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Nottingham-China research collaboration holds hope for bovine and human TB vaccine
Date:4/24/2013

Scientists at The University of Nottingham are studying whether harmful bacteria found in cattle could be harnessed to protect livestock from the devastating disease bovine tuberculosis (TB).

The research, being led by Professor Paul Barrow in the University's School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, could offer an important step towards developing a vaccine against bovine TB, which affects tens of thousands of cattle every year.

The study will investigate the disease in UK and Chinese cattle in collaboration with Professor Xiangmei Zhou at Beijing's China Agricultural University. The two-year project has been funded with a 200,000 grant from the Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) China-UK Cooperation Programme in Global Priorities.

Professor Barrow said: "We have discovered very interesting and novel interactions between different bacterial types during mixed infections. One bacterial type can stimulate short term immunity against unrelated bacteria providing a degree of protection. We want to look to see if a similar relationship occurs between the bovine tubercle bascillus and other bacteria which are present in the tissues at the same time."

Bovine TB is a bacterial disease that in 2011 resulted in the slaughter of approximately 25,000 cattle in England at a cost of more than 90 million. Recent figures released by Defra show that the slaughter of cows increased by 10 per cent in 2012, with more than 38,000 animals being destroyed. In an effort to control the disease, the Government has introduced the bovine TB eradication programme including the proposed cull of badgers which have been found to be carriers of the disease.

In China, bovine TB is now a major economic problem, causing hardship for farmers and their families living in rural communities. In any one herd, up to 70 per cent of cattle can be affected.

Bovine TB is also a zoonosis an infectious di
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Contact: Emma Thorne
emma.thorne@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-15793
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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