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Hyalomma tick confirmed in untravelled UK horse
Horses are important hosts of Hyalomma sp. adults.
Finding highlights importance of tick surveillance to public health 

A Hyalomma rufipes tick has been reported in the UK for the first time, scientists have confirmed.

Writing in the journal Tick-Borne Diseases, researchers said the tick had been identified as a male Hyalomma rufipes and that it had tested positive for Rickettsia aeschlimannii, a disease associated with humans in Africa and Europe.

The tick was sent to Public Health England in September 2018 for identification. It was sent by a vet who had removed it from a horse in Dorset, which had no history of overseas travel.

Researchers say the horse's lack of travel indicates this could be the first evidence of successful moulting of a Hyalomma nymph in the UK.

It has been suggested that the tick may have come into the UK via a migratory bird as an engorged nymph. The nymph was then able to complete its moult to adult stage and find a suitable host, researchers said.

‘This highlights that passive tick surveillance remains an important method for the detection of unusual species that may present a threat to public health in the UK,’ the authors conclude.

'Horses are important hosts of Hyalomma sp. adults in their native range, therefore, further surveillance studies should be conducted to check horses for ticks in the months following spring bird migration; when imported nymphs may have had time to drop off their avian host and moult to adults.’

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Veterinary Evidence Student Awards winners revealed

News Story 1
 The first winners of the RCVS Knowledge Veterinary Evidence Student Awards have been revealed.

Molly Vasanthakumar scooped first prize for her knowledge summary comparing the ecological impact of woven versus disposable drapes. She found that there is not enough evidence that disposable synthetics reduce the risk of surgical site.

Second prize went to Honoria Brown of the University of Cambridge, for her paper: ‘Can hoof wall temperature and digital pulse pressure be used as sensitive non-invasive diagnostic indicators of acute laminitis onset?’

Edinburgh’s Jacqueline Oi Ping Tong won third prize for critically appraising the evidence for whether a daily probiotic improved clinical outcomes in dogs with idiopathic diarrhoea. The papers have all achieved publication in RCVS Knowledge’s peer-reviewed journal, Veterinary Evidence.  

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Animal Welfare Foundation seeks new trustees

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) seeks three new trustees to help drive the charity’s mission to improve animal welfare through veterinary science, education and debate.

Veterinary and animal welfare professionals from across the UK may apply, particularly those with experience in equine and small animal practice and research management. Trustees must attend at least two meetings a year, as well as the annual AWF Discussion Forum in London.

For more information about the role, visit www.animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk. Applications close at midnight on 13 August 2019.