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Scientists highlight importance of a vaccine for Cryptosporidiosis
Cryptosporidiosis is a concern for beef and dairy farmers across the globe.
Study reveals disease can result in significant production losses.

Scientists have highlighted the importance of developing a vaccine for Cryptosporidiosis, a parasitic disease of primarily young calves caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium parvum.

Researchers at the Moredun Research Institute, together with scientists at the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute, reported that Cryptosporidiosis can result in significant longer-term weight loss and considerable economic burden for farmers.

They found that, on average, a calf with severe disease weighed 34kg less than a calf which showed no clinical signs of Cryptosporidiosis. The direct losses associated with this reduced weight gain related to sales in that year were calculated to be approximately £130 per affected calf, the researchers said.

On top of this, there are further costs incurred from increased feed and husbandry to get cattle to market weights, additional labour to look after sick calves and veterinary treatment.

“Management strategies to help reduce the impact of cryptosporidiosis are important and should be applied to improve the health and welfare of cattle, increase production efficiency and reduce contamination of the farm environment with infectious Cryptosporidium oocysts,” commented Dr Beth Wells of Moredun Research Institute. “Further research is also required working towards a vaccine to prevent this disease.”

Cryptosporidiosis is a concern for beef and dairy farmers across the globe. Symptoms include watery and profuse diarrhoea mainly in calves under three weeks old, causing dehydration, depression and in some cases death.

Currently, there are no vaccines for the disease and only two licenced products in the UK to treat the infection. Scientists say while the treatments can reduce symptoms and shedding of the parasite in faeces, they will not cure the disease.

The study took place during the spring calving of 2017 on a commercial beef suckler farm in Scotland. It was designed to address a knowledge gap on how Cryptosporidium parvum affects the long-term growth of calves, as well as provide data to help evaluate its impact on the efficiency of beef production.

 

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Do you know a practice wellbeing star?

News Story 1
 Has someone in your practice team gone above and beyond to make your workplace a positive one during the coronavirus pandemic? Then why not nominate them for a 2020 Practice Wellbeing Star!

The joint RCVS Mind Matters Initiative/SPVS Practice Wellbeing Star nominations recognise individuals who have held up morale during a time when practices are facing unprecedented staffing and financial issues.

Nominees receive a certificate in recognition of their colleagues' appreciation of their achievements and will be entered into the prize draw for a pair of tickets to attend the joint SPVS and Veterinary Management Group Congress in January 2021.

 

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WellVet reopens ticket sales to online conference platform

Following the success of its online conference, the organisers behind WellVet Weekend have re-opened ticket sales to allow new delegates to access session recordings and its online networking platform.

The day-long conference saw more than 360 veterinary professionals mix activity sessions with personal development CPD, all hosted within a virtual conference platform. Now, with more than 500 minutes of CPD available, the resource is being re-opened to allow full access to the session recordings until May 2021.

Sessions are aimed at providing delegates with a range of proactive wellbeing tools to explore to find ways of improving their mental and physical health. Tickets are limited in number and on sale at wellvet.co.uk until 30th August 2020.