Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Danes export sick breeding pigs to Russia

The Russian government claims that Denmark has recklessly sent them infected breeding pigs accompanied with health certificates issued by Danish government veterinarians.

They claim this case "demonstrated the systemic lack of competence of veterinary services of the EU countries."

The Russians are on the ball:  corrupt and/or useless government veterinarians recklessly issuing health certificates on sick live pigs in international trade is the reason many diseases circle the world.

This goes way beyond Denmark and Russia.

Some of the diseases carried are dangerous to human health.

This is how the British epidemics of  Classical Swine Fever  and Foot and Mouth 2000/1 came from live legal imports of infected breeding pigs accompanied by "clean" health certificates.

MAFF (the British Agricultural Ministry) lied their heads off to cover the incompetence of their vets in failing to spot that the pigs were not healthy.

This is where the writer first became involved in animal health (and now where the vets start leaving in disgrace.)

It's ironic that it is the Danes are the ones that got caught, but "bad money drives out good."

You can see why the Danes' own Minister of Agriculture blew the whistle on his own defiant veterinarians , and published the names of farms with sick pigs and massive antibiotic usage. See latest report.

Over the last decade Britain has lacked any Minister prepared to take a powerful wealthy veterinary industry to task.

But  that is what you get in the world's first, only and definitely last vetocracy.

Report from Moscow

Problems Associated with Import of Live Pigs from Denmark

In 2010 the Rosselkhoznadzor authorized import of 1360 breeding pigs from Denmark to the Belgorodskaya Oblast.

The animals were imported in three consignments accompanied with phytosanitary certificates issued by the National Veterinary Service of Denmark according to which the animals were clinically healthy.

320 animals with lesions on legs and limp were detected in the course of the daily clinical examination in the quarantine period.

The experts made a conclusion that the lesions on their legs were of infectious nature and the veterinary specialists of Denmark agreed with them. Some animals died.

Microorganisms of genus Mycoplasma and Chlamydiaceae were detected in the pathological material; the dysentery agent T. hyodysenteria was isolated in the course of microscopic examination.

The Chief Veterinary Veterinarian for the Belgorodskaya Oblast ordered that the quarantine period should be prolonged. The clinical examinations of animals under quarantine showed the disease progression that indicates that the animals with latent infections had been imported into the quarantine stations and it contradicts the animal health status specified in the veterinary certificates.

This case demonstrated the systemic lack of competence of veterinary services of the EU countries in the fulfillment of veterinary requirements for export of products subject to surveillance into the territory of Russia.

Taking into account the major violations of the animal health requirements and standards of Russia made by the veterinary service of Denmark in export of breeding pigs, the Rosselkhoznadzor considered it appropriate to impose temporary restrictions on import of breeding animals from a number of Danish farms to Russia.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Circocirus and MRSA - pig to pig spread

This abstract says nothing really new for anyone using their common sense, but it needed saying.

It has been obvious for years that circovirus, and associated MRSA, travelled from pig to pig and to new herds by live introductions.

The real crime here is that Britain, and others, knowingly exported live pigs worldwide and imported live pigs from infected areas despite the obvious risks.

They also ecouraged domestic pyramid systems almost  as if to make quite sure that no herd escaped porcine circovirus.

Government then covered up what they had done by illegal methods including blatent organised intimidation of whistle-blowers and any farmer complaining.

This was veterinarians, supposed to be combating disease, causing and spreading disease through greed and recklessly signed health certificates.

Even if circovirus is completely harmless to humans, something uncertain, this impacts on the human population by the excessive antibiotic use to deal with other illnesses in circovirus weakened pig herds.

Excessive antibiotic use creates, sustains and spreads antibiotic resistant disease such as MRSA within pigs that evetually spread to humans.

Much as they would like to think otherwise, and are now anxious to suggest, it is ironic that the vets themselves and their families are most at risk.

They will be shunned: “ex-veterinarian” - the modern equivalent of the leper’s bell.

Still, who needs vets without the right to prescribe antibiotics; a right that will inevitably be curbed or removed?

The practice of veterinary medicine relies on them; without antibiotics, veterinarians are of little value to any animal or its owner.

Anim Health Res Rev. 2010 Dec;11(2):217-234.

Epidemiology and horizontal transmission of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2).

Patterson AR, Opriessnig T.

Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, 1600 S. 16th Street, Ames, IA 50011, USA.


Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is a small, non-enveloped, circular, single-stranded DNA virus of economic importance in the swine industry worldwide. Based on the sequence analyses of PCV2 strains, isolates can be divided into five subtypes (PCV2a-e). PCV2 is an ubiquitous virus based on serological and viremia data from countries worldwide. In addition, PCV2 DNA was discovered in archived samples prior to the first recognition of clinical disease. Recently, a worldwide shift in PCV2 subtype from PCV2a to PCV2b occurred. PCV2 DNA can be detected in fecal, nasal, oral and tonsillar swabs as well as in urine and feces from both naturally and experimentally infected pigs. PCV2 DNA can be detected early in the infectious process and persists for extended periods of time. The effectiveness of disinfectants for reducing PCV2 in vitro is variable and PCV2 is very stable in the pig environment. Limited data exist on the horizontal transmission of PCV2. Direct transmission of PCV2 between experimentally or naturally infected animals and naïve animals has been documented and the incorporation of clinical or subclinically infected animals into a population represents a risk to the herd. Indirect transmission through the oral, aerosol or vaccine routes is likely a lesser risk for the transmission of PCV2 in most swine populations but may be worth evaluating in high heath herds. The objective of this review was to discuss data on the epidemiology and horizontal transmission of PCV2.

PMID: 21087576 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Antibiotic use in Danish pigs curbed thanks to whistle blowing Minister

The quite extraordinary story of the Danish Agriculture Minister who blew the whistle on his own uncooperative veterinarians and exposed excessive antibiotic use with names, addresses, a league table and even an interactive map identifying the farms.

The exposure may have caused fury in Denmark, but it worked.

A lot less antibiotics are being used in Danish pigs.

Embarrassment and public exposure worked to curb an over privileged dangerous drug pushing veterinary industry.

We could do with such an unconventional Minister in Britain, and elsewhere. He got things done and deserves the praise.

The industry who complained bitterly about his unorthodox exposure, now rush to associate themselves with a success story, even arranging for it to be "leaked" into the English language media.

You can read the hilarious original story here

Now we get the latest instalment - mechanical translation - link to publisher

Antibiotics curve is broken

10. November 2010

Completely new figures showing that consumption of antibiotics in swine production has fallen sharply in the third quarter. Yellow-card system works so smoothly, think pig industry.

The latest figures from Vetstat of antibiotic consumption in Danish pig shows that consumption has dropped markedly in the third quarter. From 26,820 kg active substance in the second quarter of 2010 to 23,681 kilograms in the third quarter, which means a decrease in the entire 11.7 percent.

If you compare with same period last year fell just as sharply, from 25,490 kg active substance in the third quarter of 2009 to 23,681 in 2010.

- The figures confirm a feeling that we have had for some time, namely that consumption of pig barns are falling. So we are very satisfied and it is great that farmers and veterinarians have taken the job on him and snapped antibiotics curve, says Nicolaj Nørgaard, Director of Information Centre for Pig Production, Food & Agriculture.

According to the director, the new data that food minister yellow card scheme, which focuses on the farms with the highest consumption of antibiotics, which entered into force 1 July 2010, already seems to be working.

- We have the entire process with the minister's yellow card scheme backed the scheme and on the target antibioitikaforbruget in pig production to be lowered. For me there is no doubt that we can now see that the system works as intended, says Nicolaj Nørgaard.

He stresses, however, the importance of that sick animals should be treated correctly.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

C.Diff superbug in Britain, links to pigs?

This particular 027 strain, known as NAP 1 in North America seems to be pig associated. 

Other strains may be too. The writer first suspected a connection some years ago and started pressing publicly for tests on pigs. See here for Dutch research.

It first showed up in Britain in areas where he knew the pigs were ill with Circovirus (Lowestoft) and killed 22 hospital patients.

In Quebec, where hundreds of people died, the pigs were sick with Circovirus  too.

It now seems that things are worse in Britain than elsewhere. The pigs, still sick with Circovirus, remain untested for C.Diff.

Britain has highest rates of dangerous superbug in Europe: research

Britain has the highest proportion of a dangerous 'super-strain' of the hospital bug Clostridium difficile in Europe, according to a new study.

7:30AM GMT 16 Nov 2010

There are dozens of strains of C-diff, a bug which takes hold in vulnerable hospital patients who have been treated with antibiotics and causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting. It can be fatal.

Overuse of antibiotics and poor hygiene are thought to be the cause of the disease spreading.
A new Europe-wide study investigated cases of C-diff in a selection of hospitals in 29 countries, examining a particularly dangerous strain called 027.

The results, published in The Lancet medical journal, show that across Europe, the 027 strain accounted for just five per cent of all C.diff cases, making it only the sixth most common variant.

But in the British hospitals where samples were tested, the rate was at least 25 per cent of C.diff cases, one in four.

The latest data from the Health Protection Agency shows there are around 25,500 C.diff cases in England a year meaning that if the pattern were reperated across the country then thousands of patients are suffering the more dangerous strain... (more)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Swiss finger MRSA st398 as dangerous

The MRSA st398 saga continues. Britain, the world's first, only, and undoubtedly last vetocracy, remains a black hole for relevant science and information.

Just how much of a human disaster are Britain's dangerous secretive government veterinarians hiding up?

We still don't know accurately how much antibiotic is used to get sick pigs to slaughter and officialdom still denies that British pigs have MRSA st398.

We do now know officially  that Circovirus arrived in Britain in 1999 and was spreading, preceding the disastrous Classified Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth outbreaks, thus giving the lie to previous veterinary histories.

These fabrications placed the Circovirus problems as arising after the twin epidemics, wrongly trying to make the Circovirus epidemic a result of, not the contributory factor to, Foot and Mouth in 2000-2001.

We are now, at last, getting admissions that the government veterinarians did nothing about Circovirus in pigs for six years and were shocked when they found that almost all British pigs were infected or carrying.

MRSA st398 in pigs is following the same pattern - outright denial, despite not having done more than the most perfunctory testing of a few dust samples, and this by an organisation known to deliberately fake such tests and threaten anyone exposing them to Parliament.

This time matters seem even more serious.

Swiss report here

Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

HAMAP: Staphylococcus aureus (strain MRSA ST398 / isolate S0385)
complete proteome

…Methicillin resistant S.aureus (MRSA) ST398 strains are becoming a
worldwide threat. Originally isolated from pigs, and widely
distributed worldwide in livestock, ST398 strains are also found in
human carriers and patients, domestic animals but also in meat
products for human consumption. Recent studies reported the more
promiscuous transmission of ST398 among humans; in China ST398 strains
are now causing hospital acquired infections…

… Indeed the very variable resistance patterns of ST398 isolates
suggests they may acquire foreign DNA quite easily under antibiotic

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Circovirus in pigs - wasted years in Britain.


Well, well!  This explains what Britain's infamous State Veterinary Service were doing about circovirus in British pigs from 1999 to 2005.

Absolutely nothing!

They were too busy scheming, lying, cheating, misleading the media and trying to terrorise anyone reporting them to Parliament, and the EU serious fraud squad, for test faking during Classified Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth.

Having got away with it so far, they are now repeating the performance with the results of their previous crime wave - MRSA st398.

This time it's even worse - nasty antibiotic resistant disease spreading from livestock to humans.

Report here

From exotic to endemic: a new disease of pigs

...9 November 2010

Research is underway to tackle a new and mysterious disease that threatens young pigs in the UK and Europe. Scientists have taken the first steps toward understanding the disease by developing a model to assess the severity of post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), a new but common disease in the UK which was first seen in England in 1999 and Scotland in 2002...

...Werling says that when his team started their research in 2006 they knew nothing about the status of the disease England and that no one was researching it in Scotland or Wales either.

"The first news was that PCV2 present in England on a shocking scale. Present in 99% of English farms before they started vaccinating," says Werling. ""We have a real endemic disease at the moment and we may really struggle to get rid of it or we may not get rid of it at all."...

Sunday, 7 November 2010

PMWS - Circovirus. Antibiotic use in Danish pig herds and MRSA

This abstract helps illustrate the link between antibiotic use and PMWS (circovirus) outbreaks and explains the creation of MRSA st398 and increased veterinary abuse of drugs important to human health.

But still nothing is done either to curb wild dangerous veterinary prescription and cover-ups.

The veterinarians must want to collapse their industry in international disgrace. They are getting there at ever increasing speed.

It’s pretty obvious that you don’t spend money on antibiotics for healthy pigs, the antibiotic usage figures from government sources, when published, expose the enormous numbers of sick pigs being nursed through illness to slaughter.

Link to abstract here

Antimicrobial use in Danish pig herds with and without postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome.

Vibeke Frøkjaer Jensen, Claes Enøe, Henrik Wachmann, Elisabeth Okholm Nielsen

Preventive Veterinary Medicine (2010)

Volume: 95, Issue: 3-4, Pages: 239-247
·         PubMed ID: 20471123
Available from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
A retrospective cohort study was performed on 130 pig herds in Denmark, to assess the effect of PMWS on the use of antimicrobial drug. The study comprised 65 herds diagnosed with PMWS during 2003-2004, and matched by the veterinary practitioner with 65 herds free from PMWS. Information on antimicrobial use 1 year before and 1 year after the diagnosis was achieved from the National Prescription Medicine Monitoring Database, VetStat, and summarized on quarter within age group and herd....

... Relative to the unaffected herds, the antimicrobial use in the sow units in the PMWS(+) herds was elevated significantly by 35% in the last quarter and 43% in the fourth quarter before positive diagnosis in the herds (p<0.05). In weaner pigs, the antimicrobial use increased significantly two quarters before, and one quarter after the positive diagnosis, by 68%, 91% and 124% respectively. In weaner pigs, effects were seen of herd size and season. The study support that increased morbidity occur for an extended period prior to the diagnosis of PMWS, both in the sow units and the weaner pig units and further indicate that the syndrome cease after the diagnosis, with a decrease in need for antimicrobial treatment.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

MRSA st398 in Danish cattle - Swedes worry

Swedish dairy farmers and their veterinarians are reacting to the  increasingly serious situation developing in Denmark.

The Swedish veterinary authorities are very aware that Danish farmers are isolated on admission to hospital, because of the dangers of spread within the hospital.

The advice, not to buy animals in, is good. It is clear that most transmission is animal to animal.

The British authorities remain in stubborn denial, with the domestic news black-out more or less intact.

In the  Internet age, that is a ridiculous situation: the world will demand explanations.

Mechanical translation from Swedish - link here

MRSA in cattle in Denmark

According to Danish media have MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) have been found in Danish cattle.MRSA is the bacterium that causes in humans are difficult to treat infections and which are called hospital infections.
- It is commonly used in pig and cattle herds, for example, Holland and Belgium. Where the situation is such that farmers are isolated in their own rooms when they are admitted to hospital, "saysCharlotte Hallén Sandgren, veterinarian and director of the Swedish Dairy Animal Health.
Own room might sound nice, but the situation is very serious. The good news is that the strain of MRSA found in Denmark, ST398, not yet proven to be particularly pathogenic.
- But bacteria are capricious. The man is worried about is that it will change their properties, "says Charlotte Hallén Sandgren.
She is also concerned that MRSA will spread to Swedish cattle farms.
- In Sweden, we use primarily penicillin in the treatment of mastitis.If we get MRSA and treat with penicillin so it means basically that we give free reign since the MRSA bacteria are resistant to it. And we have no way of screening tests to find it and if we could get it so we do not know how to get rid of it in affected herds, "says Charlotte Hallén Sandgren.
The main diffusion path is contact transmission. It is quite clear that the bacterium has a very good ability to attach to things that are in contact with.
- It is spread mainly through contact with other animals and humans, so do not buy animals and think about the procedures you have to accept any sort of presence on the farm, "says Charlotte Hallén Sandgren.
Farms that receive visits are recommended to require protective clothing and that visitors wash their hands before they enter the herd.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Increasing numbers of MRSA st398 carriers worry Dutch hospitals.

The Dutch worry about costs of increasing MRSA st398 carriers on their search and destroy policy.

Although MRSA st398 is present in Britain and has been for years, and we know that it has been found in livestock, the source is officially unknown and we have no statistics.

No specific precautions are taken when admitting veterinarians and pig workers to hospital.

We do not know the human costs of this laissez faire policy, let alone the financial implications on Britain's NHS.

Heads will have to roll in Britain. The Dutch are years ahead in tacking a worsening problem.

“...In the last years we have witnessed major changes in the Dutch MRSA epidemiology. Since 2003 a new MRSA strain (ST398), which originated from livestock, emerged in the Netherlands. 

Importantly, there is now a substantial number of MRSA carriers in the Netherlands with persistent (professional) exposure to ST398 MRSA in whom MRSA eradication will not be effective, due to repeated exposure..."

Extract of Utrecht University paper available here

Costs and effects of MRSA control in Dutch hospitals

authors  Wassenberg, M.W.M.

source  Geneeskunde Proefschriften (2010)

The full text of this item will be available after 11-05-2011

publisher  Utrecht University

document type  Dissertation


In the Netherlands the prevalence of MRSA among S. aureus bloodstream isolates was as low as 0.7% in 2008. This low prevalence is maintained by a nationwide MRSA policy (also called search and destroy), that has been employed in Dutch hospitals since 1984. In the last years we have witnessed major changes in the Dutch MRSA epidemiology.

Since 2003 a new MRSA strain (ST398), which originated from livestock, emerged in the Netherlands. Importantly, there is now a substantial number of MRSA carriers in the Netherlands with persistent (professional) exposure to ST398 MRSA in whom MRSA eradication will not be effective, due to repeated exposure.

We performed a large Dutch multicenter study and calculated that the relative risk on transmission of MRSA ST398 in the hospital, as compared to healthcare associated (HA)-MRSA, was only 0.28. The calculated RA ratio between HA-MRSA and livestock associated MRSA was 5.9 (95% CI 2.2-23.8), suggesting livestock associated MRSA is almost six times less transmissible than HA-MRSA. Also, the MRSA prevalence among admitted patients suspected for MRSA carriage because of treatment in foreign hospitals appeared lower than previously reported: 1.6% and 1.9% in two Dutch multicenter trial we executed between 2005 and 2008.

Besides changes in MRSA epidemiology, new rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) have become available that allow more rapid detection for MRSA carriage. The most important advantage of RDT is the reduction in unnecessary pre-emptive isolation days. RDT of MRSA reduced the number of pre-emptive isolation days with 48% and 60% when using chromogenic agar and MRSA PCR, respectively. Infection control policies to prevent S. aureus infections, both MSSA and MRSA, in the Netherlands are cost-saving, despite the costs to execute preventive control policies. Yet, cost-effectiveness of RDT for MRSA is unknown.

In the Dutch multicenter trial the extra costs of screening and pre-emptive isolation of high risk patients were €95.77, €125.43 and €6.74 per isolation day avoided, using IDI PCR, GeneXpert PCR and chromogenic agar for MRSA screening, respectively. Since the additional costs of one extra isolation day on a regular ward in a non-outbreak situation were estimated to be €26.34, chromogenic screening, but not PCR-based screening, is a cost saving procedure. In conclusion, there is no need to pre-emptively isolate patients with a high risk for MRSA carriage on hospital admission. These patients can be screened using both RDT and conventional microbiological cultures. Closure of wards for new admissions is rarely necessary anymore when using PCR-based testing.



Tuesday, 2 November 2010

MRSA st398 - Occupational hazard for pig farmers

The realisation of the full significance of MRSA st398 in pigs continues to grow.
This from Switzerland in French - mechanical translation
MRSA st398 is a major risk to the health of veterinarians and pig farmers.
Interestingly, the Swiss correctly record that MRSA st398 is in England, but do not make a specific link to pigs in England.
One wonders how long the British government will continue to hold back on information that should be made public.
Staphylococci resistant to methicillin (MRSA): a new occupational hazard among pig farmers
Bulletin of scientific monitoring of health, environment, labor: science news briefs.

2010, No. 10, p.
48-51 48-51
Full text in French available via link here

In 2004, Holland, a particular strain of Staphylococcus aureus resistant aureus1 (MRSA2 for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) was found in people in contact with pigs.

After investigations it was found that 39% of Dutch pigs and 23% of pig farmers were carriers (in their nasal passages) of the strain whose DNA profiles obtained by the technique MLST3 (ST398) is usually different from the MRSA clones responsible for nosocomial infections (Maugat et al. 2009; Lucet et al. 2005).

Since then, a growing number of studies on the emergence of this strain in other countries (Canada, France, Germany, England, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Singapore) and in other animals (horses, dogs, cows and chickens) were published. In January 2009, a study reports that this strain has been isolated in the USA during the control of two very large pig farms.

ST398 MRSA strains were found in 70% of animals and in 9 of the 14 employees of one of the two farms involved.  In Holland, the proportion of pig farmers colonized by these MRSA rose from 23% in 2004 to 50% in 2008 (against 0.03% in the general population, that is to say no contact with farm animals ).

In several countries the possibility of transmission from animals to humans and between humans has been confirmed by several studies and concerns primarily farmers, their families and veterinarians (Khanna et al. 2008; Smith et al. 2008; Wulf et al. 2008).

Therefore, the pig may be an important réservoir MRSA that may spread to other animals and humans.

The emergence of this new zoonose can have serious impacts on public health and is an emerging occupational hazard for pig farmers.

Indeed, if in the vast majority of cases, the nasal colonization of humans by these MRSA are asymptomatic, the involvement of MRSA ST398 in infectious complications (endocarditis, pneumonia, sepsis and infection of the skin) has already was observed.

The two items proposed in this note deal with the problem of infectious complications. [Author]