Moredun awarded grant to develop new vaccines for bovine respiratory disease
Moredun Research Institute (MRI), in collaboration with French animal health company Ceva Sante Animale (Ceva), have been awarded £900,000 (80% funded) to develop new vaccines that target the viruses and bacteria responsible for bovine respiratory disease (BRD).
This marks the second round of a £11.5M initiative from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), and the Scottish Government to transform the UK livestock sector by reducing the burden of endemic diseases on animal health, welfare, and productivity.
Endemic livestock disease initiative
Developed in consultation with academia, industry and policy makers, the endemic livestock disease initiative focuses on fostering collaborative research between academia, industry, and end-users. The goal is to deliver innovative on-farm solutions that will effectively mitigate the impact of endemic diseases on the UK livestock sector.
The UK remains committed to working collaboratively with farmers to overcome infectious animal disease. I welcome the second phase of this exciting research initiative. This funding brings together farmers, vets and researchers to develop and test new solutions to some of our most serious animal health challenges on farm, making a real difference to the health and wellbeing of the UK’s livestock.
Bovine respiratory disease
Sometimes known as bovine pneumonia, bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is a multi-factorial disease affecting mainly young stock in the first year of life and is considered to have among the highest economic impacts of any infectious condition of cattle. The team from Moredun and Ceva are testing virus-based vaccine vectors, engineered to deliver antigens from the viruses and bacteria that cause BRD.
The project, titled “Next generation vaccines for bovine respiratory disease complex utilising virus vaccine vectors to target both bacterial and viral pathogens” is one of 14 successful projects for this second round of funding.
The vaccine vectors are designed to induce a rapid antibody response following vaccination to protect cattle from disease resulting from infection. The critical advantage is that the viruses and bacteria are not involved in the production of the vaccine. The ability of novel virus vector systems to induce antibodies against these important cattle pathogens will be tested, having already been proven to be completely safe and very effective in previous studies.
This award allows us to expand our ongoing work with Ceva to create and analyse next generation vaccines for BRD using our virus-based vaccine vectors to deliver vaccine payloads. Developed over a number of years at MRI now, these vaccine vectors address a critical part of the funding call, that the technology be "plug-and-play". That is, if a new viral pathogen or a new strain of a known virus emerges, vaccines to address this new threat can be rapidly generated and tested for efficacy by replacing antigens from the old virus with those from the new strain. Once we demonstrate immunogenicity of these new vectored BRD vaccines, we will be able to switch to targeting new emerging strains of these viral pathogens very rapidly.
This public-private grant award will further strengthen our partnership with Moredun research institute. Our collaboration will foster innovation towards superior vaccines against bovine pneumonia; a disease that still severely impedes wellbeing of cattle and economics sustainability of farms in the UK and beyond.
Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex fact sheet (produced by the Moredun Foundation, login required)
For any questions, please contact Amy Tyndall.