A lot of our research is focused on zoonoses and microbial resistance. Zoonoses are infectious diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans, and vice versa. Think for instance of Q fever, Bird flu, or Campylobacteriosis. We specifically concentrate on high risk populations with intensive animal contact such as workers in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and the animal feed industry, and veterinarians. We want to find out whether or not these groups have a higher risk of microbial resistance to antibiotics, among other things. How do we prevent the transfer of resistant micro-organisms among human and animal populations?
Another major topic in our Risk Assessment program is food safety. What effects do food and (natural) health products have on the immune, neural and endocrine system of people and animals? And what about pharmaceuticals, biotoxins, and environmental contaminants? What’s the impact of contaminants on wildlife? We also study allergies to domestic, laboratory and farm animals, and health risks of traffic-related air pollutants, electromagnetic fields, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and biocides.
The interdisciplinary research is conducted in close cooperation with other groups of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the UMC Utrecht. We hope to continuously improve the scientific basis for assessment of risks to human, animal and ecosystem health. For a detailed program outline, key publications and contact information see our program outline.