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Effect of inoculation of the neonatal ruminant with foreign microbiota

This project explores the effect of inoculation of the neonatal ruminant with foreign microbiota on the development of the innate immune system, analysed through rumen and intestinal histology.

Vet lab

The gastrointestinal tract is a major interface between the host and its environment and is the site with the highest load of microorganisms. In order for microbiota populations to exist within the host, the immune system must tolerate those organisms, whilst simultaneously remaining vigilant against the potential threats posed by them.

There are benefits accompanying this balancing act. Mounting evidence supports that the gut microbiota play a crucial role in the host resistance to invading pathogens in the intestines. Alterations and disturbances in microbiota, along with a reduction in diversity, may alter the risk of development of allergies, obesity, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases (such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) and autoimmune diseases (type 1 diabetes) and other inflammatory related problems in humans.

The GIT epithelium plays an important role in the immune system and it is clear that the presence or absence of gut microflora have an effect on immune composition and lymphoid tissues. 

Key methodology:

This project will not involve any animal work, as this has been completed previously and will therefore be great for anyone who wants to get some good laboratory experience. The experiment will involve completing histological slides of stored lamb intestinal tissues and analysing markers of innate immunity in the collected tissues.


Tagged in Honours projects - Animal science, Honours projects - Molecular and biomedical science, Honours projects - Emma Greenwood, Honours projects - Phil Hynd, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Pathobiology infectious disease and public health, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Production animal health, Honours projects - Molecular and biomedical science: Other

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