Sunday, 28 August 2011

Porcine Circovirus - changing genome challenges pig immune systems

Scroll up the page to read the Gardiner Hypothesis.  The writer did not think that that some years ago, long after retirement, he would produce an hypothesis that is well on the way to being proved.

Porcine Circovirus did indeed prove to be one very nasty disease complex, capable of many manifestations and changes.

Herein lie the clues to the constant animal and human epidemics plaguing Britain and hospitals and pig farming worldwide.

The end of an exhausting and dangerous eleven year struggle is now in sight.

We should have controlled the activities of a greedy and reckless veterinary industry and they should have abandoned vicious cover-ups run by devious British government veterinarians.

But they thought it easier to harass, libel and persecute a retired man trying to live a quiet rural idyll.

And spend other peoples' money on a PR barrage to cover up pig disease dangerous to humans.

Britain's hopelessly corrupt vetocracy badly misjudged that line of organised crime too.

Alas, Porcine Circovirus is a genie that is going to resist being put back into the bottle. 

Full abstract here

JVI Accepts, published online ahead of print on 24 August 2011
J. Virol. doi:10.1128/JVI.05156-11

Porcine circovirus 2 major genotype group members' co-replication as a prerequisite to co-evolution that may explain the variable disease manifestations

A member of the Circoviridae family, porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is associated with postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), a recent emerging disease worldwide. PCV2 is also found in clinical asymptomatic animals. This paradoxical finding makes the syndrome etiology challenging.We developed new assays to study PCV2... 

... Unexpectedly, all PCV2 infectedanimals carried both PCV2a and PCV2b genotype group members. Using confocal microscopy, genotype single cell infections and cell superinfections were visible. Additionally, we discriminated replicative DNA from total PCV2 DNA isoforms with FISH... 

... In infected cells with replicating virus, both genotype groups were equally present. These findings suggest PCV2 genotype group members relaxed replication regulation requirements and, may even point to PCV2 replication cooperativity in vivo. These observations explain the readily seen PCV2 DNA recombinations and the high overall PCV2 genome plasticity. Hence, we suggest a novel mechanism to syndrome etiology that consists of a continuously changing PCV2 genome pool in hosts and pig herds posing a constant challenge to individual maturing immune system.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

MRSA in Canadian pigs, veterinarians and pork

In reports, currently being commented on in North America, but dating from a year ago, we encounter a new name for piggy MRSA: “Canadian epidemic MRSA” (CMRSA). 

We also get an unusually clear admission of the source of the problems in the discussion section.

At least the Canadians know they have problems, if not the true scale. 

In Britain, improbably, the government veterinarians still claim British pigs are clear of MRSA. 

They have not yet plucked up the courage to face the full brunt of public anger at the long standing deception. 

The whole report can be found here

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) contamination of retail pork

Recent reports of isolation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from food animals 
have raised concern about the potential for foodborne transmission. This study evaluated the prevalence of MRSA  contamination of retail pork from 4 Canadian provinces...

....This study has determined that MRSA contamination of retail meat is not uncommon in Canada and is similar to that reported in other studies. While there was a significant difference in the prevalence between provinces, MRSA was found in pork products in every province. 

The reason for the difference in prevalence between provinces is unclear. Currently, the only study of MRSA in pigs in Canada involved farms in Ontario, and information about the prevalence of MRSA in pigs in other provinces is required to help interpret this finding.

The typing data were interesting and raise questions regarding the origin of contamination. The finding of PFGE nontypable spa 539/t034 MRSA, which has been previously identified as belonging to ST398, was expected as it is commonly reported in pigs internationally (4,6,10,20) and has been found in retail meat (11,12). It is reasonable to assume that ST398 contamination of meat is from pigs, either directly (deposition of MRSA  from the animal onto meat during slaughter) or indirectly (environmental contamination resulting in subsequent food contamination). 

However, since ST398 MRSA colonization rates of pig farmers and pig veterinarians are high (6,10,21), it is also possible that slaughterhouse workers have high colonization rates, and that those individuals could have been the source of contamination, even though they may have ultimately acquired MRSA from pigs...

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Renaming zoonotic diseases and strains, to confuse the general public, and justify ignoring a problem has been one of the more disgraceful veterinary practices in recent years. 

We have constantly complained publicly over many years over the situation in Britain. Here is an article from 2009: 'MRSA - No Pets or Flying Veterinarians.'

Once in a while, common sense strikes back, in this case in the most apt and unexpected way:


Love it! The Dutch government veterinarians continue to come out of this crisis as honest, frank and reliable: professionals with integrity.

They played it straight and will get benefits denied Britain and its devious public relations obsessed veterinary establishment.

Public Relations is about telling the truth, not misleading the public. Britain's vets seem to have missed that bit.

The Dutch know that veterinarians carry MRSA from farm to farm to livestock and farmer, and take it home to their children and into the hospitals. They deal with the problem like adults, not hide it up.

Source here Translated from Dutch.

Characterization of Veterinary MRSA: Virulence and transmissibility

Part of the program
File number


Since 2003 a new clone of MRSA (NT-MRSA) That is related to an extensification reservoir in pigs and cattle HAS emerged in The Netherlands. People who are in direct contact with pigs and calves frequently carry this clone. By the end of 2006 nearly 25% of all MRSA strains sent to the national reference center were of this type. There are Indications That this clone Has A reduced transmissibility from human to human, All which would 1) limit its impact on public health and 2) modified justify Control Measures. 

The objective of this project is to determining the transmissibility and Virulence or NT-MRSA in comparison with other MRSA strains.

In this prospective study we are Will Investigate how many household members or persons who are carrying MRSA are colonized NT (secondary attack rate) and compare this with household members or other Those who are carrying MRSA strains. Also the occurrence of medical events Will Be Measured During one year to an estimate Regarding the providence Virulence. 

MRSA Carriers and Their Relatives Will Be visited by a representative of the public health agency who will take a questionnaire and micro-biological samples. The number of secondary cases in the household is the main outcome measure to determining the secondary attack rate. 

The number of infections Occurring Within one year of follow-up is a secondary outcome measure for evaluation of Strain Virulence; other secondary outcomes in this study are part of the antibiotic treatment, duration and Hospitality Localization of MRSA carriage. 

The results of this study optimalize Will Be Used to Control Measures for the MRSA.


Project leader and coordinator
Prof. Dr. JAJW Kluytmans
VU University Medical Center
Main applicant
Prof. Dr. JAJW Kluytmans
Amphia Hospital
Administrative head
Prof. Vandenbroucke-Grauls Dr CMJE
VU University Medical Center

Saturday, 13 August 2011

C.Diff 027 endemic in Chicago hospitals

Because of the multiple naming, it is easy to miss that this is the same strain that has killed many in British hospitals and that has caused constant outbreaks in Canada, especially Quebec and Ontario.

O27 otherwise NAP1 or BI

C.Diff is also found in pigs, and all the areas most impacted are also pig farming centres with sick pigs.   Multiple names for the same conditions are favoured by the American pig industry too, “for PR reasons.”

Scientists can’t be so blind as to miss an obvious connection, or can they?

Pig health is indeed the biggest scandal of the 21st century. Mankind probably will do worse, but they will have to make a considerable effort.

The USA will be kicking itself. They took too much on trust and they were warned six years ago. Some of their people have questions to answer too. The evidence is all out there.

The full article may be found here

Investigators Discover Outbreak C. difficile Strain is Endemic in Chicago Hospitals

An outbreak strain of Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that causes diarrhea and sometimes life-threatening inflammation of the colon, is common in Chicago-area acute care hospitals, an investigation published in the September issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology suggests.

In response to Illinois Department of Public Health reports of rising rates of C. difficile infection as a hospital discharge diagnosis, the Chicago and Cook County health departments surveyed 25 Chicago-area hospitals over one month in 2009. They identified 263 total cases of C. difficile illness. Of 129 C. difficile isolates cultured from these patients, 61 percent were the outbreak C. difficile strain known as BI/NAP1.

The BI strain, which is known to cause more serious illness, is usually associated with large acute outbreaks of C. difficile. However this investigation suggests that BI is endemic in the Chicago area and patients could be at risk for severe disease even in the absence of a large acute outbreak....

...C. difficile is most common in elderly patients and those receiving treatment with antibiotics. It is considered to be one of the most important health care-related infections in the U.S....

Thursday, 11 August 2011

A year since MRSA found in Swedish pigs

We can continue to be amazed that Defra, Britain's agricultural ministry, are still getting away with avoiding finding MRSA in British pigs.

They are going to have a hell of a job owning up to sick pigs now. The lowest production figures per sow in Western Europe give the game away. They are difficult to hide and impossible to explain away.

Britain's veterinary establishment is going to come under hostile scrutiny when finally they are forced to admit the truth.

Link to Swedish radio transcript translated here


National News

Onsdag 10 augusti 2011 kl 15:11 (Radio Sweden)
    “Bacteria spreads between humans and animals”
Multi-resistant bacteria pig study launched (3:53)

It has been exactly a year since the first case of MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus was first discovered in Swedish pigs. Now a new study is underway to see how prevalent the disease is.
MRSA is resistant to some of the antibiotics commonly used in humans.
Helle Unnerstad, a veterenarian working at the National Veterinary Institute, says MRSA is not a big threat to human health in Sweden, but that it might be a risk for people working with a lot of pigs.
Today no one has any idea how many animals have MRSA in Sweden. That is why the National Veterinary Institute and the Swedish Animal Health Service is starting a study to answer that question.
Sten-Olof Dimander is the managing director for the Swedish Animal Health Service, a company owned by the large meat producing firms in Sweden.
Dimander says his company’s job is to assure that animals used in meat production are of high quality.
The study they are doing will look at the sixty breeding farms in Sweden that produce baby pigs for the rest of Sweden’s pig farms.
“So if we can screen these sixty farms then hopefully we can see that these farms are free from MRSA and then we can ensure that slaughter pigs are also free from MRSA,” he says.
But history has shown that once MRSA enters a country, it’s hard to minimize its spread.
Bjorn Olsen, a professor at the Department of Infectious Diseases at Uppsala University hospital, researches antibiotic resistance. He says humans are to blame for the spread of MRSA. “If you have a big monoculture of several thousand pigs in a big barn you’ll inevitably have infections in that population and then you treat them by increasing the amount of antibiotics,” he says. “This promotes the development of MRSA.”
But Sten-Olof Dimander at the Swedish Animal Health Service says this is how modern pig production is done today.
With the continued growth of modern farming practices and humans’ increasing appetite for animal products, experts say it will only become more difficult to stop the spread of infectious diseases like MRSA.


Sunday, 7 August 2011

CSF - the aniversary of the 2000 Classical Swine Fever epidemic

Today, the 8th August, is the anniversary of Classical Swine Fever being found in English Pigs in 2000.

CSF was the second of a series of three British pig epidemics. It arrived into pigs already sick with Circovirus (PMWS – PDNS).

The third, the even more disastrous Foot and Mouth disease, became an epidemic the following February at a huge human, animal and financial cost. It even delayed a general election before being finally overcome.

But Circovirus remains to this very day, needing huge quantities of antibiotics to deal with co-infections. The antibiotics give rise to antibiotic resistant disease: dangerous to livestock, their keepers and public health.

Circovirus is the reason why British pig productivity is 20-25 per cent per sow below the near European continental farmers. It is not bad breeding, inadequate feed, or bad husbandry: it is endemic disease.

Carcase weight (kg) per sow per year

Great Britain
EU Ave

Source: Pig Cost of Production in Selected Countries, 2009 
Immediate source of above cost of carcase weight statistics  here