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Researchers improve speed and efficacy of rabies vaccine
The researchers designed a rabies vaccine that incorporated membrane-anchored BAFF to target B Cells directly.

Vaccine incorporates molecule to target B Cells directly
US researchers have found that adding a specific immune molecule to a rabies vaccine can improve its efficacy.

Writing in the journal PLOS Neglected Diseases, scientists note how they used a signalling protein called B Cell activating factor, which binds directly to B Cells.

Previous research found that the existing rabies vaccine works by activating the immune system’s B cells. However, the vaccine, which contains inactivated virus particles, can take some time to interact with the B cells.

In this study, the researchers designed a rabies vaccine that incorporated membrane-anchored BAFF to target B Cells directly. They then proceeded to test the vaccine on mice. 

Researchers found that the modified vaccine was significantly faster and had a stronger impact on the immune system compared to the standard vaccine.

“This new vaccine strategy significantly enhanced the speed and magnitude of the anti-rabies antibody responses and has the potential to improve the efficacy of currently used in activated RABV-based vaccines,” the authors wrote.

The study notes that more than 59,000 people die every year as a result of rabies, adding that existing vaccines to treat the disease are expensive and complicated to administer.

Scientists hope this new method could improve vaccine efficacy for a range of infectious diseases. However, further research is needed on the safety of the vaccine before it can be tested on humans.

The study was conducted by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University, Pennsylvania.

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Face covering rules expanded

News Story 1
 New rules came into force in England on Saturday (8 August) making it mandatory for clients to wear a face covering in veterinary practices.

The rules, which also apply to cinemas, museums and places of worship, follow a recent spike in coronavirus cases. All clients in England must now wear a face covering when inside a veterinary practice unless they are exempt for age, health or equality reasons. 

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News Shorts
BSAVA webinars to shine the spotlight on selected journal papers

A free series of webinars that take a closer look at selected papers published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice has been produced by the BSAVA.

In the new BSAVA Science webinar series, authors of the featured papers discuss their results with a panel and how they may impact clinical practice. The authors then answer questions submitted by audience members.

The webinars are available via the BSAVA Webinar Library, covering four different papers. JSAP editor Nicola Di Girolamo, said: "Discussing the research with the authors - experts in their field - really helps to bring the papers to life."