Sunday, 27 January 2013

Hepatitis E in pigs and people, Colombia and Britain

Just to remind regular readers  we are currently suffering through another state veterinary cover-up in Britain: Hepatitis E in pigs and pig farmers, with associated human deaths.

Proving it is the problem, in theory it is still being investigated in a number of NHS hospitals in pig producing areas, led by Cornwall.

The reality is that we all know what has been going on for some years, with the writer constantly publishing.

In Britain, reading the not inconsiderable medical, as against veterinary and farming, literature, the the main incidence may be in older pig keepers. You will find plenty of references and links to the detail on, as back up, and in this blog.

There is going to be yet another massive row, when eventually admissions have to be made in Britain.

The full report in 'Today Colombia' is available here.

Colombia Warns about Possible Outbreak of Hepatitis E

Scientists at the National University of Colombia warned of the risk of an outbreak of hepatitis E, a new variant in this country, transmitted via fecal matter and pig livers. So far, only one case has been detected, but experts urged caution to prevent a possible epidemic, due to the lack of proper hygiene in swine production systems.

The director of the University Center research group on Biodiversity and Molecular Genetics, Alberto Lopez, revealed that, after evaluating the top five hog slaughter plants in the region, the presence of antibodies to hepatitis E were detected.

That suggests, he said, that the pigs were infected and their bodies generated special proteins to stop the virus.

Hepatitis type E manifests with severe icterus (yellowing of the skin), more intense than previously known variants, and attacks adults between 15 and 40 years old most forcefully. Its incidence is more serious in pregnant women...

Thursday, 24 January 2013

MRSA infection in Danish pig farms rising, Britain silent.

Reading the position in Denmark, and noting their integrity and transparency, we can now all see the mess created by Britain's government veterinarians.

They have not tested properly, yet have still claimed British pigs were clear of MRSA st398.

The technology now exists to tell us how long MRSA st398 has been in British pigs and, obviously, when they are finally forced to admit its presence, they will also be forced to test old samples.

If they won't do it, and transparently, it will be done privately and abroad.

We will then find out what they were hiding up, where it came from, where it went, and how much damage was done to human health, by this total dereliction of duty to protect the public over many years.

Then, aided by a new lively British medical establishment exceptionally worried about MRSA in humans, people will be better protected.

The bills and claims for compensation will roll in and they will have to be paid.

Reform, of the Government veterinary services, is now inevitable.

Britain and its people can't afford, and do not deserve, this kind of ridiculous performance.

You can read the Danish Government report here.


Ministers will examine MRSA infection in Danish pig farms

Food Minister Mette Gjerskov puts Food & Drug Administration to examine the prevalence of swine bacterium MRSA CC398 in Danish pigs. This is because new figures show an increasing prevalence of the bacterium in the Danish slaughterhouses.

New figures from the Food & Drug Administration shows that 88 per cent. of slaughter pigs in Danish slaughterhouses are infected with MRSA CC398. It is a doubling in a year, and an additional study of pig herds should show whether there has been an increase in the Danish pig farms.

"There are indications that many pigs are infected in the slaughterhouse or on the way to the slaughterhouse, but we have to be confident in our case, so I put it here investigation of the Danish stables in time," says Mette Gjerskov.

The authorities monitor already bacteria closely, and there is nothing to suggest that MRSA when people eat pork. However, MRSA infection from animals to humans by regular contact. The problem of pigs bacteria is that it is resistant to several types of antibiotics, and it is therefore difficult to treat it.

"It is an issue we take very seriously. Resistant bacteria are a threat to human health, and the health minister and I have therefore undertaken a number of initiatives to address the problem," says Mette Gjerskov.

Food Minister, together with the Minister of Health set up a task force to come up with concrete suggestions on how we can stop the spread of MRSA from pigs.

In addition, a majority in Parliament in the new political agreement on veterinary field for the next four years decided to focus on the responsible use of antibiotics to combat the development of resistance. This includes Action against inappropriate bunch of medication, where all animals in a herd are routinely given antibiotics, although not all of them are sick.

The latest figures for the incidence of MRSA CC398 in Danish pig herds from 2010 and 2011. They showed that there is found MRSA CC398 in 16 per cent. of the Danish pig herds.

In 2011 and 2012, sampled pigs in slaughterhouses. The results of these studies show that 44% (2011) respectively 88% (2012) of the examined pigs were positive for MRSA.CC398.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Horse meat - DNA to catch British Veterinary crooks?

Yesterday, the British Government came under hostile questioning in the House of Commons on the failure to test beef products made from, or adulterated with, horse and pig meat and DNA, when the Irish Government have done so and found irregularities.

Horse meat is almost universally a taboo food in Britain and traces of pig DNA in beef is also unacceptable.

Huge quantities of beef products are being removed from the shelves of British and Irish supermarkets. Stock market values of the companies involved have plummeted.

Putting aside the food fraud and the taboos, we can't imagine there are very deep public health implications from this particular series of incidents.

Let's leave horse burgers and concentrate on the Irish government tests.

They used relatively new and ever cheaper DNA tests and hit the jackpot, they found fraud and adulteration.

Now, by now, the whole world knows that Britain has deliberately done, or not done, inadequate and inappropriate testing for animal and zoonotic disease, often antibiotic resistant, in British livestock and meat, and imported livestock and meat.

Indeed, the Government veterinarians have repeatedly blamed infected imported meat for many outbreaks despite having done no tests and having no proof. Anyone querying their activities, such as the writer, has been subjected to criminal harassment and conspiracy to spread fabrications and defamation.

Now, the Irish, doubtless unintentionally, have blind-sided the British government veterinarians.

If the Irish authorities can test and find tiny quantities of pig DNA in meat, Britain can do the same for animal, human and zoonotic disease. DNA tests should be possible and cheap enough.

They can use the techniques to test past samples of meat to discover what disease was in Britain and when.

Anyone with stored samples of British meat can do the same. Not all British meat and livestock companies are British owned. Not all the samples are in Britain.

The hospitals can do the same, and they can see if the strain is the same, and when zoonotic disease passed to humans and where.

Analysis of strains, mutations, location, species and dates, will enable anyone anywhere to build up a family tree of disease and how it spread in the past.

Any cover-ups or dereliction of duty will be exposed.

It is a real life "cold case" but with many tens of thousands of human casualties and a  much smaller number of corrupt British scientists, civil servants and veterinarians destined for the criminal courts.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Soil Association report on Parliament Farm Antibiotic Use debate.

We gather from other sources that the fact that antibiotic resistance is being discussed in Parliament is now viewed as a jolly good thing by the British poultry people

Actually, Parliament has discussed it, several times, and some of the exchanges are recorded on this blog and in Hansard, in full.. Maybe those exchanges did not count as a debate, just answers to questions from the floor?

Anyway, here is the Soil Association on the recent debate.

The writer is not a member, or an organic farming enthusiast, but most of their comments seem accurate enough. There is no reason to doubt their integrity and good intent.

Full Soil Association comment here.

Soil Association comment on the Parliamentary debate on public health and the use of antibiotics on intensive farms

10 January 2013

The Soil Association welcomes the points made by Zac Goldsmith MP in a Parliamentary debate on public health and the use of antibiotics in intensive farms yesterday (9 January). We feel it is vitally important that renewed efforts are made to reduce the overall use of antibiotics in agriculture, and that the use of the most medically important antibiotics be cut to an absolute minimum.

This is the first time Parliament has taken an interest in the farm use of antibiotics and the associated problems caused by antibiotic resistance since a report was published by the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology on Antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents in 1998, when Lord Soulsby the Chair of the committee warned of ‘a return to the pre-antibiotic era’.

Quoting from a brief prepared by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, the Health Minister Anna Soubry stated, ‘There is no conclusive scientific evidence that food-producing animals form a reservoir of infection in the United Kingdom’ and that, ‘Food is not considered to be a major source of infections resistant to antibiotics.’
In response Soil Association Policy Adviser Richard Young said; “The Government is factually incorrect and morally irresponsible to claim the evidence is inconclusive and then use this as an excuse for inaction. There is an international scientific consensus that farm animals form a major reservoir of antibiotic resistance in food poisoning bacteria and there is now overwhelming evidence that they also contribute significantly to a number of other serious resistant infections in humans, particularly those caused by non-food poisoning forms of E. coli.
“Resistance also does not just pass between animals and humans on disease causing bacteria on food, it also passes on harmless bacteria which later transfer resistance genes to infectious bacteria from other sources. This also occurs through environmental spread and direct contact with animals as well as via food.

“The Minister quoted the Veterinary Medicines Directorate’s work on monitoring antibiotic residues, which we accept is of a high standard and important, but she failed to mention the UK does not routinely monitor antibiotic resistance in E. coli, enterococci or Staphylococcus aureus on farm animals.

“There is a serious lack of democratic accountability in the Government’s approach to farm antibiotic-resistance issues and the threat these pose to human health. It now takes its sole advice from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate which is largely funded by the pharmaceutical and intensive-livestock industries, and institutionally tuned to their commercial needs.”

The Soil Association feels there is an urgent need for more detailed Parliamentary scrutiny on this issue since there have been significant developments over the last decade including:
  • the rise of new highly resistant strains of E. coli in food animals which are contributing to serious resistance problems in human medicine
  • the emergence and spread of new strains of MRSA which affect both animals and humans
  • the rise of a new epidemic strain of multi-drug resistant salmonella in pigs
  • major increases in the level of fluoroquinolone resistance.
Antibiotic growth promoters have also been banned during this period but the overall use of antibiotics per animal has remained largely unaltered. Alarmingly however, there have been significant increases in the use of antibiotics classified by the World Health Organisation as ‘critically important in human medicine’. The Soil Association’s analysis is that most of this increase has been for commercial, not clinical reasons.

The Soil Association is a member of the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, a joint initiative with Sustain and Compassion in World Farming.

MRSA, MSSA, Bacteria and Endotoxins in Pig Farms

Swiss research on the dangers of MRSA and MSSA from pig farms:

The last two sentences of this abstract sum it up. Unlike most countries, Britain’s corrupt government veterinarians have failed to warn its farmers, hospitals and public of known, widely and internationally acknowledged occupational and public health risks. 

In fact, they have done everything they could to suppress news of the risks, or the existence of diseases, on pig farms in Britain becoming public knowledge.

The damages payable to anyone suffering from these omissions and cover-ups are going to be eye-watering.

Abstract and access to full report here

Concentration of Airborne Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA and MSSA), Total Bacteria, and Endotoxins in Pig Farms

·         Received November 6, 2012.
·         Accepted November 24, 2012.


Pigs are very often colonized by Staphylococcus aureus and transmission of such pig-associated S. aureus to humans can cause serious medical, hygiene, and economic problems. The transmission route of zoonotic pathogens colonizing farm animals to humans is not well established and bioaerosols could play an important role. The aim of this study was to assess the potential occupational risk of working with S. aureus-colonized pigs in Switzerland. We estimated the airborne contamination by S. aureusin 37 pig farms (20 nursery and 17 fattening units; 25 in summer, 12 in winter). Quantification of total airborne bacterial DNA, airborneStaphylococcus sp. DNA, fungi, and airborne endotoxins was also performed. In this experiment, the presence of cultivable airborne methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) CC398 in a pig farm in Switzerland was reported for the first time. Airborne methicillin-sensitive S. aureus(MSSA) was found in ~30% of farms. The average airborne concentration of DNA copy number of total bacteria and Staphylococcus sp. measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction was very high, respectively reaching values of 75 (± 28) × 107 and 35 (± 9.8) × 105 copy numbers m–3 in summer and 96 (± 19) × 108 and 40 (± 12) × 106 copy numbers m–3 in winter. Total mean airborne concentrations of endotoxins (1298 units of endotoxin m–3) and fungi (5707 colony-forming units m–3) exceeded the Swiss recommended values and were higher in winter than in summer. In conclusion, Swiss pig farmers will have to tackle a new emerging occupational risk, which could also have a strong impact on public health. The need to inform pig farmers about biological occupational risks is therefore crucial.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

MRSA st398 in British cattle - Russia monitoring

This is not going to go down well in Britain's Whitehall.

The damage from this MRSA st398 fiasco is spreading widely into British cattle, dairy and poultry farming.

You can see the graphic on the Russian government site.  That's not good. You can also see that Russia, like virtually every other country with an effective state veterinary service,  takes the threat to animal and human health seriously.

The official British government line continues to be, that despite doing no meaningful testing, Britain's pigs do not have MRSA st398, even though it has been found in British people, cattle and milk.

And if it was to be in British pigs, Britain's veterinarians seem to claim it would not be very harmful and nothing to do with their antibiotic prescribing.

Anyway, here is the Russian government news complete with the British Union flag - mechanical translation.

Rosselkhoznadzor / News

Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance

Clarification of the highly methicillin-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus MRSA ST398, in cattle in the UK

January 9, 2013

The strain identified by scientists at Cambridge University. MRSA ST398 was first discovered in pigs in the Netherlands in 2003, after which it quickly spread in the population of pigs in Europe and North America. A strain is a serious threat to both animals and humans.

Rosselkhoznadzor is monitoring the situation.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Britain: First MRSA st398, now Hepatitis E in pigs

Quite aside from antibiotic resistant disease, like MRSA st398, the writer has also been campaigning for an investigation into Hepatitis E in British pigs, the carriage by and risks to veterinarians and farmers for some years. Here are links to just some of the more recent posts, with an idea of the contents.

22 Oct 2012
Hepatitis E in pigs - BBC reports. Finally, after years of struggle, Hepatitis E in pigs in Britain and passing to people has hit the broadcast news. The BBC World Service has carried a report quoting Dr Harry Dalton in Cornwall.
30 Oct 2012
Hepatitis E - Mussels - Scotland. We have long known that British oysters and other shellfish are heavily infected with norovirus. Why they are still on sale baffles us. It has long been obvious that pig effluent is the culprit in ...
23 Oct 2012
Hepatitis E in pigs - BBC reports. we have managed to obtain a transcript from what appears to be an earlier broadcast on the 2nd October 2012. This contains some alarming information for Britain, the United States and ...
04 Oct 2012
This is a story we have been covering for more than two years with increasing concern. We have been worried about Hepatitis E in British pigs, pork and people, not least of illness in pig farmers being investigated by the NHS.
14 Oct 2011
For years we have been campaigning publicly for Britain's pigs to be tested for Hepatitis E and for the results to be released to the public. We know that we have been losing pig farmers to Hepatitis E. Britain's corrupt vetocracy ...
24 Sep 2011
Things get worse. Sausages and sausage meat are a staple foods in Britain. This is a story we have been covering for over a year. Even the Daily Telegraph reported here almost a year ago under the headline: ...
03 Jan 2011
Pig farm showers carry MRSA · Britain's pigs have had Swine Flu H1N1 · MRSA in pigs - the biggest scandal of the 21st cen... Swine Flu - Mutation? Hepatitis E infections soar - Macau & Hong Kong. 2010 (53) ...
22 Oct 2010
Researchers are now beginning a two-year study into the virus strain, thought to be transmitted through pigs. In addition to the deaths, it is thought 55 people have been struck down by the disease in Devon and Cornwall.
18 Oct 2010
Researchers from the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro have received a grant of £337,000 to carry out a two-year study with partners in Glasgow and Norwich into a rare form of Hepatitis - Hepatitis E. The grant has come from ...
23 Oct 2010
Hepatitis E - three dead, 55 infected - linked to . .... Hepatitis E is generally thought to be caused by poor sanitary conditions and previously it had been assumed that British sufferers had caught the disease abroad. But Dr ...
26 Aug 2010
Veterinarians worldwide are having a difficult time, especially those handling pigs. Pigs are generally now very diseased and the situation is getting worse by the day. We have known since last year that many veterinarians ... 

Now, almost unnoticed, just before Christmas, scientists have caught up with some of our moaning, groaning and whingeing, and published.

We will just confine ourselves to  quotes related to pigs, pig farming, and cruise shipping.

As you can see once again, as with MRSA st398, science now fully supports our anguished pleas for urgent investigations by Defra, independently collected and  audited, of course.

Full published letter with links here

Hepatitis E Virus Genotype 3 in Shellfish, United Kingdom

Several recent reports have linked the incidence of human infection with hepatitis E virus (HEV) to consumption of undercooked pork, game products, and shellfish (1,2). Infectious HEV has been found in swine manure and wastewater (3); therefore, application of manure to land and subsequent runoff could contaminate coastal water, leading to contamination of shellfish and, subsequently, possible human infection...

...However, data have been restricted to questionnaires implicating consumption of shellfish as a source of transmission; no follow-up analyses of the contaminated foodstuff have been conducted. Thus, possible transmission routes for HEV remain poorly studied in the United Kingdom...

...The site at Ardrossan was near a slaughterhouse and a meat preparation purification plant that processes pigs. The plant was considered a potential source of contamination, and mussels were collected in a 10-m2 area around an outfall (drain/sewage pipe) directly in line with the processing plant...

...A total of 36 (92%) of the 39 mussels from the west coast were positive by PCR for HEV, and 5 (55%) of the 9 from the east coast were positive. The mean value of HEV RNA detected in the samples was 4.25 log10 IU/mL (range 3.73–5.2 log10 IU/mL), and the assay was validated by using the current candidate HEV World Health Organization standard ..

...Phylogenetic analysis showed that most bivalve mollusk sequences clustered with HEV genotype 3 from humans and swine...

...Also, HEV sequences isolated specifically from a UK human source corresponded with sequences isolated from the bivalve mollusks. The presence of a swine-like HEV genotype 3 in freshwater bivalve mollusks has also been reported in Japan and South Korea (1,9).
Worldwide, an estimated 40,000 persons die and another 40,000 experience long-term disability as a result of consuming raw or undercooked shellfish ...

...This study, demonstrating the presence of HEV in mussels collected locally in Scotland for human consumption, raises concern as to whether these shellfish are a potential source of infection, as reported (2). The association between environmental contamination with HEV and possible transmission by eating shellfish warrants investigation.

Claire Crossan, Paul J. Baker, John Craft, Yasu Takeuchi, Harry R. Dalton, and Linda ScobieComments to Author 
Author affiliations: Author affiliations: Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK (C. Crossan, P.J. Baker, J. Craft, L. Scobie); University College London, London, UK (Y. Takeuchi); European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Truro, UK (H.R. Dalton)

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2012 In The Rear-View Mirror

The Scary Disease Girl, Maryn McKenna, will have been encountered before by regular readers, ends her year with a list of her most popular blogs.

2012 In The Rear-View Mirror: What You Liked
BY MARYN MCKENNA 01.01.138:30 AM - You can read the blog here.

The number one takes her back to the UK, where she spent part of her childhood, and specifically to Scotland and a lovely story, well known to most of us through TV.

But we probably under estimated the reaction in the USA and elsewhere from readers.

She tells us what happened and the outcome. In the process, she records the captured infamous first official response to this little girl's activities, and its highly amended version on the same url. You can read them by following her clearly marked trail.

Web sites do get altered and removed, of course, as part of an inevitable process. Most alterations are perfectly proper and reasonable.

The writer was caught very badly by the Murdoch media, publishing and then removing all trace of a story, very quickly, back in 2000. But it is in the printed version, in the National Repositories, which saved his skin.

As a result, if we think something is looking doubtful or significant, and want to comment or retain, a copy is taken for our own protection and removed beyond the realm. That's tens of thousands of pages over the years. Most will never see the light of day again, but some now look like historical gems.

Government, officialdom and others seemed to think they could publish doubtful material to create disinformation, even accurate information, and remove it at their whim.

But, it does look bad when they get rumbled, maybe years later.

You can't just be sure to have lost a file you published on the WWW, even if you have removed or changed it on the same url. The practice, if doubtful, is often more damaging than leaving it there.

The internet changes everything, and congratulations to the little girl and her justifiably proud parents.

A Happy New Year to you all.