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Full NameProfessor Paul Whyte

Herd Health & Animal Husbandry

University College Dublin

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Research Fields
  • epidemiology/population health research
  • one health
  • Other
Other Research Fields:

food safety microbiology

Postgrad Medical Specialties
  • Public Health
  • Veterinary Medicine
Medical Subspecialties
  • Veterinary Public Health
My Work

Research activities within the area of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety. Broad and diverse scope with research themes at the pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest phases of the food chain. These include studies on the prevalences and characterisation of foodborne zoonotic pathogens in animals, foods of animal origin and the environment. Furthermore, targeted epidemiological studies are also used to determine the significance of potential risk factors responsible for facilitating colonisation in animals by human enteropathogens and the dissemination of these agents on farm and during transportation, slaughter and processing. These epidemiological investigations frequently involve both phenotypic and genotypic characterisation of microbiological hazards. In addition, zoonotic agents are frequently characterised as part of my research based on their virulence/pathogenicity and antimicrobial resistance profiles in order to ascertain a more accurate assessment of the potential risks to public health.

Potential Projects

Title: Prevalence and characterisation of key foodborne pathogens and indicator organisms in Irish cattle and retail beef.
An outline of the proposed research is outlined below:
1. Establish prevalences of a range of pathogens and indicator organisms (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli, Enterococcus faecium) in Irish cattle and retail beef.
2. Determine phenotypic resistance to clinically relevant antimicrobials in bacterial isolates recovered in task 1 above and investigate the underlying genetic basis using whole genome sequencing.
3. Completion of a comparative metagenomic analysis to characterise the resistomes and antimicrobial resistance genes in faeces of beef and dairy cattle.
4. Completion of a comparative study to investigate the microbiome of intestinal bacteria in dairy and beef cattle at time of slaughter taking account of seasonality using 16S amplicon sequencing.