Michael Baron’s main interests are in peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV), a serious threat to livestock keepers throughout the developing world, and Nairobi sheep disease virus (NSDV), a tick-borne virus that is closely related to the deadly human pathogen Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), though NSDV does not itself cause disease in humans.
Michael also carries out small amounts of highly-regulated work on rinderpest virus, a virus now eradicated in the wild, work that contributes to the destruction of the remaining virus kept in specific laboratories in different countries. He is interested in the molecular and cell biology of the viruses, particularly how they interact with the host cell anti-viral systems. Michael studies how the viruses regulate innate immune responses, and the specific viral and host cell proteins that are involved in this regulation. He also has a strong interest in developing vaccines and diagnostic tools that contribute to the control of these diseases in the developing countries in which they are common.
He is a World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) expert in rinderpest and peste des petits ruminants viruses, and spends significant amounts of time contributing expertise to the OIE and other international organisations.