India link project for molecular epidemiology studies and orbivirus reference collection.

Lead Research Organisation: The Pirbright Institute
Department Name: UNLISTED


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Description Through a series of visits and discussion with colleagues in India, we have established a research network with 6 Indian laboratories and two UK partners (JIC Norwich and CVR Glasgow) that has received further funding in the form of a BBSRC-DBT grant (BBSRC code BB/L004690/1 (2014-2017)).

This initial travel grant was not only instrumental in establishing these links in India, it also helped to define significant problems and animal disease issues to be explored in the larger grant.
In particular the need and importance of technology transfers were identified, to establish appropriate virus reference collections, storage conditions, virus isolation technologies and diagnostic systems for bluetongue virus (BTV) and other economically arboviruses of livestock.

As well as the subsequent BBSRC/DBT grant, this initial funding led to an MOU between the Pirbright Institute and LUVAS (Veterinary and Animal Sciences) University in Hisar India.
Professor Mertens was awarded a visiting Professorship by LUVAS, and a joint studentship has been funded by ICAR / TPI to study BTV epidemiology during the current pentavalent vaccine programme in Southern India. These collaborative links are
These collaborative links are continuing, with meetings for the whole partnership in Glasgow during 2017 and at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science University of Nottingham 15th to 16th March 2018 to discuss possible applications for additional research funding.
Exploitation Route The initial travel funding has led to a successful BBRSC/DBT grant with Indian Colleagues.
Based on the wider success of this second grant, a further extension and funding for the work will be sought.

In particular we anticipate that these studies will provide fundamental information concerning the epidemiology of BTV in an endemic area. This will lead to significant improvements in vaccines and diagnostic strategies for the region, as well as improvements in animal health and reduced economic losses.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

Description This is a partnering award ( travel grant) intended to facilitate and enhance research links with colleagues in India. The project has been very successful leading to a BBSRC/DBT grant (BBSRC code BB/L004690/1 (2014-2017)) and an MOU between the Pirbright Institute and LUVAS (The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences) in Hisar, India. They have also led to a PH.D. studentship, that is currently nearing completion to study the impact of the pentavalent vaccination campaign against Bluetongue in Sothern India, on the serotype circulating in the region. The work initiated through this grant has also led to a number of publications.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink
Impact Types Cultural,Economic

Description "Understanding pathogen, livestock, environment interactions involving bluetongue virus" (PALE-Blu)
Amount € 6,300,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 727393-2 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 06/2016 
End 11/2020
Description Development of diagnostic systems, reference collections and molecular epidemiology studies for important arboviral pathogens of livestock in India
Amount £338,317 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/L004690/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 06/2017