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€500K grant to tackle Ebola threat in Uganda
Disease surveillance will be carried out to determine the effectiveness of control and preventative health measures.
Researchers team up as DRC reports 10th outbreak 

Global scientists have been awarded a €500,000 grant to tackle the imminent threat of Ebola in Uganda.

Last month, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reported its 10th Ebola outbreak in the North Kivu province, which borders Uganda.

A total of 223 confirmed and probable cases, including 144 deaths, had been reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) by 18 October. New cases, deaths and suspected cases are being reported daily.

Preparing for an outbreak in Uganda has become a priority, as an esteemed 8,000-10,000 people cross between the countries on market days.

Researchers from the CAPA CT 2 Consortium brings together researchers from the University of Liverpool, Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Uganda and the University of Turin in Italy.

The consortium will explore the pharmacokinetics of remdesivir - an anti-viral drug - in healthy volunteers, and then in patients needing treatment in the event of an outbreak. The research will also guide the best use of the drug in clinical practice, where individual patient factors and impact of disease may affect drug concentrations.

Disease surveillance will also be carried out to determine the effectiveness of control and preventative health measures.

Dr Peter Waitt, based at the Infectious Diseases Institute at Makerere University, said: “The research being conducted by the consortium aims to improve knowledge of the mechanism of action of a prioritised drug by generating local clinical pharmacokinetic data that is needed for accurate interpretation of sparse data from patients requiring the drug.

“Furthermore, in a setting of high HIV prevalence, we will explore drug interactions with antiretroviral drugs and to inform future treatment optimisation approaches. The results will provide the strong, evidence-based recommendation on dosing for human use, and may identify special populations in whom different dosing strategies should be considered.”

 

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”