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Novel approach to amoebic gill disease in salmon could benefit humans
Amoebic gill disease is a major disease of farmed Atlantic salmon.

Scientists to repurpose drugs used to treat human parasitic diseases.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow are developing a novel approach to the treatment of amoebic gill disease that could drive down the cost of drugs currently used to treat parasitic diseases in humans.

Caused by the parasite Neoparamoeba perurans, amoebic gill disease (AGD) is major disease of farmed Atrlantic salmon, resulting in severe economic losses across the world. The parasite causes proliferative gill disease, with symptoms including increased mucus on the gills, swollen tissue and breathing difficulties.

In the study, scientists propose to repurpose drugs used to treat human parasitic diseases, such as sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, to manage AGD in Atlantic salmon.

Using the University's 'drug discovery pipeline', researchers propose to test the potency of these drugs against Neoparamoeba perurans. The team will then test a candidate drug for activity against ADG in Atlantic salmon at a marine trial site in Ireland.

Researchers hope that by opening new markets for these drugs, it will drive down the cost of parasitic treatment in humans, particularly in the developing world where unaffordable healthcare can lead to millions of unnecessary deaths.

Study co-author Dr Martin Llewellyn, said: “This project is a great opportunity to understand some of the science behind symbiosis, develop a much-needed drug for salmon aquaculture and also hopefully have a beneficial impact on the treatment of diseases that impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the tropics.”

Funded by the BBSRC, the project will involve a collaboration with the Marine Institute, Ireland and Dalhousie University, Canada.

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Budding 'Dr Dolittles' sought for writing competition

News Story 1
 Vets are being invited to enter a writing competition run by the Page Turner Awards for a chance to get their story published or even made into a film.

Dubbed the 'Rolls Royce' of writing awards, the Page Turner competition provides an opportunity for aspiring writers to submit unpublished fiction and non-fiction work to be read by a panel of influential players in the publishing industry.

A spokesperson said: 'Do you think of yourself as a magical healer, like Dr Dolittle. Or maybe you have a story to share about the times when, sadly, animals can't be treated, and pet owners reflect on those moments they took for granted."

For more information, visit pageturnerawards.com 

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News Shorts
Avian influenza confirmed in Lancashire

A case of highly pathogenic (HPAI H5N8) avian influenza has been confirmed in two captive peregrine falcons on a non-commercial, non-poultry premises near Skelmersdale, West Lancashire.

Following a risk assessment, APHA has declared that no disease control zones have been put in place surrounding this non-commercial, non-poultry premises.

Eighteen cases of HPAI H5N8 have now been identified in poultry and other captive birds in England. A housing order for poultry and captive birds introduced by Defra to control the spread of the disease expired on 31 March, although bird keepers in England are still required by law to comply with biosecurity measures.

For more information, please click here.