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Novel approach to amoebic gill disease in salmon could benefit humans
Amoebic gill disease is a major disease of farmed Atlantic salmon.

Scientists to repurpose drugs used to treat human parasitic diseases.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow are developing a novel approach to the treatment of amoebic gill disease that could drive down the cost of drugs currently used to treat parasitic diseases in humans.

Caused by the parasite Neoparamoeba perurans, amoebic gill disease (AGD) is major disease of farmed Atrlantic salmon, resulting in severe economic losses across the world. The parasite causes proliferative gill disease, with symptoms including increased mucus on the gills, swollen tissue and breathing difficulties.

In the study, scientists propose to repurpose drugs used to treat human parasitic diseases, such as sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, to manage AGD in Atlantic salmon.

Using the University's 'drug discovery pipeline', researchers propose to test the potency of these drugs against Neoparamoeba perurans. The team will then test a candidate drug for activity against ADG in Atlantic salmon at a marine trial site in Ireland.

Researchers hope that by opening new markets for these drugs, it will drive down the cost of parasitic treatment in humans, particularly in the developing world where unaffordable healthcare can lead to millions of unnecessary deaths.

Study co-author Dr Martin Llewellyn, said: “This project is a great opportunity to understand some of the science behind symbiosis, develop a much-needed drug for salmon aquaculture and also hopefully have a beneficial impact on the treatment of diseases that impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the tropics.”

Funded by the BBSRC, the project will involve a collaboration with the Marine Institute, Ireland and Dalhousie University, Canada.

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Defra extends applications to Zoo Animals Fund

News Story 1
 Defra has extended the deadline for applications for the 100 Million Zoo Animals Fund until 26 February 2021.

Launched in June 2020, the fund provides financial support for zoos and aquariums that have experienced a drop in income caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Grants of up to 730,000 are available, which can be used to pay for essential costs and maintenance, including veterinary care, medicines, animal feed and staffing.

More information about the fund and details of how to apply can be found here

Click here for more...
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APHA confirms eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in England

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has identified an eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in poultry in England.

Confirmed on Tuesday (15 December), the outbreak was found in captive birds and poultry at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Further information about the outbreaks and the latest government advice can be found at gov.uk