Luis Nieto

FDA’s Proposes Biomass Method to Obtain Animal Antimicrobial Sales and Distribution Data based on Animal Species and Weight

Aug 14, 2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is publishing a paper proposing the use of a biomass denominator to adjust annual data on the amount of antimicrobials sold or distributed for use in food-producing animals in the United States. This adjusted estimate will provide insight into broad shifts in the amount of antimicrobials sold for use in food-producing animals and give the agency a more nuanced view of why sales increase or decrease over time in a manner that is specific to U.S. animal production. Such analysis will also support our ongoing efforts to encourage the judicious use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals to help ensure the continued availability of safe and effective antimicrobials for animals and humans. A biomass denominator is defined as the population of a given livestock species in the U.S. multiplied by the average weight of that species. The proposed method will help calculate estimates of annual antimicrobial drug sales adjusted for the size of the animal population (also known as the animal biomass) potentially being treated... ...

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Turtle study provides insights into tumour diseases

Aug 14, 2017

Scientists engineer turtle skin to grow tumour-associated virus Scientists are a step closer to fighting viral diseases that threaten endangered animals and humans, thanks to a new study led by US Geological Survey. In a collaborative project, scientists reconstructed the skin of endangered green turtles, marking the first time this has ever been achieved in a non-mammal. In turn, this helped them to grow a tumour-associated virus to better understand certain human diseases. In the study, scientists successfully reconstructed the skin of endangered green turtles to grow a virus called chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5). ChHV5 is linked to fibropapillomatosis (FP), a devastating tumour disease that can harm turtles’ immune systems, leading to secondary infections, emaciation and death. “Fibropapillomatosis is the most common infectious disease affecting endangered green turtles,” explained Thierry Work, a USGS scientist and the lead author of the study. “Our findings provide a significant advancement in studying FP, and may eventually help scientists better understand other herpes virus-induced tumour diseases, including those of humans.” Writing in the Journal... ...

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Rabies vaccination programme gets underway in Kabul

Aug 14, 2017

Local vets working to end the culling of free-roaming dogs Animal welfare charity Mayhew International has begun its first ever mass rabies vaccination programme in Kabul, Afghanistan. In January, Mayhew negotiated a landmark agreement with authorities to end the culling of free-roaming dogs in Kabul. Since then, Mayhew’s Afghanistan country director, Dr Abdul-Jalil Mohammadzai DVM, has been setting up the charity’s NGO facilities and working to implement a long-term and sustainable animal welfare strategy. The mass rabies vaccination programme began on Sunday (6 August) and will cover the 16 main districts of Kabul. Local staff, including vets and other veterinary professionals, have been employed by the charity to help deliver the programme and will work as vaccinators, surveyors and data recorders. Mayhew has decribed the programmes so far as a ‘huge success’, generating lots of interest from the locals and a ‘good start’ to their target of vaccinating up to 15,000 dogs. “Our mass rabies vaccination programme is very much welcomed by the government and the people in Kabul. We... ...

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No simple way to predict BOAS – study

Aug 7, 2017

Researchers assess predictive value of measurements  There is no simple way to predict whether an apparently healthy pug or French bulldog will go on to develop breathing difficulties, according to new research. The findings, published in PLOS ONE, could have implications for attempts to ‘breed out’ the potentially life-threatening condition. In 2015, a study by the RVC suggested that dogs whose muzzles accounted for less than half their cranial lengths and dogs with thicker neck girths were at higher risk of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS). But new research, published by the University of Cambridge, suggests that these measures applied to individual breeds are not dependable for this purpose. In the study, researchers took measurements from some 600 pugs, bulldogs and French bulldogs. The measurements included head and neck shape, the external appearance of nostrils, body size and condition score. Each of the dogs had been graded for respiratory function. The team found that while the external head measurements did have some predictive value for respiratory function, the relationship was not... ...

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Defra increases risk level for ASF

Aug 7, 2017

Vets ‘should remind themselves of the clinical signs’  The UK’s risk status for African swine fever has been raised from ‘very low’ to ‘low’, after the first outbreak in Romania and continuing cases in the Czech Republic and Poland. Defra described these outbreaks as ‘concerning’ because they suggest ‘a spread in geographic distribution, a possible drop in biosecurity awareness and therefore an increase in the weight of infection in East Europe’. There have been no recent consignments of live pigs from the Czech Republic or Romania to the UK, and the UK only imports a very small amount of pig products from these countries. However, Defra said there could be ‘substantial’ movement of people, vehicles and personal imports of pork products, which is why the UK’s risk level has been increased. Veterinary surgeons and farmers in the UK are urged to remind themselves of the clinical signs of ASF, which may not be immediately obvious. Some disease reports suggest this virus appears to have reduced pathogenicity. Pig keepers must ensure... ...

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Cutting-edge methods produce the first full-body, 3D “digital dissection” of a frog

Aug 7, 2017

Biology and anatomy students often encounter animal dissections in their coursework; for many, their first such experience involves dissecting frogs. A new paper by Royal Veterinary College researchers Dr. Laura Porro and Dr. Christopher Richards published in the Journal of Anatomy uses cutting-edge imaging techniques to produce an exquisitely detailed three-dimensional digital dissection of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Throughout biology and medical science, computed tomography (CT) scanning is used to visualize the skeletons of humans and animals. However, CT scans have a drawback – they cannot distinguished between different soft tissues, such as individual muscles, organs and nerves. Porro and Richards applied a recently developed method that uses iodine to stain specimens prior to scanning, allowing both bones and soft tissues to be clearly distinguished from each other in CT scans. Imaging software was then used to digitally separate individual bones, muscles, organs and nerves from each other, ultimately producing a highly detailed, full-body 3D model of the frog. Dr. Porro said: “This technique has been successfully applied to... ...

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Nutriad Presents New Poultry Gut Health Research Data

Aug 7, 2017

Multinational feed additives producer Nutriad continues to strengthen its position as an innovator and leader in research on natural digestive performance additives. At the 2017 Annual Poultry Science Association (PSA) meeting, which was recently held in Orlando (Fl) USA, Dr. Haitham Yakout, Director of Technical Support for Nutriad presented two research findings from recent studies on digestive performance technologies. In sponsoring the event Nutriad further confirmed its commitment to the poultry industry. The first study highlighted the application of Quorum Sensing (QS) as a tool for selecting botanical ingredients for feed additives. The use of botanical additives has been on the rise, driven by new regulations on the usage of antibiotics growth promoters, and its mode of action has been vastly studied. With a proprietary formulation of various botanicals, a positive impact on performance can be achieved on QS by disrupting the pathogens communications, thus reducing their negative impact on overall animal health. In a second study, results of a feeding program approach in broilers was presented, combining the application... ...

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Study reveals demographics and disorders of German shepherds

Jul 31, 2017

Research will allow vets to make evidence-based recommendations  New research has revealed fresh insights into the demographics and disorders of German Shepherd dogs. It is hoped the information will raise awareness of the susceptibility of German shepherds to a variety of health conditions, inform diagnosis and treatment, and help potential owners decided between a male and a female puppy. One of the UK’s most popular breeds of dog, the German Shepherd is used for herding, policing, guarding, military and guide-dog work. But, over the decades, its physical shape has become more extreme. Today, there is much debate about how this impacts the overall health of the breed. In a new study, researchers from the RVC’s VetCompass programme analysed data from hundreds of clinical records across the UK. Their findings reveal: ▪    That German shepherds are not as popular in the UK as they once were, falling from 3.5 per cent of all dogs born in 2005, to 2.3 per cent in 2013 ▪    Some 63.43 per cent of German shepherds... ...

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BVA says further evidence needed before changes made in antibiotic prescribing

Jul 31, 2017

An article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has questioned the validity of currently accepted guidelines for completing a course of antibiotics, as prescribed. It suggests that there is little evidence that failing to complete a prescribed antibiotic course could contribute to antibiotic resistance. Responding to the possible implications of this article, the British Veterinary Association is cautioning against any changes to the duration or dosage of antibiotic prescriptions, until further evidence is provided to support such changes. BVA Junior Vice President John Fishwick said: “We’re very aware of the global threat antimicrobial resistance poses to human and animal health, and the UK veterinary profession is committed to the responsible use of antibiotics. Medicines should never be used to compensate for poor husbandry practices and routine habitual prophylactic use in healthy animals to prevent disease is a no-go. “The article in the BMJ suggests that antibiotics should be used for as short a period as possible, and that we should move away from the concept of following a predetermined course. This... ...

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Royal Veterinary College and Evgen Pharma secure funding to explore treatment for osteoarthritis

Jul 27, 2017

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and Evgen Pharma, a clinical stage drug development company, have secured funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for a 4-year PhD studentship focused on investigating treatment for osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition which affects joints, causing pain and stiffness. There are now almost 9 million people in the UK suffering from hand, foot, spine, hip and knee osteoarthritis. There is currently no cure nor treatment for osteoarthritis and sufferers are destined to receive palliative pain relief up until a time when joint replacement remains the only option. The BBRSC funding for this Industrial Co-operative Awards in Science & Technology (CASE) PhD Studentship, will allow the RVC and Evgen Pharma to build upon a prior collaboration investigating the potential of the drug SFX-01 as a treatment for osteoarthritis. The RVC has long been at the forefront of the One Health initiative, which considers the interrelationships between human and animal health. Previous research by the team from the Skeletal Biology Group at the RVC,... ...

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