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Salmonella study reveals how genetic changes alter disease risk
The U288 variant was found to have undergone a unique set of genetic changes, most likely between 1980 and 2000.

Variants found in pigs pose different threats to human and animal health.

A new study from the Roslin Institute and the Quadram Institute has found that two closely related variants of salmonella typhimurium have significantly different effects on pig health compared to other animals and humans.

The study, published in the journal Communications Biology, analysed the genetic makeup of salmonella strains found in pigs and people over a number of years, with the aim of identifying variants and understanding how they evolved and behave.

The two variants, named U288 and ST34, were predominantly found in pigs and differences were found in both variants' colonisation of the intestine and surrounding tissues as well as the severity of disease they created.

According to the researchers, the ST34 variant accounts for more than half of all salmonella typhimurium infections in people, while the U288 variant is rarely associated with human infection.

The U288 variant was found to have undergone a unique set of genetic changes, most likely between 1980 and 2000. It evolved to obtain genes associated with antimicrobial resistance, as well as variations in molecules connected to virulence.

The researchers suggest that these changes could hold the key to understanding how this variant interacts differently with pigs during infections and in the food chain.

Professor Mark Stevens from the Roslin Institute said: “Understanding how variants of Salmonella emerge and pinpointing the genetic signatures responsible for adaptation to different hosts and the ability to produce disease will provide opportunities to improve diagnostics and surveillance. In turn this will help to predict the risk that Salmonella variants pose to animal health and food safety.”

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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

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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.