Alison Collins

Research interests

  • Enteric diseases of pigs
  • Mucosal immunology
  • Gastrointestinal health and microbial flora


Alison is a microbiologist researching ways to improve animal health, food safety and biosecurity within Australian livestock industries. She is a specialist in the control of ileitis in pigs, including immunity, risk factors, diagnostics and epidemiology of the disease.

Alison works closely with the pig industry focussing on strategies to reduce the potential development of antimicrobial resistance. Current projects have developed quantitative assays for diagnosis of both enteric and respiratory diseases, strain typing of pathogens, competitive exclusion of pathogens and characterising the protective commensal bacteria of the intestine.

Her research recently extended to sheep health, and the development of a molecular test to support field diagnosis of virulent footrot. EMAI’s laboratory facilities support high throughput molecular assays complimented by a controlled environment piggery with a CT scanner for disease and production research.

Alison has a PhD from Sydney University and is the Chair of the Animal Ethics Committee at EMAI. Alison represents NSW DPI on the Australian Pork Ltd Research and Development Committee as Chair of the specialist group in quality assurance, biosecurity and food safety.


  • PhD - Sydney University

Current projects

  • Reducing antibiotic use to control Lawsonia intracellularis in pigs
  • Management strategies to control proliferative enteropathy
  • Dispersal of rodents between piggeries
  • Development of a semi-quantitative real time assay for ileitis

Professional associations and activities

  • Member Australian Pig Science Association
  • Chair of the Animal Ethics Committee, EMAI
  • Chair of the specialist group in QA, biosecurity and food and safety within the Australian Pork Ltd Research and Development Committee