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Vaccine offers hope in fight against major chicken disease
The recombinant vaccines have potential to be more cost-effective and respond to emerging new virus strains.
Researchers test effectiveness of recombinant virus vaccine

Researchers have developed a new vaccine strategy that could help chickens in the fight against infectious bronchitis.

Current vaccines that protect against infectious bronchitis guard against some strains of the virus, but not others. Scientists believe these failures are associated with differences in the spike protein - the protein which enables the virus to attach to and enter cells - between strains of the virus.

Writing in the Journal Of Virology, researchers describe how they tested a new approach using a specialist type of vaccine, known as recombinant virus vaccine. These vaccines use harmless or weak versions of a virus or bacteria to introduce microbes into cells into the body.

The team used recombinant viruses with different spike proteins as vaccines to build two versions of a harmless virus. They found that the vaccine offered partial protection against infectious bronchitis virus, but further research is needed to develop a more robust vaccine.

Researchers say the recombinant vaccines have potential to be more cost-effective and respond to emerging new virus strains. The next step will be to develop a vaccine that remains harmless but induces a stronger immune response.

Professor Lonneke Vervelde, who led the study at the University’s Roslin Institute, said: “There is a real need to develop new vaccines against infectious bronchitis that protect against multiple strains and offer rapid responses. We are trying to make a vaccine that offers broad protection, but further research is needed to develop a more robust vaccine.”

Dr Erica Bickerton at the Pirbright Institute, who also took part in the study, said: “Our research hopes to develop more cost-effective and efficient commercial vaccines that are capable of protecting chickens against this serious disease.”

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

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News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.