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Posted: 17th September 2019

New website for veterinary researchers to find resources and collaborate
“This really takes veterinary immunology forward in ways we have been struggling with for many years."

The Immunological Toolbox features comprehensive repository of antibodies

A new website for veterinary researchers to find resources and collaborate has been launched by scientists at the Pirbright and Roslin Institutes.

The Immunological Toolbox features an up-to-date and comprehensive repository of antibodies and modified proteins available from academic institutes and commercial organisations.

It contains some 1600 immortalised cell lines that produce well-characterised antibodies against pig, chicken sheep, horse, goat and fish molecules. Users can search the location, supply and application of these immune reagents, and submit requests for new reagents and antibody production.

The website also enables researchers to provide feedback about the use of each reagent. Once registered, members can leave ratings, comments, submit supporting data, references images and any other evidence they see fit. 

Professor Gary Entrican, chair of the IUIS Veterinary Immunology Committee said: “The Immunological Toolbox website is an excellent resource for the veterinary immunology community. We have never before had a website where we could search for reagent specificity, backed-up with functional data and the facility to fill gaps in capability by commissioning reagent production. 

“This really takes veterinary immunology forward in ways we have been struggling with for many years. I encourage all members of our community to use the website and contribute information on reagent specificity and function for the collective good.”

Platforms similar to this have previously been developed, but a lack of funding has meant they have been difficult to maintain.

“The Immunological Toolbox has a funding model that is designed to last the test of time," explains Professor John Hammond, project lead at Pirbright.

"Instead of being funded through one or two grants that span a handful of years, the Toolbox is supported through Pirbright and Roslin’s long term strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC UKRI), which provides a new level of sustainability.”

Researchers expect the number of reagents and species included to increase as more information is gathered from institutions across the globe.

Image (C) Pirbright Institute.

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