Second joint Human and Veterinary Cardiology Symposium

Together for health, in the heart of Bordeaux

Bordeaux, October 2011

Opportunities for exchanges between human and veterinary health are few and far between. A major international event was held recently in Bordeaux.

The most eminent experts for an original event

Over one hundred world experts in human and veterinary cardiology were welcomed to Bordeaux over the weekend of 1st and 2nd October. Ceva Santé Animale was behind this unique event. The specialists spent all day Saturday at the splendid Hall de la bourse (old stock exchange) Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss the latest research (see the summary of the sessions at the end of this document, page 4 – a more detailed scientific report can be supplied). All in all, more than 120 scientists from 15 countries were able to benefit from this unique event. Each theme was addressed in turn from the human and veterinary medicine viewpoints, and the rich discussions brought up plenty of ideas on both sides. On Sunday, the cardiology researchers continued their discussions more informally on a visit to Saint Emilion.

The One Health Concept

For several years, the ‘One Health’ concept has sought to address health from a more global point of view, because of the close links between human and animal health and the environment. Ceva Santé Animale is committed to this collaborative approach, applied here to cardiology, one of its sectors of expertise. “The One Health concept often remains very theoretical,” commented Martin Mitchell, Ceva Group Communications Director. “Here, we have a highly practical application. This kind of ‘mixed’ congress is very rare.” The first joint cardiology symposium organized by Ceva Santé Animale two years ago in Bordeaux was a big success among experts in both human and veterinary cardiology. The scientists particularly appreciated the chance to pool their results and study similarities and differences between the human and canine contexts. Several joint research efforts were even launched.

Marc Prikazsky, Ceva Santé Animale CEO, explains: “Some of these initiatives - aside from involving researchers outside traditional veterinary boundaries, also take us further into the field of applied diagnostics. I think for example of the advances in our knowledge of biomarkers, where the combination of being able to predict the development of cardiac failure and the feedback of accurate information to clinicians will vastly improve our ability to care for companion animals.”

Appreciated by all

With more presentations and twice as many cardiologists invited to take part, in 2011 Ceva built on its 2009 success. Sylvie Bourrelier, Operational Director Western Europe – Companion Animals for Ceva (organizer of the event) said: “Last time, the participants were a bit shy when the time came to ask questions, but this year there was no stopping them! The concept of exchanges between the human and veterinary sectors is a real success on both sides.

And now what?

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Ceva decides to keep up the tradition in 2013!” Nuala Summerfield, Veterinary Cardiologist at the North Downs Specialist Referrals Clinic in the south of England. Nuala Summerfield was expressing the opinion of most of the scientists who took part. On many occasions during the presentations, the speakers referred to results of one study or another that should be ready to be presented at the next symposium in two years’ time. 

But there were also other ideas put forward with great enthusiasm! Why not organize joint hosting of students preparing their thesis? A student in human medicine could prepare their thesis in a veterinary research laboratory, while a young vet could spend a few years in a human medicine research centre. A way of providing both of them with a broader vision for their future careers.
I also think that this joint symposium can be applied to other fields, such as that of pain, for example. I am sure it would be of interest,” concluded Sylvie Bourrelier.

What they said… scientists’ reactions to the event

Faiez Zannad, Professor of Therapeutics and Cardiology and Coordinator of the INSERM Clinical Investigation Centre in Nancy, declared: “It is even better than the first time. The science is of an even higher standard. The speakers are of a very high level. What is the third one going to be like?”

Mark Oyama, Assistant Professor of Veterinary Cardiology at Pennsylvania University: “We are familiar with all the results of the studies in humans, but we never get the occasion to meet the people behind those studies and to ask them questions. The scientists who come here are really open-minded. I think they want a global view, they have genuine scientific curiosity.”

Bertram Pitt, Emeritus Professor of Cardiology at Michigan University and one of the forerunners in clinical cardiology in the United States, said “Usually we take data from animals and apply it to humans. At this symposium, animal medicine takes data from human medicine and animal medicine pushes us to go back and do more research into certain areas. It shows us the direction we should be going in. I think this symposium is very useful to share our ideas. In this case, human medicine has stimulated animal medicine which is now stimulating human medicine in return!”

Jens Häggström, Professor of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Uppsala, Sweden: “Humans develop similar diseases to dogs, but generally they are operated on. This is not the case in dogs that therefore develop very advanced diseases. Doctors in the human sector are interested by what happens at the end of this disease. This is not something you see in humans, at least not in the western world. And then, even though the diseases may be slightly different between dogs and humans, the basic mechanisms are always the same.”

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