10:16pm Sunday 05 July 2020

Protecting competition horses from the flu

Dr Janet Daly, a virologist from The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science is lead author on a state-of-the-art review looking at how mathematical modelling can help us bring horse flu under control and protect our horses effectively.

The review, entitled “What can mathematical models bring to the control of equine influenza?”, has been published in the Equine Veterinary Journal. It confirms that vaccination reduces the occurrence and limits the extent of outbreaks, but also that vaccines could be administered more strategically and should contain currently circulating strains of virus.

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Protection afforded by equine flu vaccines is not as straightforward as we might think and the flu virus has an ability to mutate making older vaccines less effective. None of the vaccines currently on sale in the UK have the most recently recommended strains, and only one vaccine in the US achieves this.

Dr Daly said: “This study will help further our understanding of how to better protect horses against the effects of equine influenza. Mathematical modellers have to make some assumptions in developing models, but models are informed by and tested against real data. As a virologist, I find the questions about the data they need to generate their models challenge me to think differently about the disease. “

The review collates the findings from numerous studies over the past 10 years in which mathematical models were used to project how influenza outbreaks are likely to progress in different circumstances and illustrates how this technique can be used to help inform decision-making on prevention and outbreak management.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 42,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World’s Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Janet Daly on +44 (0)115 951 6475, [email protected]

Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke – Media Relations Manager

Email: [email protected] Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park


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