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Breeding for resistance may control bTB in Africa – study
Breeding for resistance could help to control bTB in Africa.
DNA analysis finds resistance is not necessarily linked to a specific breed of cattle.

Breeding for resistance to tuberculosis (bTB) may help to control the disease in Africa, according to new research.

Writing in the journal Frontiers in Genetics, researchers describe their study in which they compared the DNA of 212 cattle in Cameroon, of which 153 had tested positive for Mycobacterium bovis, the bacteria that cause bTB. 

The study revealed that some of these animals’ genetic makeup conferred a higher level of resistance against bTB. Researchers also found that while there were clusters of animals that differed in their resistance to bTB, there were no apparent differences between breeds. 

Dr Rebecca Callaby from the Centre of Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH) and the Roslin Institute, said: “Our results suggest that resistance to bTB is not necessarily linked to a specific breed of cattle and that resistance to this disease is probably influenced by more than one gene. 

“We hope with further research we will better understand the factors underlying bTB resistance to help to breed healthier cattle and subsequently improve the lives of smallholders in Africa.”

Tuberculosis is estimated to infect an estimated 70,000 people ever year in Africa. In Cameroon, the prevalence is rising and, with no effective vaccine or treatment, breeding for resistance for bTB could help to control the disease.

Selective breeding has already been implemented in other countries, including the UK, where the dairy industry recently introduced a genetic evaluation index that enables farmers and breeders to select Holstein dairy bulls with greater bTB resistance.

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Boehringer Ingelheim to host online Christmas comedy special

News Story 1
 Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) Animal Health is set to host a live Christmas comedy event to provide entertainment and festive fun for veterinary professionals.

BI Animal Health's Christmas Comedy Cracker is a free online event, designed to help veterinary professionals sit back and relax at the end of what has been a difficult year for the whole profession.

The event will take place online at 8pm on Thursday 17 December. Comedian Rhys James will host and the line-up also includes ventriloquist Nina Conti, comedian Zoe Lyons and musical comedy troupe The Noise Next Door.

To register your place for free please visit www.christmascomedycracker.co.uk 

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News Shorts
VMD and VPS announce joint open information day

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) have announced a joint open information day covering topics such as veterinary medicines regulations, antimicrobial resistance, scientific advice and novel therapies.

Taking place on Wednesday 18 November, the virtual event will take the form of a series of pre-recorded webinars and a 'Slido' Q&A session. Links to the webinars and full instructions on how to use Slido will be available on gov.uk on 18 November. To join the mailing list for the event, email director.support@vmd.gov.uk