School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

Petra Fay



Based at The Pirbright Institute


I graduated from Sparsholt College with a BSc (Hons) in Animal Management. I went on to obtain my MSc in Wildlife Management and Conservation from the University of Reading. After graduating I worked as a Research Assistant in the Non-Vesicular Reference laboratory at The Pirbright Institute involved in disease surveillance in the UK and abroad predominantly for Bluetongue and African Horse Sickness Virus. I started my PhD in 2014 and am based at The Pirbright Institute.

Degree Registration:

PhD Veterinary Medicine and Science

School Research Theme:

Animal Infection and Immunity

Research Topic:

Antigenic relationships, diagnostic assays and structural studies of BTV outer capsid protein VP2 serotype 1 to 26

Summary of Research: My research is focused on developing type-specific serological diagnostics assays using the outer capsid protein of Bluetongue virus - VP2 that is responsible for eliciting neutralising antibodies. Through the use of a novel tobacco plant expression system, purified VP2 will be used to develop competition based ELISA’s and multiplex assays using Luminex technology. In addition, cross-reactivity between serotypes/topotypes will be investigated and structural studies performed to identify key epitopes involved in virus neutralisation. 


Research Supervisors:

University of Nottingham: Dr Janet Daly, Prof. David Haig

The Pirbright Institute: Prof. Peter Mertens, Dr Carrie Batten, Dr Kyriaki Nomikou, Dr Fauziah Mohd-Jafaar


Primary Funding Source:



• Batten C, Darpel K, Henstock M, Fay P, Veronesi E, et al. (2014) Evidence of Bluetongue Virus Serotype 26 through Direct Contact. PLoS ONE 9(5): e96049.

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 6116
fax: +44 (0)115 951 6415