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MRSA susceptible to existing antibiotics, study finds
Researchers identified the genes that make MRSA susceptible to treatment with a combination of the drugs.
Research highlights importance of genomic surveillance

An international study involving scientists from The Roslin Institute has found that a combination of antibiotics and a drug used to treat kidney infections could treat MRSA and limit the spread of antimicrobial resistance.

The study published in Nature Microbiology used genome sequencing technology to examine how a combination of penicillin with clavulanic acid - a medicine used to treat kidney infections - could be used to target MRSA infections.

Researchers identified the genes that make MRSA susceptible to treatment with a combination of the drugs, in which the clavulanic acid prevents an enzyme in the bacteria from destroying the penicillin.

It is hoped the development will aid in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, in which certain medicines have become less effective against some bacteria.

“This study highlights the importance of genomic surveillance – collecting and sequencing representative collections of bacterial strains,” said Dr Ewan Harrison, study lead from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge.

“By combining the DNA sequencing data generated by genomic surveillance with laboratory testing of the strains against a broad selection of antibiotics, we may find other unexpected chinks in the armour of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that might give us new treatment options.”

Dr Gavin Peterson from the Roslin Institute added: “These findings highlight that currently available drugs may be effective against serious infection caused by MRSA, which may represent a new approach to targeting a significant problem in modern healthcare.”

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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit  

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News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."