Zoe Matthews

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


Thesis Title
The search for biomarkers of facial eczema, following a sporidesmin challenge in dairy cows,using mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance of serum, urine, and milk

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Research shows facial eczema is the most important photosensitisation disease of ruminants in New Zealand. Its impact has implications for both animal welfare and financial returns for the farming industry. Although the causative agent, sporidesmin, has long been identified, very little is known about both the early stages of the disease and the effects of subclinical sporidesmin toxicity. Ms Matthews'' research addressed these unknowns by analysing metabolites from biological fluids collected from cows given a low dose of sporidesmin compared to untreated control cows. The aim was to detect changes in metabolism that could be associated with the early disease process, using modern analytical chemistry techniques. Although some interesting metabolites were identified, an early-stage biomarker remained elusive. Nevertheless, Ms Matthews showed that there is huge potential for these analytical techniques to be used in further studies.

Dr Patrick Edwards
Associate Professor Ashton Partridge
Professor Peter Derrick
Dr Mark Collett
Associate Professor Jonathan Marshall