May 6, 2021

 

The Pirbright Institute to research swine and cattle livestock viruses

 


The Pirbright Institute announced a successful funding of €3.5 million (~US$4.2 million; 1 EUR = US$1.21) into two research projects tackling African swine fever (ASF) and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRS) in swine, as well as bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRS) in cattle.

 

The first project will look into developing vaccine strategies to enhance newborn livestock's immune response against PRRS and BRS. €2.1 million (~US$2.5 million) will be allocated towards this project. Currently, antibodies provided by mothers to newborn livestock via their milk prevent vaccines from being effective. The newborns become susceptible to virus infections once they no longer receive the mother's antibodies.

 

This project, called NEOVACC, will involve the collaboration of six research partners, aiming to boost newborn livestock protection by effectively delivering the vaccines to their immune systems and increasing their responses to the vaccines.

 

Partners for the NEOVACC project include the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE - France), Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES - France), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU - Sweden), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL - Switzerland), and Oslo University Hospital, Norway. This project is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (URKI).

 

The second project, called ASFVInt, aims to identify 80 genes contained in the ASF virus genome and what they do during infection. There are no ASF vaccines or treatments available, so identifying ASF genes is important to assist researchers with finding new pathways for antivirals to target or additional genes for use in vaccine development.

 

€1.4 million (~US$1.6 million) will be allocated to the ASVInt project, conducted with the cooperation of six partners and co-led by Pirbright's Dr Chris Netherton.

 

Partners for the ASVInt project include the Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES - France), National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE - France), the Friedrich Loeffler Institut (FLI - Germany), National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA CSIC - Spain), and the University of Tartu (UTARTU - Estonia). This project is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

 

- The Pirbright Institute