PIGSs teammembers gave a webinar for Dutch veterinarians

Norbert Stockhofe and Manouk Vrieling gave a webinar for Dutch veterinarians


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World Microbiome Day 27 June 2020

On World Microbiome Day public engagement events are happening worldwide to celebrate the wide diversity of the microbiome and its importance in human and planetary health, as well as in our food system. 


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COVID-19 impact on IRTA analyzed

IRTA’s director Josep Usall analyzed the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having in IRTA. Many projects, including PIGSs, are experiencing delays due to work restrictions and prioritization of COVID-19 activities. 


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IMAGEN programme funded by NWO-TTW: a better life for pigs and laying hens

Better life for pigs and chickens

The recently funded IMAGEN programme, coordinated by Wageningen University & Research, brings research into animal behaviour together with computer science to improve the health and welfare of pigs and laying hens and to reduce the ecological footprint of the food production.


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IRTA, a key player for the stimulus of agri-food sector after COVID-19

The main Catalan agri-food companies, together with the Vice President Pere Aragonés and the Consellera of Agriculture Teresa Jordà, participated in a telematic meeting organized by the Institute to assess the effects of the pandemic in the sector.


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Establishment of ALI-Macrophage co-culture system with porcine alveolar and mouse bone marrow derived macrophages

In ALI cultures, basal cells of the upper respiratory epithelial cells, mainly tracheal and bronchial basal epithelial cells, are used. By using various growth supplements, these cells are allowed to differentiate. This method closely mimics the in vivo situation. However, the lack of some of the innate immune cells in this system, which are commonly present in the upper respiratory tract, is a drawback in fully representing this the in vivo situation. In the PIGSs project we succeeded in overcoming hurdle by the establishment of an ALI-macrophage co-culture system. 


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Webinar organized by Schothorst Feed Research: The role of gut microbiota on welfare of pigs.

The microbiota-gut-brain axis (MGBA) plays a big role in pig welfare: feeding and social behaviour, stress, fear and memory. A better understanding of the influence of the MGBA on welfare is needed to develop innovative feeding strategies that can improve both animal performance, health and welfare. A webinar organized by Schothorst Feed Research will present latest data on the role of gut microbiota on welfare of pigs. 


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How is COVID-19 affecting the pork and commodity markets?

The health crisis caused by COVID-19 is affecting the pig sector, both in the French and international markets. Companies in the sector are experiencing major changes in their operations. Pig prices are falling due to lower demand from slaughterhouses, affected by labor shortages and problems accessing foreign markets. Despite the strong demand for exports to third countries, these new elements are limiting the price of pork for the time being.


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Identification of novel virulence factors of Streptococcus suis:

Use of precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) and air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures as in vitro models to reduce experimental animal infection


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Wageningen Bioveterinary Research supports large-scale testing corona patients in the Netherlands

Samples to test corona patients for the COVID-19 virus are sent to the Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) laboratory as of Monday 30 March. This constitutes a significant increase in the testing capacity in the Netherlands.

 

 


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Covid-19 can put the human teams on our farms at risk.

Covid-19 can put the human teams on our farms at risk. A very interesting review was published by Van Doremalen et al on coronavirus persistence on different materials and in aerosols can help us implement measures on swine farms to reduce the human risk of infection.


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Data presented from the PIGSs project at the Jornadas de porcino in Barcelona

Dr Virginia Aragon from IRTA-CReSA shared with porcine veterinarians an update of the studies on tonsil microbiota and the role in Streptococcus suis disease. 


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PIGSs researchers at the Cambridge Science Festival

PIGSs researchers at the Cambridge Science Festival reveal latest insights in Streptococcus suis.


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Dedicated PIGSs meeting on: Identification of new or uncharacterised mutants.

To allign ongoing research activities in the PIGSs project on virulence (work package 2), and identify new or uncharacterised mutants, an ad hoc meeting was organized today (11 February 2020) by Prof. Peter Valentin-Weigand at Wageningen University and Research.


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Course Gut Health in Pigs (The influence of nutrition and immunology) organized by the Wageningen Academy

Maintaining or promoting intestinal health is of crucial importance for optimal production efficiency, overall health and promoting the welfare of production animals such as pigs and poultry. Are you wondering what factors affect gut health? This course was organized by Wageningen Academy on 3 February 2020. 


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Primary porcine respiratory epithelial cell models used in the PIGSs project to study host–pathobiont interactions in the respiratory tract: ALI culture.

There is a growing need for physiologically relevant models of the respiratory epithelium, but recreating these complex functions in vitro is a considerable challenge. In the PIGSs project, Air-Liquid-Interface (ALI) cultures from primary porcine tracheal and bronchial epithelial cells are developed as in vitro culture tools that closely mimics the in vivo situation in pigs. 


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Primary porcine respiratory epithelial cell models used in the PIGSs project to study host–pathobiont interactions in the respiratory tract: PCLS model.

The PIGSs project aims to improve our current understanding of the interplay of commensals, pathobionts, and keystone pathogens in the respiratory tract. Studies to dissect these complex processes should be carried out in respective animal models, e.g., in pigs, or under conditions which most closely mimic in vivo conditions. 


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Characterization of virulence genes in Streptococcus suis using CRISPRi and organoid models

Streptococcus suis is a bacterial pathogen which is a major cause of mortality and economic losses in the pig farming industry. Moreover, it is also a zoonotic pathogen causing human infections worldwide. Almost 100% of pig farms worldwide have carrier animals, but the factors leading to invasive disease are not well understood. Genetic variation within S. suis complicate the development of effective control strategies so that to date, no efficacious, cross-protective vaccines exist for S. suis. The overall aim of this research project is to unravel the host-pathogen interactions that take place during the infection process and thereby aid the development of effective vaccines, anti-virulence strategies and diagnostic tools to combat S. suis infections.


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Mutants constructed in selected candidate virulence genes in S. suis strains

In the PIGSs project we will determine which S. suis are conditionally essential for survival and growth in the ecological niches within the host mainly using data from (1). Transcriptomics under in vivo mimicking conditions, (2). TnSeq mutagenesis under in vivo mimicking conditions and (3). Genomics data from the collection of clinical isolates sequenced during the initial phases of the project.


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Global sample collection of S. suis strains.

Global sample collection of S. suis strains undertaken in PIGSs completed. 


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