Professor Severine Tasker

BSc (1st class), BVSc. (hons), DSAM, PhD, DipECVIM FHEA

  • BS40 5DU

  • BS40 5DU

    United Kingdom


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

My research focuses particularly on haemotropic mycoplasmas (haemoplasmas), a newly defined group of pathogens that can induce haemolysis of red blood cells, and feline coronavirus infections, which can result in the fatal disease of feline infectious peritonitis. I am also involved in research on vector borne diseases such as Leishmania and Babesia. I am also involved in the Veterinary School's Comparative and Clinical Research Group within the Population Health Research Theme.



 Research keywords

  • Haemotropic mycoplasmas
  • Haemoplasmas
  • Mycoplasma haemofelis
  • Feline infectious peritonitis
  • Feline coronavirus infection


Research findings

Haemotropic mycoplasma infections

I am involved in the investigation of haemotropic mycoplasmas (haemoplasmas), which are bacterial agents that can induce haemolytic anaemia in a range of host species.  Most of our studies centre on the feline haemoplasmas but we have carried out research on a range of haemoplasma species including canine, rodent and human species. Our research has focused on: the development of novel polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays and serological tests to detect haemoplasma infection, the phylogeny of haemoplasmas, the pathogenesis of the haemoplasma-associated anaemia and induced immunity, and genomic studies that have resulted in the first complete haemoplasma genomic sequence (Mycoplasma haemofelis).  We are also developing in vitro methods of haemoplasma cultivation and looking at protective immunity with a view to develop vaccine candidates.

Feline coronavirus (FCoV) infections

Feline coronavirus (FCoV) infection is very common in cats and can sometimes lead to the serious disease of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), which is a common cause of death in young cats.  The Bristol Feline Coronavirus (BFC) Group is actively committed to further research in this field to ultimately help the diagnosis and prevention of this distressing disease.  Current research involves the development of reliable diagnostic tests for the definitive diagnosis of FIP, deriving genome sequences of field coronavirus isolates, identification of feline coronavirus host receptors and the development of a so-called “reverse genetic” system for feline coronaviruses. The reverse genetic systemic involves constructing a copy of the virus in a form that can be changed in a specific way. This is a complex process but it will be of immense value in our basic research and, in the longer term, can be used to produce vaccines against FIP.


Further information about Dr Severine Tasker can be found here


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OH-STAR: One Health Selection and Transmission of Antimicrobial Resistance

Avison, M. B., Gould, V. C., Wright, E. F., Schubert, H., Findlay, J., Hammond, A., Morley, C., Reyher, K. K., Barrett, D. C., Cogan, T. A., Tasker, S., Turner, K. M. E., Hay, A. D., May, M. T. & Macgowan, A. P.


Project: Research

Serum metabolomics in feline mycobacterial disease: a pilot stu: Serum metabolomics in feline mycobacterial disease: a pilot study

Dos Santos Ferreira, D. L., Maple, H. J., Tasker, S. & Papasouliotis, K.


Project: Research

Research Output

An update on FIP

Barker, E. N. & Tasker, S., 30 Apr 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : In Practice.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)

Evaluation of interferon-gamma polymorphisms as a risk factor in feline infectious peritonitis development in non-pedigree cats: a large cohort study

Barker, E. N., Lait, P., Ressel, L., Blackwell, E-J., Tasker, S., Kedward-Dixon, H., Kipar, A. & Helps, C. R., 3 Jul 2020, In : Pathogens. 9, 7, 8 p., 535.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Open Access
  • 10 Downloads (Pure)

    Role of vector-borne pathogens in the development of fever in cats: 1. Flea-associated diseases

    Lappin, M. R., Tasker, S. & Roura, X., 1 Jan 2020, In : Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. 22, 1, p. 31-39 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)


    BSAVA Woodrow Award

    Tasker, Severine (Recipient), 2008

    Prize: National/international honour

  • The Petplan Charitable Trust Scientific Award

    Tasker, Severine (Recipient), 2013

    Prize: National/international honour


    ISCAID / IFRRS Symposium

    Severine Tasker (Participant)

    18 Oct 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk

    Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists Scientific Congress

    Severine Tasker (Participant)

    5 Jul 20167 Jul 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk

    Myths and Truths on Antibiotics International Symposium, Hamburg, Germany, 2016

    Severine Tasker (Participant)

    6 Oct 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk

    Supervised Work

    A mouse model of haemoplasma infection, in vitro cultivation of haemoplasmas and steps towards better diagnosis of and vaccination against haemoplasmosis

    Author: Filler, S., 23 Jan 2020

    Supervisor: Helps, C. (Supervisor), Bailey, M. (Supervisor), Tasker, S. (Supervisor), Hill, D. (Supervisor) & Knowles, T. G. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


    Establishing a Reverse Genetic System for Type 1 Feline Coronavirus

    Author: Saunders, S. J., 23 Jan 2020

    Supervisor: Davidson, A. D. (Supervisor) & Tasker, S. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)