Dr Spiridoula Athanasiadou

Scotland's Rural College

Research Interests

As a veterinarian, I have a special interest in managing animal health, but I want this to be achieved with minimum input of chemical drugs and without compromising animal welfare. To achieve this, my research focuses into: i) understanding host-pathogen interactions, ii) characterising the consequences of host’s environment on host-pathogen interactions and iii) designing strategies to improve the ability of the host to cope with a disease in any given environment. I am using parasitological, immunological and molecular methodologies, including genome-wide transcriptomic and proteomic approaches to address my research.

I have a focus on gastrointestinal tract health, and have acquired expertise in production diseases of both ruminant and monogastric hosts. I have been using in vivo and in vitro models to study disease and host responses and have pioneered research on the investigation of the antiparasitic properties of plant secondary metabolites, which is widely cited around the world. I have recently developed and validated an in situ duodenal loop model to investigate host-pathogen interactions in the intestine; this is a very useful tool, particularly in the absence of a poultry epithelial cell line. It is currently used to investigate disease pathogenesis and host responses following infusion with C.perfringens, the main causative agent of necrotic enteritis, a production disease of broiler poultry.

Selected Publications

  • Tolossa K, Debela E, Athanasiadou S, Tolera A, Ganga G, Houdijk JG (2013). Ethno-medicinal study of plants used for treatment of human and livestock ailments by traditional healers in South Omo, Southern Ethiopia. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 9:32. doi: 10.1186/1746-4269-9-32
  • Sakkas P, Jones LA, Houdijk JG, Athanasiadou S, Knox DP, Kyriazakis I (2012) Leucine and methionine deficiency impairs immunity to gastrointestinal parasites during lactation. Br J Nutr, 109(2):273-82.  doi 10.1017/S0007114512000931
  • Athanasiadou S. (2012) Nutritional deficiencies and parasitic disease: lessons and advancements from rodent models. Vet Parasitol. 2012 Sep 30;189(1):97-103. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.03.038
  • Athanasiadou S, Jones LA, Burgess STG, Kyriazakis I, Pemberton AD, Houdijk JGM, Huntley JF (2011) Genome-wide transcriptomic analysis of intestinal tissue to assess the impact of nutrition and parasitism in lactating rats infected with Nippostrongylus brasiliensis.PLoS One, 6(6):e20771
  • Athanasiadou S., Pemberton A., Jackson, F., Inglis N, Miller, H., MacKellar, A., Huntley, J. (2008) Proteomic approach to identify candidate effector molecules during the in vitro immune exclusion of infective Teladorsagia circumcincta in the abomasum of sheep. Vet Res, 39:58

Collaborators in UK

Collaborators outside UK