Prof David Paton
The Pirbright Institute
+ 44 (0)1483 232441
Principal areas of research
Antigenic variation, vaccine strain selection, broader cross-strain protection, DIVA tests, vaccine efficacy.
David Paton obtained BA (Hons) Natural Sciences and VetMB degrees from the University of Cambridge, UK in 1981 and 1984 respectively, and a PhD degree, from the University of Surrey, UK, in 1992. After three years working in veterinary practice in UK and Australia, he has spent the last 20 years as a veterinary virologist specialising in the epidemiology, diagnosis and control of various viral livestock diseases. He joined the Virology Department of the Central Veterinary Laboratory (later Veterinary Laboratories Agency, VLA). He was for six years secretary of the European Society for Veterinary Virology and became head of the Virology department at VLA in 1998. In 2001, he left VLA to join the Institute for Animal Health (now known as the Pirbright Institute) as head of the department for vesicular disease control that includes the FAO foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) world reference laboratory. The work of the department includes a wide range of strategic and applied research on FMD control including the evaluation of vaccination strategies as well as the development of improved vaccines and vaccine selection methods. In 2007 he was appointed Head of the Epidemiology Division and FMD Programme Manager, and he now holds the position of Director of Science at The Pirbright Institute.
There is a strong desire to develop vaccination policies for FMD that would reduce reliance on large scale slaughtering of animals. However, vaccinated animals may sometimes become infected without showing signs of disease and pose a risk of starting new outbreaks later on if the virus persists in these animals. Therefore, more effective vaccines are needed to better block virus establishment and that do not induce antibodies against some of the immunogenic viral proteins produced during a wild-type infection. To strengthen the immune response to vaccination, we are investigating vectored FMD vaccines to elicit better cell mediated and mucosal immunity. On diagnostics, we are developing and validating tests that differentiate infection from vaccination including a test for FMD-specific IgA in saliva and alternative format tests for FMD virus non-structural antibody detection. The development and validation of marker vaccines and associated diagnostics will enable animals to be effectively vaccinated without precluding the possibility to detect any vaccinated animals that have become infected and pose a risk for disease spread.
Vaccine selection is also of great importance in FMD control because of the existence of seven different virus serotypes and multiple antigenic subtypes. Current methods rely on serological tests to match vaccine strains to field isolates, but these are slow and depend upon serological reagents that are hard to standardise. Furthermore, there is a paucity of validation of serological matching approaches due to the costs of in vivo cross-protection tests. An alternative approach would be to relate antigenic phenotype to the derived amino acid sequence of viral capsids. Therefore, another focus of our work is the study of epitope conservation and significance in protection, investigated by means of sequence analyses and reverse genetics. Better definition of protective epitopes and their relative conservation may also help to create more broadly protective vaccines.
Finally, we are interested in ways to predict vaccine induced protection. At one level this work is attempting to identify immune correlates and at the population level we are collating data on the ability of vaccination to block viral transmission in order to design optimal vaccination strategies and predict vaccine efficacy in emergency situations.
Amaral Doel CM, Gloster J, Valarcher JF. (2009) Airborne transmission of foot-and-mouth disease in pigs: evaluation and optimisation of instrumentation and techniques. Veterinary Journal 179(2), 219-24. [Abstract].
Bashiruddin J B, Mann J, Finch R, Zhang Z, Paton D. (2006) Preliminary study of the use of thermal imaging to assess surface temperatures during foot-and-mouth disease virus infection in cattle, sheep and pigs. EUFMD conference, Paphos, Cyprus, 17 to 20 October 2006. [Abstract].
Gloster J, Doel C, Gubbins S, Paton DJ. (2008) Foot-and-mouth disease: Measurements of aerosol emission from pigs as a function of virus strain and initial dose. Veterinary Journal 177, 374-380. [Abstract].
Gloster J, Jones A, Redington A, Burgin L, Sørensen JH, Turner R, Dillon M, Hullinger P, Simpson M, Astrup P, Garner G, Stewart P, D'Amours R, Sellers R, Paton D. (2010) Airborne spread of foot-and-mouth disease - Model intercomparison. Veterinary Journal 183(3), 278-86. [Abstract].
Parida S, Fleming L, Oh Y, Mahapatra M, Hamblin P, Gloster J, Paton DJ. (2008) Emergency vaccination of sheep against foot-and-mouth disease: significance and detection of subsequent sub-clinical infection. Vaccine 26(27-28), 3469-79 . [Abstract].
Ryan E, Gloster J, Reid S, Li Y, Ferris NF, Waters R, Juleff N, Charleston B, Bankowski B, Gubbins S, Wilesmith JW, King DP, Paton DJ. (2008) Clinical and laboratory investigations of the foot-and-mouth disease epidemic in the United Kingdom in 2007. Veterinary Record 163(5), 139-147. [Abstract].
Sellers R, Gloster J. (2008) Foot-and-mouth disease: a review of intranasal infection of cattle, sheep and pigs. Veterinary Journal 177(2), 159-68. [Abstract].
Paton DJ, Ferris NP, Hutchings GH, Li Y, Swabey K, Keel P, Hamblin P, King DP, Reid SM, Ebert K, Parida S, Savva S, Georgiou K, Kakoyiannis C. (2009) Investigations into the cause of foot-and-mouth disease virus seropositive small ruminants in Cyprus during 2007. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 56(8), 321-8. [Abstract].
Paton DJ, Sumption KJ, Charleston B. (2009) Options for control of foot-and-mouth disease: knowledge, capability and policy. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B Biological Sciences 364(1530), 2657-67. [Abstract].