Tuesday, 28 February 2012

A new form of MRSA st398 in New York


The bad news - a new form of MRSA st398.

The good news is that  MRSA st398-NM is still methicillin susceptible.

The bad news, it spreads from person to person more easily.

Not that new forms of MRSA st398 bother Britain.

After many years, we still have not persuaded our government veterinarians to find st398 in pigs. They belatedly have admitted to it in cows' milk but not in pigs.

Full report here


Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012


NIH-Supported Scientists Investigate a Newly Emerging Staph Strain

Genome Sequence Analysis Helps Characterize Transmissible Bacterium




NIH-Supported Scientists Investigate a Newly Emerging Staph Strain Genome Sequence Analysis Helps Characterize Transmissible Bacterium

Using genome sequencing and household surveillance, National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and their colleagues from Columbia University Medical Center and St. George’s University of London have pieced together how a newly emerging type of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria has adapted to transmit more easily among humans. Their new study underscores the need for vigilance in surveillance of S. aureus.

A methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strain known as livestock-associated (LA)-ST398 is a cause of severe infections in people in Europe who have close contact with swine, but the bacterium does not transmit well from person to person. More recently, a variant of LA-ST398 that presently is susceptible to methicillin has emerged as a significant cause of community-associated infections in several countries, including the United States, Canada and China. The new strain primarily infects the skin and soft tissue, but it can cause more severe disease.

Based on samples from 332 households in northern Manhattan, New York, scientists have determined that this new strain, named ST398-NM, efficiently transmits from person to person—in contrast to the transmission characteristics of the livestock-associated strain.

By analyzing and comparing the genomes of LA-ST398 and ST398-NM, the study, led by Anne-Catrin Uhlemann, M.D., Ph.D., at Columbia, charted several ways in which the bacterium has adapted to its hosts. For example, they learned that the human-adapted strain (ST398-NM) contains human-specific immune evasion genes, whereas the livestock-adapted strain does not. They also found that ST398-NM adheres well to human skin, thus increasing its ability to colonize and infect people.

The study authors say it is possible that the ST398-NM strain emerging in northern Manhattan could acquire genes making it resistant to methicillin. Scientists at the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and their colleagues plan to continue global surveillance of ST398, paying close attention to its molecular adaptations. Their work promises to inform the development of new diagnostic and surveillance strategies against this emerging pathogen.

This study on the human-adapted variant of ST398 strain complements a study that a different group of scientists published in mBio on Feb. 21. That study, also supported by NIH, focused on the evolution of the ST398 strain in livestock, including the effect of antibiotic use. Lance Price, Ph.D., and Paul Keim, Ph.D., at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Flagstaff, Ariz., led that study with colleagues from around the world.


Monday, 27 February 2012

Schmallenberg Virus - Britain loses goats adds pigs


The missing English goat farm with Schmallenberg Virus, see previous post, finally seems to have disappeared from current Dutch government reporting, but the UK Agriculture Ministry, Defra, remain generally very reluctant to give any details of cases that could be challenged.

They have a dispensation from the EU not to disclose the names of farms infected or to give an accurate location.

Who the hell are the EU vets to decide what Britain hears on the BBC?

We now get a gang of foreign vets on our necks as well as our own disastrous state veterinary service.

We got a new mystery yesterday.

BBC News24 TV usually has a ticker tape of breaking news along the bottom of the screen.

Above this is a larger box, white with black text, it gives a single quote or caption, replaced every minute or so with another relevant caption.

We emphasise that this is not added by use of a "text" button but is on a normal screening.  It is a standrd feature not always present.

Yesterday from at least 1700 hours until certainly after 2300 hrs, the BBC ran a series of stories about Schmallenberg Virus, including one of an interview with Nigel Gibbens, the Chief Veterinarian.

On all coverage the following legend appeared at some stage:

"Virus affects cattle, sheep, goats and pigs"

This is the first time that we have seen anyone suggest that pigs might be infected.

There was plenty of time for Defra to have got the caption removed but it stayed in use for at least six hours, probably longer, even the writer needs some sleep.

Judging by the BBC's pleas for farmers to give information, in confidence, they too are totally fed up with Defra's totalitarian censorship of the news and intend to widen their sources.

Friday, 24 February 2012

MRSA in American Swine Veterinarians


American veterinarians and pig farmers are worried.


There has been data showing that veterinarians carry MRSA st398 for quite some years


Unlike the Netherlands, Britain takes no steps to protect its hospitals or patients, presumably becuause her government vets have told the NHS, that there is no MRSA st398 in Britain's pigs.


Full report in "The National Pig Farmer" here



Study Focuses on Safety, MRSA in Swine Veterinarians


Feb. 24, 2012 5:13pm


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has funded a study of occupational safety in U.S. swine veterinarians, including a long-term study of Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA, according to Peter Davies, DVM, Swine Health and Production, University Of Minnesota, who is leading the project...


...So-called "livestock associated" MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) is a hot topic when it comes to discussions surrounding antimicrobial resistance. Previous studies confirmed that ST398 MRSA can be found in U.S. hogs, farmers, swine veterinarians and pork, although data suggest lower prevalence than in some European countries.


Although it has been shown repeatedly that people with livestock contact commonly have positive nasal cultures for ST398, Davies says two major questions remain to be resolved...

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

MRSA st398 or cc398 - New Research

.
New research that is easily missed because of the increasingly unusual use of cc398 instead of the more usual st398. Both refer to the same troublesome strain.


Humans first, maybe, but the conclusion seems clear enough and implicates livestock, and by extension antibiotic use in livestock creating antibiotic resistant features, before  spreading  to humans. The public health risks are once again confirmed.

"Our findings strongly support the idea that livestock-associated MRSA CC398 originated as MSSA in humans. The jump of CC398 from humans to livestock was accompanied by the loss of phage-carried human virulence genes, which likely attenuated its zoonotic potential, but it was also accompanied by the acquisition of tetracycline and methicillin resistance. Our findings exemplify a bidirectional zoonotic exchange and underscore the potential public health risks of widespread antibiotic use in food animal production."

 Full report ( mBio ) here

Staphylococcus aureus CC398: Host Adaptation and Emergence of Methicillin Resistance in Livestock


  1. Address correspondence to Lance B. Price, lprice@tgen.org.
1.       Editor Fernando Baquero, Ramón y Cajal University Hospital

ABSTRACT

Since its discovery in the early 2000s, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clonal complex 398 (CC398) has become a rapidly emerging cause of human infections, most often associated with livestock exposure. We applied whole-genome sequence typing to characterize a diverse collection of CC398 isolates (n = 89), including MRSA and methicillin-susceptible Saureus (MSSA) from animals and humans spanning 19 countries and four continents. We identified 4,238 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among the 89 core genomes. Minimal homoplasy (consistency index = 0.9591) was detected among parsimony-informative SNPs, allowing for the generation of a highly accurate phylogenetic reconstruction of the CC398 clonal lineage. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that MSSA from humans formed the most ancestral clades. The most derived lineages were composed predominantly of livestock-associated MRSA possessing three different staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec element (SCCmec) types (IV, V, and VII-like) including nine subtypes. The human-associated isolates from the basal clades carried phages encoding human innate immune modulators that were largely missing among the livestock-associated isolates. Our results strongly suggest that livestock-associated MRSA CC398 originated in humans as MSSA. The lineage appears to have undergone a rapid radiation in conjunction with the jump from humans to livestock, where it subsequently acquired tetracycline and methicillin resistance. Further analyses are required to estimate the number of independent genetic events leading to the methicillin-resistant sublineages, but the diversity of SCCmec subtypes is suggestive of strong and diverse antimicrobial selection associated with food animal production.

IMPORTANCE Modern food animal production is characterized by densely concentrated animals and routine antibiotic use, which may facilitate the emergence of novel antibiotic-resistant zoonotic pathogens. Our findings strongly support the idea that livestock-associated MRSA CC398 originated as MSSA in humans. The jump of CC398 from humans to livestock was accompanied by the loss of phage-carried human virulence genes, which likely attenuated its zoonotic potential, but it was also accompanied by the acquisition of tetracycline and methicillin resistance. Our findings exemplify a bidirectional zoonotic exchange and underscore the potential public health risks of widespread antibiotic use in food animal production.

FOOTNOTES

·         Citation Price LB, et al. 2012. Staphylococcus aureus CC398: host adaptation and emergence of methicillin resistance in livestock. mBio 3(1):e00305-11. doi:10.1128/mBio.00305-11.
  • Received 19 December 2011 
  • Accepted 3 January 2012 
  • Published 21 February 2012
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Thailand - MRSA in pigs


Countries, we used to grandly consider third world, are now admitting to MRSA in pigs, but not Britain's corrupt state veterinary service.

Britain continues to assert that, almost alone now, there is no MRSA in Britain's pigs and pork. The cover-up has been in place now for many years.

Won't they be in for a bad time when eventually they are forced to tell the truth?

The full report can be seen on PlosOne here:

From March through April 2011, MRSA was identified in pigs from 3 out of 30 production holdings in Chang Mai Province, Thailand. Representative isolates were subjected to molecular characterization and antimicrobial susceptibility testing; all isolates had genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of LA-MRSA previously characterized in the region: they belonged to ST9, lacked the lukF-lukS genes encoding Panton-Valentine leukocidin, and were resistant to multiple non-ß-lactam antimicrobials. However, unlike other Asian LA MRSA-ST9 variants, they were spa type t337 and harbored a different staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec IX.


Conclusions/Significance
A novel MRSA-ST9 lineage has been established in the pig population of Thailand, which differs substantially from LA-MRSA lineages found in other areas of the continent. The emergence of novel LA-MRSA lineages in the animal agriculture setting is worrisome and poses a serious threat to global public health.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Schmallenberg - The Case of the Missing Goats


We update the extraordinary events in relation to Schmallenberg Virus reporting in Britain.

Defra, Britain's Agricultural Ministry, continues to fail to report Schmallenberg Virus in goats here dated 7th February and in much more detail here updated 7th February

The Dutch government site continues to report that Britain has goats infected, here.

"and as at 25 January there have been confirmed cases at 32 sheep
farms, 1 cattle farm and 1 goat farm in the United Kingdom."

and that information is being reported in the Dutch media this morning here (in English). It is also spreading in Dutch publications.

If the Dutch government had made a mistake, one would have expected the British government to get the Netherlands' government to have issued a correction, and that to have been published by now.

It is truly the mysterious Case of the Missing Goats.




Thursday, 9 February 2012

Schmallenberg Virus - the missing UK goat farm



Here is the evidence that Defra, Britain's notorious agricultural ministry, have been holding back information on Schmallenberg virus - SBV, in Britain.

The Dutch knew today that goats were infected in Britain a fortnight ago, never mind the other discrepancies.

This follows a long pattern of deliberate deception by Britain's corrupt government veterinarians.

The Dutch Government report is here

“as at 25 January there have been confirmed cases at 32 sheep farms, 1 cattle farm and 1 goat farm in the United Kingdom.”


This from Defra’s site. Even a child could see there are no goats.


Sc http://www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla/2012/01/12/schmallenberg-virus/hmallenberg virus: updated 7 February 2012

On February 7 AHVLA released results from further testing which reveal the presence of Schmallenberg virus in a further 22 submissions which means that the disease has now been identified in 33 submissions from 29 farms. Today’s results show the first positive case in a bovine in West Sussex. There is also a first positive submission from a premises in Hertfordshire.  All other positive cases were in counties where previous cases have occurred.
Figures correct for week ending 5 Feb 2012
County
Submissions with confirm  infection
(based on clinical signs and virus identification)

Sheep
Cattle
Goats
Norfolk
11
0
0
Suffolk
6
0
0
Essex
2
0
0
Kent
5
0
0
East Sussex
7
0
0
Hertfordshire
1
0
0
West Sussex
0
1
0
Total
32
1
0

Update on 31 January 2012

AHVLA released results from further testing which reveal the presence of Schmallenberg virus at a further seven sheep farms in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent. This brings the current total to 11 positive submissions.
Figures correct for week ending 25 Jan 2012
County
Submissions with confirmed infection
(based on clinical signs and virus identification)

Sheep
Cattle
Goats
Norfolk
3
0
0
Suffolk
4
0
0
Essex
2
0
0
Kent
1
0
0
East Sussex
1
0
0
Total
11
0
0

The Health Protection Agency has published information aboutschmallenberg virus.

Update on 23 January 2012

AHVLA reported the presence of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) on four sheep farms in Norfolk, Suffolk and East Sussex. Last week we obtained samples from animals with clinical signs consistent with SBV infection via our Regional Laboratory network. The samples were analysed at the Virology Laboratory, AHVLA Weybridge based on information provided by the Netherlands and the Friedrich Loeffler Institute.
Specific RT-PCR products were detected by two independent means from two different genes of SBV. Along with the sequence information we have obtained, all combined with the clinical picture seen, we consider this now provides a sufficient level of laboratory confirmation to conclude that SBV has been detected in GB sheep.
Figures correct for week ending 18 Jan 2012
County
Confirmed premises
(based on clinical signs and virus identification)

Sheep
Cattle
Goats
Norfolk
2
0
0
Suffolk
1
0
0
East Sussex
1
0
0
Total
4
0
0


Schmallenberg virus - Dutch testing humans


Up-to-date figures from the Netherlands Government and a very proper proposal from the cautious Dutch on testing humans.

In Britain, the government veterinarians are still trying to locate the English Channel and hanging onto the theory that the wind from France, which did not have any cases in the area facing England, blew midges carrying Schmallenberg Virus ( SBV) to Norfolk, which as any school atlas will tell you, is many miles away from the English Channel and actually on the North Sea. 

Oxford University using continental data have today, dealing with earlier epidemics of bluetongue, a different disease, asserted that the midges can fly against the wind anyway. Even so it is a long way across the North Sea.

Anyway, here is the Dutch government, on the ball, as always.



Schmallenberg virus now confirmed at 3 cattle farms, 88 sheep farms and 5 goat farms
News item | 09-02-2012
Minister for Agriculture and Foreign Trade Henk Bleker has notified the House of Representatives that the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) has at 8 February 2012 received reports from 450 farms of symptoms that could indicate infection with the Schmallenberg virus. These reports have been received from 168 sheep farms, 261 cattle farms and 21 goat farms. The virus has been confirmed at 3 cattle farms, 88 sheep farms and 5 goat farms. Testing continues on a further 91 farms.

In Germany the virus has since been detected at 10 cattle farms, 317 sheep farms and 15 goat farms. In Belgium the virus has been found at 4 cattle farms, 83 sheep farms and 1 goat farm. As at 30 January the virus has been detected at 50 sheep farms in France and as at 25 January there have been confirmed cases at 32 sheep farms, 1 cattle farm and 1 goat farm in the United Kingdom.
Public Health
The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (RIVM) has concluded that based on all available information, transmission of the virus to humans is highly unlikely. To identify human cases of the virus both a viral antibody test and a test to identify the virus itself have been developed. The RIVM is working on a proposal to test larger groups of people in order to assess whether exposure to the virus can lead to infection. A number of experts will meet next week to discuss this proposal, as well as the theoretical risk to humans and what research is required to reach a definitive conclusion on this matter.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Schmallenberg Virus, McKenna clears the fog


For those unfamiliar with English humour, there was the famous newspaper headline "Fog in Channel, Continent Cut Off." Actually, nobody is quite sure it was a joke.

Maryn McKenna makes her usual brilliant explanation of matters scientific, in relation to Schmallenberg Virus arriving in Britain.

Whether in the written word, or in her now frequent TV appearances in the USA, she collates the facts coldly and explains the implications.

They need her on the BBC.

This is a long piece chronicling the arrival of Schmallenberg in Britain as we currently understand the facts.

Especially helpful is the detail of the place this virus occupies with others, some of which that are known to be zoonotic and dangerous to humans.

We note elsewhere that Defra have, this morning, finally grasped the difference between the English Channel and the North Sea as their preferred route of arrival.

Full article with links here



Fast-Spreading Animal Virus Leaps Europe, UK Borders

By Maryn McKenna
 Author February 7, 2012 |  4:32 pm |


...The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has said
that the new virus’s closest relatives do not cause disease in humans
— but that other more distantly related viruses do:

The new virus belongs to the Bunyaviridae family, genus
Orthobunyavirus, Simbu serogroup (preliminary information, based
solely on genetic information)… Genetic characterisation has shown
that the new virus is closest to the following Simbu serogroup
viruses: Shamonda-, Aino- and Akabane-viruses, which do not cause
disease in humans.

However, at least 30 orthobunyaviruses are zoonotic and may cause
disease in humans, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe — e.g. La
Crosse encephalitis virus, California Encephalitis virus, Cache Valley
virus, Batai virus, Tahyna virus, Inkoo virus, Snowshoe Hare virus,
Iquitos virus and Oropouche virus.

The viral vector — the thing which spreads it — is believed to be
midges, small flying biting insects (Culicoides) and maybe also
mosquitoes (Culicidae). The disease doesn’t pass from adult animal to
another animal, but apparently does from a mother animal to its
offspring in utero, and that is why it is showing up now: It’s lambing
season. With Europe enduring its coldest winter in decades, there are
no virus-carrying insects flying around now. Instead, the animals that
are giving birth to deformed and dead offspring were infected last
summer and fall. No one has been able to say so far whether the
organism can survive in insects over the winter (the way West Nile
virus, for instance, may)...

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Schmallenberg Virus - SBV - Britain hides up farm locations


Britain's infamous agricultural ministry, DEFRA, is deliberately publishing misleading incomplete information again, judging by media reports.

Two more cases of SBV have just be confirmed in England today with only vague locations released.

What are Britain’s useless government veterinarians hiding up this time, and why?

Wake up England!

Full report here

EU - Schmallenberg virus briefing  07 Feb 2012



“Defra says the disease remains non-notifiable in the UK and that there are likely to be further cases as the lambing season continues and as calving starts. It has been agreed with the World Organisation for Animal Health that its disease reporting requirements will not accurately depict the farm location.”




Sunday, 5 February 2012

Schmallenberg Virus (SBV) and live movements


A pretty sensible article on Schmallenberg Virus (SBV) from Northern Ireland.

At least they recognise the possibility of a risk from imported live animals.

Incidentally, the figures for live imports into Russia from the EU, all species, are massive. They were prudent to introduce a ban pending much more information on the risks. Northern Ireland, as part of United Kingdom and therefore part of the EU, can't do that.

Coupled with antibiotic resistance, livestock movements are the motor of change for zoonotic disease dangerous to both humans and animals.

A live trade that hardly existed has suddenly exploded worldwide in recent years. Figures are available from every government, often in complex spread sheets, but very little use is made of them by media.

One gets the feeling that most governments do not wish to draw attention to expanding live trades. Once a rare event for expensive prestige breeding stock, international movements are now routine over long distances for large numbers of low value beasts.

The veterinarians advised governments that they could handle the risks, when they couldn't and live trade got incorporated into "difficult to renegotiate" trading treaties.

It is not surprising we have new diseases and new epidemics - all the conditions are there, fuelled by greed, veterinary stubbornness and wishful thinking. The veterinarians then dissemble to evade detection as bad advisers to governments.

The authorities are not introducing compulsory notification and live animal trade bans fast enough. They are ten steps behind events, bucketing downhill without brakes.

The full article is here


Published on Sunday 5 February 2012 09:00

AS Bluetongue Virus begins to fade from the memory of farmers in Northern Ireland another disease of ruminants has emerged to take its place. Schmallenberg Virus (SBV) is named after the town in Germany where it was first discovered. The virus has since spread from Germany to the Netherlands, Belgium, England and most recently France...