Dr Kirstyn Brunker

  • Research Associate (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health & Comparative Medicine)

Research interests

I am interested in the application of genomics within One Health-based systems to improve animal and human pathogen surveillance and management. In particular, my research vision is to use genomics approaches to improve the detection, control and prevention of long-standing endemic diseases that impose significant health and financial burdens on communities in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs).

You can follow my latest research developments on Twitter: @kirstynbrunker

Genomic surveillance of rabies virus

Genomic surveillance has rapidly emerged as a powerful tool for infectious disease surveillance, providing unprecedented insights into pathogen evolution and transmission, and guiding control and prevention strategies. My research involves developing methods to generate and analyse molecular sequence data from samples collected from suspect rabid animals.‌

RNA extractions in car boot using lab-in-a-suitcase

Rabies is a fatal viral zoonosis widespread throughout Asia and Africa, disproportionately affecting rural and impoverished populations. Mass vaccination of domestic dogs has eliminated rabies in high-income countries and research demonstrates that elimination of dog-mediated rabies in LMICs is also feasible. A global campaign is underway to eliminate dog-mediated rabies, for which effective surveillance is essential, with genomic surveillance likely to have particular utility during the endgame.

Lab-in-a-suitcase

Well-resourced laboratory facilities are‌‌‌‌ often distant from animal-human interfaces where there is a high risk‌ of disease transmission. As a consequence delays in detection, diagnosis and control of pathogens are common. I am leading the development of a field-based genomics surveillance platform for rabies virus based on a lab-in-a-suitcase approach to overcome limitations in resource-poor settings where diseases such as rabies are a major public health concern. This work involves providing training opportunities to build local genomics capacity in LMICS, including MinION sequencing training workshops held in Kenya, Philippines and Peru in 2019.                                                                       ‌

My aim is to develop affordable tools and protocols to support rabies surveillance and control programmes in LMICs that can serve as a blueprint for tackling emerging and neglected viral diseases more broadly.

Training in MinION sequencing

Other interests

 


Grants

Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.

  • Moving from laboratory-based to real-time genomic surveillance of canine rabies virus in the field.
    Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
    2017 - 2017
     
  • Tracing transmission pathways of endemic canine rabies (ISSF Catalyst)
    Wellcome Trust
    2014 - 2015
     

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2018 | 2017 | 2015 | 2012 | 2010
Number of items: 7.

2018

Brunker, K. , Lemey, P., Marston, D. A., Fooks, A. R., Lugelo, A., Ngeleja, C., Hampson, K. and Biek, R. (2018) Landscape attributes governing local transmission of an endemic zoonosis: rabies virus in domestic dogs. Molecular Ecology, 27(3), pp. 773-788. (doi:10.1111/mec.14470) (PMID:29274171) (PMCID:PMC5900915)

2017

Picard, C., Dallot, S., Brunker, K. , Berthier, K., Roumagnac, P., Soubeyrand, S., Jacquot, E. and Thébaud, G. (2017) Exploiting genetic information to trace plant virus dispersal in landscapes. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 55, pp. 139-160. (doi:10.1146/annurev-phyto-080516-035616) (PMID:28525307)

Gilbert, L., Brunker, K. , Lande, U., Klingen, I. and Grøva, L. (2017) Environmental risk factors for Ixodes ricinus ticks and their infestation on lambs in a changing ecosystem: Implications for tick control and the impact of woodland encroachment on tick-borne disease in livestock. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 237, pp. 265-273. (doi:10.1016/j.agee.2016.12.041)

2015

Brunker, K. et al. (2015) Elucidating the phylodynamics of endemic rabies virus in eastern Africa using whole-genome sequencing. Virus Evolution, 1(1), pp. 1-11. (doi:10.1093/ve/vev011)

2012

Brunker, K. , Hampson, K. , Horton, D.L. and Biek, R. (2012) Integrating the landscape epidemiology and genetics of RNA viruses: rabies in domestic dogs as a model. Parasitology, 139(14), pp. 1899-1913. (doi:10.1017/S003118201200090X)

Decuypere, S., Vanaerschot, M., Brunker, K. , Imamura, H., Muller, S., Khanal, B., Rijal, S., Dujardin, J. and Coombs, G.H. (2012) Molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in natural Leishmania populations vary with genetic background. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 6(2), e1514. (doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001514)

2010

t'Kindt, R. et al. (2010) Metabolomics to unveil and understand phenotypic diversity between pathogen populations. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 4(11), e904. (doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000904)

This list was generated on Fri Jul 19 15:28:22 2019 BST.
Jump to: Articles
Number of items: 7.

Articles

Brunker, K. , Lemey, P., Marston, D. A., Fooks, A. R., Lugelo, A., Ngeleja, C., Hampson, K. and Biek, R. (2018) Landscape attributes governing local transmission of an endemic zoonosis: rabies virus in domestic dogs. Molecular Ecology, 27(3), pp. 773-788. (doi:10.1111/mec.14470) (PMID:29274171) (PMCID:PMC5900915)

Picard, C., Dallot, S., Brunker, K. , Berthier, K., Roumagnac, P., Soubeyrand, S., Jacquot, E. and Thébaud, G. (2017) Exploiting genetic information to trace plant virus dispersal in landscapes. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 55, pp. 139-160. (doi:10.1146/annurev-phyto-080516-035616) (PMID:28525307)

Gilbert, L., Brunker, K. , Lande, U., Klingen, I. and Grøva, L. (2017) Environmental risk factors for Ixodes ricinus ticks and their infestation on lambs in a changing ecosystem: Implications for tick control and the impact of woodland encroachment on tick-borne disease in livestock. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 237, pp. 265-273. (doi:10.1016/j.agee.2016.12.041)

Brunker, K. et al. (2015) Elucidating the phylodynamics of endemic rabies virus in eastern Africa using whole-genome sequencing. Virus Evolution, 1(1), pp. 1-11. (doi:10.1093/ve/vev011)

Brunker, K. , Hampson, K. , Horton, D.L. and Biek, R. (2012) Integrating the landscape epidemiology and genetics of RNA viruses: rabies in domestic dogs as a model. Parasitology, 139(14), pp. 1899-1913. (doi:10.1017/S003118201200090X)

Decuypere, S., Vanaerschot, M., Brunker, K. , Imamura, H., Muller, S., Khanal, B., Rijal, S., Dujardin, J. and Coombs, G.H. (2012) Molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in natural Leishmania populations vary with genetic background. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 6(2), e1514. (doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001514)

t'Kindt, R. et al. (2010) Metabolomics to unveil and understand phenotypic diversity between pathogen populations. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 4(11), e904. (doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000904)

This list was generated on Fri Jul 19 15:28:22 2019 BST.