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.
Researchers at The Pirbright Institute have used the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tool to knock out a gene in Culex quinquefasciatus Say, an understudied species of mosquito that spreads a variety of bird, animal and human diseases, including West Nile virus. The study provides the first characterisation of a gene that determines eye colour in this species, which will prove a valuable marker for researchers looking to modify this mosquito to control wild populations and aid disease prevention.