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New website for veterinary researchers to find resources and collaborate
“This really takes veterinary immunology forward in ways we have been struggling with for many years."

The Immunological Toolbox features comprehensive repository of antibodies

A new website for veterinary researchers to find resources and collaborate has been launched by scientists at the Pirbright and Roslin Institutes.

The Immunological Toolbox features an up-to-date and comprehensive repository of antibodies and modified proteins available from academic institutes and commercial organisations.

It contains some 1600 immortalised cell lines that produce well-characterised antibodies against pig, chicken sheep, horse, goat and fish molecules. Users can search the location, supply and application of these immune reagents, and submit requests for new reagents and antibody production.

The website also enables researchers to provide feedback about the use of each reagent. Once registered, members can leave ratings, comments, submit supporting data, references images and any other evidence they see fit. 

Professor Gary Entrican, chair of the IUIS Veterinary Immunology Committee said: “The Immunological Toolbox website is an excellent resource for the veterinary immunology community. We have never before had a website where we could search for reagent specificity, backed-up with functional data and the facility to fill gaps in capability by commissioning reagent production. 

“This really takes veterinary immunology forward in ways we have been struggling with for many years. I encourage all members of our community to use the website and contribute information on reagent specificity and function for the collective good.”

Platforms similar to this have previously been developed, but a lack of funding has meant they have been difficult to maintain.

“The Immunological Toolbox has a funding model that is designed to last the test of time," explains Professor John Hammond, project lead at Pirbright.

"Instead of being funded through one or two grants that span a handful of years, the Toolbox is supported through Pirbright and Roslin’s long term strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC UKRI), which provides a new level of sustainability.”

Researchers expect the number of reagents and species included to increase as more information is gathered from institutions across the globe.

Image (C) Pirbright Institute.

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World Bee Day celebrations begin

News Story 1
 Today (20 May) marks the fifth annual World Bee Day, which raises awareness of the importance of bees and pollinators to people and the planet. Observed on the anniversary of pioneering Slovenian beekeeper Anton Jana's birthday, this year's celebration is themed: 'Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems'.

Organisations and people celebrating the day will raise awareness of the accelerated decline in pollinator diversity, and highlight the importance of sustainable beekeeping systems and a wide variety of bees. Slovenia, the initiator of World Bee Day, will be focusing on teaching young people about the significance of pollinators. 

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Further avian flu cases confirmed

Three cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 have been confirmed in recent days, bringing the total number of cases in England to 98.

On Thursday, the APHA confirmed two cases of HPAI H5N1 near Redgrave, Mid Suffolk and Market Weston, West Suffolk. A case H5N1 was also confirmed in poultry at a premises near Southwell, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire.

Protection and surveillance zones are in place around the affected premises. Further details are available at