Leeds scientist’s key role in rinderpest eradication

Rinderpest – a virus that can be deadly to cattle – will be officially eradicated in the next year thanks, in part, to the work done by Leeds scientist Dr Anke Brüning-Richardson.

Dr Brüning-Richardson, now a Senior Research Fellow in the Microcephaly and Cancer Group at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, previously worked at the Institute for Animal Health Pirbright developing a rapid pen-side diagnostic chromatographic strip test for the detection of rinderpest in the field.

"This test was developed, validated and field trialled by myself and is now commercially available," explains Dr Brüning-Richardson. "It was crucial in the final steps of the global rinderpest eradication programme (GREP) as reported recently in the media, including BBC Science News website and the Guardian. Rinderpest will be officially declared eradicated in the next year, the only second disease globally eradicated after small pox."

Rinderpest was prevalent in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and the eradication of the virus is an enormous step forward which will save the lives and livelihoods of many of the poorest people in the world.

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