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Researchers create inside-out 'mini guts' to aid poultry research
The mini-guts are the first of their kind to naturally include cells from the immune system.

3D model will support studies into poultry health and disease.

Scientists from the Roslin Institute have developed inside-out miniature intestines, also known as enteroids, grown from stem cells, in order to improve research into poultry health and disease.

The development of the mini-guts follows a decade of research into organoids. The research team hopes that their creation will advance studies into common infections that affect birds around the world, and allow better understanding of the immune response to disease in chickens.

This creation will also reduce the number of animals used in research.

The mini-guts are the first of their kind to naturally include cells from the immune system and have been created with the internal gut surface on their exterior. This accessible surface enables researchers to easily expose the tissue to disease-causing organisms, feed additives, vaccines and drugs and then to monitor the effects.

Organoid development typically takes place inside a protein-rich gel dome, surrounded by growth factor-supplemented liquid cell culture. These conditions allow stem cells to follow their own genetic instructions  and form structures that resemble miniature intestines.

According to the Roslin Institute, the growth conditions in this case enabled a reverse of the usual structure, with the enteroids growing inside-out.

Tessa Nash of the Roslin Institute said: “Studies into the gastrointestinal systems of birds have long been hampered by a lack of cell culture tools. But with the development of these novel mini-guts we can now study diseases that are of importance to the poultry industry, including zoonotic infections such as Salmonella and flu.”

Professor Lonneke Vervelde of the Roslin Institute said: “Inside-out organoids will support studies to develop our understanding of how gut tissue in chickens responds to for example disease, feed additives, nutrition and heat stress, saving time and reducing the number of animals needed for this process.”

Further information on the creation of the enteroids can be found in Communications Biology volume 4.​​

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Webinar to focus on equine worm control

News Story 1
 Vets, veterinary nurses and RAMAs are being invited to join a free CPD webinar on late winter and early spring equine worm control.

Hosted by Zoetis vet Dr Wendy Talbot, the webinar aims to help prescribers understand which parasites are of most concern at this time of year. It will also cover how to assess parasite risk, selecting a suitable wormer and spring wormer plans, concluding with a Q&A session.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, 18 March at 10 am and will be repeated at 7 pm for those unable to listen during the day. To book the 10 am webinar, click here, and to register for the 7 pm webinar, click here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian influenza confirmed in Lancashire

A case of highly pathogenic (HPAI H5N8) avian influenza has been confirmed in two captive peregrine falcons on a non-commercial, non-poultry premises near Skelmersdale, West Lancashire.

Following a risk assessment, APHA has declared that no disease control zones have been put in place surrounding this non-commercial, non-poultry premises.

Eighteen cases of HPAI H5N8 have now been identified in poultry and other captive birds in England. A housing order for poultry and captive birds introduced by Defra to control the spread of the disease expired on 31 March, although bird keepers in England are still required by law to comply with biosecurity measures.

For more information, please click here.