Vaccines for Johne’s disease: defining protection


Johne’s disease is an infection of ruminants that results in wasting and the eventual death of the affected animal. The infection is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis. While there is a currently available vaccine for sheep, this does not stop infections and can result in severe injection site lesions. A safe and effective vaccine for Johne’s disease is an imperative for disease control in the agricultural industry in Australia. This project will examine alternative formulations that could be used for new vaccines to control Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infections primarily in sheep. Working within a large multidisciplinary and supportive team with access to ongoing field trials, this project will examine the immunity developed by various vaccine formulations to determine why the vaccines do or do not provide protection.


Professor Richard Whittington, Dr Doug Begg, Dr Kumi de Silva

Research Location

Faculty of Veterinary Science

Program Type



This project will enable the candidate to develop a range of skills including animal handling, cellular and humoral immunology and molecular biology. The successful candidate will be exposed to state of the art immunology and vaccine technology. After graduation the candidate will be well placed to enter the vaccine development, commercial or research fields.

Additional Information

The successful candidate must have completed an undergraduate degree in science, agriculture, veterinary science or equivalent, have research experience (Honours or Master’s degree), good analytical and communication skills, and be willing to participate in laboratory and field based studies.

The successful applicant must apply for and be awarded a scholarship (stipend) for example, an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) or IPA (International Postgraduate Award). For international students, the student must have a scholarship which covers full tuition fees and a living allowance. Dependant on experience, a ‘top-up’ of the living allowance may be negotiated with the successful candidate.
The project is based at the Camden campus.

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Vaccines for Johne’s disease

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1383

Other opportunities with Professor Richard Whittington