In June 2019 The Pirbright Institute destroyed the last samples of rinderpest virus held in the World Reference Laboratory for rinderpest. This completed a major milestone in the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) programme to eradicate the virus.
Scientists at The Pirbright Institute have used genetic engineering to develop a vaccine that protects birds against both Marek’s disease and avian influenza, also known as bird flu. The process is faster and more efficient compared to previous methods, which will allow poultry vaccine producers to rapidly update vaccine strains in order to keep up with virus evolution.
A recent study carried out at The Pirbright Institute has uncovered the sites within the cell where porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) makes new copies of itself during replication. Using electron microscopy, Pirbright scientists demonstrated that the virus creates replication organelles that are similar to other coronaviruses. Establishing that this step in the virus life cycle is consistent across the virus family could facilitate the development of broad-spectrum control methods to tackle the diseases they cause.