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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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Big Butterfly Count returns

News Story 1
 The world's biggest survey of butterflies is back for 2020!

Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count launches on Friday, 17 July and will run until Sunday 9 August. Members of the public can get involved by downloading the Big Butterfly Count App or recording results on a downloadable sheet available from bigbutterflycount.org/.

'It's a fantastic activity for people from three to 103 years and we'd encourage everyone to take 15 minutes in an appropriate outdoor space during sunny conditions to simply appreciate the nature around them and do their bit to help us understand butterfly populations,' said a Butterfly Conservation spokesperson. 

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News Shorts
WellVet reopens ticket sales to online conference platform

Following the success of its online conference, the organisers behind WellVet Weekend have re-opened ticket sales to allow new delegates to access session recordings and its online networking platform.

The day-long conference saw more than 360 veterinary professionals mix activity sessions with personal development CPD, all hosted within a virtual conference platform. Now, with more than 500 minutes of CPD available, the resource is being re-opened to allow full access to the session recordings until May 2021.

Sessions are aimed at providing delegates with a range of proactive wellbeing tools to explore to find ways of improving their mental and physical health. Tickets are limited in number and on sale at wellvet.co.uk until 30th August 2020.