Icon Aquatic Animal Health


Dr David Verner-Jefferys

Bacteriology Team Lead

David has extensive experience in bacterial pathogens of fish and invertebrates, particularly those which cause yield losses in aquaculture.

The team has deep expertise in investigating diseases caused by bacterial, fungal and oomycete pathogens of fish, molluscs and crustaceans. We deploy a combination of phenotypic and molecular methods (including use of whole genome sequencing based approaches) to describe known and emergent pathogens.

We also have the capabilities and capacities to culture and then store agents in our extensive bacterial, fungal and oomycete culture collections, to use as references for future comparative studies and investigations. These collections have isolates dating back more than 40 years from many different countries and species.

We undertake infection studies of aquatic animals in our state-of-the art biosecure challenge facilities, at a range of temperatures, salinities and light regimes.

An historic focus on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in aquatic pathogens has majored on characterising the responsible agents for AMR using semi-automated broth microdilution-based minimum inhibitory concentration and disc diffusion-based testing and reading systems. Related to this, are our complementary designations on behalf of FAO as a reference centre for aquatic AMR (in conjunction with the UK's Animal and Plant Health Agency and Veterinary Medicines Directorate).


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