Since its discovery in the 1980s, avian metapneumovirus (AMPV) has spread
in poultry populations worldwide with major adverse health and food
security implications for commercial chickens and turkeys. Research at the
University of Liverpool (UoL) led to the registration of a live vaccine in
1994 which has played a global role in AMPV control, thereby safeguarding
the supply of poultry meat and eggs. Recent research and development at
the UoL has identified key control measures, relating to vaccine
application, vaccine selection, efficacy and safety, which have had a
significant impact on poultry health and consequently, poultry producers
and consumers. In particular, demonstration that live AMPV vaccines can
revert to virulence, that vaccine type applied influences field protection
and that continuous use of a single vaccine can influence circulating
field strains, has resulted in UoL leading policy making with regard to
current AMPV vaccine protocols.
The research led to the development of a suite of tests to ensure
appropriate assessment of biomechanical, mechanical and physical
properties of equestrian arena surfaces. Test arenas were assessed in
preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games, generating data which
contributed to changes in the design, construction and management of the
Olympic equestrian arenas at Greenwich Park. Subsequently, functional
properties suggested as most relevant to the performance, safety and
welfare of horses in disciplines such as dressage and show jumping have
been described in a White Paper, now endorsed and approved for publication
by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).
NOTE: The FEI, established in 1921, is the international governing
body responsible for all international equestrian events in disciplines
such as dressage, show jumping and eventing. The FEI sets out the
regulations for international equestrian competitions, including the
Olympics and Paralympics.
Impact: Economic, public policy and animal health and welfare:
Selective breeding based upon identification of PRNP genotypes can
eliminate animals that are susceptible to scrapie from the flock.
Significance: UK sheep meat exports are worth >£380million.
Breeding for scrapie resistance protected the sheep industry from similar
damage to that inflicted by BSE on cattle and the UK economy.
Beneficiaries: Farmers, animals, consumers
Attribution: Professor Hunter and Dr. Goldmann (Roslin Institute,
now part of UoE) identified polymorphisms of the PrP (PRNP) gene
linked to scrapie susceptibility and resistance in sheep.
Reach: International, programmes breeding for resistance to
scrapie in sheep are now used in the UK, Europe and USA.
Rabies is the most lethal known infectious disease and kills 55,000
people annually worldwide, mainly in Africa and Asia; however, it is
almost entirely preventable. Effective vaccines for animals and humans are
available, but their use is limited by cost and accessibility. Research
undertaken at the University of Glasgow by Professor Sarah Cleaveland and
her team has led to the development and adoption of new health and
veterinary policies in East Africa, transforming research findings into
practical strategies for rabies prevention and control. These strategies
reduce the cost of medical treatment (such as post-exposure prophylaxis),
increase its effectiveness (by improving compliance) and eliminate the
barriers to receiving treatment in some of the world's most disadvantaged
communities. Research by the Glasgow team on dog vaccination strategies
has also made a major contribution to the recognition by the World Health
Organization (WHO) that global canine rabies elimination is feasible, with
national and global strategies now focussing on dog vaccination as a cost
effective means of reducing human rabies deaths.
Rabies is an infectious disease that kills at least 55,000 people
annually, primarily in Asia and
Africa, with infected dogs being the major source of infection in humans.
In a recent rabies
epidemic on the Indonesian island of Bali, between Dec 2008 and June 2011,
over 130 human
deaths occurred, because the actions of the local authorities were not
sufficient to control the
outbreak. Research undertaken at the University of Glasgow was
instrumental in the development
of an island-wide canine vaccination strategy between 2010 and 2013. These
controlled the spread of rabies in dogs (villages reporting new cases) and
reduced the incidence of
human deaths by over 90% compared with the incidence before mass canine
in late 2010. As of July 2013, Bali had gone 11 months without a human
case of rabies. The
research also contributed to advocacy, policy formulation and development
tools to support rabies control both within Bali and other developing
The parasite Neospora caninum is the leading cause of abortion in
cattle in the UK, resulting in
around 6,000 abortions per year; and a $1.3b pa international problem.
There are no effective
drugs or vaccines to control neosporosis. University of Liverpool (UoL)
research on the
development of diagnostic tests, understanding the pathogenesis,
epidemiology and transmission
of N. caninum has made an important contribution to developing
best practise herd health
schemes, now offered by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories
Agency (AHVLA) and by
a commercial company `myhealthyherd', to eradicate N. caninum
infection from a herd. This has
enabled cattle farmers to improve their businesses by reducing abortion
rates and other costs
associated with neosporosis.
Impact: Economics, policy, animal and human health: In 2006, SoS
(a Public Private Partnership-PPP) was established involving: University
of Edinburgh, a pharmaceutical company, a charity, and the Govt. of Uganda
to control sleeping sickness by eliminating Trypanasome carriage in
cattle. The prevalence of trypanosomiasis has been reduced by 75% and
sleeping sickness cases have fallen year on year since the PPP was
established and Uganda has received a cost benefit between US$125 and
Beneficiaries: The Ugandan population, Ugandan Cattle population.
Significance: Sleeping sickness, which is difficult to diagnose
and treat in humans, is often fatal. Ten million Ugandans are at risk from
sleeping sickness. SoS established a veterinary network in Uganda
Attribution: Professor Welburn (University of Edinburgh, UoE)
founded SoS and developed essential diagnostic techniques.
Reach: SoS provides a model for the elimination of the disease
across sub Saharan Africa in an economically sustainable fashion - with
over 22 million people at risk.
Research at the University of Liverpool (UoL) has demonstrated the importance of intestinal
tapeworm infection as an important and hitherto unrecognised risk factor for a major life-threatening
acute intestinal disease (colic) in the horse. A novel serological test for exposure to the
tapeworm infection was developed at UoL to provide a diagnostic tool for research and clinical
applications. As a result, "best practice" equine preventive healthcare programmes now include
anti-helminth and tapeworm control protocols and anti-tapeworm anthelmintics are licensed for use
in the horse and marketed throughout the world. This research has had a major impact on equine
health resulting in welfare and economic benefits for horses, their owners, veterinary practices and
Research conducted at the University of Bristol between 2003 and 2012 on
the ecology, epidemiology and control of parasitic flies and worms has
improved animal health and welfare in the UK and is addressing a major
constraint on global food production — animal disease, particularly in the
context of climate change. These are some of the impacts:
Sea lice are the principal disease constraint for world Atlantic salmon
culture and cost >€33m
yearly in the UK and >€305m globally in terms of control measures and
lost production. Research
conducted by the University of Stirling's Institute of Aquaculture (IoA)
has provided tools and
strategies for sea louse control in farmed salmon worldwide. Impacts have
been delivered through
an integrated pest management approach which involves
(1) introduction of management tools including fallowing, single
year-class stocking and area
(2) screening, development, licensing and monitoring of veterinary
(3) development of alternative strategies such as use of cleaner fish
(wrasse) and sea louse
(4) incorporation of integrated pest management principles into public
policy and legislation.
These tools and approaches are now being used by the U.K. and global
Atlantic salmon industries.