Dr Andrea Doeschl-Wilson

The Roslin Institute

Research Interests

Research in the Doeschl-Wilson group focuses on the development of mathematical models and computational tools that enhance our understanding how the genetics of individuals and diverse non-genetic factors together influence the dynamics of infectious diseases and their impact on the health and performance of individuals and of entire livestock populations. We use these tools to

  • DESIGN infection experiments and sampling strategies that let us detect the genetic signal from disease and performance data.
  • IDENTIFY individuals or genomic regions associated with high genetic resistance or tolerance to infections, or high genetic risk for transmitting infections (infectivity).
  • PREDICT the impact of genetic and non-genetic control strategies on future disease prevalence and pathogen evolution.

We use a wide range of modelling techniques that combine methods from mathematical dynamical systems theory, Bayesian statistics, and quantitative genetics.

Applications include virus infections in pigs (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, PRRS) and chicken (Marek’s disease), gastro-intestinal parasite infections in sheep, bacterial infections in cattle (bovine Tuberculosis), to virus and protozoa infections in fish.   We also apply mathematical tools to study genetic effects and group dynamics underlying aggressive behaviour in pigs.

Questions we are particularly interested in:

  • Should we aim for genetic improvement in host resistance or tolerance to infectious disease?
  • Are there disease superspreaders in the population and to what extent is superspreading genetically determined?
  • Can we identify individuals with high genetic risk for becoming infected or spreading infections a priori, based on their genetic make-up?
  • To what extent does vaccination with partially protective vaccines reduce disease transmission and pathogen evolution?
  • How can selective breeding help to control infectious disease and minimise its impact on livestock production?

We collaborate with researchers and industry partners in the UK, across Europe, USA and Canada, Australia and Africa. 

Selected Publications

  • Andrea Wilson, Alison Wilson, Jens Nielsen, Hans Nauwynck, Alan Archibald, Tahar Ait-Ali. 2016. Combining Laboratory and Mathematical Models to Infer Mechanisms Underlying Kinetic Changes in Macrophage Susceptibility to an RNA Virus. BMC Systems Biology Vol: 10. More»
  • Andrew S Hess, Zeenath Islam, Melanie K Hess, Raymond R R Rowland, Joan K Lunney, Andrea Doeschl-Wilson, Graham S Plastow, Jack C M Dekkers. 2016. Comparison of host genetic factors influencing pig response to infection with two North American isolates of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. Genetics Selection Evolution Vol: 48 Pages: 43. More»
  • Pedro F Vale, Luke McNally, Andrea Doeschl-Wilson, Kayla C King, Roman Popat, Maria R Domingo-Sananes, Judith E Allen, Miguel P Soares, Rolf Kümmerli. 2016. Beyond killing: can we find new ways to manage infection?. Evolution, Medicine, & Public Health. More»
  • S. Hermesch, L. Li, A. B. Doeschl-Wilson, H. Gilbert. 2015. Selection for productivity and robustness traits in pigs. Animal Production Science Vol: 55 Pages: 1437-1447. More»
  • G. Lough, I. Kyriazakis, S. Bergmann, A. Lengeling, A. B. Doeschl-wilson. 2015. Health trajectories reveal the dynamic contributions of host genetic resistance and tolerance to infection outcome. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Vol: 282 Pages: 20152151-20152151. More»
  • Osvaldo Anacleto, Luis Alberto Garcia-Cortéz, Debby Lipschutz-Powell, John Woolliams, Andrea Doeschl-Wilson. 2015. A Novel Statistical Model to Estimate Host Genetic Effects Affecting Disease Transmission. Genetics Vol: 201 Pages: 871-884. More»
  • Debby Lipschutz-Powell, John A Woolliams, Andrea B Doeschl-Wilson. 2014. A unifying theory for genetic epidemiological analysis of binary disease data. Genetics Selection Evolution Vol: 46 Pages: 15. More»
  • Zeenath U Islam, Stephen C Bishop, Nicholas J Savill, Raymond R R Rowland, Joan K Lunney, Benjamin Trible, Andrea B Doeschl-Wilson. 2013. Quantitative Analysis of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) Viremia Profiles from Experimental Infection: A Statistical Modelling Approach. PLoS One Vol: 8. More»
  • Mahmoud Shirali, Carol-Anne Duthie, Andrea Doeschl-Wilson, Pieter W Knap, Egbert Kanis, Johan Am van Arendonk, Rainer Roehe. 2013. Novel insight into the genomic architecture of feed and nitrogen efficiency measured by residual energy intake and nitrogen excretion in growing pigs. BMC Genetics Vol: 14 Pages: 121. More»
  • Andrea B Doeschl-Wilson, R Davidson, J Conington, T Roughsedge, M R Hutchings, B Villanueva. 2011. Implications of host genetic variation on the risk and prevalence of infectious diseases transmitted through the environment. Genetics Vol: 188 Pages: 683-93. More»
  • Andrea Beate Doeschl-Wilson, Dimitrios Vagenas, Ilias Kyriazakis, Stephen Christopher Bishop. 2008. Exploring the assumptions underlying genetic variation in host nematode resistance (Open Access Publication). Genetics Selection Evolution Vol: 40 Pages: 241-264. More»
  • Andrea B Doeschl-Wilson, Beatriz Villanueva, Ilias Kyriazakis. 2012. The first step towards genetic selection for host tolerance to infectious pathogens: Obtaining the tolerance phenotype through group estimates. Frontiers in genetics Vol: 3. More»
  • Andrea B Doeschl-Wilson, Ilias Kyriazakis. 2012. Should we aim for genetic improvement in host resistance or tolerance to infectious pathogens?. Frontiers in genetics Vol: 3. More»
  • Andrea B Doeschl-Wilson, Stephen Bishop, Ilias Kyriazakis, Beatriz Villanueva. 2012. Novel methods for quantifying individual host response to infectious pathogens for genetic analyses. Frontiers in genetics Vol: 3. More»
  • D. Lipschutz-Powell, J. A. Woolliams, P. Bijma, A. B. Doeschl-Wilson. 2012. Indirect genetic effects and the spread of infectious disease: are we capturing the full heritable variation underlying disease prevalence?. PLoS One Vol: 7. More»
  • S. C. Bishop, A. B. Doeschl-Wilson, J. A. Woolliams. 2012. Uses and implications of field disease data for livestock genomic and genetics studies. Frontiers in genetics Vol: 3 Pages: 5. More»
  • A.B. Doeschl-Wilson, I. Kyriazakis, A. Vincent, M.F. Rothschild, E. Thacker, L. Galina-Pantoja. 2009. Clinical and pathological responses of pigs from two genetically diverse commercial lines to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infection. Journal of Animal Science Vol: 87 Pages: 1638-1647. More»
  • A.B. Doeschl-Wilson, W. Brindle, G. Emmans, I. Kyriazakis. 2009. Unravelling the relationship between animal growth and immune response during micro-parasitic infections. PLoS One Vol: 4. More»
  • A. Doeschl-Wilson, R. Sawalha, S. Gubbins, B. Villanueva. 2009. Implications of Conflicting Associations of the Prion Protein (PrP) Gene with Scrapie Susceptibility and Fitness on the Persistence of Scrapie. PLoS One Vol: 4. More»