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New insights into devastating cattle disease
Trypanosomiasis causes economic hardship through fever, anaemia and weight loss.
Finding could lead to new treatments for African trypanosomiasis.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute have gained fresh insights into the parasite that causes animal African trypanosome (AAT) infection, also known as sleeping sickness.

The study, published in PLOS Pathogens, reveals key differences in the biology of the Trypanosome congolense parasite, which causes infection in animals, compared with the closely related T. brucei, which affects humans.

Scientists hope their findings will lead to new drugs for AAT and support further studies into the T.congolese parasite, which is spread by biting flies and mainly affects cattle in sub-Saharan Africa.

The team also hopes that the findings will explain how drug resistance has hampered efforts to treat the disease. The same drugs have been used to manage infections for decades, and new therapies are urgently needed.

“The scale of animal African trypanosome infections is enormous, causing devastation to livestock, especially for cattle farmers,” explains Professor Liam Morrison of the Roslin Institute. “There are limited treatments available, and drug resistance is a significant problem. This research forms a valuable resource for the T. congolense parasite, which we hope will underpin more research to target this important pathogen.”

Trypanosomiasis is a chronic disease of livestock that causes fever, anaemia and weight loss. The condition is of most importance in cattle, but other animals, including dogs, can also be affected.

“Trypanosomiasis is a major problem for livestock owners in Africa, Asia and Latin America,” explains Michael Pearce from industry partner, GALVmed. “Developing new drug products is costly and it takes many years to develop and register safe and efficacious treatments.

“Understanding the metabolism of parasites such a trypanosomes helps researchers identify candidate molecules with the best chance of translation in to a successful treatment,” he said.

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RCVS Fellowship applications open

News Story 1
 Applications have now opened for RCVS Fellowship 2022. The RCVS is encouraging anyone who would like to be considered for Fellowship to apply, and if successful, they will be welcomed into the Fellowship next year.

The process for joining the fellowship has changed slightly for this year, as applicants will now need two signed referee forms instead of three professional references, and five assessors will review each application instead of three.

The deadline for applications is 14 February 2022, and more information on how to apply can be found here. If applicants have any questions, or would like informal advice from previous successful applicants, they are encouraged to contact Ceri Via Email 

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News Shorts
Horiba announces veterinary haematology webinar

Horiba Medical has announced a free webinar providing practical insight on best practice in veterinary haematology. Entitled 'In practice haematology - Beyond the pale!' the webinar will be presented by Ronnie Barron from the University of Glasgow Veterinary School.

Ronnie's presentation, which will conclude with a Q&A session, will look at QC and artefacts of sample quality and review the effects of different pathologies. Using images, photomicrographs and video links, he will also explain the techniques and equipment needed to complement analytical automation to confirm results quality.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, October 28 (7.30-9pm). For more details and to register, click here.