SAPHIR News & Events
EU projects SAPHIR and Feed-a-Gene presented animal health, breeding and feeding strategies to improve sustainability and innovative capacity in the livestock sector at EuroTier 2018
SAPHIR is a European project that aims to strengthen the profitability of food animal systems, improve animal welfare and reduce xenobiotic usage in farming with a “One Health” perspective. SAPHIR takes into account that the sustainability and innovative capacity of the livestock sector needs to address the environmental challenges related to its expected expansion. The project has developed vaccine strategies effective against endemic pathogens responsible for high antimicrobial use, thus resulting in AMR risk and high economic losses in livestock.
Feed-a-Gene is a European project that aims to better adapt different components of monogastric livestock production systems (i.e., pigs, poultry and rabbits) to improve the overall efficiency and to reduce the environmental impact. This involves the development of new and alternative feed resources and feed technologies, the identification and selection of robust animals that are better adapted to fluctuating conditions, and the development of feeding techniques that allow optimizing the potential of the feed and the animal.
During EuroTier 2018, SAPHIR and Feed-a-Gene held a stand to interact with the industry. In addition, a joint workshop was organized on 14 November focusing on novel tools for healthier and efficient livestock, featuring talks of scientists and experts from across Europe.
At the workshop, SAPHIR Deputy Coordinator Marie-Hélène Pinard- Van der Laan from Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France, shared the state of play of the SAPHIR project concerning an “Integrated Health Management System” that aims to prevent and control diseases in order to breed more “robust animals” that are better adapted to environmental changes. Speaking for Feed-a-Gene, Valérie Heuzé from AFZ (France) and member of the Communication and dissemination Work Package, provided general overview of the novel tools developed in Feed-a-Gene in order to get more efficient monogastric livestock.
Jean-Francois Valarcher from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden, presented how DIVA vaccines can be used to monitor vaccine efficacy at large scale and to protect animals included in control programmes based on biosecurity. He also explained that the new BRSV vaccine developed under SAPHIR is much more efficient than the classical ones since one shot is sufficient, it is very easy to apply, much cheaper to produce. The new BRSV vaccine is now looking for new companies to take over to introduce it to the market!
Camille Bellet from University of Liverpool, UK, explained that there is a need for new and resilient public-private partnerships on data sharing and analysis in Europe to achieve the shared goals of livestock health and sustainability of livestock production.
Damer Blake from Royal Veterinary College, UK, concluded that the transgenic Eimeria can function as novel vaccine delivery vectors and can be used to streamline anticoccidial vaccination, offering an effective alternative to routine prophylaxis.
Dominiek Maes from Ghent University, Belgium explained that M. hyopneumoniae infections cause tremendous economic losses, mainly due to reduced performance and increased susceptibility to other infections. He stressed that vaccination against M. hyopneumoniae is widely practiced, but improved vaccines are needed. He gave information on new promising bacterin vaccines developed in SAPHIR against M. hyopneumonia in pigs.
Knud-Erik Bach Knudsen from Aarhus University presented investigations on the potential of alternative European feedstuffs aiming at increasing their production in volume and quality in Europe. The study with European grown soybean is the first to compare extrusion or cooking processes in combination with or without previous dehulling of beans. Green biomass can potentially be a new source of protein for monogastric animals particularly in environmental sensitive areas. Tail-end separation of rapeseed meal by physical meals can be used to concentrate protein and fibre in different fractions.
Alfons Jansman from Wageningen University Genetics explained that nutrition of farm animals play a key-role in performance and feed efficiency. New animal traits relating to voluntary feed intake, nutrient digestibility and metabolism and animal behaviour contribute to variation in response to nutrient supply. These new traits should be used in innovative precision feeding concepts contributing to sustainable animal production systems.
All presentations during the workshop have been recorded and will be available on the YouTube channels of EFFAB and Feed-a-Gene. For more information, please visit https://www.h2020-saphir.eu and https://www.feed-a-gene.eu.
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.
Poultry Health Course
April 23-26, 2019, Pirbright Institute, UK
April 30-May 3, 2019, Sutton Bonington Campus, UK
This event is especially for veterinary surgeons, technical staff and managers from the poultry industry who wish to learn more about the nature, diagnosis and control of infectious diseases of poultry. The course is also suitable for non-specialist graduates who wish to gain a thorough knowledge of the poultry sector while working towards the postgraduate awards in Agrifood.
Week 1 (Tuesday 23 – Friday 26 April 2019), based at The Pirbright Institute, United Kingdom and contains lectures around cutting edge scientific aspects of poultry health including anatomy, immunity, genetics and infectious disease, delivered by international experts from the UK, Europe and the US.
Week 2 (Monday 30 April – Friday 3 May 2019) is based at the University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science (SVMS), Sutton Bonington Campus and comprises a series of lectures and practical activity on the more applied aspects of poultry health including the turkey, duck and game bird industries, vaccination and use of antibiotics, problems of the broiler and layer industries, lameness, problems in the field and the art of field investigation.
For course registration, enquiries, and any further information on the course organisation and content, please visit the website
Animal Genetics and Diseases conference
May 08-10, 2019, Wellcome Genome Campus, UK
This year’s meeting will put the spotlight on the immune response of host animals, epidemiology, and also cover the genetics and genomics of pathogens and the impact of animal-human relationships.
Deadlines: Early bird: 12 February, Bursary: 26 February, Abstract: 12 March, Registration: 9 April. For more information please visit the website
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.