understanding of how zoonotic enteric pathogens flow through the meat chain in Tanzania and to use this information to develop improved food safety policies. The project will establish which meats are most likely to be contaminated with Campylobacter or Salmonella, where contamination occurs in the meat supply chain, and how the meat supply chain is organized and perceived by farmers, processors, retailers and consumers http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,111,zoonoses-and-emerging-livestock-systems-programme-launched.html Genetics Otago annual Symposium http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,109,genetics-otago-annual-symposium.html IDReC Researcher Dr Patrick Biggs was a speaker at the Genetics Otago 6th Annual Symposium and workshop last month.&#160; Dr Biggs gave a talk on &#8220;The comparative genomics of foodborne pathogens&#8221;. &nbsp; Dr Biggs also ran a workshop entitled &#8220;Introduction to visualising genomic data&#8221; which included topics on basic data manipulation, generic plotting tools, genomics-specific plots and more advanced plotting techniques http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,109,genetics-otago-annual-symposium.html IDReC PI wins premier research award http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,108,idrec-pi-wins-premier-research-award.html IDReC PI Professor Martin Hazleton has been awarded the 2014 Littlejohn Research Award, the premier research award from the New Zealand Statistical Association. The Littlejohn Research Award acknowledges Professor Hazleton&#8217;s excellence in research, and is based on the quality of his original statistical research published in the last five years. Professor Hazelton has recently been elected President of the New Zealand Statistical Association. Congratulations Martin on these outstanding achievements. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,108,idrec-pi-wins-premier-research-award.html Massey Research Medal for IDReC PI http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,107,massey-research-medal-for-idrec-pi.html IDReC PI Distinguished Professor Paul Rainey has been awarded the Massey University Research Medal for 2014. The award acknowledges Professor Rainey&#8217;s outstanding research achievements in the area of experimental evolution.&#160; His work focuses on understanding evolutionary processes and using microbial populations to observe evolution in real time. The University Research Medal will be presented at the Massey Defining Excellence Awards in March next year. Congratulations Paul. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,107,massey-research-medal-for-idrec-pi.html Leptospirosis video series launched http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,106,leptospirosis-video-series-launched.html IDReC researchers in the Massey University Leptospirosis Team have released a series of short videos providing information to farmers on how to protect themselves, their families, workers and livestock from the disease. Dr Julie Collins-Emerson launched the series as part of a presentation at the Rural Women New Zealand Annual Conference this week. Professor Peter Wilson, Professor Cord Heuer, Dr Jackie Benschop and Dr Julie Collins-Emerson were part of the production team and also feature in the 7-part video series, providing information about vaccination, how leptospirosis affects livestock and how it can affect people. The series includes the following episodes and can be viewed here Introduction to Leptospirosis&#160; Leptospirosis in people Leptospirosis in livestock and pets Leptospirosis in environment Diagnosing Leptospirosis Control and prevention of Leptospirosis Future perspectives on Leptospirosis A number of articles involving the Leptospirosis Team featured on the new &#8216;Discovery&#8217; section of &#8216;NZ Farmer&#8217; this week. Click here to read more. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,106,leptospirosis-video-series-launched.html IDReC researcher awarded supervisor medal http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,104,idrec-researcher-awarded-supervisor-medal.html Professor Cord Heuer has been awarded the 2014&#160;Massey University Research Medal &#8211;Supervisor. The award acknowledges the high quality research supervision Professor Heuer has provided over the past 10 years at Massey University. The University Research Medal will be presented at the Massey Defining Excellence Awards in March next year. Professor Heuer was selected from a high quality field - congratulations&#160;Cord on this outstanding achievement. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,104,idrec-researcher-awarded-supervisor-medal.html The evolution of multicellular life http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,103,the-evolution-of-multicellular-life.html IDReC PI Professor Paul Rainey&#160;has recently published a paper&#160;in Nature that reports on the evolution of single cells to multicellular life forms. The work is a result of collaborations with researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany and the Department of Biology and BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, USA. To read more about the article click here Original publication is available here Hammerschmidt, K., Rose, C. J., Kerr, B. &#38; Rainey, P. B. (2014). Life cycles, fitness decoupling and the evolution of multicellularity.&#160; Nature xx 2014 doi:10.1038/nature13884 http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,103,the-evolution-of-multicellular-life.html IDReC Researchers invited to attend international leptospirosis meeting http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,102,idrec-researchers-invited-to-attend-international-leptospirosis-meeting-.html IDReC Researchers Dr Jackie Benschop and Professor Peter Wilson have been invited to attend the 4th Global Leptospirosis Environmental Action Network (GLEAN) Technical Meeting in Sri Lanka later this month. The purpose of the GLEAN annual meeting, which runs from 18-20 November, is to bring together national and international experts that have been working on surveillance, diagnosis, case management, prevention and control of leptospirosis. The meeting will focus on developing recommendations for leptospirosis prevention and control, including outbreak response. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,102,idrec-researchers-invited-to-attend-international-leptospirosis-meeting-.html IDReC Director attending Salmonella workshop in Malawi http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,101,idrec-director-attending-salmonella-workshop-in-malawi.html IDReC Director Professor Nigel French will be travelling to Malawi later this month to attend a two-day workshop on &#8216;Invasive Salmonella in Africa&#8217;. Topics to be covered during the workshop include: antimicrobial resistance, mapping invasive salmonella, mortality rates, transmission dynamics and intervention strategies. During his trip Professor French will be travelling to the UK to give lectures at the University of Surrey and to attend the Cripptic Science Day being held in University of Liverpool, in honour of distinguished epidemiologist Dr Peter Cripps. Professor French will give a talk entitled &#8220;Epidemiology, ecology and evolution: a few short tales from Langford to the Land of the Long White Cloud&#8221;. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,101,idrec-director-attending-salmonella-workshop-in-malawi.html Einstein Professorship awarded to IDReC PI http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,100,einstein-professorship-awarded-to-idrec-pi-.html The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has honoured IDReC PI Professor Paul Rainey by awarding him a 2014 Einstein Professorship. The CAS Einstein Professorship is awarded each year to 20 distinguished international scientists working at the frontiers of science and technology. Professor Rainey visited the Institute of Soil Science, Chinese academy of Sciences in September. During his visit, Professor Rainey gave a talk entitled &#8220;The evolutionary transition from single cells to multicellularity&quot;, to over 300 researchers present at the awards ceremony. Congratulations Paul! To read more about the award click here http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,100,einstein-professorship-awarded-to-idrec-pi-.html IDReC Director elected Royal Society Fellow http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,99,idrec-director-elected-royal-society-fellow.html IDReC Director Professor Nigel French has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand&#160; for &quot;his major contribution to our understanding of the epidemiology and control of zoonotic diseases of national and global importance&quot; Twelve top New Zealand researchers and scholars in basic and applied science and the humanities were elected as Fellows at the Annual General Meeting of the Society&#8217;s Academy. The Royal Society of New Zealand recognises that Nigel&#8217;s research &#8220;into probable sources of food-borne human campylobacteriosis in New Zealand has greatly assisted efforts to reduce the incidence of this disease&#8221;. Being elected as a Fellow is an honour given to the top researchers in New Zealand for showing exceptional distinction in research or in the advancement of science, technology or the humanities. Congratulations Nigel! http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,99,idrec-director-elected-royal-society-fellow.html Asthma risk linked to job loss fears http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,97,asthma-risk-linked-to-job-loss-fears.html IDReC Principle Investigator Professor Jeroen Douwes is co-author on a recent paper that reports an association between perceived job insecurity and an increased risk of developing asthma. The paper, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, reports a 61% excess risk of asthma if the probability of job loss was greater than 50%. The study included employment and health data for more than 7,000 people.&#160;The results were consistent with other epidemiological studies and the authors suggested that their results may provide an explanation for the increased prevalence of respiratory symptoms during the recent economic crisis in the UK. Loerbroks A, Bosch JA, Douwes J, Angerer P, Li J. Job insecurity is associated with adult asthma in Germany during Europe&#8217;s recent economic crisis: a prospective cohort study. Journal of Epidemiology &#38; Community Health, In Press. doi:10.1136/jech-2014-204274 http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,97,asthma-risk-linked-to-job-loss-fears.html IDReC researcher invited speaker at Global Health Security Agenda Conference http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,96,idrec-researcher-invited-speaker-at-global-health-security-agenda-conference.html Dr David Hayman was invited to speak at an American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting &#8220;Global Health Security Agenda: Non Governmental Perspectives on Addressing Emerging and Evolving Biological Threats&#8221;, held at the end of September in Washington, DC. The conference focused on the prevention, detection and response of the Security Agenda. The session on &#8216;Prevention&#8217; focused on the prevention of natural, accidental and intentional infectious disease events. Dr Hayman was invited to discuss his work on zoonotic disease epidemics from an ecological and wildlife perspective. The Global Health Security Agenda was established in February of this year. The Agenda intends to provide a means for enhancing global capacity to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to infectious disease threats. For more information on the Global Health Security Agenda click here&#160; http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,96,idrec-researcher-invited-speaker-at-global-health-security-agenda-conference.html IDReC researchers particpiate in workshop in Uruguay http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,95,idrec-researchers-particpiate-in-workshop-in-uruguay.html Professor Peter Wilson and Dr Julie Collins-Emerson will travel to Uruguay this week to participate in a workshop at the Institut Pasteur de Montevideo. During the one-week workshop, Peter and Julie will share Massey&#8217;s expertise on leptospirosis and provide hands-on training to Dr Alejandro Buschiazzo and his colleagues from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguayan National Agency on Research &#38; Development in Agricultural Sciences and Uruguayan Ministry of Agriculture. Julie and Peter will also visit a local farm and abattoir. Workshop topics covered will include obtaining and processing samples, isolating pure Leptospira strains from field samples, the serological and molecular characterization of strains and animal sera, and the epidemiology of the disease in both humans and animals. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,95,idrec-researchers-particpiate-in-workshop-in-uruguay.html Epidemiology in the age of the internet http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,94,epidemiology-in-the-age-of-the-internet.html IDReC Director Professor Nigel French and IDReC researcher Professor Cord Heuer have been invited to speak at the 2014 Australasian Epidemiologic Association (AEA) scientific meeting in Auckland, from 8-10 October. The meeting will provide an opportunity to hear from international researchers, who are at the cutting of edge of integrating the internet with epidemiology. Professor French will give a presentation on &#8220;Controlling Zoonoses: the Increasing Role Played by Molecular and Genomic Epidemiology&#8221;.&#160; &#160; Professor Cord Heuer&#8217;s presentation is entitled &#8220;The public health and economic impact of leptospirosis in New Zealand&#8221;. IDReC postdoc Patricia Jaros will also be speaking at the conference about her recent work on the Geographic divergence of bovine and human Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia Coli 0157:H7 genotypes. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,94,epidemiology-in-the-age-of-the-internet.html IDReC Director made Honorary Professor http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,93,idrec-director-made-honorary-professor.html IDReC Director Professor Nigel French has been made an Honorary Professor at the University of Otago, Department of Pathology. A unique collaboration between Massey University, the University of Otago, and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd has been initiated over the past year, to develop a One Health approach to infectious disease research. One Health Aotearoa is an alliance between researchers working at the interface between human, animal and environmental health. Professor David Murdoch, University of Otago, has been made Adjunct Professor at Massey University&#8217;s Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences.&#160; To read more on the collaboration click here http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,93,idrec-director-made-honorary-professor.html Toxoplasmosis linked to dolphin deaths http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,91,toxoplasmosis-linked-to-dolphin-deaths.html IDReC researcher Dr Wendi Roe gave a talk at the IDReC Symposium this week entitled &#8220;Marine toxoplasmosis: from cat poo to kai moana?&#8221; The talk covered her latest research investigating toxoplasmosis and the deaths of Hector&#8217;s Maui&#8217;s dolphins. The presentation discussed cats as a source of toxoplasmosis and possible routes for environmental contamination. Dr Roe also reported identifying two kaka, a kiwi and a kereru infected with the disease, and suggested that more research is needed on the effects of toxoplasmosis on ecology and humans. Click here to read a related media article http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,91,toxoplasmosis-linked-to-dolphin-deaths.html IDReC researchers discuss leptospirosis http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,89,idrec-researchers-discuss-leptospirosis.html The leptospirosis research work of Dr Julie Collins-Emerson, Professor Peter Wilson, Professor Cord Heuer and Dr Jackie Benschop has featured in an article for NZFarmer. The group discussed the awareness of the disease, the importance of vaccination, the contribution of their work in dealing with the disease, and the impact it can have on people and livestock. To read the article in full click here &#160; Photo credit: Fairfax NZ http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,89,idrec-researchers-discuss-leptospirosis.html IDReC two-day mini-symposium on infectious diseases http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,88,idrec-two-day-mini-symposium-on-infectious-diseases.html IDReC, the University of Otago and Environmental Sciences Research (ESR) Ltd will be hosting a two-day mini-symposium on infectious diseases in Wellington, on the 9th and 10th September 2014. The symposium will provide scientists and policy makers from a variety of disciplines the opportunity to share information and ideas on current research in the field of infectious disease. The exciting programme includes topics on antimicrobial resistance, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, genomic epidemiology and pathogen evolution, and infectious disease research in New Zealand. For more details on this event see the Symposium page Registration for this event is now open - to register click here http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,88,idrec-two-day-mini-symposium-on-infectious-diseases.html IDReC researcher finalist in Developing Scientist Competition http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,87,idrec-researcher-finalist-in-developing-scientist-competition-.html IDReC Postdoctoral researcher Patricia Jaros has been selected as a finalist for the International Association for Food Protection Developing Scientist Competition 2014. The annual meeting takes place from 3-6 August, Indianapolis, and is attended by over 2,800 of the top industry, academic and governmental food safety professionals from six continents. Patricia was selected by a distinguished panel of judges as one the top 10 finalists, from over 140 competition entries. Patricia will be travelling to the conference this week to present her poster entitled &#8220;International Divergence of Bovine and Human Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 Genotypes&#8221;. The top three entries will be selected based on the abstract, the scientific quality of the research, the visual presentation of the work and the presenter&#8217;s ability to answer questions. Congratulations Patricia on your selection as a finalist, and we wish&#160;you the best of luck for the next stage of judging. To read more about the conference click here http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,87,idrec-researcher-finalist-in-developing-scientist-competition-.html Measles research funded by Ministry of Health http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,86,measles-research-funded-by-ministry-of-health.html IDReC researchers are working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health in response to the recent measles outbreak in New Zealand. The Ministry of Health funded project aims to identify at risk populations of measles infection, the optimal vaccination strategies for measles, and involves performing cost-benefit analyses. The team working on the project&#160;includes Dr David Hayman, Dr Jonathon Marshall, Professor Nigel French, Professor Tim Carpenter and Professor Mick Roberts. To read more about the outbreaks in New Zealand click here http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,86,measles-research-funded-by-ministry-of-health.html IDReC researcher becomes Diplomate http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,85,idrec-researcher-becomes-diplomate-.html Dr David Hayman recently became a Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine, with a speciality in Wildlife Population Health. The European College of Zoological Medicine was established to make further progress in research and practice to benefit health and well-being of free-ranging and captive non-domesticated animals. Congratulations David. To read more about the college click here. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,85,idrec-researcher-becomes-diplomate-.html Asthma project funded by Health Research Council http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,84,asthma-project-funded-by-health-research-council-.html IDReC PI Professor Jeroen Douwes and his team have been awarded $1.2 million by the Health Research Council for a three-year project investigating &#8220;Non-inflammatory mechanisms in asthma&#8221;. Asthma is a major public health issue in New Zealand, with one in four children and one in five adults estimated to be affected; amongst the highest prevalence in the world. The study will investigate neurogenic dysfunction as a key mechanism underlying asthma, and identify novel pathways for effective interventions for all asthmatics. The project is in collaboration with: Dr Collin Brooks (Centre for Public Health Research)&#160; Prof Julian Crane (Medical School, Otago University) Prof Richard Beasley (Medical Research Institute of New Zealand) Prof Graham Le Gros (Monash Institute of Medical Research) Prof Neil Pearce (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK) Prof Stephen Holgate (University of Southampton, UK) Prof Peter Gibson (John Hunter Hospital, Australia) Assoc Prof Philip Pattermore and Dr Shieak Tseng (Otago University)&#160; To read more about the project click here http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,84,asthma-project-funded-by-health-research-council-.html IDReC researchers present at international paratuberculosis conference http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,83,idrec-researchers-present-at-international-paratuberculosis-conference-.html IDReC researcher Professor Cord Heuer and postgraduate student Nelly Marquetoux attended the 12th International Colloquium on Paratuberculosis in Parma, Italy, this week. The conference is aimed at leading researchers, livestock industry representatives, veterinarians and public health authorities. The presentations from the team included: Meta-analysis of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis progression in experimental sheep studies informing mathematical modelling Molecular epidemiology for paratuberculosis: use of strain typing data to inform the transmission of Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis between farms via livestock movements Economics of ovine paratuberculosis: estimation of total economic loss due to paratuberculosis on sheep farms in New Zealand Trends in Johne&#39;s disease in farmed deer in New Zealand identified from 2007-2014 by a national control programme Exploring a virulence hypothesis: relationship between MAP genotypes and standard tissue lesions in sheep http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,83,idrec-researchers-present-at-international-paratuberculosis-conference-.html IDReC PG awarded Doctoral Scholarship http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,82,idrec-pg-awarded-doctoral-scholarship.html IDReC PG Samuel Bloomfield has been awarded a Massey University Doctoral Scholarship for his PhD project &#8220;Transmission and evolution of bacterial gastroenteritis outbreaks&#8221;. Massey University Doctoral Scholarships are awarded to students with an excellent academic record for the purpose of encouraging postgraduate research at Massey University. Congratulations Samuel! http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,82,idrec-pg-awarded-doctoral-scholarship.html "Veterinary Health Matters - Well and Truly" - NZVA Conference http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,81,veterinary-health-matters---well-and-truly---nzva-conference.html IDReC Director Professor Nigel French and IDReC PG researchers Emilie Vallee and Patricia Jaros are presenting at the New Zealand Veterinary Association Conference this week, held in Hamilton. The conference theme for this year is Veterinary Health Matters - Well and Truly. The titles of their presentations are: Nigel French: &quot;Raw milk is it good for you? Emilie Vallee &quot;The effect of Leptospira serovars Harjo and Pomona on sheep and beef cattle and reproduction&quot; Patricia Jaros: &quot;The molecular epidemiology of bovine and human E.coli O157:H7 http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,81,veterinary-health-matters---well-and-truly---nzva-conference.html IDReC Director discusses waterborne zoonoses http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,80,idrec-director-discusses-waterborne-zoonoses.html IDReC Director Professor Nigel French is presenting at the General Practice Conference and Medical Exhibition this week, held in Rotorua. Professor French will run two workshops and give a presentation entitled &#8220;Waterborne Zoonoses in New Zealand&#8221;. The talk examine when, where and how we come into contact with waterborne pathogens, and the role played by zoonotic transmission from farmed livestock and wildlife. The two workshops are: &quot;Zoonotic Mischief From Cattle&#8221; &#8211; discussing the latest research into the epidemiology of cattle-associated infections in New Zealand. &#8220;What You Can Catch from Your Pets&#8221; discussing how veterinary and medical practitioners recognise and manage both common and rare pet-borne zoonoses. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,80,idrec-director-discusses-waterborne-zoonoses.html Is the family pet a risk factor for multidrug resistant infections? http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,79,is-the-family-pet-a-risk-factor-for-multidrug-resistant-infections.html IDReC Director Professor Nigel French has been awarded $1,126,725 by New Zealand&#8217;s Health Research Council. The three-year project will investigate the sources of multidrug resistant bacteria within NZ communities, with particular focus upon the roles played by family pets in spreading infection between people. Professor French is the principal investigator on the project, along with IDReC Principle Investigators Mick Roberts and Jereon Douwes and IDReC Associate Investigator Jackie Benschop. The project is a collaboration with Otago University (Professor Michael Baker), ESR Ltd (Dr Deborah Williamson and Dr Phil Carter), the Ministry for Primary Industries (Dr Eve Pleydell) and Labtests NZ in Auckland (Dr Dragana Drinkovic). For more information about the project click here. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,79,is-the-family-pet-a-risk-factor-for-multidrug-resistant-infections.html IDReC PG awarded Massey Doctoral Scholarship http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,78,idrec-pg-awarded-massey-doctoral-scholarship.html IDReC PG student Ali Karkaba&#160;has been awarded a Massey Doctoral Scholarship. Ali&#8217;s&#160;project is &#8220;Studies assessing the veterinary clinical impact and public health risk associated with multidrug resistant Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus in animals in New Zealand&#8221;. Doctoral Scholarships are&#160;awarded to students with an excellent academic record for the purpose of encouraging postgraduate research at Massey University. Well done Ali. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,78,idrec-pg-awarded-massey-doctoral-scholarship.html Early Career Researcher Award for IDReC researcher http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,77,early-career-researcher-award-for-idrec-researcher.html Dr Charlotte Bolwell has been awarded the Early Career Researcher Award by Massey University&#8217;s College of Science Research Committee. The Early Career Researcher Award recognises and promotes research excellence, for staff members that have completed their PhD within the last 7 years and are showing research potential and leadership of the highest calibre. Dr Bolwell was one of 11 other early career researchers to receive the award, which provides funding to support their research and the development of a research portfolio. Congratulatons Charlotte! http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,77,early-career-researcher-award-for-idrec-researcher.html Society for Risk Analysis Conference - Risk beyond the numbers http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,75,society-for-risk-analysis-conference---risk-beyond-the-numbers.html The 2014 Society of Risk Analysis - Australia and New Zealand Conference is being held in Palmerston North in August. This year&#39;s theme is &#8216;Risk: Beyond the numbers&#39;. The keynote speaker for the conference is internationally recognised risk communication expert Peter Sandman the creator of the &#8220;Risk = Hazard + Outrage&#8221; formula for risk communication. IDReC PI Professor Tim Carpenter is an invited speaker at the conference See the conference website for more details http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,75,society-for-risk-analysis-conference---risk-beyond-the-numbers.html IDReC researchers collaborate on African food safety project http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,74,idrec-researchers-collaborate-on-african-food-safety-project.html Professor Nigel French and Dr Jackie Benschop are part of a global alliance of researchers that has been awarded $8.8 million to help study the spread of zoonotic infectious diseases between livestock and humans in Tanzania. The project will provide an understanding of the livestock meat pathway and the&#160;major risks associated with food production, with respect to food-borne pathogens such as salmonella and campylobacter. The project is part of the &#8216;Zoonoses in Emerging Livestock Systems programme&#8217;, funded by United Kingdom&#8217;s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Department for International Development. Professor French and Dr Benschop will join Professor John Crump, McKinlay Professor of Global Health and Co-Director of the University of Otago Centre for International Health, as part of&#160;the multidisciplinary team providing expertise to improve human&#160;health in some of Tanzania&#8217;s poorest communities. Click here to read more. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,74,idrec-researchers-collaborate-on-african-food-safety-project.html IDReC researchers awarded Most Commendable Paper http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,72,idrec-researchers-awarded-most-commendable-paper.html A paper co-authored by IDReC researchers Dr Julie Collins-Emerson, Dr Jackie Benschop and Dr Anne Midwinter&#160;has been awarded the Most Commendable Paper published in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal prize for 2014, by the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists. The paper &#8220;A serological survey of leptospiral antibodies in dogs in New Zealand&#8221; was published in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal in 2013. The award is given to highlight the scientific contribution members of the college make to the veterinary community internationally, and is aimed at journal articles that provide insight into the pathogenesis of a disease condition. Congratulations to Julie,&#160;Jackie, Anne&#160;and&#160;their co-authors on this award. http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,72,idrec-researchers-awarded-most-commendable-paper.html IDReC researchers co-author chapters in new book http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,71,idrec-researchers-co-author-chapters-in-new-book-.html A number of IDReC researchers have contributed to two chapters in a new book entitled &#8220;Campylobacter Ecology and Evolution&#8221;. In Chapter 2, Paul Fearnhead with co-authors Professor Nigel French and Dr Patrick Biggs discuss the role of recombination in the evolution of Campylobacter and the availability of full-genome data to provide new insights into the recombination process.&#160; &#160; Chapter 17, Evolution of Campylobacter Species in New Zealand, investigates the different periods in the history of New Zealand that have left a mark on the evolution of Campylobacter spp, examining recently discovered populations of new Campylobacter spp. in endemic wild birds and environmental water.&#160; The co-authors of Chapter 17 include: Nigel French, Shoukai Yu, Patrick Biggs, Barbara Holland, Paul Fearnhead, Barbara Binney, Andrew Fox, Dai Grove-White, Jessica W. Leigh, William Miller, Petra Muellner and Philip Carter.&#160; Click for more details and to purchse a copy of&#160;the book http://www.idrec.ac.nz/news,listing,,,71,idrec-researchers-co-author-chapters-in-new-book-.html