Author: Rachel Wood

Genome study will be used to breed more productive and resilient African cattle

Scientists have discovered a set of detailed genetic markers in African cattle that are associated with valuable traits such as heat and drought-tolerance, the capacity to control inflammation and tick infestations, and resistance to trypanosomiasis. The findings, published in Nature Genetics, emerged from a collaborative effort to sequence the genomes of 172 indigenous cattle by […]

Bovine respiratory syncytial virus: novel mechanism of immune evasion discovered

A study by scientists at The Pirbright Institute has revealed that both bovine and human respiratory syncytial viruses (bRSV and hRSV, respectively) capture a protein that is important for the antiviral response, preventing cells signalling for help from the immune system. bRSV causes respiratory infections in cattle, which can result in severe illness associated with […]

Study identifies potential candidate genes for resistance to Marek’s disease

Scientists have identified genes strongly associated with resistance to Marek’s disease in chickens, providing a large number of potential targets for future therapies or techniques to manage the disease. Findings from the analysis also reveal details about the biology behind susceptibility to Marek’s disease virus (MDV), which could lead to more precise selective breeding strategies. […]

Environmental transmission of foot-and-mouth disease virus

Scientists at The Pirbright Institute and Wageningen Bioveterinary Research have demonstrated that environments contaminated with foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) could potentially infect animals up to 14 days after removing infected cattle, providing evidence that should lead to more effective outbreak containment methods. While FMDV is spread through direct contact between animals, the virus can also […]

Small molecules block PRRSV from infecting pig cells

Researchers at the University of Connecticut have identified compounds that can block porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) from infecting pig cells, creating a promising pathway to an alternative treatment. Their findings are published in Virology Journal. CD163, expressed in pig monocytes and macrophages, is a key receptor for PRRSV infection. The University of […]

Adaptability of avian influenza viruses poses threat to poultry

New insights from a study of the 2016/2017 avian influenza outbreak in Eurasia show how highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses – which are likely to cause severe disease in chickens – can be transmitted from wild migrating bird populations to domestic flocks and back again. These viruses can readily exchange genetic material with other low […]

Infectious bronchitis virus: increasing vaccine heat resilience could improve performance

Studies from The Pirbright Institute and the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute show that two vaccines against specific strains of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) do not offer complete protection against a third strain, and that this may be partly down to the temperature range the vaccine virus can survive in. Commercial IBV vaccines are currently […]

Drug resistant nematodes cost European livestock industry millions each year

A European-wide assessment of the economic burden of gastrointestinal nematodes, Fasciola hepatica (common liver fluke) and Dictyocaulus viviparus (bovine lungworm) infections to the ruminant livestock industry is reported in Preventive Veterinary Medicine. The study estimated that parasitic worms cost the European livestock industry more than €1.8 billion per year, with drug-resistance costing at least €38 […]

Commercially available cell line rapidly detects African swine fever virus

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have identified a new way to detect the presence of live African swine fever virus (ASFV) that minimizes the need for samples from live animals and provides easier access to veterinary labs that need to diagnose the virus. They report in the journal […]

H7N9 avian influenza viruses: mutations found to increase threat to poultry, but reduce pandemic potential

Mutations in the H7N9 avian influenza virus increase its replication rate and stability in avian cells, but reduce its preference for infecting human cells, a study from The Pirbright Institute has found. The results show that outbreaks in birds caused by strains with these mutations could pose a lower risk to human health, while remaining […]