Biomarkers of Disease

To discover, characterise, validate and implement the use of biomarkers of disease in companion and farm animals.


We focus our studies on developing the use of quantitative protein assays for use in diagnosis of disease and employ a mix of biochemical, digital epidemiological and immunological assay methods while working in close collaboration with colleagues from the School of Veterinary Medicine and around the world to enhance the health and welfare of domestic animals. 

A major area of work has been in the development and utilisation of acute phase proteins, which increase in concentration in the blood following infection, inflammation and trauma and assays have been developed that are now being used in veterinary practice. 

We continue our search for effective biomarkers of disease and are using the most advanced protein analysis technology of mass spectrometry based quantitative proteomics and in silico tools to identify further analytes of use in assessing health and welfare in species such as cattle (Bos taurus), pigs (Sus scrofa), chicken (Gallus domesticus), cats (Felis catus) and dogs (Canis lupus familiaris).

Our People

 Biomarkers of Disease Our People header pic

Tyler Stevenson        David Eckersall         Nicolas Jonsson       Mark McLaughlin         Maureen Bain


Selected Publications

Bain MM, Zheng J, Zigler M, Whenham N, Quinlan-Pluck F, Jones AC, Roberts M, Icken W, Olori VE, Dunn IC. 2019. Cuticle deposition improves the biosecurity of eggs through the laying cycle and can be measured on hatching eggs without compromising embryonic development. Poultry Science, 98:1775-1784.

Bilić P, Kuleš J, Galan A, Gomes de Pontes L, Guillemin N, Horvatić A, Festa Sabes A, Mrljak V, Eckersall PD. 2018. Proteomics in Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science: Neglected Scientific Opportunities with Immediate Impact. Proteomics 18:e1800047.

Horvatić A, Guillemin N, Kaab H, McKeegan D, O'Reilly E, Bain M, Kuleš J, Eckersall PD. 2019. Quantitative proteomics using tandem mass tags in relation to the acute phase protein response in chicken challenged with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide endotoxin. Journal of Proteomics, 192:64-77.

Jonsson NN, Klafke G, Corley SW, Tidwell J, Berry CM, Koh-Tan HHC. 2018. Molecular biology of amitraz resistance in cattle ticks of the genus Rhipicephalus. Frontiers in Bioscience 23(2):796-810

Koh-Tan HHC, Strachan E, Cooper K, Bell-Sakyi L, Jonsson NN. 2016. Identification of a novel β-adrenergic octopamine receptor-like gene (βAOR-like) and increased ATP-binding cassette B10 (ABCB10) expression in a Rhipicephalus microplus cell line derived from acaricide-resistant ticks. Parasites and Vectors, 9:425

Bakker K, Martinez-Bakker M, Helm B, Stevenson TJ. 2016. Digital epidemiology reveals global childhood disease seasonality and the effects of immunization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113:6689-6694.

Thomas FC, Mudaliar M, Tassi R, McNeilly TN, Burchmore R, Burgess K, Herzyk P, Zadoks RN, Eckersall PD, 2016. Mastitomics, the integrated omics of bovine milk in an experimental model of Streptococcus uberis mastitis: 3. Untargeted metabolomics. Mol BioSyst. 12:2762-2769.

Shafie IN, McLaughlin M, Burchmore R, Lim MA, Montague P, Johnston PE, Penderis J, Anderson TJ. 2014. The chaperone protein clusterin may serve as a cerebrospinal fluid biomarker for chronic spinal cord disorders in the dog. Cell Stress. Chaperones. 19, 311-320.

Lowrie M, Penderis J, McLaughlin M, Eckersall PD, Anderson TJ. 2009. Steroid responsive meningitis-Arteritis: a prospective study of potential disease markers, prednisolone treatment, and long-term outcome in 20 dogs (2006-2008). J Vet Intern Med. 23:862-870.