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Conor O’Halloran wins the 2020 ABCD & Boehringer Ingelheim Young Scientist Award
Conor O'Halloran BVSc MSc PhD is this year's winner of the ABCD & Boehringer Ingelheim Young Scientist Award, for his work on feline mycobacterial disease and the feline immune response to them. The award presentation, initially planned to be held at the ISFM congress in Rhodes in June – cancelled due to COVID-19 – will now be held during the ABCD slot of the ISFM Virtual Conference in August.
WSAVA Issues Guidance on Pets and the New Coronavirus.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has prepared an advisory document offering guidance and a series of Frequently Asked Questions to help its members when talking with pet owners concerned about the risk of infection with the new coronavirus (2019 n-CoV), following the outbreak in China.
The WSAVA’s advisory is available here: https://wsava.org/wp
Pan-European Study on the Prevalence of the Feline Leukaemia Virus Infection – Reported by the European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD Europe)
Viruses 2019, 11(11), 993; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11110993
The ABCD is a scientifically independent committee whose activities have been supported by Merial/ Boehringer Ingelheim, the founding sponsor of the ABCD, and from November 2018 additionally by Virbac.
Fact Sheets and ABCD Tools
In memory of prof. Michael Day
"We are all greatly saddened at the untimely passing of our dear friend and colleague Michael Day. We treasure his input in advancing the global vaccination guidelines in pets and his gracious input in our guidelines on adverse reactions to vaccination, which have been dedicated to his memory. Thank you Michael !"
A case of Bat Lyssavirus infection of a cat in Italy
Lyssaviruses are circulating in bats in most if not all European countries. Bat lyssaviruses may induce rabies also in cats and other species including humans. However, cases in species other than bats are extremely rare in Europe (in cats only 4 so far – 2007, 2009 and 2020 in France, and 2020 in Italy). Although bat lyssaviruses are circulating also in the UK, and the Mammal Society estimates that British cats could be killing 230 000 bats a year, no cases of cat rabies have been documented in the UK since many decades. This confirms that the risk for cats to be infected by bat lyssaviruses is very low.
In case of finding a cat with a captured bat (or after another close contact between them) the bat must not be touched without gloves. If this would happen, the hands should be washed with warm water and soup/detergent, disinfected, and a physician should be consulted. It should be stressed that even if the bat would transmit the lyssavirus to the cat, it takes several weeks before the cat develops rabies and starts shedding the virus. Therefore, if laboratory exclusion of rabies in the bat cadaver is not possible, during that time the cat must be isolated and observed by a veterinarian for rabies signs (usually 3 months). In some countries during this observation period a series vaccinations against rabies may be allowed by veterinary officials.
See also the ABCD Guideline on Feline Rabies
08 July, 2020
Cats and COVID-19
ABCD keeps you updated about SARS-CoV-2 and cats
SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus associated with COVID-19 in humans, can also infect animals. In the Netherlands and Denmark, mink farms have been affected and, in several countries, sporadic infections of cats and dogs have been reported, as well as infections in lions and tigers in the Bronx zoo. It has been postulated that the cats and dogs were infected from their owners who had COVID-19, while the big cats were likely infected from their keeper who, although asymptomatic, was infected with SARS-CoV-2.
ABCD is monitoring the situation with “SARS-coronavirus (CoV)-2 and cats”, the current knowledge is reviewed in our Guideline:
A Spanish translation see here.
This guideline will be updated regularly as new data become available. Given the potential for infected individuals to infect their pets, in households where people are sick with COVID-19, close contact with pet cats and dogs should be avoided. It is preferable that another member of the household without symptoms should care for the animal. If any owner with COVID-19 must continue to care for their pet while ill, they should maintain basic hygiene measures, for example washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after being near or handling their animals, their food, or their supplies, as well as avoiding kissing or licking their pets or sharing food or towels.
Answers to common questions on COVID-19 and cats:
ABCD emphasises that there is currently no evidence that cats transmit SARS-CoV-2 to humans. Pet owners should always maintain good hygiene practices and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets.
24 June, 2020
Upon a joint initiative of veterinary clinicians, scientists and an industry sponsor, the Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD) has been constituted. In 2005, ABCD held its first meeting in Lyon, France. Its objectives are to communicate scientific developments in feline infectious diseases, to establish a rational base for vaccine use and for disease prevention and control in the cat and to publish its conclusions for the companion animal practitioners’ scene. It is achieving this goal by organizing conventions, at which specific issues are scheduled, discussed and agreed upon. The objective is to define a code of practice that reflects the present state of knowledge on infectious diseases of the cat.
ESCCAP (European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites) is an independent, non-profit making organisation consisting of experts in the field of parasitology and public health from across Europe.
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