Allison tells us about her Blue-Sky Research grant which was used for a systematic study of rotaviruses in cats.
Human rotaviruses with genetic similarity to feline rotaviruses (FRVs) have been identified in children. Surveillance of human and animal rotaviruses is important in understanding which rotavirus strains cause disease and where the source of genetic diversity arises to cause outbreaks.
Recognition of the importance of emerging infectious diseases in companion animals is essential for both animal and human health. It is difficult achieving support for pilot veterinary studies early in your career. This grant provides an excellent opportunity to develop a research portfolio in companion animal zoonotic disease and will give the veterinary community much needed data on the importance of clinical and subclinical rotavirus infection. It will forge links with the Health Protection Agency and allow us to investigate whether feline rotavirus plays a role in the evolution and genetic diversity of human rotavirus in the UK. Feline rotaviruses have been identified in diarrhoeic children in Japan, Italy, Israel and America, but so far there has been no systematic study of rotaviruses in cats, so the prevalence, risk factors and zoonotic potential are unknown.
I am pleased that the Trust has recognised the importance of this work and proud that they have supported my work and career development. I am very grateful to the Trust for their support.
“It is difficult achieving support for pilot veterinary studies early in your career... I am pleased that the Trust has recognised the importance of this work and proud that they have supported my work and career development. I am very grateful to the Trust for their support.”
See my project poster, available from the related documents box, top right.
A snapshot of my career at the time of my grant
- Graduated as a veterinary surgeon, University of Bristol.
- Worked as a veterinary surgeon in a small animal practice
- Completed an MSc in Wild Animal Health, Royal Veterinary College/Institute of Zoology, London.
- Awarded a PhD in 2004, University of Bristol
- Cats Protection Lecturer in Feline Health and Welfare, the University of Liverpool.
- Second opinion veterinary surgeon, Small Animal Teaching Hospital, University of Liverpool
- Honorary Research Fellow, University of Liverpool