Scientists at The Pirbright Institute have identified African swine fever virus (ASFV) proteins that can trigger an immune response in pigs. The team hopes to develop a vaccine using these proteins that is capable of protecting against the deadly pig disease.
On 14 June 2019, scientists at The Pirbright Institute destroyed the final archive stocks 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 ensure the world remains free from the eradicated disease.
The Pirbright Institute returned as a festival sponsor to Cheltenham Science Festival between 7 and 9 June 2019. Pirbright’s theme this year was ‘Viral Survival’, which centred on diseases that can spread from animals to people, called zoonoses, and how Pirbright scientists are working on different strategies to predict and prevent pandemics.
Researchers at The Pirbright Institute will partner with the Belgian biotechnology company ViroVet to develop the first antiviral drugs that act against African swine fever (ASF). In the absence of a vaccine, antiviral drugs could provide an alternative control method which would help limit clinical signs in pigs and lower virus replication. This could reduce the spread of disease and help to contain outbreaks, ultimately reducing the number of pigs lost to this deadly viral infection.
The Pirbright Institute, a world-leading centre of excellence in research and surveillance of virus diseases of farm animals and viruses that spread from animals to humans announces the appointment of Professor John Stephenson as Chair of the Trustee Board and six new Trustees. Professor Stephenson succeeds Professor Quintin McKellar CBE, who is stepping down. Professor Stephenson is joined by Trustees Mr Ian Bateman, Mr Ian Black, Mr Jon Coles, Professor Vince Emery, Dr Sandy Primrose and Jane Tirard.
The Pirbright Institute took Dr Zoo’s Travelling Science Lab out on the road for the first time at Innovate Guildford 2019, a local science and arts festival, which took place on Saturday 23 March. Visitors entering the ‘Viral Survival’ themed mini escape room were challenged with a series of scientific puzzles which they had to crack in under five minutes in order to survive a deadly virus.
The Pirbright Institute has received an award worth up to $2.6 million to develop proof-of-concept tools that could prevent mosquitoes from transmitting a broad range of viruses. The project forms part of DARPA’s Preventing Emerging Pathogenic Threats (PREEMPT) programme, which aims to predict and contain viral mutations to prevent cross-species transmission of viral infectious disease from animals and insects to humans.
Dr Claire Colenutt received the Innovation in Animal Healthcare award on Monday 3 December 2018 at the Guildford Innovation Awards 2018. Dr Colenutt won the award for the creation of a new foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) field test, which could improve disease surveillance and alleviate the burden which it places on many smallholders and subsistence farmers who are reliant on foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)-susceptible livestock.
Research led by The Pirbright Institute has shown mutant H9N2 bird flu viruses isolated from Pakistan are able to escape immune responses and adapt to infect humans. This could result in reduced vaccine efficiency and the possibility of human outbreaks.
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.