Integrating genomics, metagenomics and epidemiological-based data to develop novel tools to reduce the risk of zoonotic outbreaks

Androniki Psifidi (primary)
Clinical Sciences and Services
Royal Veterinary College
Prof Damer Blake (secondary)
Pathobiology and Population Sciences
Royal Veterinary College


Zoonotic diseases pose a serious risk to human/animal health and welfare, with global socioeconomic consequences (as emphasised by recent events). Avian influenza and Campylobacter are key zoonoses, affecting humans and poultry. Multiple control strategies have been implemented, with limited success. Here, we will use a holistic one-health approach to study the genetics underlying pathogen resistance in humans and animals, moderated by their microbiomes and environments. We will implement advanced mathematical modeling to generate new epidemiological knowledge and cutting–edge “omics” technologies that could provide new insights to host-pathogen-microbiome interactions driving disease perturbation, working towards novel approaches to control zoonoses.


Riny Janssen, Karen A. Krogfelt, Shaun A. Cawthraw, Wilfrid van Pelt, Jaap A. Wagenaar, Robert J. Owen. 2008. Host-Pathogen Interactions in Campylobacter Infections: the Host Perspective
Clinical Microbiology Reviews Jul 2008, 21 (3) 505-518; DOI: 10.1128/CMR.00055-07

Eisfeld AJ, Kawaoka Y. Calculated risk: a new single-nucleotide polymorphism linked to severe influenza disease. Nature Medicine 2017 Aug 4;23(8):911-912. doi: 10.1038/nm.4383. PMID: 28777788; PMCID: PMC6194858.

J.M Bettridge, A. Psifidi, Z.G. Zerfa, T.T Desta, M. Lozano-Jaramillo, T. Dessie, P. Kaiser, P. Wigley, O. Hanotte, R.M. Christley. 2018 “The role of local adaptation in sustainable production of village chickens” Nature Sustainability-1(10): 574–582. 2018 doi: 10.1038/s41893-018-0150-9

A. Psifidi, A. Kranis, L.M. Rothwell, A. Bremner, K. Russell, D. Robledo, SJ. Bush, M. Fife, PM. Hocking, G. Banos, D.A. Hume, J. Kaufman, R.A. Bailey, S. Avendano, K.A. Watson, P. Kaiser, M.P. Stevens (2021) “Quantitative trait loci and transcriptome signatures associated with avian heritable resistance to Campylobacter” Nature Scientific Reports 11, 1623 (2021).

R. Pandit, A.T. Hinsu, N.V. Patel, P.G. Koringa, S.J. Jakhesara; J.R. Thakkar; T.M. Shah, G. Limon, A. Psifidi, J. Guitian, D.A. Hume, F.M. Tomley, D.N. Rank, M. Raman, Tirumurugaan K G, D.P. Blake, C.G. Joshi. 2018. “Microbial diversity and community composition of caecal microbiota in commercial and indigenous Indian chickens determined using 16s rDNA amplicon sequencing” Microbiome 20186:115

Animal disease, health and welfare
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BioinformaticsGeneticsMathematics / StatisticsMolecular BiologySimulation / Modelling