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.


Characteristics of the H5N1 subtype HPAIV detected from crows in Hokkaido in October 2023

The National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has conducted whole-genome sequencing of a high pathogenicity avian influenza virus (HPAIV) isolated from a dead large-billed crow in Bibai city, Hokkaido prefecture on October 4, 2023. It has been revealed that this virus is classified into the same genotype as H5N1 subtype HPAIV detected in Japan during the 2021/2022 season (fall 2021 to spring 2022) and 2022/2023 season (fall 2022 to spring 2023). Since 2004, this is the first time that same genotype virus has been detected in Japan for three consecutive seasons. From the fact that HPAIV has already been confirmed in wild birds in Japan, we need to be more vigilant against the invasion of the virus into the poultry facilities. Read more

The plant compound tryptanthrin reduces the food poisoning bacteria Campylobacter in the chicken gut at low concentration

Food poisoning due to Campylobacter, with chicken meat as main causative food, has become a major issue. It is thought that the chicken meat gets contaminated by the existence of large amounts of Campylobacter in the intestinal tract of infected chickens, and the contamination of edible parts during the poultry processing. The National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has revealed for the first time that the plant compound tryptanthrin is effective in reducing the number of Campylobacter in the chicken intestinal tract, even at low concentrations. It is expected that the development of plant-based feed using tryptanthrin will lead to a significant reduction in food poisoning caused by Campylobacter. Read more

The high pathogenicity avian influenza viruses of the 2022 season are genetically diverse

The National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has classified the causative virus for 84 cases of high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) that occurred in the domestic poultry facilities during the 2022 season (fall 2022 to spring 2023) into 3 groups and 18 genotypes. It was found that 15 of these genotypes contained genes derived from various avian influenza viruses (AIV) found in wild birds. While all 18 genotyped virus strains were highly lethal to chickens, the average number of days required for death varied depending on the strain, ranging from 2 to 6.2 days. Read more

Development of a simple pre-processing method for the detection of virus-derived genetic materials in blood samples

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) and Takara Bio Co., Ltd. have jointly developed a new simple pre-processing method of blood samples for viral gene detection by real-time PCR. This makes it possible to quickly extract nucleic acids from viruses in blood with only a short heat treatment and centrifugation, and to easily remove components that inhibit PCR reactions. By applying this method to the "Classical Swine Fever Virus (CSFV)/African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) Differential Test Method" used at prefectural animal hygiene centers and the "CSFV Field Strain/Vaccine Strain Differential Test Method" for wild boars, it is expected to largely contribute to prompt implementation of counter measures against these devastating animal diseases through rapid and reliable detection of both causative viruses in various specimens such as blood, sera, and tissue homogenates. Read more

Development of a new molecular testing method that allows the differentiation of field and vaccine strains of classical swine fever virus (CSFV)

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) and Takara Bio Inc. have jointly developed a brand-new real-time PCR method to distinguish between field and vaccine strains of classical swine fever virus (CSFV). This method allows quick determination of whether a wild boar tested to be "CSFV positive" during surveillance was infected by a virulent field strain or orally immunized with a bait-type vaccine strain. In areas where CSF is prevalent and bait-type vaccination is applied, this method will also be useful for monitoring the status of virus circulation and evaluating the effectiveness of bait vaccination of wild boars. Read more

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