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Epidemiology of Mycoplasma bovis in Scottish Dairy Herds

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, March 03, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Mycoplasma bovis is an important pathogen of cattle causing a diverse range of clinical signs resulting in significant welfare concerns and economic impact. Surveillance data shows that there is an increase in M. bovis associated disease in Scotland. Treatment options for M. bovis are limited because of the organism’s biological structure, there is no commercially available vaccine, no disease eradication programme and limited options for risk based trading available. As a result there is an urgent need to provide more sustainable solutions for M. bovis control in Scotland. This project will focus on the effects of M. bovis in the dairy herd where disease effects, particularly as a result of pneumonia in young cattle, can be severe and a significant contributor to antimicrobial use.

A prevalence study based on testing of bulk tank samples, plus risk factor analysis and detailed investigation of affected farms to assess within herd prevalence and transmission will be carried out to answer the above questions. This information will help develop more structured control plans for this disease to limit transmission between and within herds and help manage the welfare and economic effects and reducing the reliance on the use of antimicrobials. The combined project team linking SRUC’s Veterinary Surveillance and Epidemiology groups, plus veterinarians from Glasgow University Veterinary School will help ensure that the findings from this study are disseminated to farm animal veterinary practitioners and farmers to ensure as wide an uptake as possible.

The successful student will be registered at the University of Glasgow based at SRUC’s Veterinary Services, Dumfries, Scotland with a start date of 1st October 2019. Applicants should have a Veterinary degree registerable in the UK or BSc in Animal Science, Veterinary Science, or a related discipline. Applicants must have a valid UK driving licence. Previous experience in designing and implementing epidemiological studies is desirable.

Edinburgh to the Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science subpanel of the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) ranks top in the UK on research power.

Funding Notes

The stipend will be set at UKRI recommended levels for a 3.5 year-period and the studentship is funded to pay domestic tuition fee levels for UK/EU students. The student will receive an annual student stipend of £14,777 (£15,009 in 2019/20). This studentship will fund to pay the tuition fees at home fees rate only. International students must provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover the higher international student tuition fee level (approximately £16,740 per year would be required).

How good is research at SRUC - Scotland’s Rural College in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science?
(joint submission with University of Edinburgh)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 57.37

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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