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Vaccinology symposium celebrates a life in science

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‘TODAY is a celebration of science, it is a celebration of veterinary science and, of course, it is a celebration of Declan McKeever,’ said Joe Brownlie, professor of veterinary pathology at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), opening the proceedings of ‘Towards Vaccines for Parasitic Diseases’, a symposium organised to celebrate the work of Declan McKeever, a renowned veterinary immunologist, who died earlier this year (VR, February 15, 2014, vol 174, pp 176-177; March 1, vol 174, pp 225-226). Held at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire on October 21, the symposium brought together world experts to discuss issues surrounding the development of vaccines for parasitic diseases. ‘Parasitology doesn't always get the publicity it should have, but we will hear today how important it is,’ Professor Brownlie said.

The symposium programme explained that parasites cause many punishing diseases worldwide, particularly in the developing world, and many millions of people and livestock are affected by these diseases chronically, even fatally. The global problem has increased due to the rise in resistance of parasites to chemotherapy. One of the speakers at the meeting, Brian Perry, Kenya-based professor of tropical diseases at the Jenner Institute, pointed out that, with the world's population estimated to grow from 7.2 to 9.6 billion by 2050, the increase in demand for livestock products was also expected to be huge. ‘We have pork and eggs going …

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