Friday, 30 March 2012

Schmallenberg Virus orthodoxy queried


It seems like midges are no longer the sole theory in town.

The Germans have told us for weeks that the midges apparently blew
against the wind, suggesting that it was not just midges.

Defra could not even get the geography of England and its adjacent
seas right in the early days, and there is the case of mysterious
missing goat farm, and the BBC suggesting that pigs were involved.

Then they got early dispensation not to give ether the names or the
locations of any infected farms. Nobody could check their work.

It is always wise to assume all the possible multiple possible means
of transmission: something always ignored by Britain's government vets in their anxiety to blame someone else, preferably innocent.

BBC report with video here

30 March 2012 Last updated at 18:17

Scientists at the Institute for Animal Health in Surrey have been
studying whether the Schmallenberg virus could be spreading from
animal to animal.

Schmallenberg affects sheep and cattle. It was identified in Germany
last year, and in the UK in January.

It has been found on more than 80 farms in the UK, mainly in the
southeast, and it is thought to be carried by midges.

Professor Peter Mertens told the BBC the level of infection in the UK
suggested insects might not be the only source of the disease.

E.coli producing VIM-1 carbapenemase on German pig farm


Bad news from Germany.

Abstract and access to full report here


Escherichia coli producing VIM-1 carbapenemase isolated on a pig farm

1.        Jennie Fischer1, 
2.        Irene Rodríguez1, 
3.        Silvia Schmoger1, 
4.        Anika Friese2, 
5.        Uwe Roesler2,
6.        Reiner Helmuth1 and 
7.        Beatriz Guerra1,*


...Carbapenems are one of the most critically important antimicrobials considered as drugs of last choice in clinical settings. However, during the last few years, the prevalence of resistance to these antimicrobial agents, especially inPseudomonas and Enterobacteriaceae, has been increasing worldwide.13 In Gram-negative bacteria, the mechanisms of resistance include the production of β-lactamases (carbapenemases), changes in the permeability of the membranes (i.e. loss of porins) and efflux pumps. Within the carbapenemases, the class B metallo-β-lactamases, such as VIM, IMP and NDM, play an important role because of their worldwide spread among different bacterial species, which is based on their location on mobile genetic elements.2,4,5
Currently, the national RESET project (www.reset-verbund.de) performs several longitudinal and cross-sectional studies of German farms, and potential extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-carrier organisms are collected (using MacConkey agar containing 1 mg/L cefotaxime as selective medium). All isolates sent to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment for further analyses (n = 221) were tested for their antimicrobial susceptibility by the CLSI disc diffusion method (CLSI M2-A10 and M100-S21). They were analysed against a panel of 17 β-lactams (Oxoid, Wesel, Germany), including ampicillin (10 μg), piperacillin (100 and 30 μg), ticarcillin (75 μg), cefalotin (30 μg), cefuroxime (30 μg), ceftiofur (30 μg), ceftriaxone (30 μg), ceftazidime (30 and 10 μg), cefotaxime (30 and 5 μg), cefpodoxime (10 μg), cefepime (30 μg), cefoxitin (30 μg), aztreonam (30 μg), imipenem (10 μg), ertapenem (10 μg), meropenem (10 μg) and amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (30 μg). The 30, 10 and 5 μg amounts for piperacillin, ceftazidime and cefotaxime, respectively, are the disc concentrations recommended by EUCAST (www.eucast.org). The isolates were also tested for their susceptibility …

Thursday, 29 March 2012

E. coli superbugs warning


The full text of the Soil Association Media Release today in respect of antibiotic resistant E.Coli arising from antibiotic use in livestock farming.

This is major development. The Soil Association are highly regarded in Britain, perhaps too highly in the eyes of some, but the veterinary industry will not be able to ignore this adverse publicity.

Britain's government veterinarians have been covering up the full extent of the problem for years. 

The reckless mercenary behaviour of the veterinary industry backed by Britain's infamous agricultural ministry, Defra, has to be stopped as matter of extreme urgency.

Link here

E. coli superbugs warning

29 March 2012

In a report published today, the Soil Association warns there is now overwhelming evidence that the excessive use of antibiotics on UK livestock farms is contributing to the rise of drug resistance in human E. coli infections. [1]
The report, ‘E. coli superbugs on farms and food’, reveals the extent of Britain’s E. coli epidemic. The Soil Association estimates that 750,000–1,500,000 people in the UK contracted an E. coli infection in 2011, resulting in nearly 40,000 cases of blood poisoning and nearly 8,000 deaths. Cases of E. coli blood poisoning have increased nearly fourfold in the last 20 years.
E. coli’s resistance to key antibiotics has risen sharply in the past decade, and the Health Protection Agency say the prospect of new antibiotics to treat E. coli is poor. Scientists increasingly view farm antibiotic use as a significant contributor to the problem. A major review of the evidence in Europe recently concluded that, 'In addition to the contribution of antimicrobial  usage in people, a large proportion of resistant E. coli isolates causing blood stream infections in people are likely derived  from food animal sources'. [2]
A new type of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) E. coli is of particular concern. It is described by Government scientists as “extremely resistant” to many classes of antibiotics and “more virulent” than other forms of E. coli. Patients with ESBL E. coli blood poisoning are nearly three times as likely to die as other affected patients.
The prevalence of ESBL E. coli on British farms has increased dramatically since it was first identified in 2004. [3] This is almost certainly due to high levels of antibiotic use on farms. The Soil Association has calculated that the farm use of antibiotics per animal was at its highest-ever level in 2010, 18% higher than in 2000, while the use of modern cephalosporin antibiotics, which most strongly encourage ESBL E. coli, has increased over six-fold despite falls in livestock numbers. [4]
Professor Peter Collignon, Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit and Microbiology Department at Canberra Hospital, Australia, who wrote the Foreword of the report said:
“It is very important that we stop multi-resistant bacteria developing in food animals to prevent their spread to people. To do that we need to address the issue of inappropriate use of antibiotics in farming, just as much as in the health profession”.
Dr Dai Grove-White from the School of Veterinary Science, Liverpool University, in a statement of support said: 
“It is essential that all the relevant stakeholders namely governments, farmers, veterinary surgeons, retailers and consumers participate in this debate to ensure the protection of both human and animal health and allow farming to rise to the inevitable challenges of the next 50 years without jeopardising human health.”
Dr Ron Daniels from the United Kingdom Sepsis Trust, in a statement of support, said: “It is now certain that agricultural, veterinary and food industry use of antibiotics – which represents one half of all antibiotic use in the U.K – impacts on antibiotic resistance in animals which in turn impacts on antibiotic resistance in humans. Antibiotic resistance is developing faster than we can develop new antibiotics – if we don’t act now, we will rapidly arrive at a situation where we are unable to treat some bacterial infections.”
Richard Young, Soil Association policy advisor and co-author of the report, said: 
“Just about every non-organic chicken in the UK is still routinely put on antibiotics from the day it is hatched. The UK does not have an effective strategy for addressing the rising levels of antibiotic resistance on farms and food, and is the only EU country still allowing antibiotics to be advertised to farmers.”
The Soil Association’s key recommendations include:
  • Phasing out the preventative use of antibiotics in healthy animals and halving the overall use of antibiotics on farms within five years.
  • Moving towards higher welfare and less intensive production systems which have the potential to reduce the use of antibiotics in farming significantly. [3]
  • Greatly reduce the use of modern cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones and prohibit off-label use.
  • Prohibit the advertising of antibiotics to farmers in the UK and any advertisement to veterinary surgeons should be purely factual and not emotive in any way.
Ends
For press enquiries, the full report, and to request interviews with the scientists supporting the report please contact the Soil Association press office:
Clio Turton, press office manager - 0117 914 2448 / 07795 562 556
Josh Stride, press & e-communications officer – 0117 314 5170 / 07717 802 183
press@soilassociation.org
Notes to editor:
[1] Download the report on the Soil Association website from 29 March: ‘E. coli superbugs on farms and food’
[2] Vieira et al 2011. Association Between Antimicrobial Resistance in Escherichia coli Isolates from Food Animals and Blood Stream Isolates from Humans in Europe: An Ecological Study, Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, 8: 1295-301
[3] Last year, ESBL E. coli was found in 52% of poultry abattoirs, on 37% of dairy farms and in 87% of pigs from seven farms. Despite this, there has been no testing of British-produced meat since one small study in 2006, when ESBL levels in farm animals were much lower.
Two UK studies have found high levels of ESBL E. coli on imported chicken (30-33%). Testing of meat in other European countries has typically found between 35% and 100% of chicken, up to 25% of pork, up to 8% of beef, and half of all turkey and rabbit to be positive for ESBL E. coli. 84% of Dutch organic chicken was also positive for ESBL E. coli - Soil Association certified organic chicken is unlikely to be similarly affected due to certain requirements in our organic standards, as explained in the report.
[4] Accurate statistics on farm antibiotic use are only available from 1998 onwards.
[5] Research by Defra has shown that antibiotic use on UK organic pig and poultry farms is extremely low compared with non-organic farms, resulting in very much lower levels of resistance in E. coli.
[6] The Soil Association is a member of the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics along with Compassion in World Farming and Sustain. Read more about the Alliance here

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

MRSA in Pigs - no holiday relief.


Research confirming what we have always believed: insufficient attention is paid to pig farmers, pork handlers and veterinarians when entering hospital.

MRSA st398 colonisation is hard to clear.

Colonised veterinarians pose a risk to all the farms they visit, all the animals they treat, and all the people they meet. That includes their own families.

Covering up MRSA st398 in British pigs, by Britain's veterinary establishment for years was not clever: it was stupid.

Abstract with more detail here

Does nasal colonization with livestock-associated Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in pig farmers persist after holidays from pig exposure?

...Livestock-associated Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) is frequently transmitted from pigs to farmers. This study analyzed whether an absence from direct contact with pigs during holidays had an impact on nasal MRSA colonization rates of pig farmers. Overall, 59% of the farmers did not clear from MRSA colonization during their leave...

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

MRSA in Pig Farmers and Spouses


A major conference is under way in the USA, with a couple of talks given by Tara C Smith, yesterday.

More will be to come later, but meantime, the opening and concluding paragraphs from Maryn McKenna's lengthy "semi live" report are given below.

The writer's years of questioning the true situation in Britain was clearly justified and in the interests of pig farmers and their families. Meat workers, and veterinarians are at similar risk.

The whole is available here


Staph In Pigs And Pig Farmers: The Latest Reports (ICEID 1)

By Maryn McKenna Email Author March 12, 2012 |  11:20 pm

A quick recap: MRSA, drug-resistant staph, was first a hospital infection (starting in 1961), then spread into a broad “community MRSA” epidemic in people who have no connection to hospitals or healthcare (since about 1996) — and then sparked a third epidemic of “livestock-associated” MRSA, slightly different from the previous two and first identified (in 2004) in the families of Dutch pig-farmers. LA-MRSA — or more familiarly “pig MRSA,” though swine agriculture understandably dislikes the term — spread through the European Union, crossed to Canada in 2007, and in 2009 was identified in Iowa pigs and pig farmers by the research team led by Tara C. Smith, PhD, at the University of Iowa....

...In their participants, Smith said, the Iowa team has so far found carriage, without symptoms, of staph that is resistant to tetracycline, and also staph that is multi-drug resistant, though not necessarily to methicillin and other beta-lactam antibiotics — making it both resistant and yet technically MSSA. (Similar to these meat samples.) Farmers raising cattle were somewhat more likely to be carrying resistant staph, and those raising swine were three to four times more likely to be.

The strains are still being analyzed, she said, but so far the most common type of MRSA they have found is the community strain; farmers are also carrying hospital, community and livestock-associated types that are MSSA but still resistant to several antibiotics. As part of the study, they are following up with farmers to see if the strains they are carrying cause infections. So far, five farmers have reported back, two of them with repeat infections; six of the infections have been MSSA and one MRSA. One sample from an infection has been analyzed so far and found to be ST398, the livestock strain, and while not MRSA, resistant to three antibiotics: tetracycline, levaquin, and the combination trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.

With much more work to go, the team can say this much, Smith said: “We are seeing livestock-associated staph in this cohort, we are seeing it in spouses as well, and we are seeing that carriage of staph turn into infections.”

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

MRSA in Dutch Farmers, latest figures


Mechanical translation from the Dutch Parliament proceedings.

It seems it almost unbelievable that against this background, Britain should still refuse to acknowledge MRSA in its pigs and pork, after so many years.

It shows just how bad the cover-ups are – how senior those involved and huge the reparations and compensation that will be demanded and, make no mistake, how dangerous it is for any individual to campaign against veterinary corruption in Britain.

The Dutch are to be congratulated on their integrity and common-sense.

The full translation of the questions and answers in this exchange is here


Questions of member Hazekamp (Party for the Animals) to the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport about the annoyance of farmers to the changing policies of hospitals around MRSA (submitted February 17, 2012).

Answer Minister Schippers (Health, Welfare and Sport) (received March 6, 2012).

...Question 4

Please indicate how often MRSA or ESBL-producing bacteria was established by farmers and / or their family and / or their staff in the last 2 years? If so, please be specific in your answer? If not, why not?

Answer 4

A recent study shows that 16% of people who live and / or work on a vleeskalverbedrijf MRSA positive in the nose. For farmers was 33%, 26% for employees and family members who live on the farm 8%.

On pig farms was on average 14% of MRSA-positive people and broiler farms averaged 5.5%. People who have intensive contact with live animals generally have a greater chance of MRSA-positive than people who live on a farm, but no contact with the animals...

For ESBL-producing bacteria are less data available. On broiler farms was 28% of people positive for ESBL-

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Schmallenberg virus: MP calls for live shipment ban



Despite all the state veterinary huff and puff, Britain's government vets are not really believed any more.

There have been too many animal and zoonotic illnesses arriving from abroad and causing chaos, with the method of entry never found.

Only constant fabrications and secrecy in place of openess and integrity.

The Agriculture Ministry - Maff-Defra are now running out of all credibility again.

Even members of Parliament seem unconvinced according to a BBC report - available in full here

4 March 2012 Last updated at 12:29

Schmallenberg virus: Kent MP calls for livestock export ban

Calls for a ban on the export of livestock in the face of a recent UK outbreak of Schmallenberg virus have been made by a Kent MP.

Laura Sandys, the Conservative MP for Thanet, said the import and export of live animals should be banned to stop the virus spreading.

The disease causes birth defects and miscarriages in livestock.

Humans are thought to be unaffected by the virus, which is believed to be spread by midges, mosquitoes and ticks.

'Such uncertainty' Ms Sandys said: "There are so many unknowns at present.

"There is no treatment or preventative vaccine available, nor are we
are clear on how the virus is being transmitted.

"With such uncertainty about how the infection could spread, I am calling for all international transportation of live animals to cease immediately."


...Defra said it suspected livestock may have got the virus from infected midges blown across the Channel from affected areas in Europe.





Sunday, 4 March 2012

Schmallenberg virus: Kent MP calls for livestock import-export ban



Despite all the state veterinary huff and puff, bullying, intimidation, faking, corruption and general hooliganism to keep Britain in the dark, Britain's government vets are not really believed any more.

There have been too many animal and zoonotic illnesses, arriving from abroad and causing chaos, with the method of entry never found.

Only constant fabrications and secrecy in place of openess and integrity have been on offer in Britain for years.

Maff-Defra, the agricultural ministry, renamed following the FMD disaster, have been using very trick in the book to keep Britain in ignorance.

The veterinarians are now running out of all credibility.

BBC report here

4 March 2012 Last updated at 12:29

Schmallenberg virus: Kent MP calls for livestock export ban

Calls for a ban on the export of livestock in the face of a recent UK outbreak of Schmallenberg virus have been made by a Kent MP.

Laura Sandys, the Conservative MP for Thanet, said the import and export of live animals should be banned to stop the virus spreading.

The disease causes birth defects and miscarriages in livestock.

Humans are thought to be unaffected by the virus, which is believed to be spread by midges, mosquitoes and ticks.

'Such uncertainty'
Ms Sandys said: "There are so many unknowns at present.

"There is no treatment or preventative vaccine available, nor are we are clear on how the virus is being transmitted.

"With such uncertainty about how the infection could spread, I am calling for all international transportation of live animals to cease immediately."

A total of 92 cases of the Schmallenberg virus have been reported in the UK.

In England, the most recent cases have been on the Isle of Wight and in Wiltshire, West Berkshire and Gloucestershire.

Earlier cases were reported in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, East and West Sussex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Hampshire and Cornwall.

Defra said it suspected livestock may have got the virus from infected midges blown across the Channel from affected areas in Europe.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Myths busted: Schmallenberg virus


Somebody has trodden on Britain's government vets' corns.

They must be worried to publicly "correct" the Daily Telegraph.

It seems especially odd to issue a correction when they admit they do not actually know with any certainty the method of importation of Schmallenberg Virus into England, and have confused the geography in previous statements.

They certainly don't like anyone suggesting that live imports could be associated with any of the constant stream of animal epidemics hitting Britain. That might suggest their carelessness.

They were so worried in the past that they resorted to criminal activity, and threatening witnesses to Parliament to try to suppress any such suggestion of live imports being the source and hide their associated faking of tests.

Past crimes are coming back to haunt Defra's corrupt officials.

There is going to have to be a Royal Commission of Enquiry with evidence taken under oath, unlike Phillips into BSE - Mad Cow, where they had amnesia when questioned and came away thinking they were beyond the reach of the law.

http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2012/03/03/myths-busted-schmallenberg-virus/

Myths busted: Schmallenberg virus

The myth: a comment piece in the Daily Telegraph suggests that the Schmallenberg virus was brought into the UK from live imports and not from midges.


The truth: All the evidence currently suggests that the disease was brought into the UK from infected midges blown across the Channel.  We have seen no evidence to suggest that it was from imported livestock. 


We are closely tracking the disease and will continue to work with partners across Europe and the UK to develop our knowledge of the disease as quickly as we can and help the farming industry understand what they are facing.