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Gene study examines resistance to campylobacter in chickens
All the chickens used in the study were naturally exposed to campylobacter.
Researchers investigate the genetic make-up of 3,000 chickens.

Scientists have analysed genetic regions in chickens that are linked to the resistance of campylobacter, the leading cause of food poisoning in people.

Their study revealed that while there are genetic factors that influence the colonisation of campylobacter, they only play a minor role, meaning that a better understanding of non-genetic factors is required to further reduce campylobacter levels in poultry. 

The research was led by the RVC and the Roslin Institute in collaboration with the poultry breeding company Aviagen and published in the journal Nature

Study lead Dr Androniki Psifidi, a lecturer in veterinary clinical genetics at the RVC, said “Although we identified a genetic component to resistance of chickens to campylobacter, this was relatively small, and the majority of the chickens we studied already carried regions of the genome associated with resistance to gut colonisation. According to our results, other non-genetic factors play a greater role and will need to be considered in the design of control strategies.”

In the study, researchers investigated the genetic make-up of 3,000 chickens bred for meat to see if elements of the chickens’ genetic code were linked to resistance to colonisation by campylobacter bacteria. 

The team explored variation at specific positions in the chickens’ genome and their link with numbers of campylobacter in the gut of the birds. They also analysed the expression of genes in chickens that were resistant or susceptible to colonisation by the bacteria.

All the chickens used in the study were naturally exposed to campylobacter present in their environment, which mimics how chickens are exposed on a commercial farm.

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WellVet launches spring series of wellbeing talks

News Story 1
 A new spring series of wellbeing talks designed to tackle some of the issues faced in veterinary practices is launching on Saturday (27 February). Hosted by WellVet and Boehringer Ingelheim, the talks will focus on simple, practical tips to improve personal and team wellbeing.

Six 30-minute presentations will be hosted by leading coaching professionals, including Libby Kemkaran, Adrian Nelson-Pratt and occupational psychologist professor Elinor O'Connor. The events will be streamed live on the WellVet Facebook page and can be watched back at any time. For more information, visit 

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News Shorts
2021 NOAH Compendium now available

The 2021 edition of the NOAH Compendium of Data Sheets for Animal Medicines has been published.

Published annually by NOAH, this book is sent to every veterinary practice in the UK for free. The 2021 edition includes an even larger range of products than previous years.

Chief executive Dawn Howard stated that NOAH will shortly be launching a survey for practices on the Compendiums effectiveness.

She added: "Our survey will give users of the Compendium the opportunity to say how they think we can improve it to assist them in prescribing veterinary medicines and advising animal keepers on their use. We look forward to getting your views."