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New Equine Virus test launched
NEV is often misdiagnosed or hidden by other diseases that cause similar symptoms.
Test to prevent misdiagnosis of often fatal disease

The first commercial diagnostic test for New Equine Virus (NEV) has been launched.

First discovered in 2013, NEV is often misdiagnosed or hidden by other diseases that cause similar symptoms, such as anaemia and neurological problems.

It is most often confused with the Swamp Fever virus (EIAV) and Equine Herpesvirus (EHV).

Now, thanks to research by equine biotech firm Equigerminal, vets, laboratories and horse owners will be able to identify this often fatal disease and administer the appropriate treatment.

The test requires a vet to take a blood sample from the horse and send it to the Equigerminal lab. The blood is then analysed and the results are returned to the owner or vet.

When the results are returned, the horse can be given treatment and the spread of the disease can be prevented. Currently, treatment is aimed towards improving the general wellbeing of the horse, monitoring its health and boosting the immune system.

NEV was discovered by Portuguese scientist and veterinary surgeon Isabel Fidalgo Carvalho while completing her PhD in Equine Sciences at the Universities of Oporto and Pittsburgh.

“During my time at University and at Equigerminal, I noticed unusual anaemia and severe neurological signs in horses, which in my PhD I wrongly hypothesized to be attributed to Swamp Fever,” she said. “I then realised, through the samples, that this virus was actually closer to equine HIV – New Equine Virus, or NEV”.

After her discovery, Carvalho launched Equigerminal with fellow scientist Alexandre Vieira Pires.

“We have spent the last five years developing a diagnostic test and a potential cure for NEV.” explains Pires.“We now need to raise awareness of the problem and help vets to diagnose this disease correctly.”

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Big Butterfly Count returns

News Story 1
 The world's biggest survey of butterflies is back for 2020!

Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count launches on Friday, 17 July and will run until Sunday 9 August. Members of the public can get involved by downloading the Big Butterfly Count App or recording results on a downloadable sheet available from bigbutterflycount.org/.

'It's a fantastic activity for people from three to 103 years and we'd encourage everyone to take 15 minutes in an appropriate outdoor space during sunny conditions to simply appreciate the nature around them and do their bit to help us understand butterfly populations,' said a Butterfly Conservation spokesperson. 

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News Shorts
New appointment at Dechra

Dechra Veterinary Products Ltd (Dechra) has announced a key appointment to support veterinary professionals across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Karen Hockley has been appointed as a telesales account manager and will provide the latest products, news and developments from Dechra. She joins the company from a large mixed practice in Northern Ireland where she was the branch manager.

Before that, Karen had worked for a multinational veterinary pharmaceutical company as a key account manager for Northern Ireland. She can be contacted at karen.hockley@dechra.com or 087 219 54 30.