Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vaccine for cat cancer near....

A Massey University scientist is working on the world's first vaccine for the most common – and fatal – type of feline skin cancer.
Dr John Munday, an expert in Veterinary Pathology, hopes to create a vaccine for the papillomavirus associated with the most widespread type of feline skin cancer.
He said there is "strong proof" to show the vaccine could work like treatments that help prevent cervical cancer in humans.
This is because the virus affects the body of a cat in a similar manner.
"Using the knowledge that we have about people, it looks like it is definitely possible to prevent some skin cancer in cats. To be able to prevent this would definitely be a significant development."
Dr Munday was the first person to discover this type of papillomavirus.
About half of all cats carry the virus and are infected without any negative consequences.
However, for the small number of infected cats that develop cancer, it can be fatal.
There are currently no effective methods to prevent or cure infection caused by the virus. The vaccine may be used on a global scale once research is completed in the next few years.
Last year, Dr Munday was also the first to discover the origins of another virus – the feline sarcoid-associated papillomavirus – and to confirm its existence in New Zealand.
This virus causes a second type of rare skin cancer in cats.
Research revealed that it is present in cows but for them it is non-harmful.
Felines that are near cows can catch the disease through a wound in their skin.

Source: Internet

Stem cell therapy used on dog

Chennai:  Veterinarians in Chennai have claimed a breakthrough in autologous stem cell-based therapy for animals by treating a nine-month-old dog which had a spinal cord injury.

This was the first time in the country that autologous (patient derived) stem cell therapy has been used for management of a dog's spinal cord injury, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS)orthopedic and neuro surgeon S Iyappan said on Tuesday.

"The present case highlights an encouraging response to autologous stem cell-based therapy combined with decompressive hemilaminectomy for management of a clinical case of grade 4 spinal cord injury of a dog for the first time in India," Iyappan, who was part of the team that conducted the surgery on the Boxer, claimed.

The dog was brought to the Madras Veterinary College Teaching Hospital, TANUVAS, with a spinal cord injury in a road accident and subsequent paraplegia (paralysis of lower half of the body).
It was treated with its own adult stem cells harvested from bone marrow. Forty million bone marrow mononuclear stem cells (BMMNSCs) were separated and 20 million stem cells embedded in thermo responsive gelatin polymer hydrogel at the
Nichi-Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM).

The dog recently underwent decompressive left hemilaminectomy under general anesthesia after which a durotomy (opening covering of the spinal cord) was performed, Iyappan said.

"The BMMNSCs embedded gel was engrafted over the durotomy site and the surgical procedure was completed as per routine protocol," he said, adding a periodic neurological evaluation was performed from the first post-operative week.

Source: Internet


Friday, July 23, 2010

N&N Agriculture Farm eggs suspended, antibiotic residues

N&N Agriculture Farm eggs suspended, antibiotic residues
Singapore's food safety watchdog has suspended the sale of eggs produced by a local farm N&N Agriculture Farm. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said it found residues of an antibiotic called doxycycline in the eggs.

The move comes after a routine surveillance tests on local poultry farms.
All eggs produced on the farm will be destroyed under AVA's supervision. The suspension will remain in place and only be lifted when AVA is satisfied that the farm has fully complied with AVA's requirements.
Supermarkets and other retailers have started to take the eggs off the shelf.
AVA said those who may have consumed N & N eggs recently need not be alarmed. It said the levels of doxycycline in the eggs that tested positive were low and will not have any adverse health effect unless consumed over a prolonged period. But, consumers who have bought N&N eggs are advised not to consume them.

N&N Agriculture Farm produces about 9% of Singapore's total egg supply. AVA said there will not be any impact on the supply of eggs. Eggs from other local farms and accredited farms in Malaysia can easily make up for any shortfall.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Veterinary Parasitology & its career

Why is parasitology such a diverse and dynamic field that offers such a wide variety of career opportunities? The answer is surprisingly simple and has a lot to do with the nature of parasites. Parasites are those organisms that use other species of plants and animals as hosts. These hosts provide the environment in which the parasite lives. In the history of life on earth, this parasitic lifestyle has been incredibly successful; the number of species of parasites exceeds the number of free-living species. And the adoption of a parasitic way of life has occurred independently in many diverse groups of organisms.
It is no wonder, then, that parasitology is a diverse field. Parasitologists study parasites wherever they occur, whether they are viruses, bacteria, protists, worms, insects, or a whether they belong to a myriad of other taxonomic groups. And parasitology is a dynamic field because the relationships between parasites and their hosts are dynamic, constantly changing. Parasitism comprises an ecological relationship between two individuals of different species where the parasite's environment is another living organism. Unlike the environment of free-living plants and animals, the environment of the parasite can fight back! Parasites and hosts are locked into a continuous struggle for survival, and understanding the mechanisms that each side in this battle uses to gain advantages challenges parasitologists to understand biological phenomena at the cutting edge of a wide variety of scientific disciplines.
A diversity of career options exist within the field of parasitology because parasites affect the world in so many different ways. Rewarding careers await parasitologists with interests in medicine and public health. Veterinary parasitologists play vital roles in controlling diseases of domestic animals. Agriculture and aquaculture are dependent upon parasitologists to assist in providing plant and animal food for an increasing human population. Parasitologists contribute significantly to our basic understanding of the manner in which our biological world functions. Ecologists, molecular biologists, immunologists, evolutionary biologists, systematists study parasites and provide a source of information regarding fundamental biological principles. This basic research forms the foundation upon which applications of benefit to man are derived. Parasitologist contribute greatly to the education of the scientific community. The intricate webs of relationships involving parasites and hosts aid students in understanding the interrelatedness of diverse scientific endeavors.

Human health is not only affected directly by parasites that can infect man, but is also affected indirectly by parasites that cause diseases in animals that are food for humans. 

Of the millions of people who die each year from malnutrition, over half are children under the age of five. The inadequate supply of food on earth and its uneven distribution among developing and developed countries results in starvation and human misery. Predictions of continued increase in human reproductive rates will inevitably result in increasing overpopulation and an exacerbation of food shortages.

Veterinary parasitologist care for domesticated animals used for food and for work, as well as caring for our companion animals. Veterinarians play an indirect role in human health when they control parasites in non-human animals that are transmissible to man. Animals used by humans for sport and recreation also require the services of veterinary parasitologists. Pharmaceutical companies are important sources of employment of parasitologists and the development of chemotheraputic drugs to eliminate parasites of animals is of major economic significance. The discovery of antiparasitic drugs for domesticated animals has not only benefited the agricultural industry, but in some cases, has aided humans when these same chemotheraputic agents have been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of medically important parasites.

The Future of Parasitology

Parasites are here to stay. It is unfortunate that despite our best efforts, parasitologists will not likely in the foreseeable future completely rid the world of those species of parasites that cause human disease. But as the tools in our arsenal to control parasites become more powerful, parasitologists employed to fight these diseases will have the satisfaction of making important contributions to the improvement of animal health and human health as well.  For those who enter the field of parasitology to answer basic questions in .., genetics, molecular biology, and other disciplines within the life sciences, parasitology research will continue to offer challenges. Armed with new research tools, parasitologists have unprecedented opportunities to work at the forefront of scientific endeavor, and have great potential for making exciting new discoveries. Many institutes offers invitation to those young scholars contemplating careers in parasitology because of their desire to improve both animal & human condition, as well as to those individuals who seek careers in parasitology because of an abiding scientific curiosity. One such example is the American Society of Parasitologists. Our Society offers its assistance to you in establishing a career in parasitology that will provide great rewards and satisfaction.

Meena K

Source: Internet

Monday, July 5, 2010

Alarmed on extinction, Breed Vulture!

Indian vultures may soon extinct if their population continues to decline at the current rate. According to the Bombay Natural History Society, 99 per cent population of the bird has declined at the rate of around 50 per cent every year despite the Indian Government taking necessary steps.

In a recent publication, it was observed that at present there are only 11,000 vultures remaining in India. If it continues to decline at this rate, then only around 6,000 vultures will be left and finally they may become extinct. One of the main source for this decline is a veterinary drug called Diclofenac, which is given to treat sick cattle, proved to be highly toxic. As vulture scavenges on carcasses of dead cattle, the traces of the drug is consumed by the vulture. Even in minute quantity it is fatal to the vulture. India banned the manufacture of veterinary diclofenac in 2006.

The Indian government should support vulture breeding programmes through which the extinction can be prevented. Some of the groups like the British Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Bombay Natural History Society are seeking funds for six captive breeding centers in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Also, a vulture care centre is opened in Haryana in February 2003 needs strong support. It can house up to 35 vultures and plans to start breeding vultures soon.

Unless, the government act now it will become impossible to find enough vultures to establish stocks for captive breeding. Implementation of such breeding programmes can greatly reduce the decline percentage of the vulture and thus save the threatened birds to the nation.