Mycoplasma in Australian dairy cows. How do we stop this emerging disease?

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Summary

An exciting opportunity is offered to work on a large project utilising the latest biomedical molecular and microbiology techniques to help limit the transmission of Mycoplasma infections within the Australian dairy herd.

Supervisor(s)

Associate Professor John K House, Dr Katrina Louise Bosward, Dr Paul Sheehy

Research Location

Faculty of Veterinary Science

Program Type

PHD

Synopsis

Mycoplasma bovis is gaining prominence in the Australian dairy herd as an emerging pathogen with significant implications for the health and welfare of cattle. The clinical manifestation of disease can be variable and may affect cattle of any age. While the current incidence of outbreaks is modest, isolation and culling are routinely utilized due to the ineffective nature of treatment options. Consequently, the disease has a profound financial impact on affected properties and is a significant risk for farms that inadvertently purchase culled cows. This project will form part of a larger industry-funded project which has followed on from previous projects in which molecular diagnostic techniques for the detection of Mycoplasma bovis were successfully developed. The aim of this project will be to utilize these and other analyses to further understand the disease process and mechanisms of transmission. An important component of the project will be the development of sampling strategies followed by focused surveys of pathogen incidence within both infected and putatively negative herds. We anticipate that the outcomes will include development of biosecurity guidelines to assist in limiting the transmission of this disease between dairy herds.

Additional Information

It is anticipated that the student appointed to this project will be a science, veterinary or animal veterinary bioscience graduate. The project will be based at the Camden campus and will provide an excellent postgraduate student training opportunity with potential to gain skills in molecular biology, microbiology and immunological techniques which will provide for great future career opportunities. In addition, the successful candidate will be supported by an experienced team and well equipped laboratory and there will be the opportunity to interact with clinical veterinary staff to understand the diseases as it presents in the clinical setting on farms. A tax exempt stipend of up to $30,000 per annum for 3 years (top-up above the current APA rate dependant on skills and experience). Students who may not be successful in obtaining an APA are still encouraged to apply however applicants should be Australian citizens or permanent Australian residents.

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Keywords

Mycoplasma, dairy cows

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1726

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