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Drs Junzheng Du and Zhancheng Tian visited Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, South Africa


Drs Junzheng Du and Zhancheng Tian visited Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, South Africa

     Drs Junzheng Du and Zhancheng Tian, invited by Drs Mulumba M and Van Schalkwyk A, had visited Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute of Agricultural Research Council, South Africa, from 10 to 16 April 2016.

     The aim of the visit was to conduct China-South Africa research collaboration programme “Development of novel vaccines against Bluetongue virus and African horse sickness virus based on reverse genetics system (grant CS08-L13)”. During the visit, Drs Tian and Du delivered the presentations about the overview of Lanzhou Veterinary Research institute (LVRI) and the research progress in BTV reverse genetics. Drs Mulumba and Van Schalkwyk made an introduction about Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (OVI) and the research progress in AHSV reverse genetics. They exchanged the information of arbovirus resources each other and further discussed the diagnosis, prevention and control strategy in BTV and AHSV. In addition, they made an agreement about personnel exchange and training, resources sharing and further collaboration project application. Dr Van Schalkwyk A said that they intend to visit LVRI in August 2016 to strengthen collaboration. After the meeting, Drs Tian and Du also visited OVI campus, tick specimen museum, arbovirus antigen bank, arbovirus laboratory and ARC Biotechnology platform. This visit strengthened the international exchanges between two institutes and expand the international cooperation channels.

     The OVI is a flagship institution of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), which is the collaborating centre for both the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) surveillance and control of animal diseases in Africa and the Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) of the United Nations for the emergency preparedness for transboundary animal diseases for Africa. The OVI hosts seven OIE reference laboratories for economically important viral diseases namely: African horse sickness, bluetongue, Foot and mouth disease, lumpy skin disease, Rift valley fever, rabies and African swine fever. They provide a wide range of applied research and consultancy, diagnosis and surveillance on livestock diseases to the national and provincial government and commercial customers. China and South Africa have great potential for cooperation in the field of bluetongue as well as other diseases.