Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

AHT research supports horses and humans
Strangles is one of the most commonly diagnosed infectious diseases of horses.

Scientists identify similarities between life-threatening diseases 

New research by the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has revealed similarities between life-threatening diseases in horses and humans.

For the first time, researchers have been able to sequence the DNA of the strangles bacteria, Streptococcus equi (S.equi), to identify which genes are essential to its survival.

In doing so, they found that over 80 per cent of the essential genes in S.equi are also essential for the human pathogens Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus agalactiae.

Researchers say the work opens up a huge opportunity for sharing vital data to improve medicines for horses, livestock, humans and more.

“Defining the genes required for disease provides us with unprecedented information to design new vaccines against strangles – which could better protect our horses and prevent needless suffering,” explained lead researcher Amelia Charbonneau.

“As with all of our research at the AHT, we share our discoveries to help further scientific knowledge. Not only is this a huge step forward for combatting strangles in horses, but my improved DNA sequencing method and results could be used by scientists working to protect other animals, as well as humans.”

Strangles is one of the most commonly diagnosed infectious diseases of horses. The condition causes great economic loss to the equine industry and is an ever-present threat to horse welfare.

S.equi is closely related to the human pathogens Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A) and Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B). While Group A streptococci cause diseases like impetigo and scarlet fever, Group B streptococci are responsible for meningitis and pneumonia in humans. Group B streptococci can also cause mastitis in cattle.

“The data we have produced will be used to help improve the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and understand how the bacteria causes disease and survives in the environment,” Amelia concludes. “It is a hugely exciting project for the equine industry, human and veterinary medicine.”

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Campaign highlights ‘devastating impact’ of smoking around pets

News Story 1
 Leading vet charity PDSA has launched a campaign highlighting the ‘devastating impact’ that smoking can have on pets. The launch coincides with National No Smoking Day (14 March 2018) and aims to raise awareness of the risks of passive smoking and how to keep pets safe.

“Recent studies highlight that this is a really serious issue, and we want pet owners to know that they can make a real difference by simply choosing to smoke outdoors away from their pets,” said PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan. “We want pet owners to realise that, if they smoke, their pets smoke too.”  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Voting opens for RCVS council elections

Eligible veterinary surgeons can now vote in this year’s RCVS Council elections. Four out of the 10 candidates are already on council and are standing for re-election: David Catlow, Mandisa Greene, Neil Smith, Susan Paterson. The remaining six candidates are not currently on council: John C Davies, Karlien Heyman, John Innes, Thomas Lonsdale, Matthew Plumtree and Iain Richards.

Further information on the candidates can be found on the RCVS website: