Brachyspira hampsonii is a new species which emerged in 2007 as the cause of severe bloody diarrhoea and haemorrhagic colitis in pigs in the USA and Canada.
“This is a nice acknowledgement for me and the team in Murdoch’s Veterinary Microbiology group, and speaks to the work we are doing in the field,” Dr Hampson said.
“I’m flattered, though I note a lot of people are already shortening the name to B. ham because the bacterium causes disease in pigs!”
Professor Hampson has spent much of his career working on Brachyspira and the various diseases they cause in animals and humans, and is widely acknowledged as the world leader in this field.
The naming is the second in which he’s been involved. In 1997 a species related to Brachyspira hampsonii was named Serpulina murdochii – now Brachyspira murdochii – to acknowledge the work done by him and his group at Murdoch University.
He becomes the second individual researcher in VBS to have a microbe named in their honour.
In 2008, a new protozoan parasite species was named Cryptosporidium ryanae to honour Professor of Biochemistry Una Ryan, who leads VBS’s molecular epidemiology group. She was awarded the Prime Minister's Prize for Achievement in the Life Sciences in 2000.