Person

Oudessa Kerro Dego

Assistant Professor | Animal Science

Specialization: Vet. Microbiology with focus on control & prevention of infectious diseases

Overview

I am a microbiologist with training in veterinary medicine, microbiology, and pathology. My research focuses on the control and prevention of infectious diseases of farm animals, particularly mastitis, antimicrobial resistance, and food safety. Current mastitis control programs are not fully effective, and antimicrobials are not sustainable because of limited success and the emergence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. Some zoonotic foodborne pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli O157:H7SalmonellaCampylobacter, and Listeria species can infect humans directly through contact with carrier animals or indirectly through the food chain. Similarly, antimicrobial resistant bacteria (ARB) and their antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) may transfer to humans through direct or indirect routes.


Sustainable dairy farming requires healthy and productive dairy animals in continuously changing dynamics of host-pathogen-environment interactions. So, there is no one perfect sustainable solution to keep dairy animals healthy and productive, but an integrated multidisciplinary approach addressing the health and welfare, nutritional, and managemental needs is required. Developing sustainable control tools that are easily adoptable by producers, such as effective vaccines, is critically important. Effective vaccines reduce disease incidence and increase dairy productivity and profitability. Effective vaccines also reduce use of antimicrobials in dairy farms, which in turn reduces the development of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. Currently, ongoing research projects in my lab include 1) developing effective vaccines for Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus uberis mastitis in dairy cows, 2) understanding molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of Mycoplasma bovis mastitis and identification of critical virulence factors for potential use as vaccine targets, 3) understanding molecular, genetic, and managemental factors responsible for the increased prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in dairy farms and developing alternatives to antimicrobials for disease control and prevention, 3) monitoring prevalence of foodborne pathogens in dairy cattle farms and developing improved diagnostic tools and control measures.


News highlights:

Vaccine for mastitis: https://utrf.tennessee.edu/utrf-inventor-spotlight-dr-oudessa-kerro-dego

Mastitis in Dairy Cattle, Sheep and Goats: http://www.intechopen.com/books/mastitis-in-dairy-cattle-sheep-and-goats


Research Focus

Developing Effective Vaccines for Major Bacterial Mastitis Pathogens of Dairy cows

Mitigation of the Development of Antimicrobial Resistance and Spread from Dairy Cattle Farms

Improving Dairy Food Safety and Milk Quality.

Teaching Focus

Major diseases of farm animals and poultry

Microbial pathogenesis

Antimicrobial Resistance

Vaccinology

Research Questions
  • How to Induce Effective Adaptive Intramammary Immunity Against Major Bacterial Mastitis Pathogens
  • Understanding Molecular Mechanisms of Antimicrobial Resistance and Developing Sustainable Alternative Tools for Disease Control
  • Developing Improved Control Measures and Quick Diagnostic Tools for Mastitis and Zoonotic Foodborne Pathogens
Courses
Below are courses taught during the current or past three academic years. Consult Timetable for the most current listing of courses and instructor(s).
AGNR 512 - Teaching Internship in Agriculture and Natural Resources
1 credit hour(s)

Supervised experience in teaching - test preparation and evaluation of agriculture students.

Repeatability: May be repeated. Maximum 2 hours for MS students and maximum 4 hours for PhD students.

Other Instructors: Eash, Neal | McLean, Kyle | Yu, Edward | Kojima, Cheryl Jean | Edwards, J. Lannett | Peairs, Stephen Eric

ANSC 380 - Animal Health Management
3 credit hour(s)

Characteristics, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of major diseases and parasites. Immunization, health regulations, and herd health programs for all farm livestock species and poultry.

Contact Hour Distribution: 2 hours and 1 lab.
(RE) Prerequisite(s) : ANSC 220 with a grade of C– or better.

ANSC 388 - Honors: Animal Health Management
3 credit hour(s)

Characteristics, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of major diseases and parasites. Immunization, health regulations, and herd health programs for all farm livestock species and poultry.

Contact Hour Distribution: 2 hours and 1 lab.
(RE) Prerequisite(s) : ANSC 220 with a grade of C– or better.
Registration Permission: Consent of instructor.

Picture of Oudessa Kerro Dego
356 Brehm Animal Science Building
2506 River Dr
Knoxville, TN 37996
Education and Training
  • PhD, Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, 2008
  • MS, Animal Pathology, Utrecht University, 2002
  • DVM, Veterinary Medicine, General, Addis Ababa University, 1997

Oudessa Kerro Dego

Assistant Professor | Animal Science
Picture of Oudessa Kerro Dego image
356 Brehm Animal Science Building
2506 River Dr
Knoxville, TN 37996
Education and Training
  • PhD, Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, 2008
  • MS, Animal Pathology, Utrecht University, 2002
  • DVM, Veterinary Medicine, General, Addis Ababa University, 1997
Overview

I am a microbiologist with training in veterinary medicine, microbiology, and pathology. My research focuses on the control and prevention of infectious diseases of farm animals, particularly mastitis, antimicrobial resistance, and food safety. Current mastitis control programs are not fully effective, and antimicrobials are not sustainable because of limited success and the emergence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. Some zoonotic foodborne pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli O157:H7SalmonellaCampylobacter, and Listeria species can infect humans directly through contact with carrier animals or indirectly through the food chain. Similarly, antimicrobial resistant bacteria (ARB) and their antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) may transfer to humans through direct or indirect routes.


Sustainable dairy farming requires healthy and productive dairy animals in continuously changing dynamics of host-pathogen-environment interactions. So, there is no one perfect sustainable solution to keep dairy animals healthy and productive, but an integrated multidisciplinary approach addressing the health and welfare, nutritional, and managemental needs is required. Developing sustainable control tools that are easily adoptable by producers, such as effective vaccines, is critically important. Effective vaccines reduce disease incidence and increase dairy productivity and profitability. Effective vaccines also reduce use of antimicrobials in dairy farms, which in turn reduces the development of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. Currently, ongoing research projects in my lab include 1) developing effective vaccines for Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus uberis mastitis in dairy cows, 2) understanding molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of Mycoplasma bovis mastitis and identification of critical virulence factors for potential use as vaccine targets, 3) understanding molecular, genetic, and managemental factors responsible for the increased prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in dairy farms and developing alternatives to antimicrobials for disease control and prevention, 3) monitoring prevalence of foodborne pathogens in dairy cattle farms and developing improved diagnostic tools and control measures.


News highlights:

Vaccine for mastitis: https://utrf.tennessee.edu/utrf-inventor-spotlight-dr-oudessa-kerro-dego

Mastitis in Dairy Cattle, Sheep and Goats: http://www.intechopen.com/books/mastitis-in-dairy-cattle-sheep-and-goats


Research Focus

Developing Effective Vaccines for Major Bacterial Mastitis Pathogens of Dairy cows

Mitigation of the Development of Antimicrobial Resistance and Spread from Dairy Cattle Farms

Improving Dairy Food Safety and Milk Quality.

Teaching Focus

Major diseases of farm animals and poultry

Microbial pathogenesis

Antimicrobial Resistance

Vaccinology

Research Questions
  • How to Induce Effective Adaptive Intramammary Immunity Against Major Bacterial Mastitis Pathogens
  • Understanding Molecular Mechanisms of Antimicrobial Resistance and Developing Sustainable Alternative Tools for Disease Control
  • Developing Improved Control Measures and Quick Diagnostic Tools for Mastitis and Zoonotic Foodborne Pathogens
Courses
Below are courses taught during the current or past three academic years. Consult Timetable for the most current listing of courses and instructor(s).
AGNR 512 - Teaching Internship in Agriculture and Natural Resources
1 credit hour(s)

Supervised experience in teaching - test preparation and evaluation of agriculture students.

Repeatability: May be repeated. Maximum 2 hours for MS students and maximum 4 hours for PhD students.

Other Instructors: Eash, Neal | McLean, Kyle | Yu, Edward | Kojima, Cheryl Jean | Edwards, J. Lannett | Peairs, Stephen Eric

ANSC 380 - Animal Health Management
3 credit hour(s)

Characteristics, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of major diseases and parasites. Immunization, health regulations, and herd health programs for all farm livestock species and poultry.

Contact Hour Distribution: 2 hours and 1 lab.
(RE) Prerequisite(s) : ANSC 220 with a grade of C– or better.

ANSC 388 - Honors: Animal Health Management
3 credit hour(s)

Characteristics, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of major diseases and parasites. Immunization, health regulations, and herd health programs for all farm livestock species and poultry.

Contact Hour Distribution: 2 hours and 1 lab.
(RE) Prerequisite(s) : ANSC 220 with a grade of C– or better.
Registration Permission: Consent of instructor.