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Fat 'crucial' for Marek's disease virus infection
Worldwide losses relating to MDV are estimated to cost up to $2 billion.
Researchers identify new pathways involved in development of the disease

The storage and production of fat is crucial for Marek’s disease virus (MDV) to replicate in chickens, according to new research.

The study, published in the Journal of Virology, identifies new pathways that are involved in the development of the disease. Scientists say these can help to generate control strategies for the virus which could reduce its spread.

Study author Dr Shahriar Behboudi from The Pirbright Institute said: “Some viruses exploit host cell machinery to produce components required for their replication and spread. We found that MDV uses the host cells to produce and store fats, contributing to the replication of the virus and possibly clogging the arteries.”

MDV is a highly contagious disease of chickens that leads to the build-up of fatty substances in the arteries. The disease is a major threat to the poultry industry, with worldwide losses relating to MDV estimated to cost up to $2 billion.

Researchers identified chemical inhibitors that disrupted two different but connected fat-production pathways which significantly reduced virus replication.

The scientists say that while these inhibitors helped them to identify the cellular mechanisms the virus disrupts, they would not be suitable for anti-viral development owing to their side effects. There would also be the possibility of transfer to meat and eggs.

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Registrations open for overseas veterinary professionals course

News Story 1
 Registrations are now open for the RCVS CPD course for overseas veterinary professionals, which covers an introduction to the UK veterinary professions.

The course is aimed at overseas-qualified veterinary surgeons and nurses during their first two years of working in the UK, in addition to those considering working here. It provides graduates with the key information and skills required to practice in the UK, as well as helping them understand their legal duties as veterinary professionals.

For more information and to book your place please click here. The course will be held at Belgravia House, London, on Wednesday 12 June.  

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News Shorts
BVA launches award to celebrate young vets

A new award has been launched to celebrate inspirational young vets who are making a difference in their day to day work.

Nominations are now open for the BVA Young Vet of the Year Award, which is the first of its kind. It is open to all vets registered with the RCVS in the first eight years of their careers, working in any veterinary sphere, including clinical practice, research, education or veterinary politics. Organisers are looking for an ‘exceptional young vet’ whose work has benefitted the veterinary community or the workplace.

The awards are open for self-entry and nominations by 1 August 2019. The winner will be announced at London Vet Show on 14 November 2019, where a £1000 cash prize will be awarded, alongside a ‘career enhancing experience’ with Zoetis.