Novel aptamer-based diagnostics and antiviral therapeutics for animal influenza viruses

Lead Research Organisation: The Pirbright Institute
Department Name: UNLISTED

Abstract

Avian influenza (AI) infections pose a major threat to animal health and are potential progenitors for human influenza pandemics. A recent example is the emergence of a new pandemic influenza virus (H1N1pdm) from pigs which is currently causing widespread infection and some mortality in humans. Similarly, the continued prevalence of avian influenza viruses of the H9N2 sub-type, and the highly pathogenic H5N1 and H7 (H7N1, H7N3 and H7N7) subtypes in poultry in many countries highlights the need for improved surveillance and control measures. These will require rapid, easy to use AI diagnostics that can differentiate subtypes of these highly prevalent influenza viruses without the need for extensive laboratory resources. Additionally, improved antiviral drugs for treatment and prophylaxis would also help to minimise the impact of these viruses in both humans and animals. Considering these immediate and future requirements, this project will exploit synthetic single stranded nucleic acid molecules known as 'aptamers' to develop the next generation of diagnostic and possibly therapeutic molecules for influenza viruses. Since Influenza A viruses exist in many subtypes this versatile technology can be used as the basis of sensitive and specific diagnostic assays that can detect different subtypes of influenza viruses simultaneously (differential diagnostic assays). In addition the aptamers that show promising binding affinity for influenza viruses can also be examined for their potential as antiviral therapeutics, for example against H1N1 (swine flu) and H5N1(bird flu) influenza viruses. Aptamers will be produced that specifically and selectively bind to selected subtypes of influenza virus surface glycoproteins heamagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) (which confer subtype specificity) and the nucleoprotein (NP) and matrix (M1) protein (which is conserved in all AI viruses) and then combined with highly sensitive detection technologies based upon gold nanoparticles. These aptamer conjugates are anticipated to bind to viruses in clinical samples to form core-shell nanostructures. The aptamer-virus nanostructures than can be quantified by either optical or electrical methods. The detection sensitivity of these aptananosensor devices would be such that 100 to 1000 virus particles in a clinical sample and could be detected within 30 minute or less. An aptananosensor should be economical, portable and simple to use for efficient and rapid pen-side diagnosis. Above all it will provide the high sensitivity and specificity necessary for differential diagnosis of influenza viruses infecting both humans and animals. Since the selected aptamers will have a high affinity for viral envelope proteins they could also block virus replication. In this project, we will also explore the therapeutic properties of selected aptamers against influenza virus infection in both in vitro assays and in animal models. This could provide a platform to develop new generation of therapeutics against influenza virus infections in humans or animals. The first step will be to assess the antiviral properties of selected high affinity aptamers in tissue culture against selected H1N1 and H5N1 viruses. The aptamers that show promising results in vitro will then be tested in vivo. The selected mammalian and avian animal models will be infected with selected H1N1 and H5N1 virus strains and the protective effects of the aptamers will be assessed in their ability to prevent infection and also to control infection. The protective efficacy in animals will be assessed by correlating the onset of disease signs and reduction in viral titres compared with infected untreated animals. AI aptamers will provide common molecular entities for both diagnostic and therapeutic platforms in the fight against this ever present, yet ever changing threat.

Technical Summary

The expression of a set of Avian Influenza virus proteins comprising haemagglutinin, and neuraminidase glycoproteins as well as the more conserved nucleoprotein (NP) and ion channel (M) proteins will provide target molecules against which DNA/RNA aptamers will be selected. The glycoproteins and proteins will be expressed in Drosophila S2 cells yield well defined functional molecules that will be the targets for screening an aptamer library. Selection and counter-selection methods will be designed to yield molecules that exhibit defined strain and serotype specificity and the affinity and cross-reactivity determined using both surface plasmon resonance and agglutination inhibition assays. Aptamers showing suitable affinity and specificity will then be synthesised as 3' or 5' thiohexyl terminated derivatives for self-assembly onto gold nanoparticles (AuNP's) or gold electrodes. These conjugates will be the foundation for developing point of care diagnostic devices. Optical detection will be based upon the AuNP's forming a shell around the viral envelope with a resultant change in light scattering associated with the different size and structure of the virus coated with nanoparticles and the isolated nanoparticles. Electrochemical sensing will make use of redox labelled aptamers and the change in current associated with virus binding restructuring the aptamer and altering the distance between the label and electrode. High affinity aptamers isolated during library screening will also be evaluated in terms of their antiviral potential. Firstly, the antiviral properties of selected high affinity aptamers against selected H1N1 and H5N1 viruses in vitro through haemagglutination inhibition and neuraminidase inhibition assays and tissue culture virus infectivity assays. Those aptamers that prove most effective in the in vitro assays will then be evaluated for their protective effect in both a mammalian (mouse) and an avian (chicken) model of AI infection.

Planned Impact

The proposed research is aimed to exploit an emerging technology to address problems associated with influenza A virus infections (H1N1, H5N1, H9N2 and H7 subtypes) that produce devastating consequences to animal health and pose a threat to public health. The innovative research in aptamer technology leading to the development of a new class of improved diagnostic reagents and serving as a foundation for antiviral therapeutics will facilitate and accelerate the development of novel alternatives and so aid in the reduction of the impact of pandemic and emerging pandemic influenza viruses. The results of the proposed project will be both knowledge and technology. The anticipated diagnostic tests based on aptamers (short synthetic single stranded DNA molecules) coupled to nano biosensors (aptananosensors) will be the basis of a new generation of improved rapid, accurate, highly sensitive and economical tests that can be performed at pen-side at the farm or point of care. They will have an ability to detect and differentiate different subtypes of the influenza A viruses that are widely circulating in poultry, pigs and humans. Early and accurate identification of infectious agent will expedite appropriate control measures. Thus diagnosis of influenza virus infection at an early stage of infection of a herd or flock or individual maximises the efficiency with which containment, prevention and possibly treatment strategies can be implemented. Therefore, the research into the development of this platform diagnostic technology and the resultant highly sensitive diagnostic tools for influenza virus detection could be a significant contribution to the scientific advancement and cost effective diagnosis of influenza virus at global scale. The allied anticipated outcome, the aptamer based antiviral therapeutics, could in time play an important role lessening the impact of both influenza virus infections in both humans and animals. The knowledge gained from this multidisciplinary proposed research will also enhance the basic understanding of the structure-function relationships between selected aptamers and influenza virus proteins that directly help in advancing this nascent technology to further improve, design and develop new control measures against other infectious disease affecting both humans and animals. We expect that this research will be translated into prototype products of demonstrated effectiveness in terms of efficiency and efficacy during the lifetime of the project. Commercial companies will then have the opportunity to benefit from this research directly by commercialisation and marketing. Large-scale availability of cheap, sensitive, specific and easy to use diagnostic tools will enhance the ability for early detection of influenza virus infections thus enabling effective control and treatment. The reagents and scientific knowledge generated will be publicised in peer-reviewed Journals, on the IAH,Imperial College and NIMR websites and in presentations at meetings of scientists, veterinary and medical and health professionals. The staff and scientists working on this project will benefit enormously by acquiring training in many new emerging scientific disciplines. The project team is multidisciplinary and involves experts in influenza virus molecular virology, bionanotechnology, biosensors and the development of diagnostic tools for human and veterinary medicine. The PIs have experience in interacting with potential beneficiaries outside the immediate academic community around the globe, including both developed and developing countries. These include public government and commercial agencies and medical and veterinary authorities.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description RNA aptamers showing affinity and specificity for different strains of human influenza virus were assembled onto gold nanoparticles that subsequently formed a gold nanoshell (AuNS) around the viral envelope. These shells could be visualised by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Changes in size and structure of the AuNS coated virus can be used to detect the viruses. We show that sedimentation with a low cost centrifuge and visual determination can detect 3 × 108 viral particles
Exploitation Route This project has allow to select specific aptamers against avian influenza

The aim is to use aptamer in the development of vaccine for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description The work has been published and presented in scientific meetings. We and researchers around the world are using our findings and methods to improve control systems against influenza viruses. Based on output put of this project, new improved diagnsotics assays were developed that will directly benefits farmers for rapid and efficient detection of H9N2 virus detection from the poultry flocks at the pen-side. Commercial diagnostic companies are very much interested to integrate our assays methods for commercial products.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Creative Economy,Education,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description BBSRC International Partnering Awards
Amount £49,500 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/P025803/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 07/2021
 
Description BBSRC-iCASE
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2019 
End 09/2023
 
Description Combating avian influenza through systematic analysis of antigenic drift, genetic variation, and development of novel diagnostic tools and vaccines
Amount £1,571,970 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/L018853/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2015 
End 01/2018
 
Description Development of plastic antibodies as diagnostics and potential antivirals agents for avian influenza viruses
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Pirbright Institute 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Food Security: improving approaches to prevent and control viral diseases of Livestock and Poultry
Amount £32,000 (GBP)
Organisation British Council 
Department British Council Researcher Links
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Institutional Links grants
Amount £269,123 (GBP)
Funding ID 261727271 
Organisation Newton Fund 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 07/2019
 
Description Japan Partnering Award
Amount £49,500 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/P025803/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 08/2021
 
Description Newton Institutional Links grant
Amount £269,123 (GBP)
Funding ID 261727271 
Organisation Newton Fund 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 08/2019
 
Description Reducing the Economic and Zoonotic Impact of Avian Influenza (REZIAI): delivering novel vaccines and diagnostics from laboratory to the field.
Amount £400,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/S013792/1 
Organisation The Pirbright Institute 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 01/2021
 
Description The Global Challenges Research Fund
Amount £640,473 (GBP)
Organisation Research Councils UK (RCUK) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 03/2024
 
Title Detection of HA antigens of avian influenza viruses 
Description Assay for detection of recombinant HVT expressing HA antigens of avian influenza viruses 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This new method will help to detect recombinant HVT vaccine expressing HA antigen in infected cell. 
 
Description Avian influenza H7N9 virus evolution: defining the impact of internal genes on virus infection in avian and mammalian species 
Organisation Francis Crick Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution (1) Exchange of research methods and reagents
Collaborator Contribution (1) Exchange of research methods and reagents. (2) Provision of training to PhD students and postdoctoral Scientist (3) Critical review of experimental data and manuscripts.
Impact (1) Joint funding: BBSRC Newton Fund: UK-China-Philippines-Thailand Swine and Poultry Research Initiative (2018-2021). Understanding antigenic diversity, zoonotic potential and immunological prevention of avian influenza viruses affecting poultry. Value: £497,995.93. UK Co-Is: Prof John McCauley (Crick Institute), Dr Richard Reeve (University of Glasgow). Collaborators from China: Dr Yipeng Sun, Prof Jinhua Liu and Dr Juan Pu (China Agricultural University), Prof Yongqing Li (Beijing Academy of Agriculture and forestry Sciences), Dr Wenfei Zhu (National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, China CDC).
Start Year 2007
 
Description Investigating antigenic determinants inducing stronger and broader cross-protective immunity among H5 avian influenza viruses 
Organisation Royal Veterinary College (RVC)
Department Veterinary Basic Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The overarching aims of the proposed research are to improve controls against H5 subtype of avian influenza viruses infecting poultry by investigating underlying mechanisms that define how vaccines renders effectiveness and develop novel approaches enhancing the effectiveness of H5 avian influenza vaccines. We recently generated a panel of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that recognise a variety of different clades of H5 viruses. Propagation of AIV in eggs or cultured cells together with mAbs drives virus to escape from mAbs neutralisation activity. These classical virus neutralization assays (VN) followed by HA gene sequence analysis allowed us to defined the role of amino acid substitutions that are associated with evasion of antibody neutralization through emergence of antigenic variants and failure of vaccine efficacy.
Collaborator Contribution provided intellectual input for achieving prescribed objectives of this work.
Impact Talk entitled "Molecular determinants for antigenicity and vaccine efficacy of avian influenza viruses" was presented at Newton Agham Researcher Links Workshop " Novel Vaccines and Diagnostic Technologies against Emerging and re-emerging Veterinary Pathogens" at Rizal Park Hotel, Manila, Philippines, 4-7 February 2019.
Start Year 2019
 
Description The GCRF One Health Poultry Hub 
Organisation Royal Veterinary College (RVC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The focus of the research is to achieve sustainable global intensification of poultry meat and egg production whilst reducing risks to human and animal health and welfare. We are undertaking research to investigate the diversity of avian influenza viruses prevalent in poultry and wild birds in south east Asia.
Collaborator Contribution Royal Veterinary College, London is leading this GCRF One Health Poultry Hub. The project will address the need to meet rising demand for poultry meat and eggs in developing countries, while minimising risk to international public health. Population growth is driving global demand for poultry, meat and egg production; this unfortunately creates conditions in which animal diseases can spread to humans ('zoonoses'). These include bacterial food poisoning and strains with avian influenza with epidemic or pandemic potential. The GCRF One Health Poultry Hub will adopt a 'One Health' approach to the issue of combatting animal-to-human diseases by bringing together a team of laboratory, clinical, veterinary and social scientists. This team will test and evaluate novel interventions. The need for safe poultry production is most urgent in South and South East Asia, so the RVC and its partners will then use their local networks in these regions to put its positive research to immediate use.
Impact Development of international interdisciplinary partnership of 55 investigators from 13 countries to address the emerging global challenges of food security and public health associated with intensification of poultry production.
Start Year 2018
 
Description The role of segment 3 in H9N2 avian influenza virus pathogenicity 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department The Roslin Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a Joint studentship project funded by The Pirbright Institute and The Roslin Institute. We identiifed molecular markers that are responsible for increase in virus pathogenicity and transmission.
Collaborator Contribution The Roslin Institute contributed both intellectually and by proving research training, samples and regents to achieve the prescribed objectives this project.
Impact 1. Oral Presentation Title: Identification of segment 3 sequence polymorphisms which alter shut off activity and pathogenicity of H9N2 avian influenza viruses in vivo. Anabel Clements, Saira Hussain, Holly Shelton, Paul Digard and Munir Iqbal. Global Alliance for Research Into Avian Diseases (GARAD). January 17th to 19th 2018. Fortuna Hotel, Lang Ha Street, Hanoi, VietNam 2. Poster title: What is the role of H9N2 avian influenza virus PA-X within an avian model?. Anabel Clements, Saira Hussain, Holly Shelton, Paul Digard & Munir Iqbal. UK- China CERAD (Centre of Excellence for Research on Avian Diseases), 3rd Symposium Recent Advances in Avian Disease Research. August 31st - 1st September 2017. The Harbour Hotel, Alexandra Terrace, Guildford, Surrey, UK. 3. Poster title: What is the role of H9N2 avian influenza virus PA-X within an avian model?. Anabel Clements, Saira Hussain, Holly Shelton, Paul Digard & Munir Iqbal. Microbiology Society Annual Conference. April 3rd-6th 2017. Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), Edinburgh, UK. 4. Oral Presentation title: Identification of sequence polymorphisms in segment 3 of H9N2 avian influenza viruses that affect PA-X activity. Anabel Clements, Saira Hussain, Holly Shelton, Paul Digard & Munir Iqbal. Focused Meeting 2016: Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis of Avian Viruses. September 27th-29th 2016. Charles Darwin House, London, UK. 5. Oral Presentation title: The role of segment 3 in H9N2 avian influenza virus pathogenicity. Anabel Clements, Saira Hussain, Holly Shelton, Munir Iqbal & Paul Digard. UK -Taiwan BBSRC Partnering Award workshop: Improving Control of influenza viruses. 26th-27th April 2016. Taipei, Taiwan. 6. Oral Presentation title: Identification of sequence polymorphisms in segment 3 of H9N2 avian influenza viruses that affect PA-X activity. Anabel Clements, Saira Hussain, Holly Shelton, Munir Iqbal & Paul Digard. Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2016; virus Workshop: Negative strand RNA Viruses. 21st-24th March 2016. Arena and Convention Centre, Liverpool, UK. 7. Poster title: The role of segment 3 in H9N2 influenza virus pathogenicity. Anabel Clements, Saira Hussain, Holly Shelton, Munir Iqbal & Paul Digard. 7th Orthomyxovirus research conference. 16th-18th September 2015. Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Toulouse, Toulouse, France. 8. Poster title: The role of segment 3 in H9N2 influenza virus pathogenicity. Anabel Clements, Saira Hussain, Holly Shelton, Munir Iqbal & Paul Digard. Edinburgh Infectious Diseases Annual Symposium. 20th May 2015. Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, UK.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation Agricultural Research Centre
Department Veterinary Serum and Vaccine Research Institute
Country Egypt 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation Francis Crick Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation Imperial College London
Department MSk Lab
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation Suez Canal University
Country Egypt 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation University of Tokyo
Department International Research Center for Infectious Diseases
Country Japan 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Understanding diversity of avian influenza viruses and improvement disease control in poultry and humans 
Organisation Zagazig University
Country Egypt 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project helped my research group to establish research collboration between the Pirbright Institute and the scientists at the collaborating laboratories listed above and an excellent opportunity for building a joint "ONE HEALTH" platfor. I am sharing knowledge, reagents and techniques to improve efficacious vaccines and diagnostic tools against avian influenza viruses. The easy availability of better control tools against avian influenza viruses will aid in the reduction of poultry production losses and thus be important for global food security and improved animal welfare whilst also reducing zoonotic transmission to humans.
Collaborator Contribution Each collaborating institute and team member has specific expertise and facilities in areas relevant to this research programme. Collaborators in different institutions have extensive experience collecting field samples and implementing vaccination and large scale surveillance programmes. Each partner institutions have unique experience in monitoring the endemic prevalence of many animal diseases including avian influenza in both domestic and wild birds from which UK is under constant threat. The partners are sharing knowledge, expertise and facilities to investigate fundamental biology of influenza viruses and predict their epidemiological relevance, to assess potential risks and to devise appropriate intervention strategies. The knowledge, reagents and field samples will be available through this partnership. which will be essential for development of informed control policies and tools(vaccines and diagnostics) that may contribute to reducing the ever increasing threat from endemic, emerging and re-emerging influenza virus variants posing risk to animals and humans. Also, All researchers involved will benefit through ongoing professional development and advanced training in new technologies and new systems-level approaches to disease management. Exchange visits of researchers from collaborating laboratories to undertake training in a number of disciplines including disease surveillance, molecular virology, epidemiology, immunology, vaccinology and diagnostics will have a tangible impact on capacity building and training of next generation researchers in control of infectious animal and zoonotic diseases.
Impact The ultimate aims of this collaboration are to reduce the impact of influenza virus on poultry production and reduce their zoonotic transmission to humans. The collaboration will improve resources and capacity for disease control systems. Achieving these specific goals will prove a step-change in AIV disease management and increase in poultry productivity directly drives economic prosperity of farmers and allied communities. The will directly impact on socio-economic well-being of partner countries.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Talk Presented at 2nd International Congress of Veterinary Microbiology, 16th -19th October 2018. Sherwood Breezes Resort-Lara, Antalya, Turkey. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference discussed improving prevention and control of viral diseases of poultry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description "Challenges for Poultry Industry". Organised by Fakieh Poultry at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2nd -3rd December 2018, 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference discussed prevention and control of infectious diseases affecting poultry production.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description "Interactive session with poultry stakeholders". Title: Overview of Avian Influenza group Research at The Pirbright Institute. Presented at University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore, Pakistan, 3rd August 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop discussed the economic impacts and prevention strategies against avian influenza viruses affecting poultry production and zoonotic infections.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description 1. Improvement of vaccines and diagnostics for avian influenza viruses. South West Chicken Association. 28th Annual Trade Fair and Conference, 19 April 2016. Bristol, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact gave the overview of scientific advances for the control of avian influenza infection and spread in poultry to farmers and representative from poultry production chain.over 200 peoples attanded South West Chicken Association. 28th Annual Trade Fair and Conference, 19 April 2016. Bristol, UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.farminguk.com/agricultural-shows-and-events/South-West-Chicken-Association-Conference-Tr...
 
Description 2. Overview of Avian Influenza group Research at The Pirbright Institute. Presented at "Interactive session with poultry stakeholders" at University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore, Pakistan, 3rd August 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dissemination of research Project outcomes These include presenting research data for vaccine seed strains with emergent field avian influenza variants; The zoonotic risk posed by emerging avian influenza viruses circulating in the wild birds and poultry. Impact of virus evolution on vaccine efficacy and persistence in poultry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description 4. H9N2 avian influenza in chickens of northern Vietnam: prevalence, diversity, pathogenicity. Options for the Control of Infuenza IX. Chicago, Illinois, USA, 24-28 August 2016. 5. Defining the antigenic sites of H9N2 avian influenza viruses. Options for the Control of In uenza IX. Chicago, Illinois, USA, 24-28 August 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact International Influenza conference on options for the control of influenza infections in animals and humans.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://2016.isirv.org
 
Description Demonstrating Mathematics (Angita Shrestha) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Angita Shrestha (PhD student within Avian Influenza group) provided help in a Maths session to the new Oxford Doctoral Training Porgramme (DTP) cohort.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Evolution of H9N2 avian influenza virus under immune pressure. Presented at 10th International Symposium on Avian Influenza, 15th - 18th April 2018, The Grand Hotel, Brighton, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The primary aim of the workshop was to forge long-term research partnerships between early-career researchers, livestock industry and national disease control authorities in the UK and the Philippines. In addition, the activity hopes provide information about the emerging and next generation diagnostic and vaccine strategies and their utilization to reduce the impact of viral diseases on livestock and poultry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.slideshare.net/zerep_cire/2019-newton-agham-researcher-links-workshop-vaccines-and-diagn...
 
Description Evolutionary fitness of avian influenza viruses and development of improved vaccines and diagnostics. Seminar as inviated speaker at RVC (Hawkshead Campus), UK. 19 October 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk delivered on the topic "improvement of vaccines and diagnostic for poultry at The pirbright Institute UK, as an invited speaker at Royal Veterinary College (RVC) London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description H9N2 avian influenza viruses: impact of evolutionary changes on virus antigenicity, receptor binding and zoonotic potential. Presented at "Conference on Animal Infectious Diseases and Human Health" held at The Veterinary Biotechnology Branch of Chinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine & the Veterinary Immunology Branch of Chinese Society for Immunology. August 7th-10th, 2018 Harbin, China. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Focus of the conference was to improve control against infectious diseases affecting poultry and livestock.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description H9N2 avian influenza viruses: impact of evolutionary changes on virus antigenicity, receptor binding and zoonotic potential. Presented at "Conference on Animal Infectious Diseases and Human Health" held at The Veterinary Biotechnology Branch of Chinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine & the Veterinary Immunology Branch of Chinese Society for Immunology. August 7th-10th, 2018 Harbin, China. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dissemination of research outcomes to prevent and control of infectious diseases of animals and humans.
- Avian influenza virus evolution and efficacy.
-
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Immuno-pathobiology of H9N2 avian influenza viruses: looking at how the viruses evolve and persist in poultry. Presented at "Techniques for Healthy Farming and Diseases Prevention & Control of Livestock and Poultry. Beijing, August 13th-15th, 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Dissemination of research outputs. Improvement of vaccines and diagnostics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Influenza update meeting (Pengxiang Chang) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact presented work entitled: Antigenic characterization of avian influenza H7N9 virus by in vitro immune escape mutant selection method.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description International Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Global Alliance for Research on Avian Diseases conference health in Hanoi 17-19 January 2018. Purpose of the conference was to establish global partnerships and links between academic researchers and the poultry industry to improve joined up work in regards to preventing, controlling and
combating avian diseases. The conferences provided a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas around the single theme of exploiting available opportunities to deal with emerging and existing infectious avian diseases in poultry production systems and to safeguard food supplies and human health.
Conference speakers discuused basic, applied and commercial aspects of research on avian diseases including:
• Evolution and Epidemiology of Avian Pathogens
• Host-Pathogen Interactions - Virulence and Pathogenicity
• Pathogen Mechanisms of Immune Evasion
• Next Generation Disease Control Strategies
• Vaccines
• Immunity
• Diagnostics
• Zoonoses and Socio-economic impacts of avian diseases
• Global Research Opportunities and Threats
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.theeventsportal.com/GARAD-2018/3/Home
 
Description Mapping antigenic determinants of H9N2 avian influenza viruses and improving vaccines and diagnostics" presented at Foreign Talent Lecture: New strategies and new techniques for the prevention and control of major avian diseases. Shandong Binzhou Animal Science & Veterinary Medicine Academy, Binzhou, China. 6th August 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The focus of the meeting was to improve the control systems against poultry diseases including development of improved vaccines and diagnostics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Newton Agham Researcher Links Workshop on "Novel Vaccines and Diagnostic Technologies Against Emerging and Re-emerging Veterinary Pathogens, Rizal Park Hotel, Manila, Philippines 4-7 February 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The primary aim of this workshop was to forge long-term research partnerships between early-career researchers, livestock industry and national disease control authorities in the UK and the Philippines. The workshop provided information on emerging and next generation diagnostic and vaccine strategies and their utilization to reduce the impact of viral diseases on livestock and poultry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.slideshare.net/zerep_cire/2019-newton-agham-researcher-links-workshop-vaccines-and-diagn...
 
Description The Pirbright Village Duck Fair held on 16 June 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Local Village Fair, interaction with local residence to expanse research aims and activities of The Pirbright Institute and benefits to UK and around the globe to prevent and control infectious diseases of animals and humans.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description UK-China Philippines-Thailand Swine and Poultry Research Initiative project kick-off workshop" at China Agriculture University, Beijing, 26th-28th September 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Emerging new approaches were discussed for prevention and control of infectious diseases affecting swines and poultry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Understanding Antigenic Diversity, Zoonotic potential and immunological prevention of avian influenza viruses affecting poultry. Presented at "UK-China Philippines-Thailand Swine and Poultry Research Initiative project kick-off workshop" at China Agriculture University, Beijing, 26th-28th September 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Meeting focus was to share research plans funded under "UK-China-Philippines-Thailand Swine and Poultry Research Initiative". Research projects investigate pathogens, zoonotic pathogens or "commensals" associated with food safety issues affecting poultry and swine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://bbsrc.ukri.org/funding/filter/joint-swine-poultry-initiative/