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Antimicrobial resistance threatens one of the most important infrastructures created in the past century: antibiotics. At first glance, it may seem odd to think of antibiotics as infrastructure. Think again. These drugs are everywhere. So engrained has their use become that we now expect – rather than pray for – infectious diseases to be cured. But antibiotics are not only used in the treatment of acute infections.
Chickens are a key source of protein for humans. The poultry industry is predicted to produce approximately 130 million tons of chicken meat in 2020. It is critical that we have sustainable practices to maintain an adequate supply of poultry products for the increasing human population without compromising chicken or human health.
The topic remains a top priority in everyone’s mind as more and more candidates are now going into human trials. Early safety and immunogenicity data are starting to be published for an increasing number of vaccine candidates, and several of these have already progressed to phase III efficacy studies. It’s hard to keep track! This is where we have stepped in.
Throughout January and February the first clinical descriptions of the consequences of infection with the virus, SARS-CoV-2, were being published. When the epidemic in the UK started, we still only knew relatively little about the spectrum of disease that the virus could cause. We name the disease COVID-19, but what is COVID-19? We are fortunate that we have a test (the test for HIV came several years after the first disease, and we still do not have a definitive pre-mortem test for vCJD). So the sensible definition of COVID-19 is “sick and positive test”.

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