Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge

Surrey, United Kingdom

Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge

Surrey, United Kingdom
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Wilkie G.S.,University of Glasgow | Davison A.J.,University of Glasgow | Watson M.,Roslin Institute | Kerr K.,University of Glasgow | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Virology | Year: 2013

A highly lethal hemorrhagic disease associated with infection by elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) poses a severe threat to Asian elephant husbandry. We have used high-throughput methods to sequence the genomes of the two genotypes that are involved in most fatalities, namely, EEHV1A and EEHV1B (species Elephantid herpesvirus 1, genus Proboscivirus, subfamily Betaherpesvirinae, family Herpesviridae). The sequences were determined from postmortem tissue samples, despite the data containing tiny proportions of viral reads among reads from a host for which the genome sequence was not available. The EEHV1A genome is 180,421 bp in size and consists of a unique sequence (174,601 bp) flanked by a terminal direct repeat (2,910 bp). The genome contains 116 predicted protein-coding genes, of which six are fragmented, and seven paralogous gene families are present. The EEHV1B genome is very similar to that of EEHV1A in structure, size, and gene layout. Half of the EEHV1A genes lack orthologs in other members of subfamily Betaherpesvirinae, such as human cytomegalovirus (genus Cytomegalovirus) and human herpesvirus 6A (genus Roseolovirus). Notable among these are 23 genes encoding type 3 membrane proteins containing seven transmembrane domains (the 7TM family) and seven genes encoding related type 2 membrane proteins (the EE50 family). The EE50 family appears to be under intense evolutionary selection, as it is highly diverged between the two genotypes, exhibits evidence of sequence duplications or deletions, and contains several fragmented genes. The availability of the genome sequences will facilitate future research on the epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of EEHV-associated disease. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.


Wragg P.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Penrith Regional Laboratory | Randall L.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge | Whatmore A.M.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge
Journal of Microbiological Methods | Year: 2014

Recent advances in phenotypic and chemotaxonomic methods have improved the ability of systems to resolve bacterial identities at the species level. Key to the effective use of these systems is the ability to draw upon databases which can be augmented with new data gleaned from atypical or novel isolates. In this study we compared the performance of the Biolog GEN III identification system (hereafter, GEN III) with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and 16S rRNA gene sequencing in the identification of isolates of veterinary interest. The use of strains that had proven more difficult to identify by routine methods was designed to test the systems' abilities at the extremes of their performance range. Over an 18. month period, 100 strains were analysed by all three methods. To highlight the importance of identification to species level, a weighted scoring system was devised to differentiate the capacity to identify at genus and species levels. The overall relative weighted scores were 0.869:0.781:0.769, achieved by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, GEN III and MALDI-TOF MS respectively, when compared to the 'gold standard'. Performance to the genus level was significantly better using 16S rRNA gene sequencing; however, performance to the species level was similar for all three systems. © 2014.


Lofthouse E.K.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge
PloS one | Year: 2013

The Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex includes bovine and human strains of the tuberculosis bacillus, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium bovis and the Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccine strain. M. bovis has evolved from a M. tuberculosis-like ancestor and is the ancestor of the BCG vaccine. The pathogens demonstrate distinct differences in virulence, host range and metabolism, but the role of metabolic differences in pathogenicity is poorly understood. Systems biology approaches have been used to investigate the metabolism of M. tuberculosis, but not to probe differences between tuberculosis strains. In this study genome scale metabolic networks of M. bovis and M. bovis BCG were constructed and interrogated, along with a M. tuberculosis network, to predict substrate utilisation, gene essentiality and growth rates. The models correctly predicted 87-88% of high-throughput phenotype data, 75-76% of gene essentiality data and in silico-predicted growth rates matched measured rates. However, analysis of the metabolic networks identified discrepancies between in silico predictions and in vitro data, highlighting areas of incomplete metabolic knowledge. Additional experimental studies carried out to probe these inconsistencies revealed novel insights into the metabolism of these strains. For instance, that the reduction in metabolic capability observed in bovine tuberculosis strains, as compared to M. tuberculosis, is not reflected by current genetic or enzymatic knowledge. Hence, the in silico networks not only successfully simulate many aspects of the growth and physiology of these mycobacteria, but also provide an invaluable tool for future metabolic studies.


Brown I.H.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge
Current topics in microbiology and immunology | Year: 2013

In Europe, swine influenza is considered one of the most important primary pathogens of swine respiratory disease and infection is primarily with H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2 influenza A viruses. The antigenetic characteristics of these viruses distinguish them from others circulating at a global level in pigs. These viruses have remained endemic in European pig populations but significant differences in the circulation of these strains occur at a regional level across Europe. The dynamic of co-circulation of viruses, impact of prior immunity, husbandry practices and other local factors all contribute to the complex epidemiology. Surveillance programmes in European pigs did not reveal the presence of pandemic H1N1 virus prior to its detection in humans in 2009 but there is evidence that the virus can be maintained in European pigs even when there are relatively good levels of herd immunity to other H1 viruses. Evidence for the pig as a 'mixing vessel' of influenza viruses of non-swine-origin has been demonstrated in Europe on several occasions. Furthermore significant and highly variable genetic diversity occurs at the whole genome level for all virus subtypes and this has contributed to changing patterns of virus epidemiology over time.


Hope J.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge
Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology | Year: 2013

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a protein misfolding disease of cattle which belongs to the group of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases. This group also includes scrapie in sheep and goats, chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) humans. The first case of BSE was recognised in England in 1986 as a progressive, neurological condition where affected animals behaved abnormally, exhibited anxiety, ataxia, hypersensitivity to touch and noise and poor body condition. Spongiform change was observed in the brain stem of cattle at postmortem and its similarity to scrapie in sheep stimulated biochemical investigation and transmission studies which confirmed it as a novel prion disease of cattle. Epidemiological analysis of the initial cases of disease implicated a common extended source of infection, likely to be related to feed, and stimulated a series of control measures designed to restrict feeding of mammalian-derived protein to ruminants in various parts of the United Kingdom and to prevent the use of various bovine offals in feed or food production. This article outlines the rise and fall of the incidence of BSE in the UK and Europe, its classification as a zoonotic disease with the emergence of variant CJD, the implications of it as a prion disease and challenge its diagnosis and control continues to represent worldwide. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Mueller-Doblies D.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge | Clouting C.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge | Davies R.H.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge
Zoonoses and Public Health | Year: 2013

This study aimed at gaining information on the presence of Salmonella in UK turkey hatcheries and possible epidemiological links between breeding farms, hatcheries and finishing farms. The presence of ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli in hatchery samples, as well as in faecal samples from farms, and trends in occurrence of resistance were also investigated. Over a 2year-period, four British turkey hatcheries were visited and intensively sampled for the presence of Salmonella and ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli. In two hatcheries, a link could be demonstrated between the presence of certain Salmonella serovars in the hatcheries and on breeding and finishing farms. Within the hatcheries, serovars linked to breeding farms were found more frequently in the poult processing and dispatch areas, whereas serovars identified as 'resident hatchery contaminants' were predominantly found inside the hatcher cabinets. Ciprofloxacin-resistant isolates of S. Senftenberg were identified in one hatchery, which coincided with enrofloxacin treatment of some of the breeding flocks. Ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli was found in two hatcheries, and the majority of these isolates showed multidrug resistance. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Mueller-Doblies D.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge | Speed K.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge | Davies R.H.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2013

A retrospective study analysing Salmonella serovars and antimicrobial resistance data from pigs in Great Britain between 1994 and 2010 was performed. Data were obtained through scanning surveillance and compared with prevalence data from other livestock species as well as human data. During the study period, two serovars, S. Typhimurium and S. Derby, predominated in British pigs. The total number of Salmonella incidents has decreased steadily over the study period, from 360 incidents per year in 1994 to 172 incidents in 2010. S. Typhimurium has been the most common serovar every year, but the relative percentage went down over the past few years. During the same time period, monophasic strains of S. Typhimurium have increased in numbers and were accounting for as much as 25% of incidents in 2010, representing the second most common serovar in British pigs in 2010. Antimicrobial resistance data from S. Typhimurium isolates show that the percentage of isolates which are resistant to six or more antimicrobials has increased from 27.2% in 1994 to 58.3% in 2010 and that the percentage of isolates fully sensitive to the panel of antimicrobials tested was only 3.3% in 2010. S. Typhimurium isolates belonged mainly to phagetypes DT193 and U288 in 2010, and an increase can be seen in the number of isolates belonging to phage type DT193. DT104, which was the predominant phagetype during the 1990s, has gone down considerably and represented less than 5% of all S. Typhimurium isolates in 2010. Monophasic strains of S. Typhimurium belonged mainly to phagetype 193 with less than 20% belonging to phagetype 120.The overall trend shows that the number of Salmonella incidents reported from British pigs has gone down considerably over the 17-year study period, but that the relative percentage of monophasic strains of S. Typhimurium has increased significantly. This trend seems to be in line with observations from other European countries, where an increase of this serovar can be seen both in livestock and in human patients. The increasing percentage of Salmonella-isolates which show multi-resistance is a matter of concern and has to be monitored carefully in order to assess any potential risks this may pose to human patients. © 2013.


Alexander D.J.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge
Avian Pathology | Year: 2011

Newcastle disease (ND) is a devastating disease of poultry that has to some extent been neglected by those working in the field in the past 10 to 15 years while attention has been focused on the emergence and spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza caused by a H5N1 subtype virus. During 2000 to 2009 in the European Union (EU) member states, ND viruses virulent for chickens have been detected in wild birds, domesticated pigeons and poultry. Based on these isolations it appears that the epizootic in racing pigeons caused by the variant viruses termed pigeon avian paramyxovirus type 1, which form the genetic group 4b(VIb) first seen in Europe in 1981, continued during 2000 to 2009, and the virus is probably enzootic in racing pigeons in some EU countries. This virus appears to have spread regularly to wild birds, especially those of the Columbidae family, and has been the cause of significant outbreaks in poultry. Other avian paramyxovirus type 1 viruses responsible for ND outbreaks in the EU during 2000 to 2009 have been those from genetic groups 5b(VIIb) and 5d(VIId). There is evidence that the former may well represent spread from a wild bird source and these viruses have also been isolated from wild birds, while the latter represents continuing spread from the East. Future legislation or recommendations aimed at the control and eradication of ND will need to encompass these three sources of virulent ND viruses. © 2011 Copyright Crown Copyright (Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency).


Brown I.H.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge
Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology | Year: 2013

In Europe, swine influenza is considered one of the most importantprimary pathogens of swine respiratory disease and infection is primarily with H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2 influenza A viruses. The antigenetic characteristics of these viruses distinguish them from others circulating at a global level in pigs. These viruses have remained endemic in European pig populations but significant differences in the circulation of these strains occur at a regional level across Europe. The dynamic of co-circulation of viruses, impact of prior immunity, husbandry practices and other local factors all contribute to the complex epidemiology. Surveillance programmes in European pigs did not reveal the presence of pandemic H1N1 virus prior to its detection in humans in 2009 but there is evidence that the virus can be maintained in European pigs even when there are relatively good levels of herd immunity to other H1 viruses. Evidence for the pig as a 'mixing vessel' of influenza viruses of non-swine-origin has been demonstrated in Europe on several occasions. Furthermore significant and highly variable genetic diversity occurs at the whole genome level for all virus subtypes and this has contributed to changing patterns of virus epidemiology over time. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011.


Wooldridge M.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency Weybridge
OIE Revue Scientifique et Technique | Year: 2012

The concern over antibiotic-resistant bacteria producing human infections that are difficult to treat has led to a proliferation of studies in recent years investigating resistance in livestock, food products, the environment and people, as well as in the mechanisms of transfer of the genetic elements of resistance between bacteria, and the routes, or risk pathways, by which the spread of resistance might occur. The possibility of transfer of resistant genetic elements between bacteria in mixed populations adds many additional and complex potential routes of spread. There is now considerable evidence that transfer of antimicrobial resistance from food-producing animals to humans directly via the food chain is a likely route of spread. The application of animal wastes to farmland and subsequent leaching into watercourses has also been shown to lead to many potential, but less well-documented, pathways for spread. Often, however, where contamination of water sources, processed foods, and other environmental sites is concerned, specific routes of circulation are unclear and may well involve human sources of contamination. Examination of water sources in particular may be difficult due to dilution and their natural flow. Also, as meat is comparatively easy to examine, and is frequently suspected of being a source of spread, there is some bias in favour of studying this vehicle. Such complexities mean that, with the evidence currently available, it is not possible to prioritise the importance of potential risk pathways and circulation routes.

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