Collaborative research involving scientists from The Pirbright Institute has shown that a new vaccine, ChAdOx1 RVF, is effective at protecting pregnant sheep and goats from Rift Valley fever (RVF), a debilitating disease that can also be transmitted to humans. This work will also help progress the development of the vaccine, which could be the first to be used against both a human and animal disease.
The DEFEND consortium held its second annual meeting in Brussels on 26 - 27 September 2019 to consolidate and progress the research of its members on African swine fever (ASF) and lumpy skin disease (LSD). The consortium, led by Dr Pip Beard from The Pirbright Institute, is made up of 30 scientific partners from academia, industry and government that are working together to halt the emergence of these two livestock pathogens into Europe and neighbouring countries.
Genetic research conducted by scientists at The Pirbright Institute has revealed that goat and sheep genes for specific immune cell receptors are extremely diverse and different compared to other livestock relatives. The findings will help scientists to understand how genetic characteristics can alter an animal’s natural ability to fight infection, and potentially inform the breeding of disease resistant animals.