Skip to Main Content

Advanced Veterinary Clinical Training: Ultrasound detection of OPA as part of the veterinary control plan on farm.

Event date: Thursday, 03 November 2022

Event location: Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, EH26 0PZ


Veterinary practitioners.

Booking information:

OPA event – Booking form (MS Word document)

Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA), also known as Jaagsiekte, is a disease of great concern in the sheep industry causing heavy losses in some flocks. OPA results from infection with the Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV) which is passed between sheep mainly by the respiratory route.

The virus induces a lung tumour that is eventually fatal and by the time clinical signs are apparent the affected sheep may already have infected many others with the virus. Therefore, there is a demand from farmers to identify OPA at pre-clinical stages.

Transthoracic ultrasonography is currently the best method for detection of OPA lesions in live sheep before the development of clinical signs as no reliable diagnostic blood test is available for individual sheep. As described in our paper (Cousens & Scott, Vet Record, 2015), trans-thoracic ultrasonography can be applied to confirm a diagnosis of OPA, to screen bought-in sheep or to screen an affected flock in order to remove sheep with OPA at an early stage. We now have more than 7 years of experience in whole flock scanning and will share what we have learned in this time. See also Cousens et al., Vet Record, 2022.

The main focus of the day will be to provide one-to-one practical training on scanning live sheep with or without OPA, following this up with necropsy of the sheep so that the association between the scan output and gross lesions can be confirmed. This will follow presentations covering the most up-to-date knowledge on OPA and transthoracic ultrasound scanning.

For more information contact ; Phone: 0131 445 5111 ext. 47424 (note: unavailable 6-24th Oct).

  • Minimum 8, maximum 16 participants.
  • Cost = £350
  • CPD approx. 7h, including 4h practical training.
  • Sandwich lunch included.
  • There will be several ultrasound scanners available. Also, participants are invited to bring along their own ultrasound machines and may make their own recordings. We aim to provide at least 8 cases of OPA at various stages as well as negative control sheep.
  • A USB stick will be provided for each participant with all course materials including ultrasound video recordings of ovine respiratory diseases for future reference.
  • To enrol, submit the completed booking form. There will be a waiting list after the first 16 paid.


9:30 am

Dr Chris Cousens -- OPA (the science, applications of whole flock scanning, results-to-date)

10:30 am

Coffee break

10:45 am

Dr Phil Scott -- Trans-thoracic ultrasound (What to look for, experience with whole flock scanning, additional benefits of scanning)

12:00 pm


12:45 pm

Practical ultrasound scanning. There will be several microconvex scanners available and at least 8 cases of OPA at various stages of the disease as well as negative control sheep.

2:45 pm

Coffee break

3:00 pm

Scanning and necropsy of some of the sheep. Review of ultrasound and necropsy findings.

4:30 pm

Q&A, Summing up.

Join the Moredun Community

Contribute to the Moredun community, and together we can help make a difference to livestock health. View newssheets and updates online.

Sign up