In Short

Published on November 14, 2018

AVMA announces members' annual meeting

The 2019 annual meeting of AVMA voting members will be held Friday, Jan. 11, from 8:30-10 a.m. CST at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, 540 N. Michigan Ave. As determined by the AVMA Board of Directors, the meeting will be held in conjunction with the regular winter session of the AVMA House of Delegates, during the plenary session of the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference.

The meeting will include reports from the treasurer and AVMA staff, a message from the president, speeches by candidates for president-elect, and other information as determined by the House Advisory Committee.

Vaccinating chickens may have reduced human illness

In China, a vaccine administered to chickens may have prevented a wave of human infections with avian influenza, according to a recent article.

In October, researchers with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences wrote that an inactivated vaccine against H5 and H7 avian influenza strains, administered in September 2017, reduced human infections (Cell Host Microbe 2018;24:558-568). While there were 766 reported human infections with H7N9 from Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017, only three infections were reported from Oct. 1, 2017, through mid-2018. The authors wrote that vaccinating poultry may have prevented a sixth wave of human infections since 2013.

H7N9 avian influenza viruses have caused at least 1,567 known infections in people in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan—and 615 deaths since February 2013.

Early tests show promise for Lassa, rabies vaccine

A possible human-use vaccine against Lassa fever and rabies prompted antibody development in tests on mice and guinea pigs.

Preclinical trial results indicate the inactivated vaccine, Lassarab, also protected guinea pigs exposed to Lassa virus 58 days after vaccination, according to an article published Oct. 11 in the journal Nature Communications and an announcement from the National Institutes of Health. The vaccine is in development by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia; University of Minho in Braga, Portugal; University of California-San Diego; and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases within the NIH.

The NIH announcement describes Lassarab as a recombinant vaccine candidate that uses a rabies virus vector with added genetic material from the Lassa virus. The vaccine virus expresses surface proteins from both the rabies and Lassa viruses.

Lassa fever is endemic in West Africa, where it spreads through Mastomys rats and bodily fluids of infected people.

Welborn receives AAHA Dedicated Service Award

Dr. Welborn
Dr. Link Welborn

The American Animal Hospital Association awarded the first AAHA Dedicated Service Award in September to Dr. Link Welborn, a past president of AAHA and owner of four small animal hospitals in Florida.

The AAHA Dedicated Service Award is awarded to a veterinarian who is an AAHA member involved in or retired from clinical private or academic practice and who has at least 20 years of commitment and service to AAHA, the profession, the community, and patients as well as excellence in small animal medicine.

Dr. Welborn chaired AAHA task forces that produced revisions to the AAHA Standards of Accreditation for small animal practices, the first AAHA Standards of Accreditation for specialty practices, and the 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines. He was a member of the AAHA-AVMA task force that developed guidelines for canine and feline preventive care (J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2011;47:306-311). He served as AAHA delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates from 2009-16.

A diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, certified in canine and feline practice, Dr. Welborn earned his veterinary degree in 1982 from the University of Florida.

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