Nilusha Malmuthuge, Ph.D.

Current research and/or projects

  • Maternal nutrition, winter feeding, and calf immune fitness (2024-2027). Funding - Beef Cattle Research Council, Agriculture Development Fund, Agriculture Funding Consortium.
  • Development of an enhanced early life program (EELP) to improve health and productivity of beef cattle (2024-2027). Funding - Beef Cattle Research Council, Agriculture Development Fund, Agriculture Funding Consortium.
  • Mitigating Salmonella Dublin in pre-weaned dairy calves (2023-2025). Funding – Agriculture Funding Consortium.
  • Impact of good vaccine practice (GVP) at field on vaccine effectiveness (2023-2024). Funding - Beef Cattle Research Council.
  • Early life interventions to improve neonatal gut health: Sustainable prevention of bovine neonatal viral diarrhea (2021-2024). Funding -  Alberta Agriculture Consortium
  • Identification of regulatory mechanisms involved in the postnatal establishment of epithelial-microbial homeostasis using comparative functional multiomics (2020-2022). Funding -  International Seed Funding Call (RWTH Aachen University and University of Alberta)
  • Revealing true food animal microbiome through next generation sequencing: Overcoming the effects of sequencing artifacts (2019-2022). Funding - Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Strategic Research and Development Program.

Research and/or project statements

I am a food animal immunologist and microbiologist with research experience in immunology, molecular biology, microbiology, and bioinformatics. My research program aims to increase the resilience of the livestock systems, reduce antimicrobial use in the livestock production system, and facilitate the production of consumer-appreciated (antibiotic-free) animal products through improved animal health. 

 

Publications (Last five years)

 

  1. N Wong, N Malmuthuge, D Gellatly, WM Nordi, TW Alexander, RO Polo, E Janzen, M Jelenski, K Schwartzkopf-Genswein. (2024). Characterization of the hoof bacterial communities in feedlot cattle affected with digital dermatitis, foot rot or both using a surface swab technique. Animal Microbiome.6:2
  2. ZL Fu, Y Yang, L Ma, N Malmuthuge, LL Guan, DP Bu. (2024). Dynamics of oxidative stress and immune responses in neonatal calves during diarrhea. J. Dairy Sci. 107:1286-1298.
  3. Cangiano L.R., C. Villot, R. Amorin-Hegedus, N. Malmuthuge, R. Gruniger, M. Steele, 2023. Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii accelerates intestinal microbiota maturation and is correlated with increased secretory IgA production in neonatal dairy calves. Frontiers in Microbiology. 14
  4. Nakandalge, R., L.L. Guan, N. Malmuthuge*. 2023. Microbial Interventions to Improve Neonatal Gut Health. Microorganisms. 11:1328. (Invited Review)
  5. Malmuthuge, N., L.L. Guan. 2023. MicroRNAs in Gut Health: Modulation of Host-Microbial Interactions in the Gastrointestinal Tract. MicroRNA in Regenerative Medicine. 2nd Ed. PP: 951-966. (Invited Book Chapter)
  6. Gu, F., Zhu, S., Tang, Y., Liu, X. Jia, M. N. Malmuthuge, T. G. Valencak, J. W. McFadden, J-X. Liu, H-Z. Sun. 2023. Gut microbes and bile acid metabolism: mechanisms of post-calving immunosuppression in dairy cows. Microbiome. 11:40.
  7. Bridgman, S.L., N. Malmuthuge, R. Mandal, C. J. Field, A. M. Haqq, P. J. Mandhane, T. J. Moraes, S. E. Turvey, E. Simons, P. Subbarao, J.A. Scott, D. S. Wishart, A. L Kozyrskyj. 2022. Childhood body mass index and associations with infant gut metabolites and secretory IgA: findings from a prospective cohort study. Int J Obes (Lond). 46:1712-1719
  8. Pratt, J., A. Hormadokova, N. Malmuthuge*, L.L. Guan. 2022. Gut microbiota and the gut-brain axis in neonatal calves: Implications for psychobiotic usage for stress regulation. Gut microbiota, Immunity, and Health in Production Animals. Edited by MH Kogut and G Zhang. Springer Nature. PP295-325.
  9. Malmuthuge, N. A. Howell, N. Arsic, P.J. Griebel. 2021. Effect of maternal separation and transportation stress on the bovine upper respiratory tract microbiome and the immune response to resident opportunistic pathogens. Animal Microbiome. 3:62
  10. Malmuthuge, N. and L.L. Guan. 2021 Noncoding RNAs: Regulatory molecules of host-microbiome crosstalk. Invited Review. Trend Microbiol. 29: 713-724
  11. Malmuthuge, N., G. Liang, L.L. Guan. 2019. Regulation of rumen development in neonatal ruminants through microbial metagenomes and host transcriptomes. Genome Biol. 20:172. doi: 10.1186/s13059-019-1786-0
  12. Malmuthuge, N.*, P.J. Griebel. 2019. A novel animal model for regional microbial dysbiosis of the pioneer microbial community. Front. Microbiol. 10:1706. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01706.
  13. Malmuthuge, N., G. Liang, P.J. Griebel, L.L. Guan. 2019. Taxonomic and functional composition of the small intestinal microbiome in neonatal calves provide a novel framework for understanding early life gut health. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 85:e02534-18. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02534-18.

Professional activities / interests

OMICS research - Immunomics, Microbiome

Neonatal gut and respiratory health

Mucosal immunology

 

Education and awards

Education

2011-2016      Ph.D in Animal Science, University of Alberta, Canada

2009-2011      M.Sc. in Animal Science, University of Alberta, Canada

2003-2007      B.Sc. in Agriculture (Honors), University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

 

Awards

FEMS Journal Early Career Scientist (2021)

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, NSERC (2016-2019)

Alberta Innovates Future Doctoral Fellowship, Alberta Innovates Technology Future (2013-2015)

JB Russell Young Scientist Award, Congree in Gastrointestinal Functions (2015)

Ruminant Animal Digestive Physiology and Metabolism Graduate Scholarship, University of Alberta

Harry J Hargrave Memorial Gradute Scholarship, University of Alberta

Best presenter, Second place - Ph.D. Division, ADSA-ASAS Joint Annual meeting (Oral Competition, 2013)

Best presenter, Second place - Ph.D. Division, ADSA-ASAS Joint Annual meeting (Poster Competition, 2012)

RR Appadurai Memorial Prize -Best Performance in Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

International experience and/or work

Exploratory Research Space at the RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Collaboration with Dr. Mathias Hornef

"Identification of regulatory mechanisms involved in the postnatal establishment of epithelial-microbial homeostasis using comparative functional multi-omics"

Key publications

  1. Bridgman, S.L., N. Malmuthuge, R. Mandal, C. J. Field, A. M. Haqq, P. J. Mandhane, T. J. Moraes, S. E. Turvey, E. Simons, P. Subbarao, J.A. Scott, D. S. Wishart, A. L Kozyrskyj. 2022. Childhood body mass index and associations with infant gut metabolites and secretory IgA: findings from a prospective cohort study. Int J Obes (Lond). 46:1712-1719
  2. Pratt, J., A. Hormadokova, N. Malmuthuge*, L.L. Guan. 2022. Gut microbiota and the gut-brain axis in neonatal calves: Implications for psychobiotic usage for stress regulation. Gut microbiota, Immunity, and Health in Production Animals. Edited by MH Kogut and G Zhang. Springer Nature. PP295-325.
  3. Malmuthuge, N. A. Howell, N. Arsic, P.J. Griebel. 2021. Effect of maternal separation and transportation stress on the bovine upper respiratory tract microbiome and the immune response to resident opportunistic pathogens. Animal Microbiome. 3:62
  4. Malmuthuge, N. and L.L. Guan. 2021 Noncoding RNAs: Regulatory molecules of host-microbiome crosstalk. Invited Review. Trend Microbiol. 29: 713-724
  5. Malmuthuge, N., G. Liang, L.L. Guan. 2019. Regulation of rumen development in neonatal ruminants through microbial metagenomes and host transcriptomes. Genome Biol. 20:172. doi: 10.1186/s13059-019-1786-0
  6. Malmuthuge, N.*, P.J. Griebel. 2019. A novel animal model for regional microbial dysbiosis of the pioneer microbial community. Front. Microbiol. 10:1706. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01706.
  7. Malmuthuge, N., G. Liang, P.J. Griebel, L.L. Guan. 2019. Taxonomic and functional composition of the small intestinal microbiome in neonatal calves provide a novel framework for understanding early life gut health. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 85:e02534-18. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02534-18.
  8. Malmuthuge, N.*, P.J. Griebel. 2018. Fetal environment and fetal intestine are sterile during the third trimester of pregnancy. Vet Immunol. Immunopathol. 204:59-64. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2018.09.005.
  9. Song, Y., N. Malmuthuge, F. Li, L.L. Guan. 2018. Colostrum feeding shapes the hindgut microbiota of dairy calves during the first 12h of life. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 95(1). doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiy203.
  10. Song, Y., N. Malmuthuge, M.A. Steele, L.L. Guan. 2018. Shift of hindgut microbiota and microbial short chain fatty acids profiles in dairy calves from birth to pre-weaning. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 94: doi: 10.1093/femsec/fix179.
  11. Fisher, A., N. Malmuthuge, L.L. Guan, M.A. Steele. 2018. The effect of heat-treatment of bovine colostrum on the concentration of oligosaccharides in colostrum and in the intestine of neonatal male Holstein calves. J. Dairy Sci. 101:401-407. doi: 10.3168/jds.2017-13533.
  12. Osman, R. N. Malmuthuge, P. Gonzalez-Cano, P.J. Griebel. 2018. Development and function of the mucosal immune system in the upper respiratory tract of neonatal calves. Annu. Rev. Anim. Biosci. 6: 141-155. doi: 10.1146/annurev-animal-030117-014611.
  13. Malmuthuge, N., L.L. Guan. 2017. Understanding the gut microbiome of dairy calves: opportunities to improve early life gut health. Invited Review. J. Dairy Sci. 100:5996-6005. doi: 10.3168/jds.2016-12239.
  14. Malmuthuge, N., L.L. Guan. 2017. Understanding host-microbial interactions in rumen: Searching the best opportunity for microbiota manipulation. Invited Review. J. Anim. Sci. Biotechnol. 8:8. doi: 10.1186/s40104-016-0135-3.

Research facility

5403 1st Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1
Canada

Affiliations

Associate Editor - FEMS Microbiology, Frontiers in Microbiology, Animal Microbiome, Microbiome

 

Member of American Dairy Science Association

Member of American Society of Microbiology

Member of WiSTEM Forum Steering Committee

Member of CIHR Partnership Focus Group

 

Language

English