Our group, located at the Ecosciences Precinct, has specialised on respiratory disease in the intensive livestock industry caused by bacteria. In this talk, an overview of the main themes of our health research work will be presented.

Respiratory disease is a complicated subject with many other contributing factors, with treatment and detection of bacterial species a challenge. Detection of a new species of bacteria by our group that is involved in porcine respiratory disease highlight this complexity. This is further complicated by the dual role of normal flora and primary pathogens with examples such as Pasteurella multocida being a primary pathogen and other examples where the organism is a secondary pathogen. As well, we have recently recognised a novel Lonepinella species that is normal flora and a pathogen in humans bitten by koalas.

In other projects, we are seeking to develop novel multiplex assays that will assist in the diagnosis and treatment of bovine respiratory disease and an on-farm diagnostic test for a key pig viral pathogen - PCV2. To support these diagnostic activities, we are also involved in basic research looking at the impact of mechanisms that may be assisting key porcine pathogens to avoid vaccine protection.

Dr Conny Turni

Centre for Animal Science, QAAFI, The University of Queensland

Dr Turni leads a national and international reference laboratory for respiratory bacterial pathogens where identification, serotyping, genotyping, sequencing and antimicrobial sensitivity testing is performed. Her team works with the poultry, pig and cattle industries, as well as major veterinary pharmaceutical companies around the world. The group performs vaccine efficacy trials, provides advice on vaccine strain selection, performs antimicrobial sensitivity testing and evaluates candidate novel antimicrobial agents. Essentially, the services provided by the group underpins the entire Australian prevention and control programs for the major bacterial respiratory diseases of pigs, poultry and cattle.

Her research has extended beyond vaccines and antibiotic sensitivity to determining optimal sample sites for collecting pathogens, understanding the association of different pathogens with disease, development of animal infection models, classification of bacteria and epidemiology of pathogens. Conny supervises PhD students with diverse projects such as antimicrobial sensitivity studies, risk factors and profiling of pathogenic Escherichia coli associated with avian collibacillosis, alternatives to antibiotics, development of on farm test for a virus and study of epidemiology of a new species of bacteria. She works in collaboration with a team of epidemiologist, veterinarian and virologist on projects in Australia and overseas.


About Science Seminars

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation hosts science seminars across the disciplines of animal, horticulture, crop, food and nutritional sciences.

With a range of speakers from Australia and abroad, the series explores how high-impact science will significantly improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the tropical and sub-tropical food, fibre and agribusiness sectors.

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The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is a research institute at The University of Queensland supported by the Queensland Government via the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.


Level 3, Queensland Bioscience Precinct building 80, UQ St Lucia campus
3.142 Large seminar room