UK taskforce set as much as deal with chicken flu unfold

Home Latest Posts UK taskforce set as much as deal with chicken flu unfold
UK taskforce set as much as deal with chicken flu unfold
UK taskforce set as much as deal with chicken flu unfold

Professor Brown in the lab

Professor Ian Brown will oversee the analysis

Scientists from eight main laboratories within the UK are teaming as much as develop new methods to combat chicken flu.

The consortium was awarded £1.5 million to develop methods to cope with outbreaks of the H5N1 pressure that has induced extreme illness and chicken loss of life.

This model of chicken flu severely affected the poultry trade, with cullings and indoor housing measures imposed.

Whereas the chance to people is low, in 2021 there was a confirmed human case of the pressure in southwest England.

There are actually greater than 120 outbreaks in farmed poultry and wild birds.

This winter’s chicken flu outbreak is the biggest and longest on file within the UK.

Scientists don’t but perceive why these outbreaks are worse than in earlier years.

H5N1 virus was first recognized in southern China in 1996 in home waterfowl.

The World Well being Group says that between 2003 and March 2022 there have been 864 instances — and 456 deaths — of human H5N1 in 18 nations.

The brand new British Confederation will look at measures to “prevent the future spread of influenza with the potential for a pandemic in humans”. £1.5 million is allotted over one yr.

The researchers will even be tasked with determining why the present virus pressure causes outbreaks to last more and why some birds, equivalent to geese, are immune to sure strains.

They are going to take a look at how gaps in biosecurity have allowed the virus to go from wild birds to farmed poultry.

Globally, vaccines in opposition to chicken flu in people are being developed within the occasion a extra aggressive pressure is transmitted from poultry to people.

The UK consortium is not going to be concerned in growing a human vaccine.

However the authorities’s chief animal virologist, Professor Ian Brown, head of virology on the Animal and Plant Well being Company (APHA), which leads the consortium, informed BBC Information: “There is a vaccine that has been prepared against all these emerging strains in poultry that should have them. To make that successful leap for humans.

“They change on an almost continuous basis. The concern is that we want to make sure that they don’t change into a form that is more contagious to humans.

“It doesn’t seem reasonable at the moment…but we have to be vigilant.”

The public spending watchdog at the National Audit Office said last week that the poor condition of APHA’s main laboratory in Weybridge could undermine the fight against animal diseases such as bird flu and that delays in rebuilding it could limit the UK’s response to another outbreak.

The government said it was taking steps to secure the facility’s future.

Phil Crowley leaning on a fence

Phill Crawley believes no one can predict the extent of the outbreak

The news of the research was welcomed by Leicestershire egg producer and packer Phill Crawley. His farm of 550,000 chickens contracted bird flu in November – 90% of the birds in one coop died within four days; The rest had to be executed.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before. I overwhelmed APHA. I’m not against them – it was the biggest outbreak the country has ever seen. I honestly don’t think anyone could have prepared for an outbreak of this magnitude,” he told BBC News. .

He added that he wanted the new consortium to answer some key questions about the outbreak.

“Previously it was more oriented towards broiler chickens, that is, chicken meat rather than (eggs) layers, but what made this breed more prevalent in the layering industry? How does the virus spread? This season, why has it continued to such an extent? Why has all this passed? Long time? Why was it so brutal this year?”

The consortium contains microbiologists, epidemiologists, virologists and genomicists from APHA, the Pirbright Institute, Royal Veterinary Faculty, Roslin Institute, Imperial Faculty London and the schools of Cambridge, Leeds and Nottingham.

This can enhance the pace and high quality of analysis “we hope in time to reduce the impact on the poultry sector,” UK Chief Veterinarian Christine Middlemis stated.

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