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BCG-vaccinated cattle less infectious to other cattle, study finds
The UK government is currently conducting its own research into a deployable vaccine for cattle.
Study in Ethiopia suggests elimination of bovine TB in country is possible.

TB-infected cattle that have previously been given the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine are less infectious to other cattle, a new study has found.
The research, led by the University of Cambridge and Penn State University, found that the BCG vaccine reduced TB transmission between cattle by 74 per cent per cent.

It is the first time this indirect benefit of the vaccine has been measured by scientists.

Conducted in Ethiopia, the study made use of livestock census and movement data to develop a transmission model.

Ethopia has the largest cattle population in Africa, but currently lacks a control programme for bovine TB. Intensive testing and slaughtering infected animals, as carried out in countries such as the UK, is considered to be unfeasible to implement in Ethiopia and other similar countries due to social and economic reasons.

Professor Conlan, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Cambridge's Department of Veterinary Medicine and one of the authors of the study, said: "Results of the model suggest that vaccinating calves within the dairy sector of Ethiopia could reduce the reproduction number of the bacterium -- the R0 -- to below 1, arresting the projected increase in the burden of disease and putting herds on a pathway towards elimination of TB.”

The UK government is currently conducting its own research into creating a deployable vaccine and new DIVA skin test for bovine TB. Currently, the UK does not use the BCG vaccine because it can lead to vaccinated cattle giving false positive test results.

James Wood, Alborada professor of equine and farm animal science at the University of Cambridge's Department of Veterinary Medicine, said: "For over twenty years the UK government has pinned hopes on cattle vaccination for bovine tuberculosis as a solution to reduce the disease and the consequent costs of the controls.

“These results provide important support for the epidemiological benefit that cattle vaccination could have to reduce rates of transmission to and within herds."

The study has been published in the journal Science.

Image © Shutterstock

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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

News Story 1
 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
CVS Group hit by cyber attack

CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.