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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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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.