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New model to predict effectiveness of livestock vaccines
The study has implications for the design of vaccines and vaccination programmes in livestock.

Researchers use model to study effectiveness of PSSR vaccines 

A new model to predict the effectiveness of vaccines in livestock has been developed by scientists at The Roslin Institute.

Researchers found that, when applied appropriately, even imperfect vaccines can prevent, mitigate or eliminate the prevalence of disease.


Scientists say the study has implications for the design of vaccines and vaccination programmes in livestock. Professor Andrea Wilson from the Roslin Institute explains:


“Veterinary vaccines often only confer limited immunity and thus may not prevent infection. In this study, we developed a model that combines epidemiological consequences of different vaccination strategies and different vaccine properties applied to livestock. 


“The model is successful in predicting the effectiveness of vaccines in livestock.”


The overall aim of vaccination is to protect animals from disease and reduce the risk of disease outbreaks. The new model shows that combining diverse vaccine properties could have a multiplicative effect and may, therefore, be more effective. 


In the study, scientists used the model to study the effectiveness of vaccines to combat Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus.


Endemic in most pig-producing countries, PRRS causes breathing problems and can be fatal in young animals. However, vaccines to prevent the spread of the disease have mostly failed

Scientists believe the new model shows that the control or elimination of PSSR through vaccination may well be in reach, so long as the vaccine speeds up recovery and reduces virus replication.

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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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RCVS names Professor John Innes as chair of Fellowship Board

Professor John Innes has been elected chair of the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Board, replacing Professor Nick Bacon who comes to the end of his three-year term.


Professor Innes will be responsible for making sure the Fellowship progresses towards fulfilling its strategic goals, determining its ongoing strategy and objectives, and reporting to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee on developments within the Fellowship.