Thursday, 27 January 2011

Pigs, pork and C.Diff, investigations begin

The writer has publicly written about human C.Diff being linked to pigs for years. constantly mentioning Canada, as well as Britain, and this particular newspaper as being close to, but shying off, exposing the link.

Literally thousands of postings, over years, have been made all over the Internet pleading for action. The human death toll, misery and the costs to the hospitals have been massive every year.

His signature on the Internet has included C.Diff for about five years:

"Release and independently audit the results of testing British pigs for MRSA, C.Diff and Hepatitis E now!"

Britain too, has had many deaths in hospitals especially in pig producing areas.

Few dare suggest that pig farming might be to blame for anything in pig country. Nobody will research possible links, least of all Britain’s corrupt government veterinarians.

Now this morning, a famous name, Weese, and the “Hamilton Spectator” publicly suggesting a possible connection.

Yippee! It’s a good day. They do not come too often in a world careless of human life and riddled with organised deception and veterinary crime.

Link to full article in the Hamilton Spectator

Sleuthing superbugs

It’s called community-acquired Clostridium difficile, and it has scientists working overtime to find out why a strain of the potentially deadly bacterium is circulating so quickly outside health-care settings – with some researchers speculating the superbug is being spread in food.

One of the most virulent of the infections that threaten the lives of in-patients who are elderly or immunocompromised, C. diff is a new priority because it’s showing up more frequently in people who’ve never been in hospital.

Infection specialists have been able to batten down against C. diff in hospitals in the past few years, even though the bug remains hard to control in health-care settings. But as in-patient safety has improved, there’s been a sharp rise in cases in the general community, including in children and pregnant women.

“It used to be we only worried about these infections in the hospital setting,” said Dr. Doug Sider, an Ontario government health protection specialist.

So far, researchers cannot find a clear answer to how C. diff is spreading so persistently through the general population – infecting younger, healthier people with less severe but still threatening diarrheal infections. Current studies are preliminary at best. ...

...“This could well be associated with food-borne transmission … or there could be other factors. This is why we need a better handle on what’s happening.”

Research at the University of Guelph has linked veterinary science with food-safety expertise to track why the gastrointestinal superbug has moved into people with none of the classic risks. Certain antibiotics and hospital procedures such as bowel surgery are among factors that change the flora of the intestinal tract, making it possible for C. diff spores to activate and release toxins that cause severe diarrhea and sometimes death.

“It’s showing up in people who have contracted C. diff without being exposed to clinical environments or received antibiotic treatment,” said Keith Warriner, associate professor in food science at the University of Guelph. “We’re finding there’s been a steady increase in this. Is it something to do with the immune system, with stress? Is it something else?”

He and Scott Weese, a pathobiology specialist at the university’s veterinary college, are trying to establish whether the strain associated with community-acquired C. diff is spread through the food chain, or the general environment, for example through water.

Weese has found C. diff in pig manure and on pork but no firm link has been established to food. One possibility is that spores are in sludge spread on fields, and leaking into water, but no one is certain yet, Warriner said.

“People are looking at C. diff more now,” he added. “It’s a pathogen we clearly need to control. It kills 25,000 a year in North America.” ...

...Younger patients, less severe infections

As more information accumulates, hospitals are reporting that patients whose C. diff was contracted in the community are younger than the elderly people who normally succumb. Infections in pregnant women are also more common. A study published this month in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine showed the number of hospitalized children infected by the superbug rose 15 per cent a year between 1997 and 2006 in the United States. Other research shows that those with strong immune systems tend to ward off the infection more aggressively than the elderly. Some infected patients have no symptoms, but others develop toxic diarrhea, perforated bowels or other potentially fatal complications....

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States is collaborating with experts in food safety and veterinary medicine to answer a major question facing public health regulators: Is C. diff an emerging zoonosis? That’s the term used for an infectious disease in animals that can be transmitted to people. University of Guelph researchers Keith Warriner and Scott Weese are one of many teams exploring the troubling theory that C. diff could be food-borne. Researchers at the CDC, one of the world’s pre-eminent human health agencies, say that while there is no proof that people can get the superbug from food, there’s also no confirmed evidence that they cannot. ...

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Daily Mail on the dangers of MRSA in pigs.

Predictably, the Daily Mail repeats the Soil Association line that MRSA is a foreign danger to uninfected British pigs.  However, any idea that British pigs are currently clear of MRSA will not stand scrutiny.

Obviously the Soil Association, Britain's organic farming movement, are standing up to pressure to keep quiet about MRSA and pigs.

Anyway, takes the heat off the writer for the moment. A break is always welcome after a full decade of struggle.

He is fed up with being an “unpatriotic” unpopular voice in the wilderness, simply for trying to protect British children from the results of corrupt government veterinarians risking human lives to try to cover up their past mistakes and deceptions.

Full Daily Mail article here

Deadly superbugs are spread miles from farms on the feet of flies

By David Derbyshire

Last updated at 9:45 AM on 26th January 2011

...Organic farmers said the study highlighted the dangers of overusing antibiotics on farms and called for an urgent inquiry into the links between livestock and superbugs.

Although drug resistant bacteria such as MRSA are usually regarded as problems for hospitals, there is increasing evidence linking superbugs to farms.

Until the mid 2000s, farmers traditionally used antibiotics to speed up weight gain in pigs, chickens and other livestock. After they were banned as growth promoters by the EU, their use has fallen slightly in the UK.

However, campaign groups says farmers are still too dependent on antibiotics for minor ailments and that overuse increases the risk of bacteria evolving resistance to drugs needed to cure disease in people.

The new study, published in the journal BioMed Central Microbiology, compared bacteria in farmyard pigs with bacteria in house flies and cockroaches found on the same American farms.

Not only were the same types of bacteria discovered in insects and pigs, there was also a high rate of antibiotic resistance...

...Richard Young from the Soil Association said: 'There is solid evidence that the overuse of antibiotics in pig farming is causing and amplifying the problem of MRSA in pigs. There needs to be an urgent review of the overuse of antibiotics before pig MRSA becomes established in British pigs.

'The Soil Association is calling for more sensitive testing of UK pigs - this has already happened in other EU countries -, restrictions of live imports and more testing for any imports that are coming in.

'MRSA has yet to be found in British pigs, but if it is introduced it would spread rapidly, as it has done in other countries in Europe with high-use of antibiotics such as the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

'This has serious implications for both animals and humans. Excessive antibiotic use in farm animals leads to higher levels of antibiotic resistance, which can have consequences for animal health and welfare, as diseases become untreatable, and for human health, when resistant bacteria transfer from animals to humans.'

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Secret tests on British pig farms for MRSA

The tests were secret, but the quite extraordinary row, detailed in the Guardian, between the organic farming Soil Association and the libel lawyer Carter-Ruck, has revealed that British pig farms, perhaps at the insistence of the supermarkets, are testing for the presence of MRSA.

The story is bizarre. Britain's infamous agriculture ministry, Defra, finally took a few dust samples at the insistence of the EU and claimed that, almost alone amongst pig farming nations, British pigs did not have MRSA.

Not unnaturally the British Pig Executive (BPEX) and the National Pig Association repeated and relied on the claims. They did not use them for promotional purposes, merely as part of an effort to prevent importation of live pigs from the continent on health grounds.

If British pigs really are free of MRSA, it should be a cause of national celebration, of congratulations to the industry - and as a reason for paying more for British pork.

But MRSA, of the strain found in pigs, has been known to be present in Britain and in children, since at least 2004, and the pig herds have been known to be sick with a whole range of diseases for more than ten years.

The Soil Association has long publicly complained about the situation and the quantities of antibiotics used in British pigs. Unlike other countries, reliable figures of antibiotic use in pigs seem to be a state secret.

The Soil Association were opposing an application, with the planning authorities, from a farming group to build a new large pig farm at Foxton and received a letter from the applicant's libel lawyers marked "Not for publication or Broadcast." The story is detailed in the Guardian here

To cut a long story short, the Soil Association published the letter, claiming intimidation. The offending letter confirmed that the applicants have tested their farms for MRSA and were found to be free.

So the inevitable did happen, nobody felt they could rely on the government assurances and have been doing their own testing in secret. We do not know the results, except in this one case.

It is quite obvious that some criminal investigations currently still under way, and on which the writer is under written instructions not to comment, will eventually be extended to cover the faking of tests and records by government employees.

Somebody has to make some effort to protect Britain's children from the results of veterinary corruption.

Expect high profile arrests in a story that will astonish and horrify Britain. There are some things you cannot get away with in a civilised society and this is one of them.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Germany - MRSA found all through pork production chain

It's not just Germany, MRSA is pretty well everywhere in pig and pork production in most countries, except Britain where the government maintains, on the flimsiest of evidence, that British pigs do not have MRSA.

But we know that British pigs are 20 per cent less productive than the rest of the EU, something that is disease related. We know that they have been ill for more than a decade.

In Britain, it is the sound of silence, of denial and of defiance by corrupt government veterinarians, backed by some blatant criminal intimidation, despite the obvious dangers to human health.

The dots of reason, good science and common-sense have not been joined up, deliberately left floating unconnected. What you do not look for, you do not find.

We can be certain that there will come a time of exposure, of disgrace, of punishment and for the payment of reparations to those damaged.

Abstract of report here

Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a fresh meat pork production chain

Source: Journal of Food Protection®, Volume 74, Number 1, January 2011 , pp. 126-129(4)


The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus on different stages of a fresh pork production chain to reveal potential carryover from live animals to meat. Samples were collected at different stages of the production process in a large German abattoir with an integrated processing unit for fresh pork. Samples included nasal swabs from pigs at stunning, environmental samples from the slaughter line, surface samples from carcasses, environmental and meat samples from the processing unit, and samples from final products. Samples were analyzed with an established two-step selective enrichment method, and isolates were characterized with respect to their S. aureus protein A gene (spa) and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec; which harbors the mecA gene) types. Contamination rate was highest (64.7%) in nasal swabs and lower (6.0%) on carcasses, meat at processing (4.2%), and final products (2.8%). Environmental samples were positive along the slaughter line (12%) but not in the processing unit. spa types t011 and t034 and SCCmec type V predominated the isolates. Heterogeneity of spa types was highest in nasal swabs. Results show that methicillin-resistant S. aureus can be identified at all stages of the production chain. Further studies are needed to identify potential control points to reduce the carryover from farm animals to the final products.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Pig farm showers carry MRSA

So if the vets or farmers miss getting MRSA from the pigs, they will get it from the biosecurity on the way out.

Brilliant!  But one cannot be surprised.

Thick veterinary skin is just as hard to wash clean as veterinary consciences. Thin-skinned, they are not.

Eventually, it is going to dawn on more modern veterinarians that they are going to have to stop giving pigs antibiotics, however profitable to prescribe.

It should have dawned on the veterinary organisations a long time ago.

They are going to have to hand over the money earned from drug dealing plus more in damages anyway.

What’s the point of going on?

Abstract here

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Jan;77(2):696-8. Epub 2010 Nov 19.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Pork Production Shower Facilities.

Leedom Larson KR, Harper AL, Hanson BM, Male MJ, Wardyn SE, Dressler AE, Wagstrom EA, Tendolkar S, Diekema DJ, Donham KJ, Smith TC.

University of Iowa College of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, C21-F GH, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242.


As methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been found in pigs, we sought to determine if MRSA is present in pork production shower facilities. In two production systems tested, 3% and 26% of shower samples were positive for MRSA. spa types identified included t034, t189, t753, and t1746.

PMID: 21097587 [PubMed - in process]

Friday, 14 January 2011

Britain's pigs have had Swine Flu H1N1

At last, we get a clear admission in the mainstream farming media that British pig herds have had H1N1, Swine Flu.

It was known, but it is nice to see a confirmation.

It is a throwaway line, but it does come in the Farmers Guardian therefore, presumably, carries a Defra, (the British Agricultural Minintry) veterinary imprinteur.

That is significant. Every word on pig health in Britain is weighed twice for possible consequences to Britain's corrupt veterinarians before being released for publication.

Unlike Ireland, British pig workers are still not prioritised for Swine Flu vaccine.

Even if they escape catching it from the pigs, they could infect the pigs.


Poultry workers warned on swine flu

14 January 2011

By Alistair Driver

...The virus has been identified in a number of UK pig herds, however...

MRSA in pigs - the biggest scandal of the 21st century?

Maryn McKenna’s take on the latest figures on MRSA, farm workers and veterinarians in the United States.

In Britain it is worse. Britain, almost alone, does not even admit that any pigs have MRSA. Indeed, the government vets still insist they are clear, despite having no real evidence for such a claim and every reason to suspect a big problem.

We do know that MRSA st398 has been present in Britain for years, but nobody has been allowed to connect that to pigs.

The veterinarians have been warned over the dangers through their, often closed, networks, but farm workers and their medical practitioners hear nothing. We know that many vets, elsewhere in the world, carry MRSA.

The Irish, who are silent on MRSA st398 too, at least pay some attention to the occupational risks of working with pigs. They prioritise their pig workers for Swine Flu vaccinations, while Britain does nothing except enforce secrecy to ensure there can be no more exposures of veterinary disasters and no public discussion on pig health.

But we know that British pigs are 20 per cent less productive than the rest of the EU, something that logically must be disease related and we know that they have been ill for more than a decade.

But in Britain, it is the sound of silence, of denial and of defiance, backed by some blatant criminal intimidation.

The dots of reason, good science and common-sense have not been joined up, deliberately left floating unconnected. What you do not look for, you do not find.

There will come a time of exposure, of disgrace, of punishment and for the payment of reparations to the damaged.

This may well be the biggest scandal of the 21st century.

Read Maryn McKenna, in full, here

Farm worker infections with MRSA — the first numbers

• By Maryn McKenna

• January 13, 2011
Since the first identification in 2004 of MRSA ST398, also known as “pig MRSA” or livestock-associated MRSA (archives of posts here and here), that drug-resistant organism has been found being carried asymptomatically by farm workers and veterinarians, and causing illness in health care workers, hospital patients, and people with no known ties to agriculture. One of the persistent data gaps, though, has been whether farm workers themselves have been made sick by it.

It’s a difficult question to answer for a nested set of reasons: First, in most of the states, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or drug-resistant staph) is not a reportable disease; that is, a doctor who diagnoses it in a patient is under no obligation to tell any public health authority about that patient’s case. And second, the testing required to distinguish livestock-associated MRSA from community-acquired or hospital-acquired is not something that primary-care medical personnel have access to; you have to go to a state laboratory or an academic medical center to do the appropriate molecular typing. Those tests are expensive to perform, and their results primarily are useful to public health, not to individual medical practitioners. So finding out where that nascent epidemic is going has been unusually challenging.

Comes now a team from the University of Iowa — the same team that first identified ST398 in pigs and pig-farm personnel in the United States — to start to fill the gap.

Writing in the Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, , Kerry Leedom Larson, Tara Smith and Kelley Donham of the University of Iowa College of Public Health say that, in a self-reported survey, 3.7 percent of farm workers have been diagnosed by a doctor with any kind of MRSA infection.

The team approached 800 pork producers (with the assistance of the National Pork Board, which funded the study) and asked them to complete a survey that described their farms, the workers’ jobs, and the medical history. In two rounds of soliciting, they received 135 completed surveys from the 783 who indicated they were still farming (17.2 percent). Of those responses, five (3.7 percent) indicated physician-diagnosed MRSA infections, and four (2.9 percent) indicated their farms housed pigs that had been diagnosed with antibiotic-resistant skin infections.

So, what do those numbers mean?

There is surprisingly little data about the rate of MRSA infections in the United States. The commonly repeated numbers, such as “1.5 percent of the US population in 2004,” refer to colonization or symptomless carriage, of which infection is a much smaller subset. The other numbers that get bandied about are MRSA infections as a percentage of all staph infections — 80 percent in San Francisco ERs, for instance — but those, again, don’t say anything about the rate of infection in the population overall.

I asked Tara Smith (who, disclosure, appears in my book Superbug) what she thought. ‘We can’t draw any good conclusions, because we had a low response rate and this is all self-reported,” she told me. “We can’t say if these are ST398 or not, or acquired on the farm or not. But given all those caveats, it seems high to me.”

Some interesting notes and important qualifiers:

While all the farms were conventional (not organic or free range/grass-fed), most of them were on the smaller side: 47 percent raised fewer than 10,000 hogs per year and 13 percent had fewer than 50 sows or produced fewer than 1,000 finish hogs. But 43 percent of the US market is dominated by just 27 operations that each raise at least 500,000 per year. Those farms — which are not in this survey — operate under the kind of conditions in which antibiotic-resistant bacteria are most likely to arise...

...So what does this tell us? It’s a beginning. It makes clear that MRSA is occurring among farm workers, probably more than in the general population, and it spotlights some ways in which they are being made more vulnerable to infection from animals or from each other.

But as the researchers note:

The number of MRSA infections reported here may be underestimated. Pork producers may not seek medical treatment, or infections may be misdiagnosed by rural physicians. Some producers may not want to disclose MRSA infections in workers or pigs due to fear of identification… we cannot de-termine whether livestock-associated or human-associated strains are the cause. Future collaboration with rural physicians could provide clinical samples from pork production workers and enable molecular typing to occur.

Cite: Leedom Larson KR, Smith TC, Donham KJ. Self-Reported Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection in USA pork producers. Ann Agric Environ Med 2010, 17, 331–334

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Swine Flu - Mutation?

Well, viruses do mutate and the Daily Mail is just as likely as any other newspaper to expose a significant drift. Secretive  Britain does not volunteer such information. It has to be prised out of officials by experienced journalists.

Nobody else is publicly asking why Britain's population is the first and worst affected this year, let alone anyone answering.

There are  battalions of sick pigs in the countryside, some known to have had swine flu recently and pig country hospitals are on black alert with no spare beds.

The pigs are presided over by a gang of sub-standard government veterinarians wth an unrivaled history of gross incompetence. They fake tests and persecute anyone complaining about their criminal activities.

Isn’t that the kind of filthy corrupt backwater, run by scientific second raters, where you would expect a mutation to H1N1 to arise?

Daily Mail article here

Fears over mutating swine flu virus that could render vaccine useless

By Mail On Sunday Reporter

Last updated at 10:47 AM on 9th January 2011

A research team has hurriedly been re-formed to investigate whether the swine flu virus has started to mutate in a way that will render the vaccine ineffective.

Senior Government scientists have already discovered slight genetic mutations in the H1N1 virus.

They are checking whether this is causing some people to be more severely affected, although there is no evidence at this stage to suggest the changes would stop the vaccine working or prevent the anti-viral drug Tamiflu from being effective.
Investigation: Senior Government scientists have already discovered slight genetic mutations in the H1N1 virus

So far, 45 people are known to have died from swine flu since October.

The team, based at Imperial College London, are testing the DNA samples of hundreds of swine flu victims.

Professor Peter Openshaw, director of the Centre for Respiratory Infection at Imperial, said: ‘We have paid particular attention to whether the mutations are affecting how well the vaccine works and whether the slight mutations have led to it becoming more severe.’

The study, known as MOSAIC, was set up in 2009 to monitor the virus during the pandemic, but it was swiftly re-assembled last month with the latest outbreak.

Unprotected: A are checking whether this is causing some people to be more severely affected

Asthma specialist nurse Katy Odeadra, who works in the Chest and Allergy Clinic at St Mary’s Hospital, said: ‘All the talk among doctors and nurses dealing with swine flu cases is of a mutated form of the virus.’

The Health Protection Agency said yesterday: ‘The vaccine still works.’

Monday, 3 January 2011

Hepatitis E infections soar - Macau & Hong Kong

Of all the human illnesses likely to be pig associated, this is the one of which we can be most certain.

It may not be the most serious in size, but it is perhaps the one for which the evidence is the most compelling.

If the present trends continue, Britain will be exposed as a major hot spot. It looks not to be food associated, as elsewhere. That makes it special.

Britons generally overcook pork and knowingly eat less offal and that better cooked.

Pig contact or water look the likely culprits in the UK.

The current under-publicised investigations in the county of Cornwall are not veterinary led, but are "pig country" hospital financed. They have (despite po-poing from public health) already shown pretty clear evidence of a close association with pig farming. The hospital based experts noticed a link.

We can clearly see that the public health officials, from their mishandling of  E.Coli in petting zoos fiasco, are heavily influenced by “don’t mention pigs” pressure coming from vets.

Once the human health professionals stop relying on the vets for unbiased input, they start making progress.

The veterinarians have long being doing a terrible job in the UK and the human health people have long taken all the flak from the faults of a pompous self-serving veterinary sub-profession.

The vets are wrong. They are also massively outnumbered whatever their power, confidence, reputation and influence.

It’s a dam that has to break. It will break with the complete disgrace of the vets, even those innocent of doing more than standing by doing nothing.

Source here

Hepatitis E infections soar

03/01/2011 03:00:00

The Health Bureau has reported an increase in the number of Hepatitis E cases in Macau in 2010. During the year a total of 19 cases of people infected were reported, nine cases more than in 2009.

In 2008, there were only three cases. The health bureau warned residents to observe personal hygiene and food safety to prevent disease infection.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety also warned of a rise in cases of Hepatitis E in Hong Kong and appealed to citizens to cook food more thoroughly, particularly pig livers. It was said that the number of reported cases of Hepatitis E has been climbing since 1998 in Hong Kong.

“It’s more than 100 in 2010, the highest ever in the city,” said Ho Yuk-yin, doctor and consultant on Risk Assessment and Communication at the centre.