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Sheep toxin could be linked to MS
“There is a growing body of wider evidence that points to a hypothesis linking MS and ETX".

Discovery could lead to new tests and treatments 

Scientists say exposure to a toxin found in sheep could be linked to the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) in humans.

A study by the University of Exeter and MS Sciences Ltd found that people with MS are more likely to have antibodies against the epsilon toxin (ETX), which suggests they have been exposed to it at some point.

ETX is produced in the gut of livestock by the bacterium, Clostridium perfringens. Whilst it can occur in other animals and even soil, it has primarily been studied as a cause of enterotoxaemia in sheep.

Researchers found 43 per cent of patients with MS were positive for antibodies to ETX, compared to 16 per cent of healthy participants.

Simon Slater, director of MS Sciences Ltd, said: “There is a growing body of wider evidence that points to a hypothesis linking MS and ETX, and we are confident that these significant findings from our latest study will help people get even closer to an answer for the elusive triggers of MS”.

If the link is proven, it would suggest that a vaccine could prevent MS in the early stages of the disease, Slater added.

However, the causes of the disease are not yet fully understood and further research is needed to understand how ETX may be involved in MS and how such findings could be used to develop tests or treatments.

MS is most commonly diagnosed in patients in their 20s and 30s and can affect the brain, causing a wide range of symptoms including problems with vision, movement, sensation and balance. It is estimated that more than a 100,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with MS.

The full research paper is published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal:

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ISFM announces first veterinary nurse conference

News Story 1
 The International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) - the veterinary division of International Cat Care - has announced its first annual conference dedicated to veterinary nurses. The day offers an opportunity to meet up with colleagues and enjoy more than five hours of stimulating CPD.

The conference is being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Stratford-Upon-Avon, on Saturday 15 September 2018. Tickets are £95 per person and include lunch, coffee breaks, downloadable proceedings and CPD certificate. For details and to book your place visit  

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News Shorts
WSAVA awards Australian vet with 'Next Generation’ award

Australian vet Dr Guyan Weerasinghe has been crowned winner of the WSAVA ‘Next Generation’ Veterinary Award. The award recognises those who graduated within the last 10 years and have made a significant contribution to the welfare of companion animals and the veterinary profession as a whole.

Besides maintaining a small animal caseload, Dr Weerasinghe works for the Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture where he is involved with animal disease surveillance and increasing the public health risks in veterinary practice. He also collaborates on various One Health projects across Australia and gives regular talks on the impact of climate change on animal health and welfare.

Dr Weerasinghe will receive his award at the WSAVA World Congress 2018 (25-28 September).