SAPHIR News & Events
Work in progress: WP7 - Improved vaccine evaluations by novel approaches to investigate safety and protection
By Sara Hägglund , Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet
Bovine and human respiratory syncytial viruses (RSV) are major causes of pneumonia in cattle and children, respectively. In nature, the bovine virus does not infect humans, or vice versa, but the viruses are genetically highly similar and the acute diseases are comparable. At long term, severe infections in calves can cause impaired growth and those in infants can result in child asthma. It has long been suspected that the signs of disease are partly caused by the body’s immune responses against the virus, and that such responses are more elevated in some individuals. Moreover, in the past, exaggerated immune responses were not only induced by the virus itself, but also by vaccination. Children and calves vaccinated with harmful vaccines became sicker than those unvaccinated, when encountering the virus.
Until now, RSV-vaccine safety was mainly evaluated by clinical observations and microscopic analyses of lung tissue in experimentally or naturally infected animals. To complement these regular analyses, SAPHIR researchers aimed to study immune markers that correlate with disease and protection in more detail.
The objectives of the initial work were to define a fingerprint of the proteins present in the lower airways at the peak of disease and subsequently to identify proteins that correlate with disease severity. For this, lung washes from vaccinated and unvaccinated calves with different degree of disease and protection against viral infection were studied by a novel approach. Modern, sensitive, very precise techniques were used to unconditionally identify more than thousand proteins. Some of these were correlated with clinical signs of disease, the extent of lung lesions, microscopic findings and virus excretion. A dominant activity of a white blood cell, the so called neutrophil, was identified in sick animals, which confirmed other recent research. The novelty consisted in the extent of details obtained. Animals with most disease had elevated levels of neutrophil-related proteins that destroy lung tissue, attract new neutrophils and plug the airways to hinder respiration and clearance of virus. The severity of disease was additionally correlated with a decrease in antioxidants and a protein that impede scarification of the lung.
This new information will aid vaccine development as well as the understanding of disease mechanisms to develop new treatments. Further analyses are ongoing to identify immune parameters that can be induced by vaccination and that either correlate with protection or problems of safety.
Work in progress: WP5 - Recombinant anticoccidial vaccines - a cup half full?
By Damer Blake, Pathobiology and Population Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, UK
Eimeria are protozoan parasites which can cause the disease coccidiosis in livestock, most notably chickens. Seven species have been recognised to infect chickens, many of which need to be controlled to avoid economic losses or compromised animal welfare.
Good husbandry is an essential part of control, but insufficient to prevent disease on its own. In response, anticoccidial drugs have routinely been incorporated into chicken diets for decades to prevent clinical disease and reduce the consequences of sub-clinical infection.
However, public demands to reduce the use of drugs in food production have prompted increasing legislative pressure on anticoccidial drug use, with revised guidelines for anticoccidial use in the EU pending and commercial drivers such as the ‘No Antibiotics, Ever’ movement expanding in the United States. Live attenuated parasite vaccines provide a highly effective alternative for the minority breeder and layer sectors, but lack the capacity to replace drugs.
More than 10 billion broiler chickens are produced in Europe every year, including ~900 million in the UK. Anticoccidial vaccines which are cost-effective, scalable and easy to deliver are now required urgently. Many antigens have been tested for use in recombinant anticoccidial vaccines, including criteria such as the capacity to reduce disease severity or parasite replication, increase body weight gain in the face of challenge or improve feed conversion, but none has reached commercial development.
In our recent review (Blake et al. 2017 Infection, Genetics and Evolution 55:358-365) we have re-assessed the efficacy of many of these antigens, placing them in context by comparison with the ionophore drugs. Importantly, the protection against challenge induced by some single antigens has been within the lower range described for the ionophores, even against susceptible parasite isolates.
These levels of efficacy suggest that it is time to re-assess the value of several vaccine candidates since it may be that combinations of anticoccidial antigens already described are sufficient for development as novel multi-valent vaccines.
Following this rationale it is now essential to develop cheap and effective delivery systems. One approach, using one attenuated Eimeria line to express and deliver vaccinal antigens from other Eimeria species, is being developed under SAPHIR.
Work in progress: WP3 - Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Lena Virus triggers a Th1/TCD8 response that controls the viremia but induces a T lymhpocyte-mediated pathological inflammation
By Nicolas Bertho - INRA, France
Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRSV) is responsible for high contagious infection and huge economic losses in pig industry. Two PRRSV types have been identified: the European genotype 1 and the North American genotype 2. European viruses have further been divided into four subtypes. Type 1 is present in all part of Europe while types 2, 3 and 4 are mostly present in Eastern Europe. Types 3 such as Lena are significantly more pathogenic than type 1.1 such as Lelystad or Flanders13.
The swine immune system eventually resolves the PRRSV infection and eliminates the virus, however, viremia can last several months. This viral clearance lagging is attributed to the delay in neutralizing antibodies production systematically observed upon PRRSV infections. Commercialized attenuated vaccines also presented a delay in inducing neutralizing antibodies, moreover the raised antibodies appear mainly strain specific, which is a strong caveat for the control of this highly variable virus. However very little is known on the role of the cellular immune response in the control of natural infection. A better knowledge of this anti-PRRSV response might lead to the development of better vaccines, presenting a faster and broader protection. To address this question we first followed different immune and clinical parameters upon Lena infection.
We observed that Lena infection triggered in vivo and in vitro a strong anti-PRRSV cellular Th1/TCD8 immune response. Using a principal component analysis (PCA), we were able to show that the cellular response but not the antibody response was anti-correlated with the viremia (serum titer), in agreement with a control of the virus by the cellular response. Surprisingly the Th1 response was also correlated with the clinical score, highlighting a pathological effect of the cellular response, probably because of an over-inflammation in the respiratory apparatus. Finally a transfer of Lena-PRRSV-immune T cells to histocompatible naïve animals, followed by their homologous challenge demonstrate again a strong pathogenic effect of the cellular response (Figure 1).
In conclusion we show here that the Th1/TCD8 cells can control PRRSV infection, although in the case of type 1.3 virus, this response can be highly pathogenic. Thus the development of cellular response-inducing vaccines may have adverse effects at least in the case of subtype 3 and further studies are needed to determine if it applies to other subtypes.
Now available: book on biosecurity in animal production and veterinary medicine
This book is the first complete compilation of both fundamental aspects of biosecurity practices, and specific and practical information on the application of the biosecurity measures in animal production.
The book starts with a general introductory chapter on the epidemiology of infectious diseases, followed by a chapter explaining the general principles of biosecurity. Specific topics of biosecurity, including rodent and insect control, cleaning and disinfection, hygiene and decontamination of feed, drinking water and air, and measuring the biosecurity status of farms, are detailed in dedicated chapters. Explanations on the relevance of the implementation of biosecurity plans in order to improve animal health and performance and reduce antimicrobial usage are described, and a chapter on ways to motivate farmers to implement a biosecurity plan has been included. Practical chapters deal with biosecurity in the poultry, pig and cattle industry, aquaculture, horse facilities, dog kennels, veterinary practices and clinics and laboratory animal facilities. The book is a practical guide that can be used by farm and animal facility managers, consultants, veterinarians, caretakers, and people with an interest in prevention of diseases in animals. Academics and students will benefit from the book because it contains all relevant information on animal biosecurity.
Want to know more? Have a look at:
HOW TO ORDER?
Young Scientist program:
Cutting Edge Pathalogy Conference
By Sandra Vreman – Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, The Netherlands
The Cutting Edge Pathology 2017 conference took place in Lyon from the 30th of August till the second of September and was organized by the European Society of Veterinary Pathologist (ESVP), the European College of Veterinary Pathologist (ECVP) and the European Society of Toxicological pathologist (ESTP).
The organizing committees succeeded to offer a stimulating environment for professional exchanges between experts from industry and academia, working in veterinary research, preclinical toxicology and diagnostic pathology. Approximately 500 veterinary pathologist and scientist from 42 countries attended this conference. As PhD candidate and veterinary pathologist this event was a unique opportunity to present and discuss my results in the SAPHIR projects, but as well the SAPHIR goals. Results of WP11 were presented in a poster and during the poster rounds there were interesting discussion with colleagues from industry and academia.
The Cutting Edge Pathology conference aimed at understanding the basics of disease, validation and use of suitable animal models, and the development of optimal drugs and vaccines by the use of histopathology, molecular pathology and functional pathology. Next to pathology there was attention for the increasing deployment of various large animal models for the testing of new biomedical devices and for the development of veterinary drugs and vaccines.
The plenary keynote lectures focused on molecular pathology. Sven Rottenberg (University of Bern) discussed the new opportunities provided by CRISPR/Cas9 and 3D Organoid Cultures. Anne Provencher (Charles River Laboratories, US) highlighted the bridging between pathology and biomarkers and Patrick Mehlen (Research Cancer Centre of Lyon) explained the” dependence receptor paradigm”: when an original cell death pathway meets clinic. Besides these plenary sessions, there were smaller interactive session on data analysis, antibody-drug conjugates, biomarkers, animal models, veterinary drugs and vaccines.
This diverse scientific program was intermingled with well-organized social events. A welcome drink in the Musée gallo-romain de Lyon, and a closing diner with party were excellent moments to meet new colleagues and to share experiences.
Summarizing and looking back at the conference, I experienced four 4 great days in Lyon with interesting discussions in front of my poster contributing to the SAPHIR project, and attended attractive lectures and interactive sessions. Several pages of notes were generated with a personal take home message that it is important to look at the individual animal in the group. And, of course I would like to thank the SAPHIR project for the opportunity to attend this conference.
Young Scientist program:
American Association of Geographers Annual Conference 2017
By Dr. Ray Chan, Cardiff School of Geography and Planning, UK
The American Association of Geographers (AAG) is a global network of geographer from geography and its related discipline intersect to develop new research ideas and collaborations. Between 5th and 9th April 2017, I attended the AAG conference in Boston, United States and participated in more than 20 sessions of agro-food and animal health related presentations.
The 2017 AAG had three explicit sessions on “Good Farming” where was best conference to present new findings in WP2 on how ‘good farming’ understandings influence farmers’ vaccination in China. These three sessions attracted around 200 anticipated participants who were interested in good farming including social scientists, government officials, animal health researchers and geographers. My paper was presented in panel titled New Farmer Subjectivities and the Meaning of ‘Good Farming 3 and this paper has contributed to the debates on the ‘drivers of vaccination’ and ‘comparative studies’ on vaccination practices between Europe and China.
In the AAG, I talked about Chinese pig farmers of what counts as a ‘good farmer’ in relation to animal health management. Particularly, I have a discussion with other five presenters in the sessions about how different trigger events and disease incidents develop different meanings of good farming, which affects Chinese farmers’ vaccination and health management behaviours in China.
My paper has also produced broader research impact through disseminating SAPHIR’s strong interdisciplinary profile at the AAG conference to develop wider networks with international audience. Also, my paper demonstrated SAPHIR’s establish links and policy advice on vaccination and animal health practices between Europe and China by (1) linking researchers from SAPHIR and Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute; (2) comparing the perceptions and personal stories between European and Chinese animal producers; and (3) drawing insights from social science and link with veterinary science knowledge.
After the AAG 2017 conference, my conference paper has further developed with Dr. Gareth Enticott. We polished the paper and submitted it to the Journal of Rural Studies. Our paper takes forward the ideas of “Suzhi” (literally means quality) farmer through vaccination practices. Different Suzhi are being preformed in a day-to-day base. The concept of Suzhi is to think about how Chinese pig farmers think about animal health and their personal identities. It tells the story of modernisation of China and the theoretical concept of Suzhi farmers helps us to explore “good farming” in a new and non-western context.
Thanks for the SAPHIR’s funding support and AAG conference, I could exchange my research ideas, develop engagement skills and research networks with other international scholars on agro-foods and animal health studies which develop my collaboration and research capacities.
VetBioNet - Advanced research on epizootic and zoonotic diseases
"VetBioNet is a new infrastructure project - funded by the European Commission in the context of Horizon 2020!"
VetBioNet aims to establish and maintain a comprehensive network of pre-eminent high-containment (BSL3) research facilities, academic institutes, international organisations and industry partners and is dedicated to catalyse research on epizootic and zoonotic diseases and to promote technological developments in Europe. Further details of the project can be found here: http://www.vetbionet.eu/
SAPHIR WP17 - Integrated Health Management Strategies page is now available in different languages!
"Disease prevention is better than cure, but integrating different preventing and control measures is even BETTER!"
The page of Integrated Health Management Strategies provides an overall view of the whole understanding which lies underneath the SAPHIR project and is now available in English, French and German. Visit the page to learn more!
SAPHIR at 2nd annual meeting of Feed-a-Gene project
Marie-Hélène Pinard-van der Laan presented SAPHIR during the 2nd annual meeting of the Feed-a-Gene project on 26-27 April 2017 in Lleida, Spain. As the project topics are similar, possible synergies were discussed. The meeting was positive and it was highlighted that linking European projects and developing a network for researchers is important. Read more.
WP17 - Young Scientist Programme
The SAPHIR project finds it very important for young scientist to have the opportunity to do disseminate their results and we also know this can be very costly.
The programme has funds to support a number of SAPHIR young scientists financially to attend conferences for the dissemination of their SAPHIR results.
The application form was sent to all the partners in July 2016. A selection committee (ExCom) chaired by INRA and EFFAB selected 4 applicants based on their CV, the targeted conference, the scientific excellence of their abstract for the SAPHIR work presentation and the impact their presentation will have for the SAPHIR project. In return, a small article on the highlights of the conference for the SAPHIR newsletter is expected.
The next selections will take place in April and November 2017 for a total of 9 additional candidates.
WP2 - Sociological approach to understanding livestock producers’ practices and attitudes
Work package 2 in SAPHIR takes a sociological approach to understanding livestock producers’ practices and attitudes towards the control measures of infectious diseases. Specifically, the research is attempting to understand why is it that some farmers use vaccines and others not, and more broadly, what are the factors shaping farmers’ animal health practices?
There is a growing understanding that farmers’ animal health practices are shaped by a range of different social and economic factors. Whilst it might be easy to think that all decisions are economic, the range of different practices that farmers may adopt suggests that other social preferences may be at play. Other research of farmer behaviour suggests that social norms and social identity may play an important role. For example, the idea of what counts as ‘good farming’ or a ‘good farmer’ can both guide farmers towards certain practices, and prevent them from taking up others. How these ideas of ‘good farming’ interact with animal health practices, and the factors associated with transitions between different animal health strategies (e.g. from not vaccinating to vaccinating) are a key focus for this WP.
The WP is led by Dr Gareth Enticott at Cardiff University with assistance from Dr Ray Chan. The research is being conducted in the UK, Finland, Spain, Ireland, France and China. The biographical narrative interview method has been adopted to explore farmers histories of managing herd health for all sectors involved in the SAPHIR project. Whilst the research data will help test the significance of ‘good farming’ in animal disease control, the findings will also inform WP15 and provide insight on farming practices to assist in the suitable development of vaccine strategies by biologists leading to improve vaccine use on farms.
Further information on the work package can be obtained from Dr Gareth Enticott at Cardiff University – email@example.com.
New Vaccines Are Essential to Fighting Antimicrobial Resistance
Following a landmark UN meeting, the role vaccine development can play in addressing the threat of AMR must not be neglected. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), where the ability of a drug to treat an infection is compromised, reached the highest political level last week with the convening of a UN General Assembly meeting dedicated to the threat. With estimates of 700,000 deaths occurring each year due to drug-resistant infections and the World Bank projecting that if left unchecked, the problem could cause annual global GDP to fall between 1.1% and 3.8% before 2050, all member states adopted a political declaration that outlined commitment to a broad range of interventions.
Read more at Chatham House
SAPHIR Project at AIRG 2016
Sungwon Kim and Lonneke Vervelde from SAPHIR partner the Roslin Institute presented the SAPHIR Project poster and their research in scope of SAPHIR project at the Avian Immunology Research Group (AIRG) meeting in Herrsching am See, Germany.
The research aims to improve vaccine adjuvants for chickens by targeted simulation of antigen presenting cells with Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands.
SAPHIR WP2 - Identification of the sociological pathways for SAPHIR diseases
The objective of WP2 is to develop a sociological pathway to understand farmers’ vaccination behaviours. There are two deliverables which have been achieved: Theoretical framework and a practical story-based methodology.
Firstly, a theoretical framework has been developed to examine how socio-cultural aspects of farming such as notions of ‘good farming’ combine with different contextual triggering mechanisms that lead farmers to adopt vaccines as part of their herd health management practices. The concept of ‘good farming’ and the ‘good farmer’ has been seen to be influential in guiding farmers’ decisions in other aspects of agriculture. The analysis will aim to see how important it is for vaccination.
Secondly, a practical story-based methodology to examine farmers’ lived experiences and personal histories of animal disease management and vaccine use has been developed. This approach has been adopted to understand how cattle farmers’ life stories, lived situation, style of farming and personal experience influence their practices of vaccination and decision-making. The methodology is being piloted in March and fieldwork will commence in April.
SAPHIR WP7 - Progress on Development of DIVA BRSV Vaccines
The goal of WP7 is to;
WP7 is in the process of testing a single shot subunit vaccine based on the BRSV fusion protein , alone or in combination with the BRSV nucleoprotein nanorings. WP7 have also initiated a longitudinal, 2-year monitoring of BRSV-specific immunity in animals of different age categories following an outbreak.
The development and evaluation of a companion DIVA test based on the detection of BRSV SH specific antibodies is ongoing.
SAPHIR WP11 - Latest DMN Developments
As an alternative to conventional needle and syringe delivery of vaccines, this project involves the development of a novel DNA vaccine-loaded dissolving microneedle patch (Figure 1).
These patches comprise multiple micro-protrusions, 0.5 mm in length, which, when inserted into the skin, dissolve rapidly and release the vaccine to the immune cells.
These patches are being used to deliver veterinary DNA vaccines to pigs, which aim to induce immunity and protection against the disease. Our aim is that in the future, livestock owners can vaccinate their animals using a simple approach of applying a patch to the skin, rather than using a needle and syringe. Also, we are examining how stable these vaccines in patches are outside of cold storage.
Dubrovnik, Croatia. 27-31 August 2018
The 69th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science will be held in the Valamar Resort in Dubrovnik, Croatia, from 27-31 August 2018. EAAP provides insights into the latest research results from different areas of animal science. Attending the annual conference is an unique opportunity for scientists and industry to meet and acquire new knowledge and to exchange experiences.
On Thursday 30th of August, SAPHIR and Feed-a-Gene will organize a joint session on 'Multi-disciplinary approaches for improving sustainable livestock production: research needs, opportunities and difficulties. During this session several speakers from both consortia will present their research, followed by presentations from stakeholders about innovations and expectations. Panel discussions will cover opportunities and difficulties of multi-disciplinary and multi-actor approach researches and user application needs. Check out the full program here.
For more information or to register please visit the EAAP2018 website.
ESVV - EPIZONE 2018
Vienna, Austria. 27-30 August 2018
The 11th International Congress for Veterinary Virology – ESVV 2018 will take place at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna from 27 – 30 August 2018. It will be held jointly with the 12th Annual Meeting of EPIZONE. It will be both a scientifically and socially exciting programme, which is covering all aspects of veterinary virology.
For more information or to register please visit their website.
6th European Veterinary Immunology Workshop
Utrecht, the Netherlands. 5-7 September 2018
The European Veterinary Immunology Group (EVIG) and the local organizing committee are hosting the 6th EVIW, EVIW2018 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Plenary and concurrent session topics include:
For more information please visit the EVIW2018 website.
Rennes, France. 11-14 September 2018
SPACE (Salon International des Productions Animales) is an international event for animal productions and will be held in Rennes from 11-14 September 2018. SAPHIR will share a stand together with the Feed-a-Gene project in order to connect and exchange with the industry.
For more information click here.www.space.fr
One Health & Food Safety Congress
Bonn, Germany. 18-19 September 2018
The One Health & Food Safety Congress 2018 will take place on 18-19 September 2018 at the University of Bonn, Germany.
It serves as a platform for dialogue between specialists from different backgrounds. They are currently seeking input from experts and researchers from various fields, such as human medicine, veterinary sciences, agricultural sciences, animal, plant and environmental sciences, quality management, politics and public health.
For more information or to register click here.
Hanover, Germany. 13-16 November 2018
SAPHIR will hold a stand and organize a workshop at EUROTIER, The world's leading trade fair for animal production from 13-16th of November 2018 in Hanover, Germany. It is a great opportunity for knowledge exchange to a wide group of stakeholders, targeting pig, poultry, and cattle producers and breeders.
The workshop will be held from 9:00-13:00 on Wednesday 14th of November.
SAPHIR WP17 - Integrated Animal Health Management website is now online
The first page of Integrated Health Management Strategies is now online at SAPHIR Website. It provides an overall view of the whole understanding which lies underneath the SAPHIR project;
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE!
BUT INTEGRATING DIFFERENT PREVENTING & CONTROL MEASURES IS EVEN BETTER!
Read more about Integrated Health Management Strategies.
SAPHIR kick-off meeting
At May 11-13th 2015, the SAPHIR kick-off meeting took place in Jouy-en-Josas, France.
Delegates from the 21 different partners engaged in the SAPHIR project met each other and discussed the various goals set for this project.