BBSRC-funded studentship: Next generation vaccine for bluetongue virus (BTV) type 8 and the immune response in animals

Lead Research Organisation: The Pirbright Institute
Department Name: UNLISTED


Bluetongue virus (BTV) is the etiological agent of bluetongue (BT), an economically important disease of domesticated livestock. Since 1998 nine distinct strains of BTV have entered Europe, killing over 1.8 million animals. Live attenuated vaccine strains are available but are unsuitable for use in Europe, causing severe disease in local sheep breeds. Inactivated BTV vaccines have been developed for BTV-2 and 4, but are not available for BTV-8, (Holland, Belgium, France and Germany; August 2006). The Arbovirus Research group has already obtained funding from BBSRC/Defra for the initial development of safe, effective and stable, next-generation BTV vaccines, based on recombinant baculovirus, vaccinia virus, DNA and/or bacterial expression. The Ph.D project will generate additional constructs for the expression of BTV-8 proteins (based on systems already constructed for BTV-4). It will then help to evaluate the immune response to the individual BTV proteins in mice.


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