The test can be performed in two days on blood samples from poultry houses, using equipment already available in poultry diagnostic laboratories. Current immune system tests are imprecise, expensive and take weeks – providing information too late to be useful. Combining this test with new immune-system boosting drugs would improve poultry welfare, and result in cheaper and better quality poultry products for European consumers.
Poultry is the fastest growing livestock industry worldwide, benefiting from production and price advantages as well as being viewed as healthy food. A particular attraction is the relatively short turn around – five to eight weeks for broiler chickens. However production involves intensive housing and management to maximise output – leading to an increase incidence of disease. And, because poultry is a global industry, similar disease problems are found all over the world, as highlighted by the emergence of bird flu.
Useful research and preventive tool
Reduced immunity is a serious problem for commercial poultry producers worldwide. The major cause is viral infection. All viruses can cause immunosuppression to varying degrees but Marek’s disease, infectious bursal disease and chicken anaemia are particular concerns. A simple test to identify flocks that have been immunosuppressed by non-apparent infections was needed. The new test is both a useful research tool and a way to provide poultry companies with an early warning for flocks that will experience secondary infections because of immunosuppression.
The MOLECULAR TESTS project is the outcome of research initiated at the University of Georgia and continued at the Institut Ruder Boskovic in Zagreb. Project leader Dr William Ragland of Zagreb Biotek in Croatia had the basic idea twenty years ago but he had to wait for advances in molecular biology. “The test is ready but we need to develop the companion immunotherapeutic to convince an animal health company to take it on,” explains project leader Dr William Ragland of Zagreb Biotek in Croatia. He had hoped that there would be direct commercial interest in the test alone but the animal health industry is conservative and companies are hesitant because they have lost considerable market in Asia due to the current outbreak of bird flu.
“We had five potential partners originally but the Slovenes were the only one to be approved,” explains Dr Ragland. “The Slovenes are close neighbours with whom we have very good relations and we co-operate whenever possible. Also, chicken anaemia virus is a particularly difficult problem in our area and these diseases do not respect political borders. Collaboration within EUREKA made a marked difference to the project.”
Catherine Shiels | alfa
Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
13.03.2017 | Penn State
How nature creates forest diversity
07.03.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy