A new report detailing future investment priorities for veterinary vaccinology research in the UK has been published by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The BBSRC Veterinary Vaccinology Strategy 2015-2020 sets out the key drivers, opportunities and challenges for “delivering impact from existing and future BBSRC investments in world-class vaccinology research” and how the organisation intends to address them.

The main focus for the strategy is on animals (including fish) farmed for food production in the UK, but it is also relevant to other domesticated animals of importance to the UK economy.

The report states: “Vaccines represent a highly cost-effective intervention for disease prevention and eradication, and are an important tool in the fight against both infectious and zoonotic diseases.”

However, it continues: “Despite past successes using vaccines, losses due to new diseases (e.g. Schmallenberg), incursions of exotic diseases (e.g. avian influenza), and re-emerging diseases (e.g. porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome) have highlighted the need to re-think vaccine development methods.”

With this in mind, the council’s vision is to see world-leading BBSRC-supported bioscience research:
  • transform the development and translation of next generation veterinary vaccines to improve animal health and welfare
  • reduce the impact of zoonoses on public health
  • strengthen the UK as a centre of excellence for veterinary vaccine research and development
Prof Melanie Welham, BBSRC executive director of science, said: “A clear vision to deliver impact will help safeguard both animal and human health, whilst increasing the sustainable production and welfare of livestock, providing real benefits for the UK.”

The strategy was informed by a global veterinary vaccinology survey commissioned by BBSRC, findings of which are detailed and addressed in this report.

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