Development and evaluation of novel diagnostics for tuberculosis and other mycobacterial pathogens

Ben Swift (primary)
Pathobiology and Populations Sciences
Royal Veterinary College
Javier Guitian (secondary)
Pathobiology and Population Sciences
Royal Veterinary College


Mycobacteria cause a range of diseases including tuberculosis (TB) in both humans and animals. TB is responsible for 1.5 million deaths/year in people and is responsible for huge political and economic costs worldwide in agriculture with bovine TB. The reliable diagnosis of TB is seen as the cornerstone to every approach to controlling and eliminating these infections, however current diagnostics are ill-suited to tackling these infections. Thus, there is a great need for novel methods of detecting TB. Here we aim to develop and evaluate novel technology aimed at diagnosing TB in humans and animals to help better control these mycobacterial infections.


1. Swift et al. 2019. A new method to detect and identify viable mycobacterial pathogens in clinical blood samples within 6 h. Frontiers Vet Sci. [Accepted].

2. Swift et al. 2016. Evidence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex bacteraemia in intradermal skin test positive cattle detected using phage-RPA. Virulence. DOI: 10.1080/21505594.2016.1191729.

3. Donnellan et al. 2017. Intracellular delivery of nano-formulated antituberculosis drugs enhances bactericidal activity. Journal of Interdisciplinary Nanomedicine. 2 (3) 146.

4. Meyer et al. 2018. A probabilistic approach to the interpretation of milk antibody results for diagnosis of Johne’s disease in dairy cattle. Prev. Vet. Med. 1;150:30-37.

5. Gerrard et al. 2018. Survival of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis in retail pasteurised milk. Food Microbiology. 74: 57-63.

Animal disease, health and welfare
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
Mathematics / StatisticsMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular BiologySimulation / Modelling