Author: Rachel Wood

Study reveals dynamic state of bTB epidemiology in Cameroon

Dr Adrian Muwonge and Professor Mark Bronsvoort from The Roslin Institute and colleagues from the UK, Cameroon, Nigeria and Chad conducted the largest molecular epidemiological study of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in a sub-Saharan African country to understand the incidence and diversity of the disease throughout Cameroon. Their findings are published in Scientific Reports. They collected […]

Study explores how African swine fever spreads in backyard production systems

Researchers at the University of California, Davis’ Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance (CADMS) and FAO examined the pig trade structure of four pig-rearing regions of Georgia, a country with predominant backyard production systems, whose pig production was recently devastated as a consequence of African swine fever (ASF) epidemics. Their findings are reported in […]

Foot and mouth disease: impact of preclinical diagnosis on farm-to-farm transmission

Preclinical detection of Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) during outbreaks has the potential to allow earlier culling of infected herds and thereby reduce transmission and aid the control of epidemics. During an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, current control and eradication methods rely on rapid clinical detection and the removal of infected herds. In a […]

Bats are the major reservoir of coronaviruses worldwide

Results of a five-year study in 20 countries on three continents have found that bats harbour a large diversity of coronaviruses (CoV). Findings from the study – led by scientists in the USAID-funded PREDICT project at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the University of […]

Pandemic potential of H9N2 avian influenza viruses studied

Researchers have identified the molecular mechanisms that enable H9N2 viruses – the most common type of avian influenza virus – to infect humans, helping improve risk assessments for its potential to cause pandemic. Although H9N2 viruses are considered less pathogenic than some types of avian influenza virus, they still cause significant losses for the poultry […]

Novel antibiotic resistance gene in milk

Researchers at the University of Bern have identified a new antibiotic resistance gene in Macrococcus caseolyticus strains from dairy cows. This gene confers resistance to all beta-lactam antibiotics including the last generation of cephalosporins used against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). A transfer to S. aureus (which is possible according to the researchers) would jeopardize the […]

Unique structure of ASFV enzyme may allow drug development

A DNA-copying protein from African swine fever virus (ASFV) has a unique structure that may offer a target for drugs, according to a study published in PLoS Biology by Yiqing Chen and colleagues at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Viral replication depends in part on a polymerase enzyme, AsfvPolX, that repairs breaks in the DNA, […]

Gene editing for PRRSV resistance in pigs

Precision engineering renders target cells of PRRSV resistant to infection with the virus. Researchers have used advanced genetic techniques to produce pigs that are potentially resilient to Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS). Early tests have revealed that cells from the pigs are completely resistant to infection with both major subtypes of the virus that […]

Call for Interest on Designation as FAO Reference Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) committed at the 39th Session of the FAO Conference (June 2015) to work on the issue of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) through Resolution 4/2015. The resolution calls upon both FAO members and the organization itself to address the threat posed by AMR to public health, agriculture production and […]

Rift Valley fever epidemics in Madagascar linked to livestock trading

Trade in livestock may contribute to the spread of insect-borne diseases, at a time when climate change is already modifying global vector distribution. Publications in PNAS and Scientific Reports reveal that trade in cattle is the main trigger factor for Rift Valley fever epidemics in Madagascar, and that, between two outbreaks, the virus persists in […]