Emilie Vallee

Doctor of Philosophy, (Veterinary Sciences)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Epidemiology and production effects of Leptospirosis in New Zealand sheep

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Leptospirosis is a major public health concern in New Zealand, being the most recognised occupationally-acquired zoonotic disease affecting, among others, meat workers, farmers and veterinarians. Sheep are known to maintain some of the strains affecting humans, and vaccination of livestock is an important step in preventing human infection. Ms Vallee examined the epidemiology of two strains of leptospirosis in sheep flocks, evaluated the vaccine effectiveness at controlling the spread of the disease, and quantified the growth and reproduction response of ewe lambs to vaccination and exposure to these strains. Her research suggested a high prevalence of leptospirosis within New Zealand sheep flocks, putting the farming community at risk. Her findings showed that while no growth or reproduction improvement was recorded, vaccination is effective at preventing shedding of Leptospira in urine, making vaccination an important tool in the prevention of leptospirosis as an occupational disease.

Professor Peter Wilson
Professor Cord Heuer
Dr Julie Collins-Emerson
Professor Jackie Benschop