£13M India-UK Collaboration in Farmed Animal Health and Disease

INDIA & UK - Sir Mark Walport, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, has announced major funding to protect livestock, during a visit to India. The project aim to tackle major livestock diseases which threaten food security in the UK and globally.
calendar icon 14 November 2013
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£6.5M has been awarded by the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with matched funding from India's Department of Biotechnology (DBT), for collaborative research projects between universities and research institutes in both countries. It is the first international call on animal health for DBT and covers many important livestock species.

Science Minister David Willetts said: "In the face of a rapidly growing global population, it is vital that we work together to find innovative solutions to animal diseases and global food security. This significant £13M investment is ensuring this important work can take place and supports the Government's wider Agri-Tech strategy. This is helping UK businesses, including farmers, make the best use of new technologies and techniques to meet the needs of consumers and food producers worldwide, as well as contributing to economic growth."

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive said: "Livestock health is a huge global problem, impacting on the economy and food security. These projects will enable collaboration and shared knowledge in a bid to create novel control measures and technologies to combat infectious diseases that devastate farms in the UK and India."

The projects include: research towards TB control in cattle; understanding the different responses to avian Influenza viruses; studying tick-borne disease; creating biosensors for infectious reproductive diseases of cattle; assisting a global alliance against the goat plague 'Peste des Petits Ruminants'; finding an effective vaccination programme for the eradication of foot-and-mouth disease in India, and understanding why some animals have disease immunity.

The announcement was made as a part of Sir Mark Walport's keynote address during RCUK India's fifth anniversary celebrations in New Delhi this week. These new projects form a part of the £150M strong UK-India research portfolio that RCUK India has facilitated since 2008.

Projects funded through the £13M Farmed Animal Health and Disease fund include:

  • Attenuation of FMDV Serotypes/Strains to Develop Stable and Effective Live, Attenuated, Vaccines
    Martin Ryan, University of St Andrews, and GR Reddy, IVRI, Bangalore
  • Development of multiplexed diagnostic biosensor for infectious reproductive diseases of cattle and buffaloes
    Jonathan Cooper, University of Glasgow, and Pallab Chaudhuri, Indian Veterinary Research Institute
  • An effective vaccination programme for the eradication of foot-and-mouth disease from India
    David Paton, The Pirbright Institute, and Bramhadev Pattnaik, Indian Council of Agricultural Research
  • Molecular epidemiology of ticks and tick-borne disease, host resistance and development of novel pathogen vaccines
    Brian Shiels, University of Glasgow, and Sunil Kolte, Nagpur Veterinary College
  • Development of diagnostic systems, reference collections and molecular epidemiology studies for important arboviral pathogens of livestock in India
    Peter Mertens, The Pirbright Institute, and Sushila Maan, College of Veterinary Sciences, LLR, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Hisar
  • Hsp90 as a modulator of pathogenicity, virulence and transmission in veterinary infections caused by Theileria and Babesia species
    Eileen Devaney, University of Glasgow, and Utpal Tatu, Indian Institute of Science
  • Identification of the molecular basis of differential host responses to rapidly evolving Avian Influenza viruses in different avian species
    David Burt, The Roslin Institute, and Anamika Mishra, High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, IVRI, Bhopal
  • Controlling enteric pathogens of poultry: Host/microbiota interactions, risk assessment and effective management interventions
    Damer Blake, Royal Veterinary College, and C.G. Joshi, Anand Agricultural University
  • Understanding the immune mechanism of host disease resistance and development of marker vaccines and DIVA tests for Peste des Petits Ruminants
    Satya Parida, The Pirbright Institute, and G. Dhinakar Raj, Madras Veterinary College
  • Combined use of novel diagnostic tools and strategic vaccination to control bovine brucellosis in endemic areas
    Javier Guitian, Royal Veterinary College, and Narinder Singh Sharma, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
  • Development of recombinant BCG vaccine and complementary diagnostics for TB control in cattle
    Johnjoe McFadden, University of Surrey, and V. Maroudam, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
  • Transcriptome analysis in Indian buffalo and the genetics of innate immunity
    David Hume, The Roslin Institute, and Satish Kumar, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology

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