Emerging Chlamydia-like organisms as novel causes of bovine reproductive failure

Lead Research Organisation: Moredun Research Institute
Department Name: Vaccines and Diagnostics

Abstract

Many infectious diseases affect livestock, impacting not only on the health and welfare of the animals but also on the economic sustainability of the agricultural industry and future food security. Reproductive failure in cattle is one area of great concern to the agricultural sector, as it has a major impact on productivity in UK cattle herds. While there are many factors contributing to reduced rates of reproduction in livestock systems, infection plays a key role, with 77% of diagnosed cases of bovine fetal death reported as resulting from infectious causes. However, diagnosis of the infectious causes of pre-natal death in cattle is poor, with 80% of cases remaining undiagnosed (according to DEFRA's Veterinary Investigation Surveillance reports for 2002-09). This can be explained in part by a failure to detect the presence of other unidentified disease causing organisms.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the identification of a group of new emerging bacterial organisms that are found in the environment and have been shown to be associated with a variety of conditions in humans, such as pneumonia and miscarriage. These organisms, which share similar biological characteristics to Chlamydia species that are known to cause a broad range of infections in humans and animals, such as sexually-transmitted infections, pneumonia, blindness and fetal death, are referred to as Chlamydia-like organisms. These Chlamydia-like organisms are also increasingly becoming recognized as potential disease causing organisms of livestock, being particularly associated with the pre-natal death of calves. Indeed, they have been found in over a quarter of the cases analyzed in the UK, and thus could account for some of the 80% unaccounted, undiagnosed cases reported by DEFRA.

To date, the only studies that have been carried out have relied upon the analysis of tissue samples, which have been submitted to veterinary laboratories for disease diagnosis. While these studies have been vital in demonstrating the presence of the organisms in samples for which no alternative diagnoses could be reached, they have been performed on a relatively small number of samples. In addition, in general, little information is obtained on the disease and production histories of the farms from which the animals originated. Thus, this study aims to investigate the presence of these organisms on dairy farms across the UK and how this relates to animal production performance. We will isolate the organisms from clinical samples to allow us to characterise and assess how many different types of Chlamydia-like organisms are present in the UK cattle herds, as well as investigate their potential spread from animal to animal by analyzing environmental samples, such as drinking water and bedding. We will also develop experimental model systems to allow us to investigate how the organisms cause infection and disease, and determine the immune response to infection.

The combination of these studies will greatly increase our understanding of the disease causing potential and role of this group of emerging bacteria in cattle reproduction. The outcomes will lead to improved diagnoses of cattle reproductive failure, inform and educate the industry to the presence of these organisms, lead to improved management systems and allow an evaluation of the potential benefits of future vaccine strategies to prevent disease incidence.

Technical Summary

Incidents of bovine reproductive failure have been linked to Chlamydia-like organisms, a phylogenetically diverse group of emerging pathogens that have been detected by PCR and immunohistochemistry in aborted tissues with associated histopathology. As amoebal endosymbionts, Chlamydia-like organisms can persist in the environment, however, the disease incidence, immunopathogenesis and risk factors associated with infection are unknown.

Epidemiological surveys of the incidence of Chlamydia-like organisms and other infectious abortifacients will be performed to identify risk factors associated with reproductive failure. The role of Chlamydia-like organisms in reproductive failure will be specifically investigated in a cohort study, where immunohistochemistry and histopathology will be performed on tissue samples to investigate lesion development, localise pathogens and determine a causal role in disease pathogenesis. The phylogenetic similarity of Chlamydia-like organisms detected in environmental and tissue samples will be determined to identify genotypes linked to reproductive failure and potential environmental sources of transmission. The organisms will be isolated in amoebal co-culture and phenotypically characterised. They will be used in in vitro models of placental infection to study cytokine and cellular responses to infection. An in vivo pathogenesis model will be established to study the immunological and serological responses to infection, to define the pathologies associated with infection and determine a causal role in reproductive failure.

This project will determine the prevalence of bovine reproductive failure linked to Chlamydia-like organisms in the UK, identify genotypes implicated in the disease and define immunopathology associated with infection. This will substantially advance the understanding of these emerging pathogens and make a significant contribution to the development of detection, prevention and disease management strategies.

Planned Impact

Poor reproductive performance in cattle is of economic and welfare importance to the agricultural industry in the UK and worldwide. This project aims to generate knowledge about a group of emerging organisms that have been found to be associated with reproductive failure in cattle. In the process of this work we will analyse the impact of these organisms on cattle reproductive performance across the dairy industry, environmental contamination and provide evidence for a direct causal link between these organisms and abortion.

There will be multiple beneficiaries to the proposed work. Potential stakeholders include research scientists both national and international, academic and government research organisations, farmers, veterinary diagnostic agencies, the animal health industry and government. Ultimately the general public will benefit through improved animal health and welfare, animal production, as well as food security and safety.

This project will improve knowledge on the important abortifacients of cattle in the UK and will provide insight into the causal role of Chlamydia-like organisms on bovine reproductive failure, including information on the diversity and characterisation of the organisms and the development of in vivo model systems. The knowledge gained will open up pathways to impact at the farm level through improved farm management strategies and more effective diagnosis of cases of bovine abortion. Diagnostic tools and future vaccine development are the major potential benefits for the animal health industry, in particular farmers, veterinarians, other animal practitioners and commercial organisations. The outcomes of this research will be of interest to the farming industry, as well as government policy makers, allowing them to prioritise the management of important production diseases that impact negatively on the sustainability of the cattle industry and thus on the future security of our food. The wider public will not only benefit from this research though improved production, but there will also be a better understanding of the occurrence and role of these potentially zoonotic pathogens. The production of healthier animals, free of potential zoonotic infections will clearly benefit the public through a reduction in the possible zoonotic transmission to humans.

Knowledge exchange and outreach are important activities for communication and promotion of scientific outputs to a variety of audiences. For the scientific community this involves presentations at national and international meetings, and the production of peer reviewed publications in international journals. Communication with non-academic and non-research stakeholders will include articles for the farming and veterinary press, public engagement at science events, agricultural shows and liaising with government policy makers and potential industrial partners. We will engage and communicate with stakeholders to maximise the global impact of the proposed research. The industrial partner Pfizer will provide expertise in enhancing the outreach and impact of the project to the veterinary practitioners and will advise on possible commercial opportunities arising from the results of the project. The interaction of DairyCo whose mission statement is to 'promote world class knowledge to British dairy farmers so they can profit from a sustainable future' will further aid in the dissemination of project outputs to the agricultural community.

All the investigators have contacts and experience in these areas, providing an opportunity to promote the importance of this project. Staff working on the project will gain transferable scientific skills and will be given training that meets their personal and professional developmental needs. Transferable skills will include presentations and writing for communication with academic and non-academic audiences, time-management and project-management.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The aim of this project was to determine the role and contribution of Chlamydia-like organisms (CLOs) in reproductive failure of cattle in the UK, where the majority of cases go undiagnosed. This was achieved through (1) epidemiological studies to determine the prevalence of these organisms, as well as those of common organisms associated with reproductive failure, on farms throughout the UK; (2) to determine any association between the presence of these organisms and any specific disease present in animal tissues; (3) to determine the presence of the organisms in the environment as a potential reservoir for transmission to animals; and (4) to determine whether the organisms can cause experimental disease.
Epidemiological investigations were conducted on milk samples from over 220 farms throughout the UK. Data on the prevalence of the most important pathogens affecting reproductive outcome have been collected and analysed with prevalence rates ranging from 4-79%. The prevalence rates for some of the pathogens were much higher than anticipated and will be discussed with the dairy levy board and farms concerned so that action can be taken prior to publishing our scientific findings. No significant associations were observed between the presence of CLOs and issues relating to poor reproductive performance. A follow on more detailed study on farms experiencing chronic undiagnosed abortions is still to be completed and data analysed.
Using archived tissue samples, we have successfully shown that these CLOs are associated with specific areas of disease present in the placenta of cows that have aborted, suggesting a possible role in causing that disease. This was confirmed using molecular and antibody based tools that we have developed as part of this project. Similarly we have identified the presence of these organisms in water samples obtained from different regions throughout Scotland, as well as from selected farms throughout the UK. We have examined these samples to determine the diversity of the organisms in the environment and have found them to be ubiquitous in nature. As part of these studies we have also shown for the first time that these organisms can also be found in marine mammals, suggesting a possible link between terrestrial and marine mammals with water being a possible source for transmission between the two.
Experimental infections of these organisms was studied in animal replacement models (using different cell lines in the laboratory) to investigate the immune response to infection and advances were made in understanding these processes, which will help in designing future diagnostic tests and potential vaccines for controlling infections in animals. Studies were also conducted in limited numbers of animals in order to determine the disease causing potential of the organisms. The results showed that we could only produce limited disease and this was unlikely to affect pregnancy.
Overall all objectives set out in the project aims and objectives have been met. Collectively the results suggest that CLOs are prevalent in the environment and in animal populations, but generally do not cause disease. Under certain circumstances however it is likely that they become pathogenic and cause disease. This will require further investigation.
Exploitation Route The prevalence data for the different pathogens will be taken forward by the dairy industry and used in educating farmers and other producers in developing better management systems and biosecurity measures to keep these diseases out of their herds. The new knowledge generated by the research on these new pathogens as well as those currently known will educate and alert scientists and industry to improving and developing better detection systems to improve diagnosis and shape future vaccination strategies. This will improve animal welfare, economic efficiency, increased productivity, lower green house gas emissions resulting from reduced performance, ultimately leading to greater food safety and security. Reduction of infections in animals, will lead to a reduction of environmental contamination and the possibility of transmission to other animals. As the pathogens have also been linked to human disease causing respiratory infections and miscarriage, reduction of organism load in animals and the environment will lead to a reduction in the possible transmission to the public in general.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Environment

URL http://www.moredun.org.uk/research/chlamydia-related-bacteria
 
Description Initial findings linking the presence of chlamydia-like organisms with bovine reproductive loss and educational information on the organisms and issues have been presented and discussed with a number of non-academic audiences. Such audiences have included the press, which has resulted in a number of articles in the farming and general press. They also include farmers, producers, food suppliers, government official, policy makers at national farming events and roadshow events throughout the UK, as well as at the annual Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh. This has raised the profile of the research and utility of the outcome of the research in helping to improve animal welfare, economic efficiency and increased productivity. This additionally resulted in professional veterinary societies and veterinary practices contacting us to find out more about the research and for information on the organisms, as well as to discuss how they could help to provide information and samples that would benefit the work and help achieve the outcomes of the project.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Emerging chlamydia-like organisms as novel causes of bovine reproductive failure
Amount £614,816 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/J015083/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 02/2016
 
Title Amoebal cell culture assay 
Description The development and optimization of this cell culture system was pivotal by enabling the culture, isolation and enumeration of various environmental chlamydial species throughout the project. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Without the development and optimization of this assay, we would not have been able to quantify our bacteria, specifically Parachlamydia acanthamoeba, which in turn means we could not have carried out the in vivo pathogenesis study; one of the largest components of the research grant. Additionally, this assay enabled the isolation and recovery of organisms from both clinical and environmental specimens which was also a very importation aspect of the project. 
 
Title Chlamydial elementary body (EB) Western Blot 
Description A Western blot assay was developed enabling the antibody detection of Parachlamydia and Waddlia antigens (derived from formalin inactivated whole elementary bodies). 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This research tool allowed us to test for immuno-dominant antigens in whole EBs when probed with sera (anti-IgG) from our pregnant cattle both before and in response to bacterial challenge over time. This technique identified an immunodominant band/antigen post challenge in several animals that were inoculated with Parachlamydia; however at this stage the identity of this antigen(s) is unknown. Proteomic analysis (SOSPA) could be undertaken if one wished to investigate this further. 
 
Title Development of an in-house ELISA to detect antibodies to Parachlamydia acanthamoeba and Waddlia chondrophila elementary bodies 
Description We developed an in-house ELISA to measure serum antibodies (anti-IgG) levels against formalin inactivated Waddlia chondrophila and Parachlamydia acanthamoeba EB antigens. Although this ELISA was not sufficient for diagnostic purposes, it served purpose as a tool to monitor antibody levels over time in the time-course sera generated throughout the in vivo pathogenesis study; where the samples were somewhat defined (i.e pre-challenge and post-challenge). 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The impact of this research tool, although limited, was that it allowed us to specifically address the issue of screening our study animals prior to experimental bacterial challenge. As no assay was currently available for this purpose, this research tool enabled us to deliver on an important deliverable of the project. 
 
Title Giemsa staining of Parachlamydia acanthamoeba 
Description Developed protocol for the chemical staining of Parachlamydia to enable their enumeration with aid of microscopy. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact As part of the in vivo animal challenge trial work up, we needed to test different methods for enumeration our bacteria, to determine the correct dosage. Giemsa staining was therefore compared to immuno-staining to see which method was best. It soon transpired however that Parachlamydia does not form classical inclusions, therefore this method was ruled out as identifying and counting of the bacteria was not all that easy and deemed to inaccurate. 
 
Title Immunohistochemistry (IHC) protocol development 
Description Developed and optimized an immunohistochemical (IHC) assay to detect Parachlamydia spp and Waddlia spp antigens. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Due to a lack of commercially available kits and reagents for CLO organisms, this immunohistochemistry (IHC) assay was developed to enable the detection in situ of Parachlamydia spp and Waddlia spp antigens in animal tissues. This was carefully carried out to provide a much needed fit for purpose assay which enabled us to analyse our trial generated clinical material. 
 
Title 16S rRNA sequences of Chlamydia-related identified from UK water samples 
Description Chlamydia-related organisms have been detected in UK water samples (approx 250 samples) obtained from 9 different regions in Scotland and show diversity in their sequences suggesting that these organisms are ubiquitous in nature in the environment. Metagenomic data (16S rRNA) has been generated for determining population diversity of these environmental organisms. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact To our knowledge this is the first time that these bacterial species have been identified in water supplies in the UK. Data set provides important resource for comparison with other environmental chlamydial/bacterial species. 
 
Title 16S rRNA sequences of Chlamydia-related identified in seals off the coastline of Scotland 
Description Metagenomic (16S rRNA) data has been generated for Chlamydia-related organisms detected in nasal swabs taken from neonatal seal pups from various locations and colonies on the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth off the coast of Edinburgh. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact To our knowledge this is the first time that these bacterial species have been identified in sea mammals. Data set provides important resource for comparison with other environmental chlamydial/bacterial species. 
 
Title Whole genome sequencing data 
Description An in-house whole genome database has been generated from genome sequence data (NGS MiSeq) obtained from an in vivo passaged Waddlia chondrophila isolate. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact An unknown bacterial isolate was recovered from a pregnant cow at post-mortem which had been experimentally infected with Waddlia chondrophila. Subsequent DNA isolation and sequencing of this recovered isolate reveled it was the original Waddlia inoculation strain. This finding was the first time that this has been demonstrated experimentally and is a hugely important in the field of veterinary Chlamydia research as it shows the colonization potential of this putative abortifacient organism. 
 
Description Association of Chlamydia-like organisms with cases of bovine abortion: collaboration with AHVLA 
Organisation Animal Health And Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution These collaborations, some exisiting, which now include SAC, AHVLA, the University of Zurich, the University of Lausanne and the Royal Veterinary College were started as a result of the initial work on trying to identify C. abortus infected cattle tissue to provide isolates for objectives 4 and 5 of the CEDFAS grant. This initial work has led to a great deal of international interest in this area of research which has resulted in several publications and a successful BBSRC IPA grant application, on which we continue to collaborate and exchange reagents and biological samples
Collaborator Contribution These collaborations, some exisiting, which now include SAC, AHVLA, the University of Zurich, the University of Lausanne and the Royal Veterinary College were started as a result of the initial work on trying to identify C. abortus infected cattle tissue to provide isolates for objectives 4 and 5 of the CEDFAS grant. This initial work has led to a great deal of international interest in this area of research which has resulted in several publications and a successful BBSRC IPA grant application, on which we continue to collaborate and exchange reagents and biological samples
Impact Joint publications and conference presentations
Start Year 2010
 
Description Association of Chlamydia-like organisms with cases of bovine abortion: collaboration with University of Lausanne, Switzerland 
Organisation Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV)
Country Switzerland 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution These collaborations, some exisiting, which now include SAC, AHVLA, the University of Zurich, the University of Lausanne and the Royal Veterinary College were started as a result of the initial work on trying to identify C. abortus infected cattle tissue to provide isolates for objectives 4 and 5 of the CEDFAS grant. This initial work has led to a great deal of international interest in this area of research which has resulted in several publications and a successful BBSRC IPA grant application, on which we continue to collaborate and exchange reagents and biological samples
Collaborator Contribution These collaborations, some exisiting, which now include SAC, AHVLA, the University of Zurich, the University of Lausanne and the Royal Veterinary College were started as a result of the initial work on trying to identify C. abortus infected cattle tissue to provide isolates for objectives 4 and 5 of the CEDFAS grant. This initial work has led to a great deal of international interest in this area of research which has resulted in several publications and a successful BBSRC IPA grant application, on which we continue to collaborate and exchange reagents and biological samples
Impact Exchange of reagents and biological samples. Joint publications and conference presentations.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Association of Chlamydia-like organisms with cases of bovine abortion: collaboration with Zurich 
Organisation University of Zurich
Country Switzerland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution These collaborations, some exisiting, which now include SAC, AHVLA, the University of Zurich, the University of Lausanne and the Royal Veterinary College were started as a result of the initial work on trying to identify C. abortus infected cattle tissue to provide isolates for objectives 4 and 5 of the CEDFAS grant. This initial work has led to a great deal of international interest in this area of research which has resulted in several publications and a successful BBSRC IPA grant application, on which we continue to collaborate and exchange reagents and biological samples
Collaborator Contribution These collaborations, some exisiting, which now include SAC, AHVLA, the University of Zurich, the University of Lausanne and the Royal Veterinary College were started as a result of the initial work on trying to identify C. abortus infected cattle tissue to provide isolates for objectives 4 and 5 of the CEDFAS grant. This initial work has led to a great deal of international interest in this area of research which has resulted in several publications and a successful BBSRC IPA grant application, on which we continue to collaborate and exchange reagents and biological samples
Impact Exchange of reagents and biological samples. Joint publications and conference presentations.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Industrial partnership 
Organisation Zoetis
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Provision of results emanating from the project on the prevalence of a broad range of abortifacient agents (bacterial, viral and parasitic) in the UK dairy herd
Collaborator Contribution Providing funding, know how and expertise in the area of bovine reproduction
Impact 228 study herds were enrolled as part of a cross sectional epidemiological study to determine the prevalence of known abortifacient pathogens in the UK. Pathogens tested for were Neospora caninum, Leptospira hardjo, BVDV, BHV-1, Salmonella sp., Coxiella burnetii, Chlamydia sp and Parachlamydia acanthameoba. On the basis of results, 20 farms were selected for a more in depth cohort study to determine any corrolation between reproductive performance and presence of specific pathogens, including Parachlamydia. Preliminary findings have been reported to Industrial partner and full outcome will be reported following completion of analysis.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Prevalence of abortifacients agents in the UK dairy herd 
Organisation DairyCo
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The collaboration with DairyCo is allowing the two separately project grants to link up and share resource thus benefiting both projects. Samples collected from recruited farms through the DairyCo project as part of the cross-sectional and cohort studies are being screened at Moredun for a range of bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens
Collaborator Contribution Access to farms enrolled in the DairyCo study and the provision of samples
Impact 228 study herds were enrolled as part of a cross sectional epidemiological study to determine the prevalence of known abortifacient pathogens in the UK. Bulk milk samples and biological samples have been received for testing. Pathogens tested for were Neospora caninum, Leptospira hardjo, BVDV, BHV-1, Salmonella sp., Coxiella burnetii, Chlamydia sp and Parachlamydia acanthameoba. On the basis of results, 20 farms were selected for a more in depth cohort study to determine any corrolation between reproductive performance and presence of specific pathogens, including Parachlamydia. Preliminary results have been reported back to DairyCo.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Prevalence of abortifacients agents in the UK dairy herd 
Organisation Royal Veterinary College (RVC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The collaboration with RVC allowed two separate project grants to link up and share resource thus benefiting both projects. Samples collected from recruited farms through the RVC DairyCo-funded project as part of the cross-sectional and cohort studies were screened at Moredun for a range of bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens. Thus, RVC supplied access to farms and samples, while Moredun performed all the analysis on the samples.
Collaborator Contribution The collaboration with RVC allowed two separate project grants to link up and share resource thus benefiting both projects. Samples collected from recruited farms through the RVC DairyCo-funded project as part of the cross-sectional and cohort studies were screened at Moredun for a range of bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens. Thus, RVC supplied access to farms and samples, while Moredun performed all the analysis on the samples.
Impact Exchange of reagents and biological samples. Joint publications and conference presentations.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Edinburgh Infectious Disease conference (Edinburgh, UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presented results from work conducted under this grant showing that Waddlia chondrophila stimulates CXCL8 expression in epithelial cells via p38 and p42/44 MAPK dependent pathways
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description European Chlamydia conference (Jena, Germany) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation paper presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The work highlighted the presence and possible causal role of novel Chlamydia-like organisms in bovine abortion material isolated from multiple sources. Oral presentation: Evidence of the association of Chlamydia-like organisms with cases of cattle abortion in the UK.

no actual impacts realised to date
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description European Meeting on Animal Chlamydioses (Jena, Germany) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on work involving genotyping of Chlamydia abortus by PCR targeting single nucleotide polymorphisms identified from whole genome sequencing. Engagement with colleagues working in similar field to stimulate discussion, ideas and collaboration. Led to some new areas of investigation and stimulated new ideas and direction.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description European Meeting on Animal Chlamydioses (Paris, France) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact To disseminate results of a study investigating the immunological stimulation of target cells in response to chlamydia-related bacteria and the possible immune pathways by which the response is elicited. Provoked lots of interest and questions on our work on these recently identified pathogens, their possible role in reproductive loss and mechanisms of immune activation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description European Meeting on Animal Chlamydioses (Paris, France) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact To disseminate results of a study investigating the occurrence of environmental chlamydial species in environmental sediment samples and in nasal swab material from grey seal (Halichoreus grypus) pups on the Isle of May in Scotland
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description European Society for Chlamydia Research conference (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk aimed at disseminating outputs from the project and demonstrating evidence of the association of Chlamydia-like organisms with cases of bovine abortion in the UK

no actual impacts realised to date
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description European meeting on animal chlamydioses and zoonotic implications (Jena, Germany) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific committee meeting. Engagement with colleagues working in similar field to stimulate discussion, ideas and collaboration. Led to some new areas of investigation and stimulated new ideas and direction.

We have contacted by other groups wishing to share reagents and get further information on our work which has resulted in new collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Global Research Alliance meeting in Reading (UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk on "Investigations into novel pathogens associated with bovine reproductive failure". The aim of this meeting was to develop/improve communication and collaboration among GRA Livestock Research Group Networks. A main aim was to explore interdisciplinary approaches for tackling the issue of greenhouse gas emissions from animal agriculture: identifying the challenges, looking for synergies, creating collaborative opportunities, and defining remaining interdisciplinary questions. This partly involves impact of reproductive loss and performance on the efficiency of the livestock sector and the role infectious agents including those funded by this work on these losses.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Institute seminar (Edinburgh, UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk: Are environmental Chlamydia-like bacteria undercover agents of bovine reproductive failure? Talk on preliminary findings resulting from BBSRC grant and sparked interest and questions on this new area of research within the institute and in the UK

Further questions, interest suggestions and new collaboration with protozoology group providing a few hundred water samples to investigate the presence of chlamydia-related organisms in Scottish water sources
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Institute seminar (Edinburgh, UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk on our identification of the association of Chlamydia-related organisms with cases of bovine abortion in the UK through our BBSRC CEDFAS project and how this led to new BBSRC IPA to study their prevalence, pathogenesis and role in bovine reproductive loss.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Institute seminar on chlamydia-related bacteria 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Institute presentation was given to disseminate the significance and importance of the research on chlamydia-related bacteria in ruminants, reptiles and amphibians as part of the BBSRC funding and to invite questions from fellow respected professionals working in the field of infectious diseases, and from undergraduate and postgraduate students; with the potential for fostering new collaborations and building on novel ideas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description International Microbiology conference (Birmingham, UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact To disseminate results of a study investigating the identification of chlamydia-related bacteria in sea mammals, suggesting a possible link between infection of terrestrial and sea mammals through environmental contamination. Provoked lots of interest and questions on our work on these recently identified pathogens and their possible role in reproductive loss.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description International Microbiology conference (Birmingham, UK). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presented results from work conducted under this grant showing that Waddlia chondrophila stimulates CXCL8 expression in epithelial cells via p38 and p42/44 MAPK dependent pathways
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Mentoring of high school students 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Engaging with school students, teaching them both practical and theoretical laboratory skills and discussing with them in the rationale, goals and scientific issues relating to the BBSRC Parachlamydia project

No specific impacts other than positive feedback from students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description National Sheep Association South-West Sheep group meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk on ruminant abortion to NSA, which sparked questions and resulted in various discussions afterwards.

Sparked new contacts
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Press article - 3 year project to tackle cattle infertility 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Article in The Press and Journal on thaims and objectives of this BBSRC project to investigate the role of Chlamydia-related bacteria in bovine reproductive failure
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Press release - bovine reproductive loss or failure 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Press release announcing funding to investigate association of novel Chlamydia-like organisms with reproductive failure in cattle
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.moredun.org.uk/news/moredun-leads-new-bbsrc-funded-project-investigate-association-novel-...
 
Description Project grant consortium meeting at Moredun Research Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Consortium meeting with collaborators and industrial partner to discuss project progress and future direction with collaborators and Industrial Partner, with regional adviser. Discussed progress and timeframes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015
 
Description Project grant consortium meeting at the RVC, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Consortium meeting with collaborators and industrial partner to discuss project progress and future direction with collaborators and Industrial Partner, with regional adviser. Discussed progress and timeframes.

Industrial partner requested further information on outcomes
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015
 
Description Royal Highland show (Edinburgh, UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Provide technical expertise on a range of diseases affecting livestock to farmers, veterinarians and other livestock keepers, as well as engagement with government officials, politicians and other stakeholders.

Contacts from farmers and vets regarding possible sample submissions for the grant
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
 
Description Society for Reproduction and Fertility conference (Oxford, UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented results from work conducted under this grant showing that Waddlia chondrophila stimulates CXCL8 expression in epithelial cells via p38 and p42/44 MAPK dependent pathways
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description University of Reading Global Research Alliance Livestock Research Group Networks Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop focused on reducing the emissions intensity of livestock production systems and increasing the quantity of carbon stored in soils supporting those systems. Our presentation which is available online (see URL; 3:46:28-3:59:00) was centered around "Pathogens associated with bovine reproductive failure" and focused on the work conducted on this BBSRC grant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6CZ0WAVeTo&feature=youtu.be
 
Description World Buiatrics Congress (lisbon, Portugal) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited oral presentation at the 27th World Buiatrics Congress 2012: Evidence of the association of Chlamydia-like organisms with cases of bovine abortion. Despite the worldwide economic importance and welfare issues associated with infectious bovine abortifacients, as well as potential zoonotic threats posed to human health, diagnosis of the causes of abortion remains poor. This could in part be explained by the presence of unidentified infectious abortifacient agents. Recently several novel species of Chlamydia-like organisms (CLOs) including Parachlamydia acanthamoebae have emerged as putative ruminant abortifacients, as well as involved in cases of respiratory infections and miscarriage in humans. The aim of this study was to investigate whether such organisms are present in cases of bovine abortion in the UK.

no actual impacts realised to date
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Proceedings.html?id=PJo2mwEACAAJ&redir_esc=y
 
Description XLVets stakeholder talk and discussion 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on identification and association of Chlamydia-like organisms with bovine reproductive loss, with specific reference to this BBSRC grant aims and objectives. XLVets is a group of independently owned, progressive veterinary practices that work together to achieve the highest standards of veterinary care. Also asked for any relevant samples to be submitted to the project. Over the course of the project we received around 50 samples through these stakeholders and fed back our analysis to the submitting practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013