The UK Veterinary Immunological Toolbox Website: promoting vaccine research by facilitating communication and removing reagent barriers
Using the best animal models to study immune responses against specific pathogens or vaccines can dramatically accelerate our understanding. Veterinary species are well studied, particularly livestock, to reduce their disease burden. They have also proven to be powerful models, especially for zoonotic pathogens and novel vaccination strategies. A prerequisite for any model selection is having the right quality and range of species-specific immunological reagents. To help promote the widest possible use of veterinary species, an open access website (https://www.immunologicaltoolbox.co.uk) has been created as a central community annotated hub for veterinary immunological reagents. The website is also the portal into services offered by the UK Immunological Toolbox project that includes antibody generation, sequencing and recombinant expression. The funding for this effort is linked into sustainable sources but ultimate success still relies on community engagement to continually increase the quality and quantity of information. It is hoped that as more users and reagent owners engage it will become an essential resource for researchers, veterinarians and clinicians alike by removing barriers that prevent the use of the most informative animal models.