Veterinary research into livestock disease is set to receive a major financial boost after being placed firmly at the heart of The University of Nottingham’s biggest ever fundraising campaign, which launched this week.

Veterinary research into livestock disease is set to receive a major financial boost after being placed firmly at the heart of The University of Nottingham‘s biggest ever fundraising campaign, which launched this week.
 
Under the motto “Prevent illness. Protect children. Shape healthier futures” the university is to fund a project focusing on Infectious Diseases in Livestock alongside a number of human health research priorities.
 Impact: The Nottingham Campaign
The projects will form part of Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, which will raise £150m to support The University of Nottingham’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future.
 
The campaign, launched this week, will see 39 projects being rolled out in total under one of 5 themes: The Nottingham Experience, Health and Well-being, Nurturing Talent, Ingenuity and Sustainable Futures.
 
The Infectious Diseases in Livestock project was launched yesterday (October 18) under “Health and Wellbeing”.

Dr Michael Jones, lecturer in microbiology and molecular biology within veterinary medicine & science at the University of Nottingham.The university’s Sutton Bonington Campus is undertaking research focused on development of novel prevention and control interventions for infectious disease in livestock, and companion and wild animals. Findings will then be translated into understanding human infections.

According to Michael Jones, lecturer in microbiology and molecular biology from the university’s faculty of medicine and health sciences, the project is part of a FSA/DEFRA/BBSRC funded initiative to control and understand the pathogen Campylobacter.

He told vetsonline: “Campylobacter is the largest cause of bacterial foodborne infection in the UK. It is carried by a number of animal species without causing disease and one of the sources for human infection is from contaminated poultry meat. Removal of Campylobacter from growing poultry would therefore reduce the incidence of human infections.”

According to Dr Jones, Campylobacter colonises the intestine of the poultry and persists to the point of slaughter even though the birds mount an antibody response to them.

He said: “We believe that Campylobacter can persist because they can phase vary. Phase variation is a process whereby the bacteria alter their surface structures so that they are no longer recognised by antibodies and so avoid antibody mediated clearance. If we can show this is the case we can direct the identification of vaccine targets to reduce colonisation and therefore human infection.”

 

  • Further details of the Infectious Diseases in Livestock project (including case studies, a video interview with the academics involved, and details of how to donate to the project fund) can be found here.
  • Donations can also be made by text. To donate £10, for example, simply text IMPE56 [space] 10 to 70070.
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