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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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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”