Pirbright scientists recently developed a potential bird flu vaccine that offered better protection to chickens. This vaccine was easier and less costly to produce than traditional flu vaccines.
Pirbright scientists investigate the pig’s immune response to flu and identify specific cells which are important for fighting infection and for long term protection against influenza infection.
It is hoped the findings will shed more light on human response to flu and help the development of new vaccines.
Pirbright research develops new vaccines that could contribute to the global eradication of peste des petits ruminants virus
- Peste des petits ruminants virus causes severe disease in small ruminants such as goats and sheep, especially in Africa, Asia and the Middle East
- There is a global eradication programme aimed at eradicating the disease by 2030, however this cannot be achieved in time without a suitable vaccine that could differentiate between vaccinated and infected animals
Pirbright research on African buffalo investigates persistence of highly contagious foot-and-mouth disease virus
- Even sporadic transmission from persistently infected carrier hosts can allow contagious pathogens to persist in host populations
- Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) persistence in African buffalo, the wildlife host, enabled by low level transmission by carrier animals
- Different serotypes of FMDV transmit with varying effectiveness from carrier animals to naive populations
Pirbright’s new bird flu vaccine provides rapid protection, could reduce virus spread and is less costly to produce
- The new vaccine protects chickens against signs of disease and reduces the level of virus that they can spread
- Rapid antibody responses can be seen as early as six days after vaccination
- The vaccine is made in laboratory cultures of insect cells, making it easier and less costly to produce than the traditional flu vaccines made in chicken eggs.
Two projects coordinated by researchers at The Pirbright Institute designed to improve pig and cattle health have been successfully fully funded with a total of €3.5 million. The research aims to tackle three important livestock viruses – bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) in cattle, and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and African swine fever virus (ASFV) in pigs.
Landmark study by Pirbright uncovers crucial details of lumpy skin disease virus transmission by insects
Scientists at The Pirbright Institute have measured the risk of different insect species transmitting lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) for the first time. LSDV causes severe disease in cattle and is rapidly emerging into new regions. It has recently spread from Africa and the Middle East into cattle populations in Europe and Asia. Pirbright’s research shows that insects are unlikely to acquire the virus if they bite infected cattle that are not displaying clinical signs, meaning these animals pose a limited risk of transmitting disease.
Pirbright generates first pig flu antibodies that could improve human treatments and guide flu vaccine selection
The Pirbright Institute has generated the first pig antibodies against swine influenza (flu) that protect against infection and recognise the same parts of the flu virus as human antibodies. This indicates they could be used to develop and assess human antibody therapies and their delivery methods. The pig antibodies also have the potential to improve how flu virus evolution is monitored and inform decisions about annual flu vaccine selection.
Early animal studies by Pirbright and Oxford yield promising results for new potential COVID-19 vaccine
Studies carried out by The Pirbright Institute and the University of Oxford have shown that Oxford’s new potential vaccine against COVID-19, named RBD-SpyVLP, produces a strong antibody response in mice and pigs, providing vital information for the further development of the vaccine. Although this type of vaccine is not a competitor for the first wave of vaccines, it is hoped that it will be useful as a standalone vaccine or as a booster for individuals primed with a different COVID-19 vaccine.
Pirbright study shows how SARS-CoV-2 could have adapted from bats to humans and which other animals it could infect
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, is thought to have originated in bats, but how it jumped hosts to infect humans is unclear, as is the potential for the virus to infect other animal species. Researchers from The Pirbright Institute have identified key differences in SARS-CoV-2 that may be responsible for the jump from bats to humans, as well as establishing which animals have cellular receptors that allow the virus to enter most effectively.