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DIVA test discovered to detect Johne's disease in goats
"This will support the use of vaccines as part of MAP control programs" - Professor Cath Rees.

Actiphage can differentiate between vaccinated and infected animals.

A new diagnostic test has shown potential to differentiate between vaccinated and infected animals with Johne's disease.

Previously, vaccination of livestock against Johne's disease, an infectious wasting condition affecting ruminants, has been hindered because there is no diagnostic test that can differentiate between vaccinated animals, and those with the disease (DIVA test). 

Researchers have discovered that the Actiphage blood test can differentiate between goats that are naturally infected with Johne's disease, and those with vaccinations. 

This discovery suggests potential for a vaccination programme to protect ruminants from the usually fatal disease. While previous tests to detect infection in vaccinated goats did not work, Actiphage detects live bacteria in a milk or blood sample. Because of this, the test is not affected by vaccination status. 

Professor Cath Rees, from the University of Nottingham, said: “We have now shown that Actiphage is compatible with a range of different methods for purifying white blood cells, demonstrating the versatility of our test and opening up a number of new applications.”

“This study provides evidence that Actiphage can also be used as a DIVA test, allowing us to differentiate between naturally infected and vaccinated animals; this will support the use of vaccines as part of MAP (Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis) control programs.”


Image (C) PBD Biotech

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Avian flu outbreak at RSPB Minsmere

News Story 1
 RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in Suffolk has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on its site. The coastal nature reserve has seen an increase in dead birds recently, and has said that it is 'extremely concerned' about the potential impacts on bird populations, with 2021 and 2022 seeing the largest ever outbreak in the UK.

In a statement, RSPB said: "We appreciate that it is distressing, for both visitors and staff, to see dead or dying birds at our site but we ask that if visitors see any dead or unwell birds, they do not touch or go near them and that they report it to us at our Visitor Centre during its opening hours, or by emailing us on outside of these times."  

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Moredun Foundation Award opens for applications

The 2022-2023 Moredun Foundation Award (MFA) is now open for members, with up to £2,000 available for successful applicants.

The MFA honours the contribution that education, teamwork, life experience, and travel have made to the understanding of cattle health and welfare. Through its charitable endeavours, Moredun offers its members the opportunity to pursue projects that support personal development.

The prize is open to a wide range of project applications, including those that include producing educational tools, conducting a small research project, or studying farming methods in other nations. For more information and to apply, visit