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Promising new live vaccine for equine influenza
The vaccine was created using reverse genetics, which means it can be updated to protect against emerging strains.
Scientists say progress is important for human and animal health

A new ‘live attenuated’ vaccine against equine influenza is showing promise, an initial trial suggests.

According to a paper published in the journal Virology, a single spray of the vaccine protected mice and horses against the H3N8 equine influenza virus, which is currently circulating.

Vaccinated horses reportedly showed none of the ‘tell-tale’ signs of influenza - which include nasal discharge, coughing and wheezing - after being exposed to a natural virus. In addition, scientists said no negative side effects were seen.

However, the study was small and involved only six horses, so plans are underway to conduct a larger study.

Given as a spray through the nose, the vaccine works by replicating and generating an immune response in the nose, where the virus first enters the body. Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center said the idea is to stop the virus taking hold in the horse’s respiratory tract.

The vaccine was created using a genetic engineering technique called reverse genetics, which offers a major advantage as it can be updated quickly and easily to protect against emerging strains. Traditional vaccines, on the other hand, take months to produce and do not allow the same flexibility.

Equine influenza is currently circulating in North America and Europe and is highly contagious, yet there has not been an updated vaccine for 25 years.

Associate professor Luis Martinez-Sobrido, said a new vaccine is not only important for animal health, but for humans too.

Animals such as horses, pigs and dogs can be infected with multiple influenza viruses and have the potential to act as ‘mixing vessels’, creating new strains that could infect people. While this has not yet occurred, it is possible, and these strains would be particularly dangerous as humans would have no pre-existing immunity.

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New online dental resource for vets and horse owners

News Story 1
 The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has launched a new online dental resource for vets and horse owners.

The veterinary section of the resource is aimed at primary practice equine vets who are performing dentals for clients as part of a routine care programme. Information includes 'how to perform a thorough oral exam,' guidelines for charting, and a list of BEVA equine vets with postgraduate qualifications in equine dentistry.

Free to BEVA members, the new resource is supported by a range of practical courses, veterinary CPD, workshops and webinars. To find out more visit the BEVA website 

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Vet school runs event for aspiring vets and nurses

Bristol Veterinary School is hosting an event for aspiring vets and vet nurses, to allow them to experience life as a student and find out what itís like to work in veterinary medicine. The one-day event, called VetQuest, will be held at the Langford Campus and includes a tour, talks on admissions and work experience, and the chance to take part in practical sessions. Taking place on Saturday 27 October, the event is primarily aimed at 11-12 year olds and costs £50, including lunch. There are a limited number of subsidised tickets for £10. To book, visit VetQuest 2018