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New vaccine protects horses against strangles
The Strangvac vaccine protected over 80 per cent of horses in the study.
Strangvac highlights potential of DNA sequencing for human and animal health 

A new protein-based vaccine that protects horses against strangles could available by 2020.

Scientists from the Animal Health Trust (AHT), the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Karolinska Institute and Interval AB have developed the Strangvac vaccine to protect horses from this devastating disease.

Writing in the journal Vaccine, the researchers report the results of three experiments on 16 horses. The horses were exposed to the strangles infection and monitored twice a day for eight days.

They found that, of the 16 horses vaccinated with Strangvac, just three started to show clinical signs of disease. None of the horses developed adverse reactions following vaccination.  

“We are delighted to have shown that our Strangvac vaccine protected over 80 per cent of horses from this dreadful disease,” said Prof. Jan-Ingmar Flock, CEO of Intervacc AB. “Strangles is a scourge of the equine world and the development of Strangvac has the potential to prevent many thousands of horses from falling ill each year.”

“Strangvac is an extremely exciting vaccine” explains Dr. Andrew Waller, head of bacteriology at the AHT. “The vaccine was designed using information from sequencing the DNA of Streptococcus equi and highlights the potential that the genome-era heralds for improving the health of animals and people.

He continued: “Improving the health of horses is a core aim of the Animal Health Trust and we are proud to have helped make this vaccine a reality towards finally breaking the hold this disease currently has on our horses.”
 
“Transfer of the manufacturing process and production of commercial batches are underway towards the registration and launch of Strangvac,” continued Prof. Flock. “We anticipate that Strangvac will be available for use during 2020.”

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Survey seeks to learn about racehorse aftercare

News Story 1
 The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is launching a survey to improve understanding of aftercare for thoroughbreds. The survey has been emailed to trainers, who are asked to share their own experiences, with a focus on life after horses finish their racing careers. It forms part of an equine health and welfare strategy being developed by the BHA. 

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Charity welcomes new ambassadors

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has appointed the actor Anthony Head and renowned canine behaviourist, Sarah Fisher, as official ambassadors. They join existing ambassadors Paul O’Grady, Amanda Holden, David Gandy and Jacqueline Wilson.

Anthony is best known for his roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Iron Lady and Girlfriends. He has previously lent his voice to Battersea’s videos and appeals, as well as performing readings at the charity’s Christmas Carol Concert and Collars & Coats Gala Ball.

Meanwhile Sarah has worked across all three of the charity’s centres, offering advice in dealing with a variety of complex and challenging dogs. She has also fostered several Battersea animals and trained many members of staff in using the Tellington Touch method of training, to keep dogs calm and relaxed.