RCVS Knowledge, the charity partner of the UK’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, has awarded its inaugural Plowright Prize to Professor William Ivan Morrison of the University of Edinburgh for his research combating the cattle disease East Coast fever. Ivan Morrison started his career at ILRAD, a predecessor of ILRI, where he worked from 1975 to 1990, leading, and building up, ILRAD’s research program on East Coast fever for many of those years.
The IDEAL project, first attempt to study the complete pathogen landscape of any species, has generated a unique dataset and biorepository for researchers of infectious diseases of cattle in East Africa.
In Kenya, camels are a very popular animal to keep as livestock. There’s value in their meat and milk products and as a result, there are now over three million camels in the country. But there is a danger that the people who come into contact with camels, and their products, face getting the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). MERS is a disease in people caused by a coronavirus (MERS-CoV) which was first identified in Saudia Arabia in 2012.
Most diseases that transmit from animals to humans (zoonoses) are not of the headline-grabbing, world-stopping variety write Eric Fèvre and Naomi Marks. They are an everyday reality for millions of people whose lives are quietly blighted or prematurely ended by diseases transmitted through farming and food systems.
VTV1, the leading Vietnamese state-run media outlet, interviewed Hung Nguyen, regional representative for East and Southeast Asia and senior scientist at ILRI, and Tuyet Hanh Tran, associate professor at the Hanoi University of Public Health (HUPH) on the connections between ecosystem disruptions and infectious human diseases.
An article in The Guardian newspaper raises the question of whether human destruction of nature is responsible for mass pandemics like COVID-19. It quotes Eric Fevre, a principal scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute, on the ubiquity of possible germ sources: ‘”There are countless pathogens out there continuing to evolve which at some point …
While some COVID-19 surges are now ‘baked-in’, the viral curves should flatten with appropriate measures now being introduced in many countries, and several different vaccines are being developed and already being tested, says Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty. Australian veterinary and medical immunology researcher Peter Doherty won the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. Now based in Melbourne, Doherty is patron of the the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Doherty is also a former board member and current patron of ILRI.
Future strategies to get rid of tsetse flies from Africa, which transmit disease in livestock and people, will need to take into account the effects of changing climates. My colleagues and I conducted research examining the impact of changes in temperature on the tseste fly.
A monthly round-up of recent articles, blog postings and tweets about livestock, aid and other topics that may be of interest to ILRI staff and partners, compiled by David Aronson.
Reuters reported Sunday that this first batch of “transgenic” chicks is expected to hatch sometime in 2019 at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.