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New EU consortium to fight insect-borne diseases
Diseases spread by mosquitoes and other insects are a major concern for public health and the global economy.

Project aims to build a robust network of facilities

A new international project for the control of vector-borne diseases in Europe is to be launched in France.

The Infravac2 Project is an international consortium of 24 partner institutions coordinated by the Institut Pasteur, Paris.  

Launching in March, one of the key aims of the project will be to establish new experimental standards for insect infection studies.
Dr Anthony Wilson, group leader for integrative entomology at The Pirbright Institute, will be leading the programme of work.

“Diseases do not respect borders and international collaboration like this are the most effective and efficient way to combat the disease threats facing the UK and the world in the 21st century,” he said.

“The cutting edge high containment laboratories that we now have at Pirbright, have given us a new capability to work with high impact human pathogens. The Infravec2 project is a great opportunity to use these facilities to support international research into vector-borne diseases like Zika, dengue and chikungunya, which are increasingly moving into new areas.”

Scientists acknowledge that the lack of internationally recognised standards is a major scientific problem as it prevents the reproducibility of results between different laboratories. This means that the real-world significance of laboratory studies can be uncertain, impeding efforts to predict and control disease.

Diseases spread by mosquitoes and other insects are a major concern for public health and the global economy. While they used to only affect those living in tropical regions, they are now moving to cooler regions like Europe. Scientists believe the most immediate threat to the UK are Culicoides - biting midges that spread devastating livestock diseases such as Bluetongue and Schallenberg.

Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research Infrastructure Programme, the Infravec2 Project will be officially launched in Paris on 15-17 March 2017 and will continue through to 2021.

Looking ahead, the project aims to build a robust network of facilities which will enable Europe to respond more effectively to insect-transmitted disease epidemics and to predict and prevent future ones.

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New DNA testing scheme for the Russian black terrier

News Story 1
 A new DNA testing scheme for juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy (JLPP) in the Russian black terrier has been approved by The Kennel Club.

JLPP is a genetic disease that affects the nerves. In affected dogs, it starts with the nerve that supplies the muscles of the larynx leading to muscle weakness and laryngeal paralysis.

To find out which laboratories the Kennel Club is able to record results from, and which labs will send results direct to the Kennel Club, visit thekennelclub.org.uk.

 

News Shorts
Feline art marks 90 years of Cats Protection

Sussex-based charity Cats Protection is hosting a prestigious art exhibition to mark its 90th anniversary.

More than 200 paintings provided by members of the Society of Feline Artists will go on show at the charity's National Cat Centre in Chelwood Gate (28 April - 7 May).

"Art enthusiasts, students and cat lovers alike will all enjoy the exhibition, and we hope it will also inspire some of our younger visitors to get sketching," said Cats Protection's director of fundraising, Lewis Coghlin.