Category: News

Marek’s disease virus hijacks the cholesterol pathways of poultry cells to replicate

A study by scientists from The Pirbright Institute has confirmed that cholesterol production and transport play a crucial role in how Marek’s disease virus (MDV) infects poultry cells. Researchers also found that inhibiting a protein involved in this pathway can reduce virus replication and spread between cells. Researchers in Pirbright’s Avian Immunology Group took an […]

Markers for key health and productivity traits identified in Ethiopian chickens

A study by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), University of Liverpool, the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute and partners of the Centre of Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH), has found that birds from two distinct indigenous chicken populations (ecotypes) in Ethiopia share several genetic regions linked to important productivity and disease resistance traits. This […]

Role of the stable fly as a vector of pig pathogens

A Vetmeduni Vienna study investigated stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans) from Austrian pig farms for the presence of defined swine pathogens. The findings are published in Microorganisms. The blood-sucking insect is frequently found on farms and has direct and indirect influences on animal health. Direct influences can include restlessness, pain due to biting, stress, loss of […]

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 […]