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.
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).
Researchers from The Pirbright Institute collaborated with the University of Oxford and the National Institutes of Health, USA, to show that S-FLU, a universal flu vaccine candidate, induces different immune responses in pigs compared to ferrets, raising the possibility that the ferrets may not give the whole picture and that pigs may more faithfully represent human influenza disease. The team also identified a type of T cell in pigs for the first time, which are able to rapidly help fight respiratory infections.
Researchers from The Pirbright Institute, University of Bristol, Cardiff University and University of Oxford have generated tools that allow scientists to understand a vital area of the pig immune system which was previously inaccessible.
Scientists at The Pirbright Institute have received money which will enable research into boosting vaccine yields by up to ten fold. The funding was awarded by the Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Canada’s International Development Research Centre.
For the first time, researchers led by Professor Munir Iqbal at The Pirbright Institute have been able to insert protective avian influenza virus genes into the duck enteritis virus (DEV) vaccine by using a method of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing that allows higher rates of gene insertion. This makes the process more efficient and the resulting vaccine virus is able to protect ducks against both DEV and avian influenza.