Infectious diseases and biosecurity

Focused on control and prevention of infectious causes of disease
We aim to understand the infection process in individuals and populations, so that disease control and prevention practices can be applied to protect animal, human and ecosystem health.

Infectious diseases and biosecurity remain two of the most critical global issues. Greater connections between human and animal populations enhanced by expanding human populations, changing animal management systems, urbanisation and climate change amongst other things, increases the risk of infectious diseases across populations and heighten the imperatives around biosecurity.

Our research focuses on infection, immunity, disease control and prevention, biosecurity, antimicrobial resistance,  and antimicrobial stewardship.

Research areas

Key researchers: Michael WardVictoria BrookesRuth ZadoksNavneet DhandAlexandra Green,  John HouseJacqueline Norris, Jennie MohlerSam RoweHarish TiwariJenny-Ann Toribio.

Focusing on populations, we study the spread of infectious diseases to identify and implement interventions to protect and promote health of animals, people and the environment and reduce the burden of infectious diseases.

This includes important pathogens and diseases of livestock (e.g. Mycoplasma, African Swine Fever, Johne’s disease, Pinkeye (Moraxella), and Salmonella), companion animals (e.g. leptospirosis, parvovirus, brucellosis), wildlife (e.g. Hendra virus) and humans (e.g. Q fever, rabies, brucellosis).

Key researchers: Merran Govendir, Rachael Gray, Neil Horadagoda, Mark Krockenberger, Tony Mogg, Jacqueline Norris, Carola Venturini, Michael Ward, Ruth Zadoks.

Focuses on changes in antimicrobial susceptibility and the rise of antimicrobial resistance across populations and within species for many of the major animal and human pathogens.

In the area of antimicrobial stewardship, the School of Veterinary Science has led the development and ongoing innovations in the AMR Vet Collective and the Veterinary Antimicrobial Stewardship online learning program with colleagues nationally. 

Key researchers: Mark Krockenberger, Katrina Bosward, Om Dhungyel, David Emery, Marina Godoy Gimeno, Rachael Gray, Damien Higgins, John House, Marianne Keller, Andrew McPherson, Jennie Mohler, Luisa Monteiro de Miranda, Jacqueline Norris, David Phalen, Karren Plain, Hannah Pooley, Auriol Purdie, Francisco Samsing Pedrals, Jan Slapeta, Paul Sheehy, Carola Venturini, Ruth Zadoks.

Explores the host, pathogen and environmental interactions associated with disease manifesting in a wide variety of species such as companion animals, livestock (both terrestrial and aquatic) and wildlife as well as the humans interacting with them. We are utilising a One Health approach where appropriate.

Research projects

Footrot in sheep and goats has been a very significant endemic health and welfare issue in Australia and most sheep farming countries. Our long-term research has been able to help develop diagnostic tests and vaccines & vaccination methods.

Focus of our research has been on improving these diagnostic tests and vaccines & vaccination. Preliminary research on gene expression studies is helping to better understand the HPE interactions and are likely to help in developing better and quicker diagnostic tests.

Ongoing vaccine research in the field focuses in “footrot vaccine best practice”.

Ensuring the appropriateness of antimicrobial use in veterinary practice and animal industries is critical for the preservation of their utility. This requires more than just the science – it requires an understanding of the knowledge, attitudes, barriers and challenges facing prescribers and animal carers.

Our research has explored these themes in veterinary practitioners, veterinary students, farmers, doctors, dentists, through stakeholder surveys and industry analysis.

The School of Veterinary Science has worked with colleagues nationally to led important initiatives providing resources to assist veterinary practitioners to be better stewards ( and