School of Health and Life Sciences

Assoc Prof David Piedrafita

Phone: (03) 51226205
Position: Associate Professor
Discipline: Life Sciences


  • 1991: Bachelor of Science (Honours, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology), Australian National University
  • 1996: Doctor of Philosophy, Victorian Institute of Animal Science, La Trobe University

Teaching areas

  • Veterinary bioscience
  • Immunology

Professional associations

  • Executive Secretary, World Federation for Parasitologists; Club Melbourne Ambassador; Grant assessor for 10 national and international granting bodies; Reviewer for 20 international scientific journals including member of 3 editorial boards

Research interests

My research addresses problems of food security through animal productivity losses caused by parasite infections, particularly pertinent to Asia. I have international collaborations in Spain, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, India and Africa.

Publications (last 5 years)

Refereed articles

Sakthivel,D., Swan, J. Preston, S., Shakif-Azam, MD., Faou, F., Jiao, Y., Downs, R., Rajapaksha, H., Gasser, R., Piedrafita D*, Beddoe, T. (2018). Proteomic identification of Galectin-11 and 14 ligands from Haemonchus contortus doi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.3473v1. *senior co-author.

Cameron TC, Cooke I, Faou P, Toet H, Piedrafita D, Young N, Rathinasamy V, Beddoe T, Anderson G, Dempster R, Spithill TW. (2017). A novel ex vivo immunoproteomic approach characterising Fasciola hepatica tegumental antigens identified using immune antibody from resistant sheep. International Journal for Parasitology. 47(9):555-567.

Hernández J. N, Meeusen E, Stear M, Rodríguez F, Piedrafita D*, González J. F. (2017). Modulation of Haemonchus contortus infection by depletion of γδ+ T cells in parasite resistant Canaria Hair Breed sheep. Veterinary Parasitol. 2017 Apr 15;237:57-62. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2017.02.021. Epub 2017 Feb 21. *senior co-author

Oh DY, Panozzo J, Vitesnik S, Farrukee R, Piedrafita D, Mosse J, Hurt AC. Selection of multi-drug resistant influenza A and B viruses under zanamivir pressure and their replication fitness in ferrets. Antivir Ther. 2017 Feb 14. doi: 10.3851/IMP3135.

Hernández, J. N, Hernández, A, Stear, MJ, Conde-Felipe, M, Rodríguez, E, Piedrafita D* and González, J. F. (2016). A Potential role for mucosal IgA in modulating Haemonchus contortus adult worm infection in sheep. Veterinary Parasitology 223 153-158. * Senior co-author

Driguez P, McWilliam HE, Gaze S, Piedrafita D, Pearson MS, Nakajima R, Duke M, Trieu A, Doolan DL, Cardoso FC, Jasinskas A, Gobert GN, Felgner PL, Loukas A, Meeusen E, McManus DP. (2016). Specific humoral response of hosts with variable schistosomiasis susceptibility. Immunology and Cell Biology. doi: 10.1038/icb.2015.61.

Alasdair Nisbet, Els Meeusen, Jorge F. Gonzalez and David M. Piedrafita. (2016). Immunity to Haemonchus contortus and vaccine development. Advances in Parasitology 93, 353-396.

Bahar Liravi, David Piedrafita, Gary Nguyen and Robert J Bischof (2015). Dynamics of IL-4 and IL-13 expression in the airways of sheep following allergen challenge. BMC Pulmonary Medicine 15 (1) 101.

Preston S. J, Beddoe T, Walkden-Brown S, Meeusen E, Piedrafita D. (2015). Galectin-11: A novel host mediator targeting specific stages of the gastrointestinal nematode parasite, Haemonchus contortus. International Journal for Parasitology. Jul 26. p: S0020-7519(15)00185-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.. [Epub ahead of print]

Panozzo J, Oh DY, Margo K, Morton DA, Piedrafita D, Mosse J, Hurt AC. (2015). Evaluation of a dry powder delivery system for laninamivir in a ferret model of influenza infection. Antiviral Research. 120: 66-71.

Hosking CG, Driguez P, McWilliam HE, Ilag LL, Gladman S, Li Y, Piedrafita D, McManus DP, Meeusen EN, de Veer MJ. (2015). Using the local immune response from the natural buffalo host to generate an antibody fragment library that binds the early larval stages of Schistosoma japonicum. International Journal for Parasitology. 45 (11):729-40.

Sakthivel D, Littler D, Shahine A, Troy S, Johnson M, Rossjohn J, Piedrafita D*, Beddoe T. (2015). Cloning, expression, purification and crystallographic studies of galectin-11 from domestic sheep (Ovis aries). Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun. 71 (Pt 8):993-7. Senior co-author.

Preston S, Jabbar A, Nowell C, Joachim A, Ruttkowski B, Baell J, Cardno T, Korhonen PK, Piedrafita D, Ansell BR, Jex AR, Hofmann A, Gasser RB. (2015). Low cost whole-organism screening of compounds for anthelmintic activity. International Journal for Parasitology 45 (5), 333-43.

Piedrafita D, Preston S, Kemp J, de Veer M, Sherrard J, Kraska T, Elhay M, Meeusen E. (2013). The Effect of Different Adjuvants on Immune Parameters and Protection following Vaccination of Sheep with a Larval-Specific Antigen of the Gastrointestinal Nematode, Haemonchus contortus. PLoS One. 21;8(10):e78357.

Sarah Preston, Mark Sandeman, Jorge Gonzalez & David Piedrafita. (2014). Current status for gastrointestinal nematode diagnosis in small ruminants – where are we and where are we going? Journal of Immunological Research vol. 2014, Article ID 210350, doi:10.1155/2014/210350.

Anushi E Rajapaksa, Jenny J Ho, Aisha Q, Rob Bischof, Tri-Hung Nguyen, Michelle Tate, David Piedrafita, Michelle P McIntosh, Leslie Y Yeo, Els Meeusen, Ross L Coppel and James R Friend. (2014). Effective pulmonary delivery of an aerosolized plasmid DNA vaccine via surface acoustic wave nebulization. Respiratory Research. 15(1). 60.

Hayley Toet, David M Piedrafita and Terry W Spithill. (2014). Liver fluke vaccines in ruminants: strategies, progress and future opportunities.International Journal for Parasitology. 44 (12): 915-927.

Lorsuwannarat N, Piedrafita D, Chantree P, Sansri V, Songkoomkrong S, Bantuchai S, Sangpairot K, Kueakhai P, Changklungmoa N, Chaichanasak P, Chansela P, Sobhon P. (2014). The in vitro anthelmintic effects of plumbagin on newly excysted and 4-weeks-old juvenile parasites of Fasciola gigantica. Exp Parasitol. 22; 136C:5-13.

Grants (last 5 years)


“Field vaccination of Canaria Hair Breed sheep against Haemonchus contortus” Collaboration with: Gonzalez, Piedrafita, Meeusen, Molina, Rodriguez, Hernandez.

Amount: 86,000 € Agency: Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, SPAIN – National Grant.


“Low-Cost Portable Inhalation Therapy Platform for Needle-Free DNA-Based Influenza Vaccination” L. Yeo, D. Piedrafita, Aeron Hunt, D. Morton.

Institutes: RMIT, Monash/Federation University, WHO collaborating centre for reference and research on Influenza.

Amount: $524, 644 Agency: NHMRC Development Grant


“Antigen production for nematode vaccines”

Project leader

Amount: $ 20,000  Agency: La Trobe University


"Screening efficacious drug compounds for liver fluke toxicity”

Project leader/Chief Investigator

Amount: $ 80,000 Agency: Norvatis Animal Health


“In vivo depletion of gd T cells and eosinophilia and its effects on the resistance of the Canaria Hair Breed sheep against Haemonchus contortus”

Collaboration with: Gonzalez, Piedrafita, Meeusen, Molina, Rodriguez, Hernandez.

Amount: 63,000 € Agency: Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, SPAIN – National Grant.


“Cytotoxic potential of Plant derived compounds against Fasciola hepatica” Natch Lorusant Training program

Budget: US$25 000 Agency: Thailand Research Fund

Research higher degree completions (last 5 years)

2014-2018 Main Supervisor of Mohammed Al-Hasnawy, School of Science & Applied Engineering. Monash University. Co-supervisors: Philip Brook-Carter, Mark Sandeman. Thesis: “Molecular Interactions of Host cells and Giardia duodenalis”

2012-2018 Co-Supervisor of Abdullah Al Mamun, School of Science & Applied Engineering. Monash University. Co-supervisors: Andrew Greenhill, Mark Sandeman. Thesis: “Selecting superior production animals through microbiome characterisation”

2013-2017 Main Supervisor of Dhanasekaran Sakthivel, School of Science & Applied Engineering. Monash University. Co-supervisors: Travis Beddoe. Thesis: “Deciphering the sugar code in the host-parasite relationship”

2012-2016 Main Supervisor of Shakif-Ul-Azam, School of Science & Applied Engineering. Monash University. Co-supervisor: Mark Sandeman. Thesis: “Hypersensitivity, immunity and Haemonchus contortus in sheep”

2012-2016 Co-Supervisor of Bahar Khan Ahmad Liravi, School of Physiology. Monash University. Co-supervisors: Rob Bischof. Thesis: “Functional roles of the Th2 cytokines, IL-4 and IL-13, in a sheep model of asthma”.

2010-2014 Main supervisor of Sarah Preston, School of Physiology. Monash University. Co-supervisors: Els Meeusen, Steve Walkden-Brown. Thesis: “Identification and modulation of cells and mediators upregulated in parasite resistant sheep”

2009-2014 Associate supervisor of Vincent Lee, School of Biological Sciences. Monash University. Supervisors: Webster, D, White, P, Walmsley, A. Thesis: “Biosynthesis of nanoparticles using Solanum lycopersicum: optimisation, characterisation and their potential in formulation of plant-made pharmaceuticals.”

2009-2013 Co-supervisor of Hamish McWilliam, School of Physiology. Monash University. Co-supervisors: Els Meeusen, Peter Boag, Don McManus, Alex Loukas. Thesis: “Identification and characterisation of novel vaccine candidates for schistosomes using local antibody secreting cell probes”

2009-2013 Associate supervisor of Indramohan Singh, School of Biological Sciences. Monash University. Supervisors: Balasubramanian, S, Webster, D, Walmsley, A. Thesis: “Mucosal delivery of sub-cellularly localized plant made recombinant antigens ESAT-6 and Ag85B of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.”