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Two good news stories to end the week.

UK study finds some seabirds may develop immunity to bird flu - Animal Plant Health Agency

a group of gannets, white birds with long necks and creamy heads, sitting on a mossy rock with teh blue sea visible behind
Norhtrn gannets, one of the species showing some immunity to avian influenza.

The eight-strong FluMap consortium, headed by the world-leading research team at the Animal Plant Health Agency has made a number of bird flu discoveries.

Scientists have discovered Northern Gannets and Shag are showing signs of developing immunity to avian influenza in research published today.

The top scientific research consortium has secured £3.3 million additional funding for further research into avian influenza transmission due to continued risk of spread of disease

New research will explore the evolution of the virus and the ability to predict new strains, protecting both animal and human health.

As part of a major research consortium announced last June, the UK’s top scientists have discovered that some seabirds are demonstrating immunity to avian influenza.

The eight-strong FluMap consortium, headed by the world-leading research team at the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA), has developed laboratory tools that can dissect the immune response in birds that have been exposed to avian influenza viruses in their lifetime.

Preliminary investigations in a small sample size of some species of seabird, including Northern gannets and Shag, revealed specific immunity to H5N1 showing exposure and recovery in a proportion of birds. However, avian influenza viruses are prone to change and so antibody levels will likely decline over time with next year’s offspring not guaranteed to be immune suggesting there are no great population level benefits yet.

The research will be published at 9am on Saturday 21 October and will be available here: https://science.vla.gov.uk/fluglobalnet/publications/flumap-update-oct23.html


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Posted On: 20/10/2023

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