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New genetic groups of FMDV discovered
Scientists say there could be more novel FMDV genotypes that remain un-sampled and should now be examined to help aid FMD control.
More novel genotypes could exist, Pirbright says

Scientists have discovered two new genetic groups of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV).

There are seven serotypes of FMDV, of which type O, A, SAT 1, SAT 2 and SAT 3 are currently circulating in Africa.

A research team from the Pirbright Institute studied the genetic material of FMDV samples from eastern and southern Africa. They found that while the newly discovered genotypes belong to the SAT serotype, they have distinct genetic traits that are not shared with other SAT viruses.

It is thought that the new virus groups may be representative of viruses that existed before the Great African Rinderpest Pandemic in 1887-1897, which caused a mass die-off of cattle and African buffalo.

This is likely to have caused the extinction of many FMDV strains that were circulating at the time, leaving only small ‘pockets’ of FMDV in isolated buffalo populations.

After the rinderpest pandemic ended, scientists speculate that serotypes O and A were re-introduced into Africa from other continents through livestock imports. Meanwhile SAT serotypes are thought to have re-emerged from the clusters of African buffalo that survived the pandemic.

Novel strains identified in the recent study are believed to contain genetic signatures of the FMD viruses that existed before the pandemic.

According to the research team, the study suggests there could be more novel FMDV genotypes that remain un-sampled and should now be examined to help aid FMD control.

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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 www.eventbrite.co.uk  

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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).