Livestocks play an important role in our lives. Animal products such as milk, meat, and eggs supply the proteins we need to stay healthy and build strong bodies. Safe, high quality animal products are produced from healthy livestocks. Animals also contribute to the advancement of biotechnology and life sciences. The preservation of animal health through the implementation of preventive measures to contain various diseases is an important goal. The National Institute of Animal Health (NIAH) covers basic research to diagnosis and contributes to support animal health.

NIAH News

Development of new diagnostic method for Marek's disease by immunohistochemistry

Marek's disease causes tumors in poultry such as chickens and quails, which results in significant economic loss to the poultry industry. Since it is difficult to distinguish this disease from similar diseases, an accurate and simple diagnostic method was required for disease prevention measures. The National Agriculture and Food Research Organization(NARO) has succeeded in producing monoclonal antibodies that specifically detects Marek's disease tumor cells and established a new diagnostic method for Marek's disease by immunohistochemistry using the antibodies. It is expected that this research result will enable accurate and easy definitive diagnosis of Marek's disease, which has been technically difficult until now, and useful for grasping the accurate outbreak situation of Marek's disease and for disease prevention measures. Read more


Source of classical swine fever infection in wild boars in Yamaguchi Prefecture is possibly about 500 km away

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has performed genetic analysis of the classical swine fever virus (CSFV) obtained from the wild boar in Yamaguchi Prefecture, which was confirmed positive in March 2022. It was revealed that it is most closely related to the virus obtained from the wild boar in the eastern part of the Kii Peninsula, about 500 km away from Yamaguchi Prefecture, whose infection was confirmed in May 2021. This result indicates the need for countermeasures against long-distance transmission of the virus. Read more


Development of a new genetic test method that enables simultaneous diagnosis of classical swine fever and African swine fever

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) and Takara Bio Inc. have jointly developed a real-time PCR method that can easily and simultaneously detect the genes of classical swine fever virus (CSFV) and African swine fever virus (ASFV) without purifying the viral nucleic acid from the sample. This test method enables us to detect and differentiate both classical swine fever (CSF) and African swine fever (ASF) within two hours, which generally requires 6 hours for each test. Hence, this test method is expected to be useful for rapid detection of both CSF and ASF to allow early implementation of preventive measures against the diseases. Read more


Genetic diversity of domestic highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of this season

The National Institute of Animal Health, NARO (NIAH) has decoded the entire genome of 57 strains of H5N8 subtype highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) of the specimens obtained from domestic poultry farm and wild birds from November 5, 2020 to February 16, 2021.The combination of eight gene segments carried by these viruses was analyzed. From the analysis it was found that five virus genotypes have invaded the country and four virus genotypes are involved in the outbreak in poultry farm. Read more


Developed an immortalized porcine kidney macrophage cell line, IPKM, supporting efficient replication of African swine fever virus

The National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has developed an innovative (immortalized) porcine cell line that can be subcultured and allows stable in vitro propagation of African swine fever virus. This technique supports detailed investigation of the virus, including the pathogenesis, the improvement of diagnostic procedures and the development of quality vaccines against this pandemic disease.African swine fever (ASF), a disease with high mortality rates of pigs and wild boars, is rapidly spreading from Europe to Asia in these 15 years; its entering Japan is one of major concerns. Read more


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