The World Reference Laboratory for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (WRLFMD) marked 60 years of being the global centre of expertise in the diagnostics and surveillance of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) with a two-day symposium on Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 November.
Pirbright scientists use ground-breaking techniques to identify that the small ruminant morbillivirus can adapt to infect human cells
Scientists from The Pirbright Institute have used a ground-breaking approach to show how a morbillivirus that causes disease in small ruminants such as sheep and goats, known as small ruminant morbillivirus (a close relative of measles virus – the human morbillivirus), could, through minor changes in a particular protein, overcome barriers that currently prevent it from entering human cells.
Scientists from The Pirbright Institute’s Vaccine Differentiation group have recently returned from Chennai in India, where they conducted a mass peste des petits ruminants (PPR) vaccination campaign and awareness programme. The trip marked the end of a four year collaborative project that has successfully uncovered important details about the PPR virus and generated tools to help eradicate the disease.
For the first time, scientists at The Pirbright Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute have been able to generate and build a complete Culicoides biting midge genome. These flies are not only an annoying biting nuisance for those visiting or living in Scotland, but also transmit a range of important animal viruses on UK farms including bluetongue virus.
International FMD vaccine research and development consortium to receive over £3 million of funding from Wellcome Trust to produce more affordable and effective FMD vaccine
Researchers in the UK, led by The Pirbright Institute are to receive £3.1 million of investment to produce a more affordable and effective vaccine to protect animals against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
Foot-and-mouth disease is endemic in large parts of Africa, South America, the Middle East and Asia and, globally, is the most economically important infectious disease of livestock, affecting cattle, pigs, sheep and goats and other cloven-footed animals.
The recent outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in China represents a significant development in the progression of the disease. China is home to over half the world’s pig population (around 500 million pigs) so any potential spread throughout China and neighbouring countries would be devastating.
Researchers at The Pirbright Institute in collaboration with partners at the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory on Plum Island USA, have shown that foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) can be detected in milk samples using a method that is potentially sensitive enough to identify the virus in pooled milk stored in bulk tanks or milk tankers. These encouraging results indicate that testing of milk samples could contribute to disease surveillance both during and after outbreaks.
Research undertaken by scientists at the University of Glasgow and The Pirbright Institute has shown that a targeted vaccination programme against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) could contribute to alleviating poverty in eastern Africa.
A research team led by Dr Erica Bickerton at The Pirbright Institute has genetically modified an infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) vaccine strain so that it can be grown in cell cultures in the lab rather than in hen eggs, which could make vaccine production more efficient and reduce costs.
Scientists from The Pirbright Institute are spearheading a 31 member consortium named ‘DEFEND’ which has been awarded €5.6 million by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme to study two viral diseases that are emerging into Europe; African swine fever (ASF) and lumpy skin disease (LSD).