Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Toothpaste' helps Israeli kangaroos bounce back to health

01.12.2010
Innovative medicinal application developed by Hebrew U. scientists fights gum diseases in kangaroos

Kangaroos living in captivity all over the world are known to suffer from “lumpy jaw disease,” which results in periodontal diseases, severe gingivitis and abscesses which may lead to death in high percentages.

However, scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have now developed an innovative medicine in the form of topical applied varnish to treat periodontal diseases in kangaroos – thus increasing the survival rate from gum disease to 100 percent.

The quality of the captive diet as well as environmental stress often leads to development of periodontal diseases in kangaroos, which has severe ramifications. Four years ago, at the Gan Guru zoo in Israel, an outbreak of the disease led to the death of about forty percent of the zoo's kangaroos.

Without proper treatment, a kangaroo that becomes ill will soon lose its appetite, starve and will die within a short space of time. The high mortality rate from the illness results in dwindling populations -- compounding the already low reproduction rates among the kangaroos and low survival rates of baby kangaroos.

Existing treatment of periodontal diseases for kangaroos requires forced insertion of an antibiotic by anesthetic or by force several times a day, followed by solitary confinement of the animal to prevent cross infection of other animals. This treatment modality only increases the pressure subjected to the kangaroo and, as one can imagine, it is not easy to force-feed a kangaroo that weighs on average between 70 kg and 80 kg. This means that many of the kangaroos don't benefit from the treatment and therefore may die from the illness.

The innovative varnish treatment for periodontal diseases in kangaroos was developed by Prof. Michael Friedman of the School of Pharmacy at the Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Doron Steinberg of the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Dr. Eran Lavy of the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The treatment combines disinfectant agents, embedded in a polymeric matrix, and is based on the principle of sustained release of the drug from the varnish. The attending veterinarian applies the drug on the affected areas in the kangaroo's mouth. "The disinfectant materials are released gradually over several days, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the treatment of inflammation," says Prof. Friedman.

The researchers hypothesized that by using a version of the medicine that they developed, which is commonly used for treating oral diseases in humans, many kangaroos can be saved. The study, whose results were published recently in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, was conducted over three years among kangaroos in Gan Guru at Kibbutz Nir David and at the Tisch Family Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem, in collaboration with veterinarians Dr. Meytal Bakal-Weiss and Dr. Nili Avni-Magen. Treatment proved to be successful: All the kangaroos in which periodontal disease was detected early on and which were treated with the novel sustained release varnish made a complete and a speedy recovery from the disease.

"The new treatment is easier to implement compared to the current available treatment, because it doesn't require continued force-feeding over time, and it doesn't have side-effects as the current oral/systemic dosage form," explains Prof. Steinberg. "The delayed release mechanism greatly reduces the rate of suffering of the animal, leads to quick recovery and enables rapid return to the group, a fact which is of crucial importance in wild animal and zoo medicine."

The new treatment is good news for cats and dogs too. Most dogs aged four and above have, in one form or another, various dental problems. Like kangaroos, even dogs have severe periodontal infections that can lead to systemic diseases. In a recent study among dozens of dogs, it was found that the proposed application of a sustained release dental varnish is also effective in treating canine dental disorders.

"The new treatment can also be applied to other animals suffering from dental diseases and gingivitis, thereby reducing their suffering and long term of treatments," says Dr. Lavy. The researchers are now examining ways to integrate food supplements into the medicine to make it tastier for dogs.

As this oral problem is not confined only to Israel, the researchers have been approached by veterinarians from zoos in other countries to use this novel application in kangaroos and other animals as well.

The animal application has been patented by Yissum - the Hebrew University's technology transfer company – and is being offered for commercialization. Partners are now being sought to develop the treatment for wild animals and pets.

Rebecca Zeffert
Foreign Press Liaison
Dept. of Media Relations
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Tel: +972 (0)2 588 2811
Cell: +972 (0)54 882 0661
Fax: +972 (0)2 588 0058
rebeccaz@savion.huji.ac.il

Rebecca Zeffert | Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Further information:
http://www.huji.ac.il

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>