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Matthew Baylis - Top 30 Publications

Development and validation of a protocol to identify and recruit participants into a large scale study on liver fluke in cattle.

Liver fluke infection caused by the parasite Fasciola hepatica is a major cause of production losses to the cattle industry in the UK. To investigate farm-level risk factors for fluke infection, a randomised method to recruit an appropriate number of herds from a defined geographical area into the study was required. The approach and hurdles that were encountered in designing and implementing this study are described. The county of Shropshire, England, was selected for the study because of the variation between farms in exposure to fluke infection observed in an earlier study.

The Tick Cell Biobank: A global resource for in vitro research on ticks, other arthropods and the pathogens they transmit.

Tick cell lines are increasingly used in many fields of tick and tick-borne disease research. The Tick Cell Biobank was established in 2009 to facilitate the development and uptake of these unique and valuable resources. As well as serving as a repository for existing and new ixodid and argasid tick cell lines, the Tick Cell Biobank supplies cell lines and training in their maintenance to scientists worldwide and generates novel cultures from tick species not already represented in the collection. Now part of the Institute of Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool, the Tick Cell Biobank has embarked on a new phase of activity particularly targeted at research on problems caused by ticks, other arthropods and the diseases they transmit in less-developed, lower- and middle-income countries. We are carrying out genotypic and phenotypic characterisation of selected cell lines derived from tropical tick species. We continue to expand the culture collection, currently comprising 63 cell lines derived from 18 ixodid and argasid tick species and one each from the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis and the biting midge Culicoides sonorensis, and are actively engaging with collaborators to obtain starting material for primary cell cultures from other midge species, mites, tsetse flies and bees. Outposts of the Tick Cell Biobank will be set up in Malaysia, Kenya and Brazil to facilitate uptake and exploitation of cell lines and associated training by scientists in these and neighbouring countries. Thus the Tick Cell Biobank will continue to underpin many areas of global research into biology and control of ticks, other arthropods and vector-borne viral, bacterial and protozoan pathogens.

Erratum for Graham-Brown et al., "Dairy Heifers Naturally Exposed to Fasciola hepatica Develop a Type 2 Immune Response and Concomitant Suppression of Leukocyte Proliferation".

Survey of UK horse owners' knowledge of equine arboviruses and disease vectors.

Increased globalisation and climate change have led to concern about the increasing risk of arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) outbreaks globally. An outbreak of equine arboviral disease in northern Europe could impact significantly on equine welfare, and result in economic losses. Early identification of arboviral disease by horse owners may help limit disease spread. In order to determine what horse owners understand about arboviral diseases of horses and their vectors, the authors undertook an open, cross-sectional online survey of UK horse owners. The questionnaire was distributed using social media and a press release and was active between May and July 2016. There were 466 respondents, of whom 327 completed the survey in full. High proportions of respondents correctly identified photographic images of biting midges (71.2 per cent) and mosquitoes (65.4 per cent), yet few were aware that they transmit equine infectious diseases (31.4 per cent and 35.9 per cent, respectively). Of the total number of respondents, only 7.4 per cent and 16.2 per cent correctly named a disease transmitted by biting midges and mosquitoes, respectively. Only 13.1 per cent and 12.5 per cent of participants identified specific clinical signs of African horse sickness (AHS) and West Nile virus (WNV), respectively. This study demonstrates that in the event of heightened disease risk educational campaigns directed towards horse owners need to be implemented, focussing on disease awareness, clinical signs and effective disease prevention strategies.

Author Correction: Systematic Assessment of the Climate Sensitivity of Important Human and Domestic Animals Pathogens in Europe.

A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML and PDF versions of this paper. The error has not been fixed in the paper.

Potential impact of climate change on emerging vector-borne and other infections in the UK.

Climate is one of several causes of disease emergence. Although half or more of infectious diseases are affected by climate it appears to be a relatively infrequent cause of human disease emergence. Climate mostly affects diseases caused by pathogens that spend part of their lifecycle outside of the host, exposed to the environment. The most important routes of transmission of climate sensitive diseases are by arthropod (insect and tick) vectors, in water and in food. Given the sensitivity of many diseases to climate, it is very likely that at least some will respond to future climate change. In the case of vector-borne diseases this response will include spread to new areas. Several vector-borne diseases have emerged in Europe in recent years; these include vivax malaria, West Nile fever, dengue fever, Chikungunya fever, leishmaniasis, Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis. The vectors of these diseases are mosquitoes, sand flies and ticks. The UK has endemic mosquito species capable of transmitting malaria and probably other pathogens, and ticks that transmit Lyme disease. The UK is also threatened by invasive mosquito species known to be able to transmit West Nile, dengue, chikungunya and Zika, and sand flies that spread leishmaniasis. Warmer temperatures in the future will increase the suitability of the UK's climate for these invasive species, and increase the risk that they may spread disease. While much attention is on invasive species, it is important to recognize the threat presented by native species too. Proposed actions to reduce the future impact of emerging vector-borne diseases in the UK include insect control activity at points of entry of vehicles and certain goods, wider surveillance for mosquitoes and sand flies, research into the threat posed by native species, increased awareness of the medical profession of the threat posed by specific diseases, regular risk assessments, and increased preparedness for the occurrence of a disease emergency.

Dairy Heifers Naturally Exposed to Fasciola hepatica Develop a Type 2 Immune Response and Concomitant Suppression of Leukocyte Proliferation.

Fasciola hepatica