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Moredun ISSUE 12 | AUTUMN/WINTER 2016

magazine

War of the Worms MCF vaccine trials in Africa Collaboration with St Kitts

www.moredun.org.uk


Director’s comment Photo | Kevin McCollum

Contents In this Issue: p1-3

News

p3

Moredun Scientific

p4

Improving the diagnosis of Johne’s disease

p5

Pentlands Science Park

p6

MCF vaccine trials in Africa

p8

Out and About - Moredun’s Farm Events

p10

Focus On: Collaboration with St Kitts

p12

Moredun welcomes two new members of staff

p13

2016 Christmas card and Gift Range

A very warm welcome to the Autumn/Winter edition of the Moredun Magazine. We have been very busy these last few months with lots of excellent knowledge exchange events and projects in addition to our research work. Moredun’s short animation, War of the Worms, has received much praise since its launch at the Royal Highland Show in June. Our parasitologists teamed up with an animator to create an engaging and entertaining film highlighting the key messages for sustainable worm control (page 1). Our farm events initiative has gone from strength to strength with three educational and enjoyable days during the summer and a further event planned in Perth (pages 8 and 9). We are extremely grateful to all those involved especially to our host farms and speakers. This edition also highlights some of the diverse and interesting projects our scientists

have been involved in, showcasing the excellent collaborative work both here and abroad. Preliminary results from a trial of our Malignant Catarrhal Fever vaccine conducted in Kenya by staff from the International Livestock Research Institute (pages 6 and 7) have been promising. Further work is planned to determine the efficacy of the vaccine in larger trials. Our collaboration with the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine on St Kitts has led to some interesting findings regarding the prevalence of Toxoplasma and the potential impact on public health (pages 10 and 11). Whilst closer to home work continues to improve the early diagnosis of cattle with Johne’s disease using a novel test (page 4). We were delighted to honour both Chris Lewis and Willie Donachie at our AGM in September (page 1) and celebrate the success of our young scientists who recently won industry awards for their research (page 2). With the festive period just around the corner why not take a look at our range of charity Christmas cards and gifts which this year includes our first Moredun Calendar (page 13). We hope that you enjoy this issue of the magazine and thank you for your continued support.

Julie Fitzpatrick Scientific Director and Chief Executive

Moredun Magazine Moredun magazine is produced twice a year and is available free of charge.

Comments, ideas, suggestions? Get in touch and let us know.

Designed and Produced by Moredun Communications Centre © 2016.

Please contact: Moredun Communications Team, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ

All images, unless otherwise stated, are © Moredun. To subscribe, contact: Moredun Communications Team, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

tel: +44 (0)131 445 5111 fax: +44 (0)131 445 6111 e-mail: info@moredun.org.uk web: www.moredun.org.uk @MoredunComms

The Moredun Foundation is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland No. SC151865. The Moredun Foundation is a charity registered in Scotland, No: SC022515 Address: Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland, EH26 0PZ. Cover image: www.pixabay.com


NEWS

War of the Worms animation: A creative way to highlight sustainable worm control In response to increasing reports of anthelmintic (wormer) resistance in many of our common gastrointestinal worms affecting the health and welfare of livestock and horses, Moredun has teamed up with animator Selina Wagner (Blobina Animations) to create an engaging and entertaining short film on the important elements involved in the development and spread of anthelmintic resistance.

The film explains the life cycle of worms and how they are transmitted, the benefits of testing animals to determine the need for treatment and to check drug efficacy, as well as the value of using farm specific information in treatment decisions. The information is explained in a clear and interesting four minute animated film. It is hoped that the livestock War of the Worms highlights the key messages for sustainable worm control and has received very positive feedback since it was showcased at the Royal Highland Show, the NSA sheep event in Malvern and on our website.

and equine health industries will promote the use of this resource to explain best practice and encourage the implementation of these principles across the industry. www.moredun.org.uk/worm-animation

Honorary Fellows veterinary and biosciences through his roles as Secretary of the Scottish Consortium for Rural Research and a director of the Moredun Scientific board. Throughout his 36 years at Moredun, Professor Donachie made a major contribution to the veterinary and scientific community, in particular his research on bacterial respiratory diseases of livestock which led to the development of highly successful commercial vaccines to help protect livestock against infection with Pasteurella bacteria. Professor Donachie was also an Professor Willie Donachie OBE and Ian Duncan Millar

active member of the Veterinary Advisory Committee of the Horserace Betting Levy

Julie Fitzpatrick with Chris Lewis

Board from 2004-2014, where he served as

The Moredun Foundation was delighted to award honorary fellowships to both Willie Donachie and Chris Lewis at its AGM on 8th September.

chair from 2007. Chris Lewis is a renowned sheep health expert and former Moredun Foundation board member (2001-2010) with 50 years exemplary service to the veterinary profession. Since graduating from the Royal

enduring talent has been in presenting the common-sense voice of practical and scientific knowledge, providing invaluable advice to MAFF (now Defra) stakeholder groups during the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks of 2001 and 2007, and the bluetongue

Professor Willie Donachie OBE was Deputy

Veterinary College in 1963 Mr Lewis’s career

Director of Moredun Research Institute for

has encompassed a variety of sectors,

14 years until he became Managing Director

including private practice, pharmaceutical

of Moredun Scientific in 2012. Following his

industry, Veterinary Investigation Service (now

the Sheep Veterinary Society, and in 2013 he

retirement from Moredun in 2014, Willie is still

APHA), scientific research and publications,

was announced as the recipient of the BVA’s

actively involved in promoting Scottish

education and political endeavours. His

Dalrymple-Champneys Cup and Medal.

outbreak 2007-2009. Chris has also previously served as Honorary Secretary and President of

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

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News Success for Moredun’s PhD students Congratulations to two of our PhD students who recently won industry awards for their research. Ana Herrero, a PhD student at the Moredun Research Institute and the University of Stirling, was crowned the winner of the Young

Ana Herrero

Scientist Award at the 10th Aquaculture UK Conference in Aviemore. The exhibition and conference is one of the major events in the aquaculture industry highlighting the latest advances in research and products. The Young Scientist Award, sponsored by Elanco, saw the three finalists attend and present at the conference which culminated in Ana winning first prize with her presentation, “Comparing different histological methods to detect Desmozoon lepeophtherii (syn. Paranucleospora theridion) in Atlantic salmon proliferative gill disease.” In September, Rebecca McLean was awarded the Scotia Agricultural Club Post Graduate Research Student Prize for her poster entitled “Development of a new viral vaccine vector for ruminants”, and is due to collect her award at the society’s AGM. The Scotia Agricultural Club is a group of current and former members of staff of agriculturally related research organisations, senior ranks of staff at universities and

relevant government departments and agencies in Scotland. An award is made each year to an outstanding PhD student from a Scottish research institute or veterinary school. We are delighted for Ana and Rebecca to receive recognition for their excellent studies and we wish them and all our PhD students all the very best with their blossoming careers.

Rebecca McLean

Moredun Scientific welcomes new chairman Following Peter Wells retirement after eight years in post, Moredun Scientific welcomed John Mackinnon as their new chairman at their AGM in September. John’s appointment will support the growth and further development of Moredun Scientific, an established contract research and

John Mackinnon

testing organisation providing services to the global animal health and biopharmaceutical industries. John Murray, Managing Director of Moredun Scientific, commented: “We are delighted that John has agreed to become our

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to thank Peter Wells for the very significant contribution he has made to Moredun Scientific during his time as Chairman.” John Mackinnon graduated in Veterinary

new Chairman, he brings a wealth of

Medicine and Surgery from The Royal

experience from the animal health industry

Veterinary College, University of London. He is

and I look forward to working with him in his

a Fellow of the RCVS for studies in the use of

new role. I would like to take this opportunity

antibiotics in livestock production and holds

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

the RCVS Certificate in Pig Medicine. After a short time in mixed practice, followed by a period in industry as Technical Services Manager for Elanco Animal Health and subsequently Senior Research Veterinarian at the Lilly Research Laboratories, John returned to veterinary practice where for the past 30 years he has specialised in pig medicine and production. He is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Advanced Practitioner in Pig Medicine, former President of the Pig Veterinary Society and was the inaugural President of the European Association for Porcine Health and Management. John Mackinnon said: “I am honoured to be elected by the board as its Chairman. Moredun Scientific has a strong reputation and I am very pleased to be working with the company as it further develops its contract business.”


NEWS/Moredun Scientific

Moredun partners with Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre The Moredun Research Institute is now an academic partner of the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) which aims to stimulate the growth of the Industrial Biotechnology industry in Scotland. Industrial Biotechnology is an enabling technology that uses biological substances, systems and processes to produce materials, chemicals and energy. The partnership will develop links and collaborative research projects between Moredun and IBioIC’s industrial partners to support sustainable agriculture through

improvements in livestock health. The industrial partners will benefit from Moredun’s skills and experience in proteomics, genomics and immunology applied to the development of novel livestock vaccines, diagnostic tests and disease control measures. IBioIC, launched in 2014, has more than 65 industrial members for whom Industrial Biotechnology is of strategic importance and use, or plan to use, Industrial Biotechnology in their business. IBioIC accelerates and de-risks commercially viable projects for industry by harnessing the intellectual power of the Scottish academic and research institutes. The industrial members directly benefit from the collaborations with the Centre’s academic partners which include the Moredun

Research Institute. Dr Colin McInnes, Deputy Director of the Moredun Research Institute, commented: “I am very pleased that Moredun is now an IBioIC academic partner, we look forward to future collaborations with the Centre’s industrial partners.” Dr Judith Huggan, Business Development Manager at IBioIC said: “Moredun are a welcome addition to IBioIC, their expertise and knowledge of biotechnology associated with livestock health broadens the skills and capabilities that IBioIC offers to our industrial partners. This is an important sector for Scotland and we look forward to working with Moredun.”

Porcine disease focus At Moredun Scientific we have an increasing demand from animal health companies for studies to test the efficacy of novel and improved veterinary medicines to prevent and treat a range of porcine diseases. Porcine respiratory disease has a major impact on the productivity of finishing pig units and we frequently conduct studies with candidate products to combat the disease. Porcine Respiratory Disease Complex (PRDC) is caused by a combination of infectious agents and environmental factors and there are a range of bacterial and viral pathogens which can be involved. We have recently developed new additions to our portfolio of disease models to include models for pathogens associated with PRDC: Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP), Porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus (PRRSV), and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. Next in line is a model for Pasteurella multocida which is currently under development. The profile of serotypes and strains of pathogens varies over time and across different geographic regions. As such, an important element of our developments is to ensure that the pathogen strains used in our infection models are representative of those

currently found in the field in the regions where the putative vaccines and therapeutics are to be commercialised.

For further information contact David Reddick at Moredun Scientific: dreddick@moredun-scientific.com

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

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Research Improving the diagnosis of Johne’s disease Johne’s disease caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (Map) is endemic in many countries including the UK. It is a chronic enteritis that affects principally ruminants and produces severe weight loss culminating in death. Diagnosis and control are problematic; largely due to the prolonged incubation period (2 to 4 years) during which time infected animals show no obvious signs of disease. Existing diagnostic tests for Johne’s disease either detect the host immune response to infection or the presence of the bacterium. The most widely used diagnostic test is the antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which detects antibodies in blood (serum) or milk. This test is efficient at identifying animals in the later stages of disease when antibody levels are high, but fails to detect animals with early stage infections. Faecal testing detects infected animals when they are shedding Map and are infectious. However, shedding can be intermittent and the number of bacteria present in faecal samples can be low, particularly during the early stages of disease, resulting in false negative test results. In order to detect animals in the early stages of disease, a test targeting the early cell mediated immune response to Map infection is required. Researchers at Moredun have modified the BOVIGAM interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) developed for bovine tuberculosis by incorporating Map-specific reagents to detect the cell mediated responses of Mapinfected animals. We are validating this novel test alongside the current commercially available tests in field situations. It is also proving to be a useful research tool helping us to investigate the early infection process and herd infection dynamics. The primary route of infection is through the ingestion of contaminated food and drink.

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Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

responders and 10 low responders were selected. These animals were allowed to reach their finishing weight and then re-tested with the Map-specific IGRA and samples taken for commercial testing (serum ELISA, faecal culture and direct faecal PCR) before transportation to the abattoir. After slaughter tissue samples were taken for bacterial culture Young animals are more susceptible and most animals are infected at or around birth. The novel test therefore needs to be able to detect Map infections in young animals and ideally before they shed and become infectious. This will also assist farmers selecting young stock for breeding. Current control programmes do not test animals of less than two years of age. As part of the validation process we need to demonstrate that the novel test correctly identifies subclinically infected animals and that healthy animals are not falsely identified. In collaboration with George Caldow from SAC Consulting Veterinary Services and local farmers we tested 50 cattle less than two years old on two beef farms with a high prevalence of Johne’s disease using the Mapspecific IGRA. The cattle were ranked according to their IGRA responses and 22 high

and histopathological investigation. An animal was considered infected if it tested positive in any of these tests. The study allowed us to compare the performance of the various tests in the young animals. The antibody ELISA detected only one infected animal, indicating that it is not very sensitive for detecting subclinical infection in young animals. The direct faecal PCR detected two infected animals whereas faecal culture was much more sensitive detecting seven infected animals. This suggests that of the commercial tests, faecal culture was the best for detecting infection in these young animals. With respect to the Map-specific IGRA, elevated responses were detected in the young animals but further work is required to determine the appropriate cut-off value for the assay.


Pentlands Science Park

PSP engages with the science park world Pentlands Science Park and Roslin Institute hosted a conference of the United Kingdom Science Park Association on 6th and 7th October. The conference included a presentation from Richard Mole on Wormvax and the launch of the Midlothian Science Zone brand for the Easter Bush area. Following a very enjoyable conference dinner at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, PSP hosted Day Two of the conference on Friday 7th October. Around 100 delegates enjoyed a presentation on Moredun and PSP by Professor Julie Fitzpatrick, the first public showing of the new PSP DVD, and workshop sessions. These sessions were led by, amongst others, Scottish

Moredun hosts Day Two.

Welcoming UKSPA conference delegates to Moredun.

Development International, Department of International Trade, Inverness Campus and Jiscom who revealed arrangements to facilitate greater commercial access to the JANET internet system. The event was very successful and allowed us to showcase the world leading animal science capacity in this area. We publicly thank our many event sponsors for their support of the event. Two weeks previously, Park Manager George Walker attended the International Association of Science Parks (IASP) conference in Moscow. Around 1500 delegates attended, many from Russia, but over 70 countries were represented in total. The conference took place in the World Trade Centre, Skolkova Science Park and at Moscow State University. The conference was addressed by Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev and focussed on global talent, the importance of

Our man in Moscow!

Park Manager George Walker and Magnes Johnston, Haseltine Lake LLP.

networks and how the development of science parks and areas of innovation are integral to economic development strategy in many countries. The ‘Women in IASP’ group was also launched at the event. Next stop, Istanbul in 2017.

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

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Research

Photo | iStock.com

MCF vaccine trials in Africa

Massai herdsmen move their cattle to avoid contact with wildebeest.

Wildebeest-associated bovine Malignant Catarrhal Fever (MCF) is one of the most feared diseases for livestock keepers in sub-Saharan Africa. Massai herdsmen know that wildebeest calves are the source of infection and move their cattle to

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Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

poorer upland pastures to avoid contact with wildebeest that migrate to the mineral-rich pastures of Northern Tanzania for calving. This reduces the risk of MCF but increases the risk of other diseases such as trypanasomiasis and East

Coast Fever (ECF). MCF is considered one of the top five disease threats for cattle in this area. With no treatment or commercial vaccine available, avoidance is the only strategy that provides some protection.


RESEARCH

Photo | Felix Lankester

Photo | Felix Lankester

Photo | Ahmed Lugelo

If the cattle remained to graze alongside the calving wildebeest, it is estimated that about 30% would die of fatal MCF. MCF is caused by several related herpesviruses that infect their natural hosts without causing disease but virus shed by these animals can cause fatal MCF in susceptible species. Globally, the most significant MCF virus is ovine herpesvirus 2, which naturally infects sheep and causes MCF in animals such as cattle, deer, bison and pigs. However, only the wildebeest virus – alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 – can be grown in culture, making it a main subject of MCF research. Moredun scientists have been working with this fascinating disease for over 30 years, developing tests and trying to understand how these viruses can cause such different effects in relatively similar species such as sheep and cattle. Attempts to produce a vaccine for MCF have been going on for several decades without significant success. However recent trials at Moredun showed that a live attenuated version of alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 could protect cattle from fatal wildebeestassociated MCF. Between 2010 and 2013, field trials of this attenuated MCF vaccine were conducted in Tanzania by a consortium of researchers from the University of Nottingham, University of Glasgow and Moredun Research Institute, with funding from BBSRC, DFID and the Scottish Government. The trials involved herding

Wildebeest calves are a source of infection.

vaccinated and control cattle towards groups of wildebeest with calves and studying the animals before, during and after the contact period. The trials showed that the vaccine protected cattle from infection, but most of the unvaccinated animals that became infected survived without developing MCF. This could be because the African cattle in these trials were naturally more resistant to MCF than UK breeds; or because a treatment given to these animals (including anti-parasitic injection and ECF vaccine) interfered with the development of MCF in infected cattle. During 2016, a trial of the MCF vaccine was held in Kenya by staff from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Importantly, these cattle were not given the treatments received by the Tanzanian cattle. Preliminary results from this trial are encouraging, with 84% of MCF cases occurring in the unvaccinated cattle. Thus, the live attenuated MCF vaccine appears to provide significant protection against MCF and further work is planned to scale-up production of the vaccine to measure its effectiveness in larger trials.

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

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Out and About Moredun’s farm events go from strength to strength

Manus Graham admiring the cattle at Ballindalloch - or is it the other way round?

This year has seen further development of our farm events, with three successful days having already taken place and one to go. We include here a round up of the three which have taken place to date. Ballindalloch Farm, Banffshire, is home of the oldest Aberdeen Angus herd in continuous existence in the world and a wonderful location for an event. The day was hosted by the Macpherson Grant family who have had stewardship of Ballindalloch Estate since the 15th Century! “Beefing up the Hills”, run in partnership with the Cairngorms National Park Authority attracted 50 local farmers and vets tempted in by a superb hog roast lunch and a sneak preview of the Ballindalloch show team of Aberdeen Angus cattle. Short talks in the morning discussed cattle health, forage analysis and mineral supplementation, and a look at the future of beef in the hills. A walk round the Aberdeen Angus herd

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Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

grazing the Castle Haugh with David Johnstone, the farm manager at Ballindalloch, was followed by the afternoon’s discussion ably chaired by Nigel Miller with astute audience participation. The discussions were

Sunny farm tour at Tirinie.

broad and interesting with many ideas and pointers to take forward to the beef industry. In wall to wall sunshine, Moredun Foundation Chairman Ian Duncan Millar hosted our sheep event “Maximising Profits from Lambs from Weaning to Market” at Tirinie Farm, Aberfeldy. In a full day event, farmers enjoyed a practical demonstration of the farm’s auto drafter showing how the system can be used to benefit farm management and target treatment for worms in lambs. Concurrently, short talks were going on in the shed on liver fluke control, forage crop options for finishing lambs, and profitable outcomes in marketing lambs. The fabulous weather made the farm tour option in open trailers very popular and everyone attending enjoyed the trip down to inspect the forage kale crop growing ready for fattening lambs. After a delicious lunch in the local hall the afternoon panel discussion was chaired by Willie Thomson from Harbro, where enthusiastic participation by attending farmers and good


OUT AND ABOUT

2016 Show Round-up

Gareth Jones describing the sheep enterprises at Rhug.

humour all round made for an entertaining and interesting debate. Hot on the heels of a successful day at Tirinie, a large contingency from Moredun headed off to the hugely impressive Rhug Estate in North Wales, home of Lord Newborough, where the farming operations are managed by Gareth Jones, Chairman of Moredun’s Welsh Regional Advisors Board. We started the day with a series of highly informative talks on parasites affecting sheep, smart marketing and the future of sheep in the hills. Afterwards we were treated to a farm walk to look at the sheep operation where organic Welsh lamb is supplied to Waitrose and many other high quality outlets. The highlight of the day for many was visiting

Bison herd at Rhug.

the Estate’s resident herd of bison and then sampling some bison cottage pie for lunch which was truly delicious! Down to serious business again after lunch, the panel chaired by the humorous Welsh sheep farmer John Yeomans, and consisting of a wide range of industry experts, emphasised a positive future for hill and upland sheep farming through sustainable disease control, attention to market requirements and production of a high quality product. The Moredun Foundation would like to thank all sponsors and those who have hosted, partnered, talked or participated in any way at these events for helping to make them such a success.

Johnny Watson explaining the advantages of finishing lambs on fodder crops at Tirinie.

Launching the Biosecurity project at the Royal Highland Show.

Moredun staff took part in the following agricultural livestock events in 2016: Beef Expo, 20th May, Bakewell, Derbyshire Scot Sheep, 1st June, West Linton, Scottish Borders South Sheep (Seminar), 7th June, Salisbury, Wiltshire Royal Highland Show, 23rd – 26th June, Ingleston, Edinburgh Scottish Game Fair, 1st – 3rd July, Scone, Perthshire National Sheep Event, 27th July, Malvern, Worcestershire All the events were very well attended and staff had the opportunity to discuss many different livestock health and welfare issues in both sheep and cattle and raise awareness of the work of the Moredun Group to livestock producers and members of the public. Some of our scientists participated in the seminar programmes at the above events and Moredun also hosted two receptions to launch the animated film on worm control and the new Biosecurity project. Following the success of our new look “What we do boards” at last year’s Royal Highland Show the decision was taken to role this out across our exhibition boards. These have been in design and production since Spring 2016 and we were delighted to showcase them at Malvern and be awarded Second Prize in the Best Indoor Trade Stand competition.

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

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Photo | Clare Hamilton

Focus On...

Goats on St Kitts.

Our collaboration with St Kitts: Toxoplasma in the Caribbean Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite of cats which can infect all warm blooded animals, including people. It is a parasite of both veterinary and medical importance as it is a significant cause of abortion in sheep

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Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

and can lead to miscarriage or severe birth defects in humans. Routes of infection include ingestion of oocysts (the egg-stage of the parasite shed in the faeces of infected cats) from contaminated food or water, and

ingestion of tissue cysts (the dormant stage of the parasite found in persistently infected animals) from undercooked or raw meat - the latter route being particularly important in human infections.


Photo | Clare Hamilton

FOCUS ON

Usually, in immune competent people, Toxoplasma infection causes mild flu-like symptoms (if at all); however, recently, there have been reports from South America of severe and even fatal cases of toxoplasmosis in immune competent people infected with unusual (atypical) strains of the parasite. Given the close proximity of the Caribbean to South America, scientists at Moredun teamed up with colleagues at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine on the sunny island of St. Kitts (West Indies) to investigate the prevalence of Toxoplasma on the island and to determine what strains are present. A study was conducted at the St. Kitts abattoir, where blood and heart tissue were collected from sheep, goats and pigs destined for the local food market. Over 40% of the animals tested had antibodies to Toxoplasma, indicating that they have been infected with the parasite and could potentially be harbouring infective cysts in their tissues.

Caribbean African green monkeys.

Toxoplasma DNA was detected in heart samples from 16% of sheep, 21% of pigs and 23% of goats, meaning that these animals had cysts in their tissues and are, therefore, a possible source of Toxoplasma infection to the people of St. Kitts if the meat is consumed undercooked. There is a huge Caribbean population of African green monkeys on the island and these animals are occasionally trapped and killed as a source of bush meat. Blood was collected from wild-caught monkeys and antibodies to Toxoplasma were detected in almost 50% of the samples tested, indicating that these animals are also a potential foodborne source of infection to the islanders.

To investigate whether or not there were any atypical strains of the parasite present on the island, heart and brain samples were collected from free-roaming chickens across the whole island. Chickens are good indicators of environmental contamination with Toxoplasma oocysts as they feed from the ground. Over 40% of the chickens tested were infected with Toxoplasma and the majority of strains isolated from the tissues were atypical, indicating a potential public health problem on the island. Scientists at Moredun continue to collaborate with colleagues at Ross University in St. Kitts to inform local medical and veterinary professionals of their findings.

Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, St Kitts.

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

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Research Moredun welcomes two new members of staff We are delighted to welcome two new international research scientists to the organisation. Nuno Silva a research scientist from Portugal with expertise in anti-microbial resistance, and Bill Golde a veterinary immunologist and expert in vaccine development from the USA. Nuno Silva is setting up a new research project at Moredun to focus on anti-microbial resistance, initially working on ovine mastitis and looking at the molecular mechanisms involved in conferring resistance in bacterial pathogens. Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) is a global issue and has been identified as one of the most pressing challenges we all face going forward. Nuno has considerable expertise in Nuno Silva

bacteriology and understanding mechanisms of pathogen virulence from his previous research work conducted at University of Glasgow

back in Scotland and is really looking forward

during his PhD studies and then back in

to setting up this new area of research at

landscapes of Scotland as Nuno is a keen

Portugal and Spain where he continued his

Moredun and collaborating with colleagues at

walker and photographer.

research work on AMR and also spent some

the University of Glasgow.

time working in industry. He is delighted to be

are looking forward to exploring the

For the past 15 years, Bill has led the

Nuno and his family have settled in well and

immunology laboratory investigating immune responses of swine and cattle to foot-andmouth disease virus (FMDV) infection at the Plum Island Animal Disease Centre, New York. Bill’s lab at Plum Island developed new technologies to more closely track immune responses of cattle and swine to FMDV and, using that information, designed new vaccine strategies to broaden the immune response to FMDV and enhance duration of protection. Bill comes to Moredun to apply these new technologies to other diseases of cattle and sheep, in particular the respiratory disease complex, and we wish him every success in his work here. Bill has moved to Scotland with his wife, Maria and two Labrador retrievers, Bacchus and Allie. They are finding Scotland a great place to have dogs and enjoy the many places

Bill Golde

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Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

to take long walks.


NEWS

2016 Christmas Card and Gift range With Christmas now just around the corner we are delighted to announce that The Moredun Foundation have another great selection of Christmas gifts and merchandise for sale to members and supporters this year. As well as our exclusive 2016 Christmas card image by renowned photographer Kevin McCollum, we are pleased to launch our very first Moredun Calendar to help keep you organised throughout 2017.

Further information can be found on our website. www.moredun.org.uk/shop

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2016

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www.moredun.org.uk

Profile for Moredun

Moredun Magazine Issue 12  

Autumn/Winter 2016 edition of the Moredun Magazine

Moredun Magazine Issue 12  

Autumn/Winter 2016 edition of the Moredun Magazine

Profile for moredun

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