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Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School

Veterinary microbiology and zoonoses; clinical management of pig health and prevention of disease


My research interests lie in the control of infectious diseases, primarily of pigs, that threaten food chain security in the developed and developing world. These threats to food security include animal-to-human infections that could be transmitted in food or directly (zoonoses), over-reliance on antimicrobial drugs, reduced feed conversion efficiency, and compromised welfare. I try to combine my clinical interest in intensive pig production with multidisciplinary research that includes molecular and epidemiological approaches, and social sciences, aiming towards better prevention and management of infectious and zoonotic disease.


I am a a registered RCVS Specialist in Pig Medicine and a Diplomate of the European College of Pig Health Management. I provide clinical expertise and perspective to pig producers and allied organisations around the world.


I contribute to UK government policy though membership of the following groups:


I organise the 5th year course: Pig Medicine and support teaching in the 4th year course, Veterinary Public Health. I coordinate practical pig health management teaching in the 6th year Farm Animal Studies rotation.


Current and recent research is focused on application of new molecular technologies to entrenched and emerging endemic diseases of food animal species - particluarly pigs (also my clinical interest). This includes whole genome sequencing and functional genomic studies of bacterial respiratory pathogens and viruses of pigs to identify new diagnostic / epidemiological tools, new vaccine candidates and characterisation of antibiotic resistance Particular recent focus has been on Streptococcus suis, Glaesserella (Haemophilus) parasuis and Senecavirus A.

Main collaborators

  • Dr Lucy Weinert, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge
  • Jerry Wells, Wageningen University
  • Don King, The Pirbright Institute 
  • Jean-Pierre Frossard, APHA Central Veterinary Laboratory
  • James Wood, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge
  • Paul Langford, Imperial College, London
  • Andrew Rycroft, Royal Veterinary College, London
  • Brendan Wren, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London
  • Rui Zhou, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China
  • Vicky Aragon, CReSA, UAB Barcelona, Spain
  • Susan Brockmeier, USDA ARS
  • Crystal Loving, USDA ARS
  • Tracy Nicholson, USDA ARS
  • Dr Min Thaw Mein, Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department, Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development, Myanmar.
  • Dr Hayley MacGregor, IDS, University of Sussex.
  • Dr Hoa Ngo Thi, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


Key publications: 
  • Nahar N, Tram G, Jen FE, Phillips ZN, Weinert LA, Bossé JT, Jabbari JS, Gouil Q, Du MRM, Ritchie ME, Bowden R, Langford PR, Tucker AW, Jennings MP, Turni C, Blackall PJ, Atack JM. Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae encodes multiple phase-variable DNA methyltransferases that control distinct phasevarions. Nucleic Acids Res. 2023 Feb 25:gkad091. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkad091. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36840716.
  • Ba X, Matuszewska M, Kalmar L, Fan J, Zou G, Corander D, Raisen CL, Li S, Li L, Weinert LA, Tucker AW, Grant AJ, Zhou R, Holmes MA. High-Throughput Mutagenesis Reveals a Role for Antimicrobial Resistance- and Virulence-Associated Mobile Genetic Elements in Staphylococcus aureus Host Adaptation. Microbiol Spectr. 2023 Feb 23:e0421322. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.04213-22. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36815781.
  • Kalmar L, Gupta S, Kean IRL, Ba X, Hadjirin N, Lay EM, de Vries SPW, Bateman M, Bartlet H, Hernandez-Garcia J, Tucker AW, Restif O, Stevens MP, Wood JLN, Maskell DJ, Grant AJ, Holmes MA. HAM-ART: An optimised culture-free Hi-C metagenomics pipeline for tracking antimicrobial resistance genes in complex microbial communities. PLoS Genet. 2022 Mar 14;18(3):e1009776. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1009776. PMID: 35286304; PMCID: PMC8947609.
  • Zou G, Matuszewska M, Jia M, Zhou J, Ba X, Duan J, Zhang C, Zhao J, Tao M, Fan J, Zhang X, Jin W, Cui T, Zeng X, Jia M, Qian X, Huang C, Zhuo W, Yao Z, Zhang L, Li S, Li L, Huang Q, Wu B, Chen H, Tucker AW, Grant AJ, Holmes MA, Zhou R. A Survey of Chinese Pig Farms and Human Healthcare Isolates Reveals Separate Human and Animal Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Populations. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2022 Feb;9(4):e2103388. doi: 10.1002/advs.202103388. Epub 2021 Dec 11. PMID: 34894204; PMCID: PMC8811834.
  • Stringer OW, Li Y, Bossé JT, Forrest MS, Hernandez-Garcia J, Tucker AW, Nunes T, Costa F, Mortensen P, Velazquez E, Penny P, Rodriguez-Manzano J, Georgiou P, Langford PR. Rapid Detection of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae From Clinical Samples Using Recombinase Polymerase Amplification. Front Vet Sci. 2022 Mar 25;9:805382. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2022.805382. PMID: 35400111; PMCID: PMC8990124.
  • Murray G, Balmer AJ, Herbert J, Hadijirn NF, Kemp CL, Matuszewska M, Bruchmann S, Hossain AM, Gottschalk M, Tucker AW, Miller E, Weinert L. Mutation rate dynamics reflect ecological changes in an emerging zoonotic pathogen. bioRxiv. 2021 Jan 1.
  • Macedo N, Gottschalk M, Strutzberg-Minder K, Van CN, Zhang L, Zou G, Zhou R, Marostica T, Clavijo MJ, Tucker A, Aragon V. Molecular characterization of Glaesserella parasuis strains isolated from North America, Europe and Asia by serotyping PCR and LS-PCR. Vet Res. 2021 May 12;52(1):68. doi: 10.1186/s13567-021-00935-9. 
  • Murray GG, Charlesworth J, Miller EL, Casey MJ, Lloyd CT, Gottschalk M, Tucker AW, Welch JJ, Weinert LA. Genome reduction is associated with bacterial pathogenicity across different scales of temporal and ecological divergence. Mol Biol Evol. 2021 Apr 13;38(4):1570-1579. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msaa323.
  • Clavijo MJ, Hu D, Krantz S, Cano JP, Maróstica TP, Henao-Diaz A, APS PS, Hemker D, Tapia E, Zimmerman S, Fano E, Tucker AW, Rotolo M. Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae surveillance in pig populations: Establishing sampling guidelines for detection in growing pigs. 2021. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2021 Feb 17.
  • Eberle KC, Hau SJ, Luan SL, Weinert LA, Stasko JA, Wang J, Peters SE, Langford PR, Rycroft AN, Wren BW, Maskell DJ, Tucker AW …Brockmeier S. Generation and evaluation of a Glaesserella (Haemophilus) parasuiscapsular mutant. Infection and immunity. 2020 Apr 20;88(5).
  • Hau SJ, Luan SL, Loving CL, Nicholson TL, Wang J, Peters SE, Seilly D, Weinert LA, Langford PR, Rycroft AN, Wren BW, Tucker AW, …Brockmeier S. Evaluation of the recombinant proteins RlpB and VacJ as a vaccine for protection against Glaesserella parasuis in pigs. BMC veterinary research. 2020 Dec;16:1-9.
  • Bossé JT, Li Y, Crespo RF, Angen Ø, Holden MT, Weinert LA, Maskell DJ, Tucker AW, Wren BW, Rycroft AN, Langford PR. Draft genome sequences of the type strains of Actinobacillus indolicus (46K2C) and Actinobacillus porcinus (NM319), two NAD-dependent bacterial species found in the respiratory tract of pigs. Microbiology resource announcements. 2020 Jan 2;9(1).
  • Ebata A, Win KS, Loevinsohn M, Tucker AW, MacGregor H. Value chain governance, power and negative externalities: what influences efforts to control pig diseases in Myanmar? 2019. European Journal of Development Research. 2019; 1-22.
  • Wileman TM, Weinert LA, Howell KJ, Wang J, Peters SE, Williamson SM, Wells JM, Langford PR, Rycroft AN, Wren BW, Maskell DJ, Tucker AW. Pathotyping the Zoonotic Pathogen Streptococcus suis: Novel Genetic Markers To Differentiate Invasive Disease-Associated Isolates from Non-Disease-Associated Isolates from England and Wales. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2019 Jul 1;57(7):e01712-18.
  • Card RM, La T, Burrough ER, Ellis RJ, Nunez-Garcia J, Thomson JR, Mahu M, Phillips ND, Hampson DJ, Rohde J, Tucker AW. Weakly haemolytic variants of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae newly emerged in Europe belong to a distinct subclade with unique genetic properties. Veterinary research. 2019 Dec;50(1):21.
  • Atack JM, Weinert LA, Tucker AW, Husna AU, Wileman TM, F. Hadjirin N, Hoa NT, Parkhill J, Maskell DJ, Blackall PJ, Jennings MP. Streptococcus suis contains multiple phase-variable methyltransferases that show a discrete lineage distribution. Nucleic acids research. 2018 Oct 10;46(21):11466-76.
  • Butler BJ, Williams A, Tucker AW, Proud WG, Brown KA. Comparative quasi-static mechanical characterization of fresh and stored porcine trachea specimens. The European Physical Journal Special Topics. 2018 Sep 1;227(1-2):55-60.
  • Bossé JT, Li Y, Sárközi R, Fodor L, Lacouture S, Gottschalk M, Amoribieta MC, Angen Ø, Nedbalcova K, Holden MT, Maskell DJ, Tucker AW, Wren B, Rycroft A, Langford P. Proposal of serovars 17 and 18 of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae based on serological and genotypic analysis. Veterinary microbiology. 2018 Apr 1;217:1-6.
  • Bossé JT, Li Y, Crespo RF, Lacouture S, Gottschalk M, Sárközi R, Fodor L, Amoribieta MC, Angen Ø, Nedbalcova K, Holden MT, Maskell DJ, Tucker AW, Wren B, Rycroft A, Langford P.  Comparative sequence analysis of the capsular polysaccharide loci of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serovars 1–18, and development of two multiplex PCRs for comprehensive capsule typing. Veterinary microbiology. 2018 Jul 1;220:83-9.
  • Bosse JT, Li Y, Leanse LG, Zhou L, Chaudhuri RR, Peters SE, Wang J, Maglennon GA, Holden MT, Maskell DJ, Tucker AW, Wren B, Rycroft A, Langford P. Rationally designed mariner vectors to allow functional genomic analysis of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and other bacteria by transposon-directed insertion-site sequencing (TraDIS). bioRxiv. 2018 Jan 1:433086.
  • Atack JM, Weinert LA, Tucker AW, Husna AU, Wileman TM, F Hadjirin N, Hoa NT, Parkhill J, Maskell DJ, Blackall PJ, Jennings MP. Streptococcus suis contains multiple phase-variable methyltransferases that show a discrete lineage distribution. Nucleic Acids Research. 2018 Oct 10.
  • Zou G, Zhou J, Xiao R, Zhang L, Cheng Y, Jin H, Li L, Zhang L, Wu B, Qian P, Li S…Tucker AW, Zhou R. (equal senior author). Effects of Environmental and Management-Associated Factors on Prevalence and Diversity of Streptococcus suis in Clinically Healthy Pig Herds in China and the United Kingdom. Applied and environmental microbiology. 2018 Apr 15;84(8):e02590-17.
  • Brockmeier SL, Loving CL, Nicholson TL, Wang J, Peters SE, Weinert L, Chaudhuri R, Seilly DJ, Langford PR, Rycroft A, Wren BW, Maskell DJ, Tucker AW. Use of proteins identified through a functional genomic screen to develop a protein subunit vaccine that provides significant protection against virulent Streptococcus suis in pigs. Infection and immunity. 2018 Jan 3:IAI-00559.
  • Correia-Gomes C, Eze JI, Borobia-Belsué J, Tucker AW, Sparrow D, Strachan D, Gunn GJ. Voluntary monitoring systems for pig health and welfare in the UK: Comparative analysis of prevalence and temporal patterns of selected non-respiratory post mortem conditions. Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 2017 Oct 1;146:1-9.
  • Howell KJ, Weinert LA, Peters SE, Wang J, Hernandez-Garcia J, Chaudhuri RR, Luan SL, Angen Ø, Aragon V, Williamson SM, Langford PR, Maskell DJ, Tucker AW. “Pathotyping” Multiplex PCR Assay for Haemophilus parasuis: a tool for Prediction of Virulence. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2017 Sep 1;55(9):2617-28.
  • Brewster VR, Maiti HC, Tucker AW, Nevel A. Associations between EP-like lesions and pleuritis and post trimming carcass weights of finishing pigs in England. Livestock Science. 2017 Jul 31;201:1-4.
  • Hernandez-Garcia J, Wang J, Restif O, Holmes MA, Mather AE, Weinert LA, Wileman TM, Thomson JR, Langford PR, Wren BW, Rycroft A, Maskell DJ, Tucker AW. Patterns of antimicrobial resistance in Streptococcus suis isolates from pigs with or without streptococcal disease in England between 2009 and 2014. Veterinary Microbiology. 2017 Jun 13.
  • Hernandez-Garcia J, Robben N, Magnée D, Eley T, Dennis I, Kayes SM, Thomson JR, Tucker AW. The use of oral fluids to monitor key pathogens in porcine respiratory disease complex. Porcine Health Management. 2017 Apr 5;3(1):7.
Professor of Veterinary Public Health
Director of Studies in Veterinary Medicine and Preclinical Medicine, Pembroke College, Cambridge.
Advisor for Global Health Assurance, Genus PIC.

Contact Details

Email address: 
+44 (0)1223 330885
Available for consultancy


Collaborator profiles: 
Person keywords: 
Food chain security
Streptococcus suis
Biosciences and Biotechnology Research Council