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Orla Keane

Research Officer - Infection Biology

Research Interests

My research focuses on the biology and mechanisms of infection for major bacterial and parasitic pathogens of cattle and sheep. The research aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of infection for these pathogens as well as the prevention, diagnosis, management and treatment of these diseases. Our goal is to understand the role of host, pathogen and the environment in disease progression and infection outcome encompassing a One Health approach. Major pathogens of interest include intramammary pathogens and helminth parasites of ruminants. An understanding of host-pathogen-environment interactions is increasingly important due to its impact on animal health and welfare, animal production and greenhouse gas emissions and societal concern regarding animal diseases including the use of antimicrobials in food production.

Current Projects

  • Mining the molecular interplay between parasite and host for vaccines, diagnostics and biotherapeutics discovery
  • Managing anthelmintic resistance in nematodes of cattle and sheep
  • Developing genetic parameters for resistance to gastrointestinal nematode infections in lambs and their incorporation into the Irish national breeding programme
  • Effect of diet on gastrointestinal nematode infections and greenhouse gas emissions in cattle
  • Microbiology, control and prevention of mastitis


  • B.A.(mod) in Microbiology, Trinity College Dublin
  • Grad. Dip in Statistics, Trinity College Dublin
  • Ph.D., Trinity College Dublin


  • Research Officer: Teagasc, Animal & Bioscience Department, AGRIC, Grange.  2009 – Present.
  • Visiting Researcher: Animal Genomics, AgResearch, Invermay, Mosgiel, New Zealand.  Nov 2014 – Mar 2015.
  • Post-doctoral Fellow in Evolutionary Genetics: Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College, Dublin.  2008 – 2009.
  • Research scientist: Animal Genomics, AgResearch, Invermay, Mosgiel, New Zealand.  2006.
  • Post-doctoral Fellow: Molecular Biology Unit AgResearch, Dept of Biochemistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.   2003 – 2005.

Professional Membership

  • Microbiology Society
  • Irish Society for Parasitology
  • International Society for Animal Genetics

    Lab Members 

  • Amanda McEvoy
  • Cynthia Machin 
  • Naomi Ogbulafor 
  • Saoirse Ellis
  • Cwiklinski K, McEvoy A, López Corrales J, Jewhurst H, Calvani NED, De Marco Verissimo C, Dorey AL, Keane OM, Dalton JP, Lalor R. Fasciola hepatica antioxidant and protease-inhibitor cocktail recombinant vaccines administered five times elicit potent and sustained immune responses in sheep but do not confer protection. Vet Parasitol. 2023 Oct 8;323:110049.
  • Corrales JL, McEvoy A, Lalor R, Cwiklinski K, Doyle S, Parkinson M, Keane OM, Dalton JP, Dorey AL. The use of cathepsin L1 (FhCL1) serological ELISA in sentinel screening for liver fluke on sheep farms. Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports. 2023 Oct;45:100924.
  • Drumm SD, Cormican P, Owens RA, Mitchell J, Keane OM. Immunoproteomic analysis of the serum IgG response to cell wall-associated proteins of Staphylococcus aureus strains belonging to CC97 and CC151. Vet Res. 2023 Sep 18;54(1):79.
  • Keane OM, Carthy TR, Hanrahan JP, Matthews D, McEwan JC, Rowe SJ, Kenneally J, Mee JF. Risk factors for, and genetic association with, intestinal atresia in dairy calves. Anim Genet. 2023. Apr 54(2): 104-112.
  • Yebra G, Harling-Lee JD, Lycett S, Aarestrup FM, Larsen G, Cavaco LM, Seo KS, Abraham S, Norris JM, Schmidt T, Ehlers MM, Sordelli DO, Buzzola FR, Gebreyes WA, Gonçalves JL, Dos Santos MV, Zakaria Z, Rall VLM, Keane OM, Niedziela DA, Paterson GK, Holmes MA, Freeman TC, Fitzgerald JR. Multiclonal human origin and global expansion of an endemic bacterial pathogen of livestock. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Dec 13;119(50):e2211217119..
  • Hamilton KM, Waghorn TS, de Waal T, Keane OM, Green P, Leathwick DM. In vitro evaluation of fitness parameters for isolates of Teladorsagia circumcincta resistant and susceptible to multiple anthelmintic classes. Vet Parasitol. 2022 Oct;310:109791.
  • Drumm SD, Cormican P, O'Boyle P, Owens RA, Mitchell J, Keane OM. Immunoproteomic analysis of the secretome of bovine-adapted strains of Staphylococcus aureus demonstrates a strain-specific humoral response. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2022 Jul;249:110428.
  • Niedziela DA, Cormican P, Foucras G, Leonard FC, Keane OM. Bovine milk somatic cell transcriptomic response to Staphylococcus aureus is dependent on strain genotype. BMC Genomics. 2021 Nov 5;22(1):796.
  • López Corrales J, Cwiklinski K, De Marco Verissimo C, Dorey A, Lalor R, Jewhurst H, McEvoy A, Diskin M, Duffy C, Cosby SL, Keane OM, Dalton JP. Diagnosis of sheep fasciolosis caused by Fasciola hepatica using cathepsin L enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Vet Parasitol. 2021 Jul 6;298:109517.
  • Rose Vineer H, Morgan ER, Hertzberg H, Bartley DJ, Bosco A, Charlier J, Chartier C, Claerebout E, de Waal T, Hendrickx G, Hinney B, Höglund J, Ježek J, Kašný M, Keane OM, Martínez-Valladares M, Mateus TL, McIntyre J, Mickiewicz M, Munoz AM, Phythian CJ, Ploeger HW, Rataj AV, Skuce PJ, Simin S, Sotiraki S, Spinu M, Stuen S, Thamsborg SM, Vadlejch J, Varady M, von Samson-Himmelstjerna G, Rinaldi L. Increasing importance of anthelmintic resistance in European livestock: creation and meta-analysis of an open database. Parasite. 2020;27:69.
  • Kelleher AC, Good B, de Waal T, Keane OM. Anthelmintic resistance among gastrointestinal nematodes of cattle on dairy calf to beef farms in Ireland. Ir Vet J. 2020 Jul 1;73:12.
  • Niedziela DA, Murphy MP, Grant J, Keane OM, Leonard FC. Clinical presentation and immune characteristics in first-lactation Holstein-Friesian cows following intramammary infection with genotypically distinct Staphylococcus aureus strains. J Dairy Sci. 2020 Sep;103(9):8453-8466.
  • O'Neill LM, Keane OM, Ross PJ, Nally JE, Seshu J, Markey B. Evaluation of protective and immune responses following vaccination with recombinant MIP and CPAF from Chlamydia abortus as novel vaccines for enzootic abortion of ewes. Vaccine. 2019. 37(36):5428-5438.
  • Murphy MP, Niedziela DA, Leonard FC, Keane OM. The in vitro host cell immune response to bovine-adapted Staphylococcus aureus varies according to bacterial lineage. Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 16;9(1):6134.
  • Keane OM. Symposium review: Intramammary infections-Major pathogens and strain-associated complexity. J Dairy Sci. 2019 May;102(5):4713-4726.

Lauren O’Neill
Dagmara Niedziela
Anne Kelleher
Shauna Drumm
Dovile Murasukaite