A little bit on foot and mouth disease… (Day 519)

Preserved parasitology specimen fasciola hepatica from 1756

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Vet School Statement Review

 So today we started epizootology which is the science of the spread of diseases between animals. Depending on the way it is taught it could be really interesting or really dull, today we started the lecture watching a rather old video on foot and mouth disease in cattle. This was interesting as it was produced after the 1967 epidemic, and basically predicted another outbreak which happened with the major foot and mouth outbreak in 2001. The rest of the lecture went to going over different terminology.

We have a practical session straight after with the group doubled up so all 23 of us are in a single class. Because of this there is no room in the normal labs so we got moved to the infectious diseases building. This is basically a mini fenced in compound within the university campus where the really dangerous diseases are treated or diagnosed. The practical session was another lecture on health and safety and ways to clean contaminated areas.

After this I then had my parasites practical, we’ve got a different teacher this semester and I found the style of teaching to be a lot better for me to follow along. We’ve now started looking at the worm families with today going to the trematodes which are the flat-worms and includes probably one of the most famous parasites fasciola hepatica which is otherwise known as liver fluke. What I especially find interesting are that many of the sample specimens we have to work with here are amazing preserved, this specimen was prepared in 1756 so is 258 years old!

EDIT: I have been informed that the label on the bottle is in fact referencing the person that first described this parasite. It was described in Systema Naturae by Carl Linnaeus a Swedish scientist responsible for much of the naming methods of living things today.

Preserved parasitology specimen fasciola hepatica from 1756

2 thoughts on “A little bit on foot and mouth disease… (Day 519)

    • Thank you, now that was interesting to look into. It is amazing how much influence a single person had on a system that we use now everyday without realising.

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