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£12 million funding to tackle devastating livestock and poultry viruses
Date:11/19/2012

  • Over 5.6M to transform the way foot and mouth disease will be controlled in the future
  • Over 6.2M to develop rapid responses to emerging poultry viruses

Two new research projects have been awarded funding to tackle some of the world's most devastating livestock and poultry viruses. The two projects, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), aim to provide novel solutions to combatting the Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus and emerging poultry viruses.

Controlling Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV)

The first collaborative project, "The Molecular Biology of FMDV Replication: Towards New Methods of FMDV Disease Control" has been awarded over 5.6M to transform the way this disease will be controlled in the future. Rising demand for animal products, together with poor harvests (increased animal feed prices), has led to sustainability of food supplies becoming a UK strategic research priority. The health of farm animals is a vital factor in ensuring we meet growing demands for food.

The project will integrate the work of academics at the Pirbright Institute with those from the Universities of St Andrews, Leeds, Edinburgh and Dundee. The researchers will investigate how the virus grows in, and interacts with, cells and harness the knowledge to develop a new generation of more effective vaccines and improve diagnosis.

FMDV causes one of the most economically important viral diseases of domestic livestock including cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. Since the disease is endemic in many countries, transmission by international travel and trade presents an on-going potential threat to the UK. It is one of the most contagious mammalian viruses and can infect over 70 species of wildlife, greatly increasing the difficulty of disease control further complicated by the existence of 7 distinct serotypes with thousands of strains of the virus.

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Contact: Rob Dawson
01-794-413-204
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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