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Stem cells ‘could be used as an alternative to antibiotics’
"...MSCs could prove useful against antimicrobial resistance and be used as an alternative to antibiotics.”

Study finds MSCs in horses fight bacterial infection 

Stem cells found in horses naturally produce molecules that can fight bacterial infection, according to new research by the Roslin Institute.

The team examined mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are seen in animals and humans and can differentiate into a variety of cell types.

They discovered that MSCs may be able to fight infection in two ways - by acting directly on bacteria and by regulating the activity of immune cells involved in the body’s natural defences.

The endometrium was identified as a particularly promising novel source of MSCs for clinical applications in horses - and likely in other species too.

MSCs obtained from bone marrow or adipose tissue have been used for clinical tissue regeneration in animals for more than 10 years, which scientists say assures their safe use as potential clinical antimicrobials in the future.

Lead author Dr Cristina Esteves said: “This study shows that equine MSCs may act to defend the body against bacterial infection.

"We’re excited about these results as MSCs could prove useful against antimicrobial resistance and be used as an alternative to antibiotics.”

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ZSL London Zoo shares animal X-rays

News Story 1
 A selection of X-ray images showing the inner workings of frogs, turtles, snakes and geckos have been shared by veterinary surgeons at ZSL London Zoo.

Taken as part of a routine health check, the images have been shared as part of ‘Vets in Action’ week - a hand’s on role-playing experience for children that explores the life of a zoo vet.

ZSL London Zoo veterinary nurse Heather Mackintosh said: “It’s great to be able to share the work that goes on behind the scenes at the Zoo to keep our residents in tip-top condition – and our visitors are always amazed to find out more about their favourite animals.” 

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Vets in developing nations given free access to BSAVA’s online library

BSAVA has teamed up with the WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to offer vets in developing nations free access to its online library.

The Association’s ‘Foundation Collection’ is comprised of more than 70 hours of articles, lectures and book chapters covering topics such as basic handling skills, working on a budget and emergency triage. Some of the countries set to benefit include Albania, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.

Nicolette Hayward, of BSAVA International Affairs Committee said: “Our mission is to promote excellence in small animal practice through education and science, so we are delighted to work with WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to share these high-quality resources to the veterinary profession in low and middle-income countries.”