East Coast Fever
The Scottish Government BBSRC DFID

Partner institutions and people

The University of Edinburgh

The Roslin Institute has been formed recently by integration of the former BBSRC Roslin Institute into the University of Edinburgh's College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, within the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. The Institute continues to be the UK's foremost centre for livestock genetics and genomics and now incorporates a substantial research programme on the immunology of infectious diseases of animals.

Professor Ivan Morrison

Professor Morrison is Professor of Immunology at the newly formed Roslin Institute and Head of the Division of Infection and Immunity. He has more than thirty years experience of bovine immunology and pathology with a particular interest in cellular immunology and the development of vaccines. His recent work, while primarily focused on Theileria, has also covered cowdriosis, FMD and the role of badgers in cattle tuberculosis. His work has contributed to identification of candidate vaccine antigens for T. parva and T. annulata and the elucidation of the role of immunodominance of parasite-specific T cell responses in determining the strain specificity of immunity. Further information ...

Ivan Morrison
Tim Connelley

Dr Tim Connelley

Dr Connelley is a trained veterinary surgeon and is a post-doctoral immunologist in The Roslin Institute. During his PhD and subsequently he has characterised the bovine T cell receptor locus and utilised this information to develop methods for analysing the clonal composition of T cell populations in cattle. By applying these methods along with analyses of the antigenic specificity, he has been able to demonstrate profound immunodominance in the CD8 T cell response and has shown that the specificity is influenced by the TCR repertoire of the responding cells.

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

ILRI working in partnership with organisations in developing countries to reduce poverty, hunger and environmental degradation by undertaking research on animal health and production. The Institute also has partnerships and alliances with centres of excellence in the developed world, through which it gains access to specialist scientific expertise. Tackling East Coast fever has been a major research priority of ILRI and its predecessor ILRAD for about thirty years.

Dr Philip Toye

Dr Toye is head of the Vaccines and Diagnostics research programme at ILRI. This programme focuses on infectious diseases of importance to poor livestock owners, including East Coast fever, Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia, African Swine fever, Rift Valley fever and bovine tuberculosis. Dr Toye managed the production of the most recent batch of the ITM vaccine at ILRI, and is actively engaged in the ITM commercialisation process being facilitated by AU-IBAR and GALVmed. His previous research on T. parva resulted in the identification and characterisation of a polymorphic antigen used in the commercial diagnostic assay for ECF, and the development of transfection methodology to identify antigens recognised by CTL. Further information...

Phil Toye
Roger Pelle

Dr Roger Pelle

Dr Pelle is a molecular biologist and scientist in the Vaccines and Diagnostics research programme at ILRI. He has worked on Theileria parva since 2001, and has played a leading role the studies that led to the identification of CD8 T cell antigens from Theileria parva, which are now being investigated as candidate vaccine antigens. Recently he has also led the preliminary studies to examine variability in these antigens. Further information...

The University of Glasgow

The University has one of the largest groups of parasitologists in Europe (Wellcome Centre of Molecular Parasitology, Divisions of Veterinary and Life Sciences Infection and Immunity) with a very broad range of biochemical, molecular and biological skills covering the major groups of parasite focused on those endemic to tropical regions.

Professor Brian R. Shiels

Professor Shiels is Professor of Parasite Cell Biology and has more than twenty years research experience working on Theileria and heads the Theileria research group in Glasgow. His recent research involved identification and characterisation parasite proteins associated with parasite differentiation and modulation of host cell function, including potential vaccine antigens. He has identified a family of parasite polypeptides (TashATs) that are transported to the host nucleus of infected cells and bind DNA and alter the host gene expression profile. His group played a major role in sequencing the Theileria annulata genome, which he has mined to identify candidate genes involved in manipulating host cell fate. Further information...

Brian Shiels
Willie Weir

Dr William Weir

Dr Weir is a trained veterinary surgeon and is currently a post-doctoral research associate in the Division of Infection and Immunity. He also has an MRes in bioinformatics. In his recent work he made an important contribution to the comparative analysis of the genome of T. annulata and T. parva, the analysis of diversity and population genetics of T. annulata and the identification of genes under different types of selection. He has also contributed to the analyses of sequence diversity in a preliminary study of two T. parva CD8 T cell antigens.