Professor Moore undertakes research to investigate host-pathogen interactions, studying both fundamental aspects of bacterial pathogenesis and characterising the host response to specific pathogens. Working with his collaborators he has made significant research contributions in the understanding of the pathogenesis of Necrotic Enteritis and Spotty Liver Disease in chickens.
Most of his work on host response has been done in the chicken. The chicken is both a valuable experimental system in which to work but also has the added benefit of being an important target in its own right, because of the significance of the poultry industry to food security. Chicken production is by far the most efficient and ecologically friendly way to produce meat for human consumption.
A range of bacteria, including Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter jejuni, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, and the newly identified pathogens, Campylobacter hepaticus and Campylobacter bilis, have been studied. The main interest being the identification and study of key virulence factors and potential vaccine antigens. Trials to test vaccines, probiotics, and other therapeutic agents are carried out in the animal disease induction model systems that he has established, often for difficult to reproduce diseases.
Professor Moore has ongoing research to develop strains of Lactobacillus and both benign (commensal) and attenuated pathogenic strains of E. coli and Salmonella as delivery vehicles for a range of biologically active recombinant proteins including, cytokines, bacteriocins, digestive enzymes, and vaccine antigens. It is anticipated that these strains will offer effective alternatives to address a number of health and productivity issues in chickens.
His research group is applying novel experimental approaches to the isolation, identification, and characterisation of probiotic strains of bacteria for use in the poultry industry.
Professors Moore’s laboratories were early adopters of next generation sequencing for characterization of complex microbial populations in the gut. Microbiota studies are directed towards understanding the role that the gut microbiota has in health and energy utilization of animals and humans and developing ways to manipulate the gut microbiota for positive impact.