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Hog Producer Hailed For Philanthropy

The Loewen Foundation and the Steinbach Community Foundation have named Ste. Anne-area hog farmer Marg Rempel as their Philanthropist of the Year.

According to a newsletter from the Manitoba Pork Council, the award includes a $2,000 donation to an organization of the recipient’s choice, which Rempel has directed to the Bethesda Foundation, supporting Steinbach’s Bethesda Hospital.

A board member for the foundation, a pork council delegate and a member of the Steinbach Community Health Committee, Rempel has also done mission work for years.

Rempel, who also grows grain on 1,600 acres, works with other local hog farmers to support the area food bank by donating cull hogs for slaughter at Earl’s Meat Market in Steinbach.

Research May Beef Up Flu Shots For Chickens

Biologists may have found a protein on the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu virus that chickens’ immune systems can be better trained to attack.

University of Guelph pathobiology professor Shayan Sharif said the team’s work may not only lead to vaccines that better protect chickens, but control H5N1’s transmission from birds to humans.

Vaccines are available to protect domestic poultry from H5N1 virus, but “very little” is known about chickens’ immune response to the H5 flu.

To that end, “we have found one of the molecular determinants of the H5N1 avian influenza virus that can induce immune responses in chickens,” Sharif said last week.

Sharif’s research team has identified a small peptide, a protein found on the surface of the H5 virus. The team’s work shows it’s recognized by the chicken’s T-cells, which attack the virus and also trigger production of antibodies.

The discovery marks the first time scientists have identified a T-cell epitope– a protein on a virus particle recognized by the immune system – on a flu virus found in chickens.

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