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Dr Barbara Blacklaws PhD

Dr  Barbara Blacklaws, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Virology

Viral pathogenesis

Anti-viral immunity

Barbara Blacklaws is accepting applications for PhD students.

Barbara Blacklaws is available for consultancy.

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 337609


I received my BSc (Hon) in Biochemistry from University of Aberdeen, then did a PhD in Virology at University of Cambridge.  I undertook post-doctoral positions in University of Cambridge and Edinburgh before coming to University of Cambridge as a University Fellow then lecturer.

Subject groups/Research projects

Infection and Immunity:

Departments and Institutes

Cambridge Infectious Diseases:

Research Interests

I have a long term interest in the immune response to persistent viral infections, in particular the CTL response to viruses. I have investigated the immune response to visna maedi virus, a lentiviral infection of sheep. This is a model lentiviral infection with a strict tropism for macrophages and dendritic cells and as such allows the study of viral control mechanisms in the absence of immune deficiencies as is seen with HIV. The group was also part of a European wide project to study possible protective vaccination antigens and protocols against the virus. The work of the group has expanded to look at dendritic cell function in this infection as well as in other infectious diseases including Salmonella. We are also beginning to move into mouse models with an interest in murine norovirus pathogenesis and immune responses to the virus.


  • Sheep
  • Ageing
  • Norovirus
  • Host-Pathogen Interaction
  • Dendritic cells
  • Zoonoses
  • Virology
  • Vaccines
  • Emerging viral diseases
  • Adaptive immunity
  • FACS
  • Agriculture
  • Immunity

Key Publications

  • Swamy, M., Abeler-Dörner, L., Chettle, J., Mahlakõiv, T., Goubau, D., Chakravarty, P., Ramsay, G., Reis e Sousa, C., Staeheli, P., Blacklaws, B.A., Heeney, J.L. & Hayday, A.C. (2015) Nature Comm. 6, 7090. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8090.
  • Davenport, R., Heawood, C., Sessford, K., Baker, M., Baiker, K., Blacklaws, B., Kaler, J., Green, L. & Tötemeyer, S. (2014) Differential expression of Toll-like receptors and inflammatory cytokines in ovine interdigital dermatitis and footrot. Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 161, 90-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2014.07.007.
  • Abdalmula A., Washington E.A., House J.V., Dooley L.M., Blacklaws B.A., Ghosh P., Bailey S.R. & Kimpton W.G. (2014) Clinical and histopathological characterization of a large animal (ovine) model of collagen-induced arthritis. Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 159, 83-90. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2014.03.007.
  • Shortland, A., Chettle, J., Archer, J., Wood, K., Bailey, D., Goodfellow, I., Blacklaws, B.A. & Heeney, J.L. (2014) Pathology caused by persistent murine norovirus infection. J. Gen. Virol., 95, 413–422.
  • Blacklaws, B.A., Gajda, A. M., Tippelt, S., Jepson, P. D., Deaville, R., Van Bressem, M.-F., Pearce, G. P.  (2013) Molecular characterization of poxviruses associated with tattoo skin lesions in UK cetaceans. PLOS ONE, 8, e71734.
  • Blacklaws, B.A. (2012) Small ruminant lentiviruses: Immunopathogenesis of visna-maedi and caprine arthritis encephalitis virus. Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 35, 259-269.
  • Blacklaws, B. A. & Harkiss, G. D. (2010) Small ruminant lentiviruses and human immunodeficiency virus: cousins that take a long view.  Current HIV Res. 8, 26-52.
  • Carrozza, M. L., Mazzei, M., Bandecchi, P., Fraisier, C., Pérez, M., Suzan-Monti, M., de Andrés, D., Amorena, B., Rosati, S., Andrésdottir, V., Lujan, L., Pepin, M., Blacklaws, B., Tolari, F. & Harkiss, G. D. (2010) Development and comparison of strain specific gag and pol real-time PCR assays for the detection of Visna/maedi virus. J. Virol. Methods, 165, 161-167.
  • Peters, S. E., G. K. Paterson, E. S. Bandularatne, H. C. Northen, S. Pleasance, C. Willers, J. Wang, A. K. Foote, F. Constantino-Casas, T. J. Scase, B. A. Blacklaws, C. E. Bryant, P. Mastroeni, I. G. Charles and D. J. Maskell (2010) "Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium trxA mutants are protective against virulent challenge and induce less inflammation than the live-attenuated vaccine strain SL3261." Infect Immun 78(1): 326-36. [PubMed]
  • Bertoni, G & Blacklaws, B.A. (2010) Small ruminant lentiviruses and cross species transmission. Chpter 10 in Lentiviruses and Macrophages: molecular and cellular interactions. pp.277-306. ed. Moira Desport, Caister Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-904455-60-8.
  • Banham, A.H., Lyne, L., Scase, T.J. and Blacklaws, B.A. (2009) Monocolnal antibodies raised to the human FOXP3 protein can be used effectively for detecting Foxp3+ T cells in other mammalian species. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 127, 376-381 [PubMed]
  • De Andrés, X., Reina, R., Ciriza, J., Crespo, H., Glaría, I., Ramírez, H., Grilló, M.-J., Pérez, M.-M., Andrésdottir, V., Rosati, S., Suzan-Monti, M., Luján, L., Blacklaws, B., Harkiss, G., De Andrés, D.-F. & Amorena, B. (2009) Use of B7 costimulatory molecules as adjuvants in a prime-boost vaccination against Visna / Maedi ovine lentivirus. Vaccine 27, 4591-600. [PubMed]
  • Reina, R., C. Barbezange, H. Niesalla, X. de Andres, H. Arnarson, E. Biescas, M. Mazzei, C. Fraisier, T. N. McNeilly, C. Liu, M. Perez, M. L. Carrozza, P. Bandecchi, C. Solano, H. Crespo, I. Glaria, C. Huard, D. J. Shaw, I. de Blas, D. de Andres, F. Tolari, S. Rosati, M. Suzan-Monti, V. Andresdottir, S. Torsteinsdottir, G. Petursson, L. Lujan, M. Pepin, B. Amorena, B. Blacklaws and G. D. Harkiss (2008). "Mucosal immunization against ovine lentivirus using PEI-DNA complexes and modified vaccinia Ankara encoding the gag and/or env genes." Vaccine 26(35): 4494-505. [PubMed]
  • Banham, A.H., Lyne, L., Scase, T.J. and Blacklaws, B.A. (2009) Monocolnal antibodies raised to the human FOXP3 protein can be used effectively for detecting Foxp3+ T cells in other mammalian species. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 127, 376-381 [PubMed]
  • Niesalla, H., de Andres, X., Barbezange, C., Fraisier, C., Reina, R., Arnarson, H., Biescas, E., Mazzei, M., McNeilly, T., Lui, C., Watkins, C., Perez, M., Carrozza, M.L., Bandecchi, P., Solano, C., Crespo, H., Glaria, I., Huard, C., Shaw, D.J., de Blas, I., De Andres, D., Tolari, F., Rosati, S., suzan-Monti, M., Andresdottir, V., Torsteindottir, S., Petursson, G., Badiola, J., Lujan, L., Pepin, M., Amorena, B Blacklaws, B., and Harkiss, G.D. (2008) Systemic DNA immunization against ovine lentivirus using particle-mediated epidermal delivery and modified vaccinia Ankara encoding the gag and/or envgenes. Vaccine 27, 260-269. [PubMed]
  • Wu, C., Barbezange, C., McConnell, I. and Blacklaws, B.A. (2008) Mapping and Characterization of Visna Maedi Virus Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Epitopes. J. Gen. Virol. 89, 2586-2596. [PubMed]
  • Chan, S.S., Mastroeni, P., McConnell, I. & Blacklaws, B.A. (2008) Salmonella infection of afferent lymph dendritic cells. J. Leukoc. Biol. 83, 272-279. [PubMed]