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AW (Dan) Tucker

Veterinary microbiology and zoonoses; clinical management of pig health and disease

IMG 0904
Increasing demand for pig meat in Myanmar leads to diverse emerging pig production systems. Better understanding of the risks posed by each for human health, animal health and productivity could improve human safety and farmers' livelihoods.

My research interests lie in the control of infectious diseases, primarily of pigs, that threaten food chain security in the developed and developing world. These threats to food security include animal-to-human infections that could be transmitted in food or directly (zoonoses), over-reliance on antimicrobial drugs, reduced feed conversion efficiency, and compromised welfare. I try to combine my clinical interest in intensive pig production with multidisciplinary research that includes molecular and epidemiological approaches, and social sciences, aiming towards better prevention and management of infectious and zoonotic disease.

Current and recent research is focused on application of new molecular technologies to entrenched endemic diseases of pigs. This includes whole genome sequencing and functional genomic studies of bacterial respiratory pathogens of pigs to identify new diagnostic / epidemiological tools, new vaccine candidates and characterisation antibiotic resistance (Streptococcus suis and Haemophilus parasuis). 

Through a Junior / Senior Clinical Training Scholarship Program (funded by Zoetis Animal Health) we also participate in a variety of applied clinical research projects involving representatives of the global pig industry.

Main collaborators

  • Dr Lucy Weinert, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge
  • Duncan Maskell, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge
  • James Wood, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge
  • Paul Langford, Imperial College, London
  • Andrew Rycroft, Royal Veterinary College, London
  • Brendan Wren, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London
  • Rui Zhou, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China
  • Vicky Aragon, CReSA, UAB Barcelona, Spain
  • Susan Brockmeier, USDA ARS
  • Crystal Loving, USDA ARS
  • Tracy Nicholson, USDA ARS
  • Jerry Wells, Wageningen University
  • Dr Min Thaw Mein, Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department, Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development, Myanmar.
  • Dr Hayley MacGregor, IDS, University of Sussex.
  • Dr Hoa Ngo Thi, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Key Publications

Genomic signatures of human and animal disease in the zoonotic pathogen Streptococcus suis. Weinert, Lucy A., et al.  Nature communications 6 (2015).

Whole genome investigation of a divergent clade of the pathogen Streptococcus suis. Baig, Abiyad, et al. Frontiers in microbiology 6 (2015).

Development of a Multiplex PCR Assay for Rapid Molecular Serotyping of Haemophilus parasuis. Howell, Kate J., et al.  Journal of clinical microbiology 53.12 (2015): 3812-3821.

The use of genome wide association methods to investigate pathogenicity, population structure and serovar in Haemophilus parasuis. Howell, Kate J., et al.  BMC genomics 15.1 (2014): 1.

Gene content and diversity of the loci encoding biosynthesis of capsular polysaccharides of the 15 serovar reference strains of Haemophilus parasuis. Howell, Kate J., et al. Journal of bacteriology 195.18 (2013): 4264-4273.

Dan Tucker

Dr A.W. (Dan) Tucker

Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Public Health

awt1000@cam.ac.uk

 

    Plain English

    My research interests lie in the control of infectious diseases, primarily of pigs, that threaten food chain security in the developed and developing world. These threats to food security include animal-to-human infections (zoonoses), over-reliance on antimicrobial drugs, reduced feed conversion efficiency, and compromised welfare.