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Agreement to develop E. coli O157:H7 vaccine
Researchers at work on the project in the Roslin Institute
Collaborative research enters commercial phase

Roslin Technologies has signed an agreement with animal sciences research establishments Moredun Research Institute, Scotland’s Rural College and the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, to fund the commercial development of an E. coli O157:H7 vaccine for cattle, which it is claimed will prevent illness in humans.

E. coli O157:H7 is a pathogenic bacterium of cattle that can cause life-threatening food-borne illness in humans through the consumption of contaminated products, such as dairy products and meat. Despite efforts to reduce contamination of food, E. coli O157:H7 causes one to 10 cases per 100,000 people, with certain countries having clusters of more virulent strains – notably the UK, USA, Argentina and Sweden.
The experimental vaccine has been developed to limit E. coli O157:H7 shedding from – and transmission between – cattle. Although the bacteria do not harm cattle, farmers will be encouraged to vaccinate animals against infection with this new vaccine. Early results have indicated that this vaccine may be more effective than other previous attempts and have a greater impact in reducing human exposure and infection.

The project team has been led by Dr Simon Wheeler COO of Roslin Technologies, with significant input from the principal investigators, Professor David Gally from Roslin Institute and Dr Tom McNeilly from Moredun Research Institute, who have been doing the fundamental research necessary to really understand whether the vaccine works and the essential science behind it.

Under the new agreement, Roslin Technologies will perform a two-step validation trial from May  to September 2020 in Nebraska, USA. The field trials will examine ‘super-shedding’ in cattle to discover whether the vaccine prevents shedding of the bacteria and is viable for commercial use.
The background research was funded  in part by UK agencies Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs), BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, FSA/FSS (Food Standards Agency/Food Standards Scotland), and other commercial partners. This valuable contribution is recognised by the project team.

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.