In this issue:
- DIY worm egg counting
- Cost of drench resistance – Besier
- Australian scientists uncover how Toxoplasma hijacks human cells
- Combating the inherited disease of sheep, CVS (‘wobbler syndrome’) – O’Rourke
- Droughthub – NSW DPI
- Brucellosis in animals and humans
- NSW Weedwise smartphone app (iOS, Android, web)
- New findings show cats can be safely de-sexed before 10 weeks of age
- Big science stories of 2015 – quiz
- Peacock Spiderman
- Anti malware and evil worm man
- Santa Offering End-To-End Customer-Focused Christmas Delivery Solutions
- Saint Nicholas of Myra – the real man behind Santa
If you do your own worm egg counts, you will come across things that appear to be parasites but aren’t. These are called pseudoparasites.
Pictures and descriptions can be found in standard parasitology texts.
Here are some links that may be of use:
Some parasitology texts with pictures of pseudoparasites:
- Veterinary Clinical Parasitology Anne M. Zajac and Gary A.Conboy Seventh edition ISBN 978-0-8138-1734-7
- Georgi’s Parasitology for Veterinarians
- Thienpont, Rochette and Vanparijs, 1979. – Diagnosing Helminthiasis through coprological examination.
- Taylor et al ?
DIY worm egg counting
NSW DPI runs courses. More information:
The cost of drench resistance
Among other things, Dr Brown Besier discusses the cost of drench resistance in this article he produced for ParaBoss News:
Australian scientists uncover how Toxoplasma hijacks human cells
‘Australian researchers have discovered how to kill a common parasite that can survive for decades undetected in humans and possibly change the brain’s behaviour and personality.’
‘The finding could lead to a vaccine that would prevent pregnant women being infected by the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, which can increase the risk of miscarriage or severe birth defects.’
‘Lead author Dr Chris Tonkin, from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, said Toxoplasma was a common parasite that was transmitted by cats and also found in raw or undercooked meat.Once in humans, the parasite hijacks cells in the brain, heart, lungs and muscles.’
‘ … the study also revealed Toxoplasma “modified” the host cell by sending in proteins to manipulate the host cell’s function so the parasite could reproduce and grow.’
‘Dr Tonkin said it was estimated about 35 per cent of the Australian population carried the parasite, which could remain dormant for a person’s lifetime without their knowledge.’
Combating CVS (‘wobbler syndrome’) inherited disease in sheep
This article by NSW DPI scientist Dr Brendon O’Rourke originally appeared (16 Dec., 2015) on NSW DPI’s internal blogging platform , DPI Active, under the title, “LLS and SVDL combine to combat inherited disease in sheep”. It is reproduced here with permission.
‘The widespread dissemination of superior genetics throughout livestock populations has seen the frequent emergence of inherited diseases, which cause significant economic and animal welfare concerns. Inherited disease refers to disorders that are passed down from parents due to abnormalities in the DNA.
District Veterinarians Nik Cronin (Central West) and Gabrielle Morrice (Riverina) visited two separate properties to investigate a suspected inherited disease affecting sheep. Samples from affected sheep were sent to the State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (SVDL) at EMAI, where veterinary pathologists proposed a diagnosis of cervicothoracic vertebral subluxation (CVS) on both properties.
CVS, also known as wobbler syndrome, is a neurological disease with progressive ataxia, caused by compression (or stretching) of the spinal cord due to an abnormality in the spinal column. Affected animals can be recognised by a particular stance where the neck is shortened and head held low, and an ataxic, or ‘wobbly’ gait. It’s occurrence on two separate properties suggests that the prevalence of this disease may be moderate to high.
Both cases were referred to the Genetics Laboratory at the SVDL who have arranged the collection of additional samples and pedigree information to facilitate a molecular investigation into the genetic basis for this disease. A funding application in collaboration with the University of Sydney has been submitted with the aim to commence investigations early in 2016. The primary objectives of the project are to discover the mutation responsible and develop a DNA based test to provide an effective management solution for effected producers and the sheep industry.
This example of cross departmental collaboration is critical for the early detection, diagnosis and management of emerging conditions such as inherited disease. Picture – On-farm sampling. From left to right – Brendon O’Rourke (Molecular Geneticist, SVDL); Mark Mortimer (Sheep producer); Nik Cronin (District Veterinarian, Central West Local Land Services (LLS)).’
More information: Dr Brendon O’Rourke, EMAI.
Tel: 02 4640 6441 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Droughthub – NSW DPI
Brucellosis in animals and humans
“Unlike most species of Brucella, B. ovis is not known to infect humans”
http://www.cdc.gov/brucellosis/clinicians/brucella-species.html – ‘Brucella ovis and neotomae Not known to be pathogenic for humans”
NSW Weedwise smartphone app (iOS, Android, web)
New findings show cats can be safely de-sexed before 10 weeks of age
From my alma mater:
(Alma mater (Latin: alma “nourishing/kind”, mater “mother”)
Big science stories of 2015 – quiz
Anti malware and evil worm man
Source: Malwarebytes – how does anti-malware work?
(What’s so bad about being a worm man?)
Santa Now Offering End-To-End Customer-Focused Christmas Delivery Solutions
Saint Nicholas of Myra – the real man behind Santa
‘Specialist: someone who knows more and more about less and less ’till they know everything about nothing’ (S.L, pers comm (i.e. I am not aware of reading this elsewhere)).