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Debilitating parasite finds new transition pathway in dogs
"Dogs are now the key impediment to eradicating this dreadful human disease" - Professor Robbie McDonald.
Dogs eating infected fish has slowed the process of eradicating Guinea worm disease. 

Researchers at the University of Exeter have discovered that the eradication of Guinea worm disease is being impeded by domestic dogs, who are harbouring the parasite by eating infected fish.

Guinea worm disease, usually caught by drinking water containing water fleas carrying the parasite larvae, causes disability and trauma in communities in Chad, Ethiopia, Mali and South Sudan. 

Once inside the body, the worms mate and grow, and after 10 to 14 months, an adult worm of around one metre in length emerges from the body to shed it's larvae back into the water.

Eradication programmes have been hugely successful, with human cases of Guinea worm cut from millions per year in the 1980s, to only 27 cases in 2020. 

However, new research published in Current Biology by researchers at the University of Exeter has revealed a new transmission pathway for the disease, dogs can eat fish which carry the parasite larvae, and maintain the parasite's life-cycle, making it possible for humans to continue to catch the disease. 

Professor Robbie McDonald, who led the study, said: “Dogs are now the key impediment to eradicating this dreadful human disease.

"Our work shows that fisheries, and the facilitation of dogs eating fish, are likely contributing to the persistence of Guinea worm in Chad.

"The challenge now is that this pathogen must be eliminated not only from people but also from animals.

"This is a clear example of where a 'One Health' approach to integrating health of people, animals and the environment is required to eradicate this debilitating human disease."

The paper, entitled "Seasonal fishery facilitates a novel transmission pathway in an emerging animal reservoir of Guinea worm” can be accessed here

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Laura Muir wins gold at Commonwealth Games

News Story 1
 Veterinary surgeon and Olympic silver-medalist Laura Muir scooped the gold medal in the 1500m final Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

Winning Scotland's 12th title of the games, Muir finished in four minutes 2.75 seconds, collecting her second medal in 24 hours.

Dr Muir commented on her win: "I just thought my strength is in my kick and I just tried to trust it and hope nobody would catch me. I ran as hard as I could to the line.

"It is so nice to come here and not just get one medal but two and in such a competitive field. Those girls are fast. It means a lot." 

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Views sought on NOAH Compendium

Users of the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) Compendium app and website are being asked to share their views on how it can be improved.

In a new survey, users are asked about some suggested future developments, such as notifications for new and updated datasheets, sharing links to datasheets, and enhanced search functionality.

It comes after NOAH ceased publication of the NOAH Compendium book as part of its sustainability and environmental commitments. The website and the app will now be the main routes to access datasheets and view any changes.