The Pirbright Institute publication directory contains details of selected publications written by our researchers.

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Bell L J, Reid G D F (1981)

Theileria in tick organ culture

Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 75 (6), 897-898
Publisher’s version:
Walker A R, Brown C G D, Bell L J, McKellar S B (1979)

Artificial infection of the tick Rhipicephalus appendiculatus with Theileria parva

Research in Veterinary Science 26 (2), 264-265
Publisher’s version:
Walker A R, McKellar S B, Bell L J, Brown C G D (1979)

Rapid quantitative assessment of Theileria infection in ticks

Tropical Animal Health and Production 11 (1), 21-26
Goatley L C, Reis A L, Portugal R, Goldswain H, Shimmon G L, Hargreaves Z, Ho C S, Montoya M, Sanchez-Cordon P J, Taylor G, Dixon L K, Netherton C L (234)

A pool of eight virally vectored African swine fever antigens protect pigs against fatal disease

Vaccines 2020 (8), 2


Classical approaches to African swine fever virus (ASFV) vaccine development have not been successful; inactivated virus does not provide protection and use of live attenuated viruses generated by passage in tissue culture had a poor safety profile. Current African swine fever (ASF) vaccine research focuses on the development of modified live viruses by targeted gene deletion or subunit vaccines. The latter approach would be differentiation of vaccinated from infected animals (DIVA)-compliant, but information on which viral proteins to include in a subunit vaccine is lacking. Our previous work used DNA-prime/vaccinia-virus boost to screen 40 ASFV genes for immunogenicity, however this immunization regime did not protect animals after challenge. Here we describe the induction of both antigen and ASFV-specific antibody and cellular immune responses by different viral-vectored pools of antigens selected based on their immunogenicity in pigs. Immunization with one of these pools, comprising eight viral-vectored ASFV genes, protected 100% of pigs from fatal disease after challenge with a normally lethal dose of virulent ASFV. This data provide the basis for the further development of a subunit vaccine against this devastating disease.


Bluetongue virus (BTV) and African horse sickness virus (AHSV) cause economically important diseases that are currently exotic to the United Kingdom (UK), but have significant potential for introduction and onward transmission. Given the susceptibility of animals kept in zoo collections to vector-borne diseases, a qualitative risk assessment for the introduction of BTV and AHSV to ZSL London Zoo was performed. Risk pathways for each virus were identified and assessed using published literature, animal import data and outputs from epidemiological models. Direct imports of infected animals, as well as wind-borne infected Culicoides, were considered as routes of incursion. The proximity of ongoing disease events in mainland Europe and proven capability of transmission to the UK places ZSL London Zoo at higher risk of BTV release and exposure (estimated as low to medium) than AHSV (estimated as very low to low). The recent long-range expansion of AHSV into Thailand from southern Africa highlights the need for vector competence studies of Palearctic Culicoides for AHSV to assess the risk of transmission in this region.


Pig production is a rapidly growing segment of the global livestock sector, especially in Asia and Africa. Expansion and intensification of pig production has resulted in significant changes to traditional pig husbandry practices leading to an environment conducive to increased emergence and spread of infectious diseases. These include a number of zoonotic viruses including influenza, Japanese encephalitis, Nipah and coronaviruses. Pigs are known to independently facilitate the creation of novel reassortant influenza A virus strains, capable of causing pandemics. Moreover, pigs play a role in the amplification of Japanese encephalitis virus, transmitted by mosquito vectors found in areas inhabited by over half the world's human population. Furthermore, pigs acted as an amplifying host in the first and still most severe outbreak of Nipah virus in Malaysia, that necessitated the culling over 1 million pigs. Finally, novel porcine coronaviruses are being discovered in high pig-density countries which have pandemic potential. In this review, we discuss the role that pigs play as intermediate/amplifying hosts for zoonotic viruses with pandemic potential and consider how multivalent vaccination of pigs could in turn safeguard human health.

Alphey L S, Crisanti A, Randazzo F, Akbari O S ()

Opinion: Standardizing the definition of gene drive

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences early view


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