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Pathology Unit

Pathology is the study of changes in animal tissues that occur due to disease. Some of these changes are visible directly with your own eyes (gross pathology). However, others require a light microscope (histopathology) and special staining or labelling techniques to see them.

Pathology helps scientists to identify which different types of cells are being affected and in which tissues, as well as identifying the different types of inflammation produced by an animal’s own white blood cells, in an effort to defend against and hopefully resolve a particular infection.

As Moredun’s research focuses on infectious diseases of livestock, information provided by the pathologists is crucial to almost all of its studies. Moredun’s own specialist Pathology Unit employs two full time veterinary pathologists and three scientific support staff who apply their specialist skills to many of the research projects. Cutting edge techniques being developed by Moredun not only allow the accurate identification of the different causes of infectious diseases but also the different inflammatory cells involved and the potent chemicals (cytokines) that they release. These methods have already been used to analyse the diseased placenta from sheep with enzootic abortion (infection with Chlamydia abortus) and are helping to explain how pregnancy is disrupted, killing the developing foetus.

In addition, the Pathology Unit provides general support for all of Moredun’s research by supplying digital image capture and analysis of cell preparations and tissues.

Services Available

The Moredun Pathology Unit offers a consultancy service in several fields of pathology, most notably for pathology of the brain and abortion material of ruminant farm animals, and this also extends to an array of immunohistochemistry for many animal pathogens and cell markers.  Please click here for a full list of immunohistochemistry services we offer. Additionally, Moredun has extensive experience in the pathology of many species of wildlife, especially sea mammals.

External Submissions/Second Opinions

If you would like to submit samples for examination, immunohistochemistry or request a second opinion please contact us in the first instance to discuss the suitability of the case with one of our pathologists. The external submission form is available here.

Submissions from SAC

We provide a consultancy service for SAC with respect to the neuro and foetal pathology of ruminant farm animals including immunohistochemistry where necessary. The specific form for submission of samples from SAC veterinary investigation centres for pathological investigation is available here. We are always happy to discuss individual cases with veterinary investigation officers.