Veterinary Medicine & Science

If you want to contribute to the enhancement of animal (and indirectly human) health, our Veterinary Medicine and Sciences programmes are for you.

With a forward-thinking approach to veterinary education and strong links with the veterinary profession, and world-leading research laboratories, our courses will provide you with an outstanding educational experience and equip you to excel.

Find out more about the School of Veterinary Medicine.

What we're researching

A leader in veterinary research

We want to change the world by shaping how vets, doctors and scientists work together in the future.

Our world-class academic staff and dynamic partnerships with prominent research institutions and state-of-the-art veterinary surgeries drive our research agenda.

Our Veterinary Medicine and Science programme will have a strong focus on research and veterinary pathology, areas where there is strong demand for, and a shortage of, veterinary experts.

Our major research strengths include:

  • Infectious diseases and zoonoses
  • Veterinary pathology
  • Food safety and food security
  • Veterinary epidemiology
  • Nutrition and metabolism of disease
  • Veterinary orthopaedics
  • Neurology

Securing safer food for the future

Foodborne diseases are a major global public health threat. Academics from the University of Surrey’s School of Veterinary Medicine are working with colleagues from universities in America and Brazil to understand the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacterial foodborne pathogens. The project aims to develop better mechanisms for monitoring and controlling resistance to antibiotics used in livestock.

At Surrey, research will focus on identifying the specific genes that are associated with antibiotic resistance and how the genes influence the pathogen’s behaviour in different environments. These studies will inform on the ability of foodborne pathogens to cause diseases in animals and humans and thus help us to develop control strategies.

Professor Roberto La Ragione, Associate Dean for Veterinary Strategy, said: “This project will allow us to understand how mobile genetic elements contribute to the emergence of highly virulent and antibiotic resistant strains of common foodborne pathogens. A greater understanding of the genetic makeup of these important pathogens will enable us to develop more pragmatic control strategies in the future.”

A faster test to determine disease

The risk that animal pathogens such as avian and swine influenza, Salmonella and E. coli pose to human health is constantly in the news. It highlights the importance of understanding the links between animal and human health.

We’ve developed a rapid ‘pen-side’ test that can diagnose bacterial infections and their resistance to antibiotics in just 15 minutes. It will save time and money, improve patient care and help prevent the spread of infectious diseases in both veterinary and medical settings.

Studying the biology of strangles in horses

Strangles is one of the most important bacterial infectious diseases affecting horses. It can cause an upper respiratory infection that can spread to the lymph nodes. In some cases, it can be fatal.

Little is known about the different strains of bacteria that cause the infection. At present, there’s no effective vaccine.

We aim to understand the relationship between the genetic makeup of the different strains of bacteria that are implicated in strangles and the severity of disease. It’s a step towards finding a cure.

The power of probiotics to control E. coli

E. coli affects a significant number of domestic poultry every year. It causes welfare issues and has a considerable economic impact on the poultry industry.

Live ‘friendly’ bacteria known as probiotics have been found to offer some protection against E. coli infection.

We are researching the impact of probiotics on poultry E. coli, to find out if including probiotic supplements in poultry feed could reduce infection rates.

Stopping the spread of Salmonella

Some 10,000 cases of Salmonella-associated food poisoning are reported in the UK each year. 

We are taking a look at the emerging strains of Salmonella, using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology and metabolic typing (Biolog) to determine if they utilise nutrients in a different way to the more common strains.

The work will provide vital clues about the nutrients that enable different strains of Salmonella to thrive in animals and humans. It may help inform the design of vaccines and animal diets that could help reduce the incidence of Salmonella infection.

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