Scientists work to protect N. Ireland from bird flu

17-09-2008 | |

Scientists are now working on 2 international projects aimed at protecting Northern Ireland’s agri-food industry from bird flu.

The Queen’s scientists are working with colleagues from other EU member states and the Far East in the FLUTEST project to provide improved diagnosis and early warning systems for bird flu.
Gordon Allan, an Honorary Professor at Queen’s who is also a Principal Scientific Officer in the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), is leading researchers from both institutions in the European Commission-funded projects, which have each been awarded £130,000.
Professor Allan: “Both of these viruses pose a significant threat to the agri-food industry in Northern Ireland and rapid detection of the viruses in any suspect infected animals is an important step in controlling and eliminating potential outbreaks,” says Professor Allan, adding that it is important to the agri-food industry of Ireland that researchers, both North and South of the border, continue to participate in these large EC-funded projects.
“These multinational collaborations enable locally-based scientists to input expertise but they also gain considerable information from partners around the world on how to successfully fight the increasing threat to our local industry.

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