Karl Pedersens forskning

Bacterial Diseases of Animals

I have many years of experience in research, diagnostics, monitoring and counseling within bacterial infections in poultry, fish, fur animals, pets and other animal species. It has for example been infection with Clostridium perfringens, which causes severe intestinal infections in poultry and Vibrio infections in fish in aquaculture.

The goal of these studies has been to improve the diagnosis and awareness of these microorganisms, knowledge of which factors in bacteria make them pathogenic for animals and how to distinguish between pathogenic and non-pathogenic types. Such studies can be performed both in animal studies, laboratory experiments and using PCR.


Another focus area has been zoonotic bacteria, i.e. bacteria found in animals and from here they take different routes to humans and cause disease. It may involve, for example, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria. These bacteria can be found in animals or in the environment, and rarely cause disease in animals. But in humans, they can cause serious infections and are therefore undesirable. My research on zoonoses has especially helped to detect and identify the zoonotic bacteria and clarified the routes of infection to prevent the bacteria to end up in humans.

Surveillance of antimicrobial resistance

A third focus area for several years has been the identification of antimicrobial resistance in animal pathogens and zoonotic bacteria. Antimicrobial resistance prevents effective treatment of infections and is therefore undesirable. Knowledge of the use of antimicrobials and the extent of resistance is a prerequisite for choosing the right antibiotic to treat animals. The combat against resistance is a battle that never ends, and it is important that you as a researcher within resistance may participate in reduction of the use of antimicrobials and guidance in the use of the right drugs.

Molecular methods

Going forward, I want to turn research more in the direction of molecular methods for detection and identification of bacteria, such as MALDI-TOF and whole genome sequencing (WGS) - both methods that will revolutionize the diagnostic and monitoring of pathogenic microorganisms in both animals and humans in the coming years by being both faster and cheaper. There is also a need for rapid detection methods for diagnosis and monitoring of pathogens in animal production. This is an area where technology develops fast. 

I have taught veterinary students in microbiology and bacterial infections, taught food safety in international courses, and I have been supervisor for projects, master students and PhD students. Teaching and supervision of students is an inspiring task that I have much pleasure with.


Karl Pedersen
Professor (guest)
National Food Institute
+45 35 88 62 01