Saturday, 24 August 2013

New Chinese research connects Circovirus and Classical Swine Fever

For many years, we have publicly connected the secret 1999 English outbreak of Circovirus (PCV2) (usually called PMWS & PDNS then) to the devastating 2000 Classical Swine Fever (CSF) and almost simultaneous 2000-2001 Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks. 

The pigs were sick before CSF (or FMD) arrived. The devastating CSF and FMD were the second and third epidemics in a sequence of three. Foot and Mouth cost billions and even caused the postponement of a General Election. 

That, with the secrecy, gave rise to compensation issues for a non-notifiable disease. Any possible connection was deliberately ignored and anyone kicking up, over the obvious fabrications planted in the media, was harassed.

Now, thirteen long years have passed, and putting aside the underlying British constitutional  political, commercial and monetary scandals, the Chinese produce science that tells us that pigs with Circovirus are more likely to get CSF and make the resultant epidemic harder to control.

We know. We were there, with pigs at the epicentre, when it happened for real for the first time. 

We had to stand and watch the most senior British government veterinarians fake tests and threaten complainants and witnesses to Parliament and OLAF, the serious fraud squad of the EU.

Circovirus, little understood then, was much more dangerous than anyone was prepared to admit, both directly and by interference with the immune system.

It was also a prime driver of human antibiotic resistance:  the antibiotics were needed to cope with co-infections.

The science is complicated, but  the the last paragraph of the abstract is quite clear.

 Pig333 abstract in full here

Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) infection decreases the efficacy of an attenuated classical swine fever virus (CSFV) vaccine


Yu-Liang Huang, Victor Fei Pang, Chun-Ming Lin, Yi-Chieh Tsai, Mi-Yuan Chia, Ming-Chung Deng, Chia-Yi Chang and Chian-Ren Jeng. Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) infection decreases the efficacy of an attenuated classical swine fever virus (CSFV) vaccine. Veterinary Research 2011, 42:115. doi:10.1186/1297-9716-42-115
The Lapinized Philippines Coronel (LPC) vaccine, an attenuated strain of classical swine fever virus (CSFV), is an important tool for the prevention and control of CSFV infection and is widely and routinely used in most CSF endemic areas, including Taiwan.

The aim of this study was to investigate whether PCV2 infection affects the efficacy of the LPC vaccine. Eighteen 6-week-old, cesarean-derived and colostrum-deprived (CDCD), crossbred pigs were randomly assigned to four groups.The pigs in groups 1 and 2 were intranasally inoculated with 0.5 mL of PCV2 in each nostril and were intramuscularly injected with 1 mL of PCV2 at 0 dpi (a total dose of 105.3 TCID50per pig). The pigs in groups 1 and 3 were intramuscularly injected with 1 dose of LPC vaccine/pig at 12 dpi. Therefore, all pigs were challenged with 1 mL of CSFV (ALD strain)/pig by intramuscular injection at 27 dpi (a total dose of 106.8 TCID50 per pig). Clinical monitoring was recorded daily, and rectal temperature and sample collection of blood, saliva, and feces were taken every 3 days until 45 dpi. All surviving pigs were necropsed at 45 dpi.

Following CSFV challenge, the LPC-vaccinated pigs pre-inoculated with PCV2 showed transient fever, viremia, and viral shedding in the saliva and feces. The number of IgM+, CD4+CD8-CD25+, CD4+CD8+CD25+, and CD4-CD8+CD25+ lymphocyte subsets and the level of neutralizing antibodies against CSFV were significantly higher in the animals with LPC vaccination alone than in the pigs with PCV2 inoculation/LPC vaccination. In addition, PCV2-derived inhibition of the CSFV-specific cell proliferative response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was demonstrated in an ex vivo experiment.

These findings indicate that PCV2 infection decreases the efficacy of the LPC vaccine. This PCV2-derived interference may not only allow the invasion of wild-type CSFV in pig farms but also increases the difficulty of CSF prevention and control in CSF endemic areas.

Belarus President against disregarding people’s interests in fighting swine fever

This comes as a great surprise. 

It would be rewarding to think that Belarus has learned from the disgraceful performance of Britain’s corrupt bullying government veterinarians in handling similar outbreaks. 

The current British performance, and that of their cronies, still leaves much to be reformed.

Britain’s government ignores complaints and allows witnesses to its Parliament to be harassed.

Belarus’ President, in similar circumstances, issues a public warning to his veterinarians to behave. A former USSR republic’s president comes out for freedom and the rights of smallholders to raise animals. Sensible fellow!

Belarus President against disregarding people’s interests in fighting swine fever

22.08.2013 13:39
MINSK, 22 August (BelTA) – Civil servants must not fail to pay attention to people while fighting African swine fever. All kinds of aid to the population must be provided. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko made the statement at the government session held on 22 August to discuss the epidemic situation in the pig breeding industry and measures to fight the viral swine disease, BelTA has learned.

“I am not so concerned about the disease containment process as I am concerned about the response of the nation to the measures taken by government agencies and veterinary services. I am getting more and more signals, the Belarus President Administration is seeing an increasing number of appeals from people regarding this matter. In essence we sometimes pay little attention or treat people rudely. While trying to accomplish a holy mission of fighting the disease, we breed another problem – negative attitudes of Belarusians to our actions, actions of veterinary services. I must warn you that it is inadmissible,” said the President.

“I would like to see no complaints from the people starting next week,” warned the president. “Your excuses claiming that you are doing the right thing, you are good guys while people are bad will not be accepted!”

“Straighten things out with every individual. I don’t think there are many Belarusians, who have nothing better to do than sending requests for the President to do something. Therefore, from now on we have to agree that we don’t need any complaints from people! Treat people humanly while fighting the disease,” Alexander Lukashenko told those present.

The head of state pointed out that African swine fever represents no danger for human health. He regretted that for now no effective measures have been worked out in the world to fight the disease, there are no vaccines and the only way out is localizing the outbreaks and slaughtering diseased animals for the sake of stopping the spread of the disease.

“The reasons behind our having to eradicate the disease are the violation of basic sanitary norms, quarantine regulations in farms and private households. It can lead to the expansion of the epidemic area, serious damage to the pig breeding industry and the national economy as a whole,” said the President. He stressed that economy is the key problem. “We cannot allow the spread of the disease and deaths of swine in private households, farms or major pig-breeding complexes. We have already lost more than one billion rubles,” noted the head of state.

The development of the pig breeding industry is of special importance for Belarus. There are powerful pig-breeding facilities in all the regions. Their merchandise is sold on the home market and abroad.

Alexander Lukashenko remarked that strict measures are taken by major pig-breeding complexes and no resurgence of the disease has been registered. The President was most concerned about small farms and private households. According to Alexander Lukashenko, in 97 out of 100 cases cattle caught the disease in private households, therefore it is necessary to do everything to prevent the disease from spreading onto major pig-breeding complexes.

“We cannot allow the loss of the pig breeding industry. It is also important that pigs are bred in nearly every rural home for proprietary consumption and for selling on the market, thus replenishing food resources of the country,” said the head of state. He noted that private households have over 20% of the total number of pigs in Belarus. “Therefore, we should render substantial aid to the population in fighting the disease,” stressed the President.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Human MRSA strain 'originated in livestock'

An abbreviated version of the latest news hits the BBC. Now the pressure is on to investigate the thirteen lost years and resulting human deaths.

The evidence given to Parliament and OLAF, the serious fraud squad of the EU, and the archives of the newsgroup will prove to be invaluable - not least the abuse and many deleted posts.

BBC report here

14 August 2013 Last updated at 16:527

Human MRSA strain 'originated in livestock'

The study suggests livestock was the original source of an MRSA strain now in people

A type of MRSA found in humans originated in cattle at least 40 years ago, new research has claimed.

Edinburgh researchers said they had "clear evidence" that livestock was the original source of an MRSA strain now widespread in people.

They studied the genetic make-up of 40 strains of a bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus, that can build up antibiotic resistance to develop into MRSA.

The Roslin Institute at Edinburgh University carried out the research. At least two genetic subtypes of the bacterium, which have become endemic in people, were traced back to cattle by the scientists.

Immune system

They said the most likely scenario was the bug crossed over from cattle to people through direct contact - perhaps through people working with farm animals.

It is hoped the research will help scientists find out how bacteria is able to spread and cause disease in humans, and to prevent further strains from jumping from livestock.

After switching to human hosts, the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium became resistant to the antibiotic methicillin and developed into methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA.

The bacteria also acquired the ability to avoid attack by the human immune system.

However, the bacteria that originated in cattle did not appear to be more aggressive or more resistant to antibiotics than other MRSA affecting humans, researchers said.

Professor Ross Fitzgerald, Roslin Institute researcher, said: "Human infections caused by bacteria being transmitted directly from livestock are well known to occur.

"However this is the first clear genetic evidence of subtypes of Staph. aureus which jumped from cattle and developed the capacity to transmit widely among human populations."

The study has been published in the journal mBio.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Antibiotic Use in Chickens: Responsible for Hundreds of Human Deaths?

A helpful piece from Maryn McKenna teasing out the big questions and drawing the battle lines over antibiotic use in chickens and the responsibility for multiple human deaths.

Despite the relative scarcity of data, something to be deplored, she draws together the latest papers.

Is there a link?

Will the problem go away with restrictions on antibiotic use?

The arguments are here.

Antibiotic Use in Chickens: Responsible for Hundreds of Human Deaths?

In the long back and forth between science and agriculture over the source of antibiotic resistance in humans — Due to antibiotic overuse on farms, or in human medicine? — one question has been stubbornly hard to answer. If antibiotic-resistant bacteria do arise on farms, do they leave the farm and circulate in the wider world? And if they do, how much damage do they do?
A multi-national team of researchers recently published their answers to both questions. Their answer: In Europe, 1,518 deaths and 67,236 days in the hospital, every year, which would not otherwise have occurred.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Vet claims RSPCA called him 'arch-enemy'

Well, this was all very predictable. The worst scandal of the 21st century is gathering momentum: tensions are rising.

There have been many smear campaigns and, as a victim harassed and lied about for trying to demand proper professional standards from veterinary civil servants, at our Parliament, I want those responsible before the courts.

But I can wait. Human health can't.

Many charities and professional bodies have become embroiled in dubious activities. You should expect a barrage of revelations from Britain

Full BBC report here

7 August 2013 Last updated at 17:52

Vet claims RSPCA called him 'arch-enemy'

A veterinary expert from Norfolk is claiming he was the victim of an RSPCA smear campaign after he gave evidence against the charity in court.

Colin Vogel, from Fakenham, made the allegation in a BBC Radio 4 Face the Facts programme after seeing emails and documents about him from the charity.

Mr Vogel has appeared in the defence in cases brought by the RSPCA.

Gavin Grant, RSPCA chief executive, said: "There is no place for smears or innuendos or inappropriate conduct."

Mr Vogel alleged the charity had sent "scabrous reports to courts about me" and had reported him to the Society of Expert Witnesses, the Law Society and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons "because
their view is that vets should not appear as defence experts".

Mr Vogel discovered the charity called him its "arch-enemy" after he requested access to emails and documents from the RSPCA, using the Data Protection Act.

'Simply not appropriate'

The emails also revealed the RSPCA had tried to find a way of removing its name from his horse care book.

One email said: "I know it was hoped that we would be able to criticise the content to an extent that we could refuse to be associated with it.

"To my enormous regret I do not think we can easily proceed on those lines.

"There are a number of minor points which could be raised but I could find nothing that was wrong or bad from the welfare point of view sufficient to give us a good case. Sorry."

Mr Grant said: "It's not an email I'm familiar with but if it is correct then that is simply not appropriate."

He added it was "a nonsense" the charity harassed expert witnesses who regularly appear for the defence in animal cruelty cases.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Antibiotic Resistance in Chicken - Human Deaths in Britain

There is a pretty important article in The Sunday Times today. (4th August 2013)

The links between antibiotic use in livestock and consequential human deaths becomes ever clearer.

Any suggestions from veterinarians and farming organisations that the situation in Britain is better, and under control, are ridiculous.

A very thorough criminal investigation and public enquiry into veterinary conduct, antibiotic use in Britain, disinformation campaigns and associated cover-ups is long overdue: thirteen years overdue.

Full article here (paywall)

Hundreds killed by drug resistant bugs in chicken
Jon Ungoed-Thomas

About 280 people are dying in Britain each year from antibiotic-resistant superbugs from chicken, spawned by the food industry’s drive to maximise yields, according to a new study...

...The international group of scientists that carried out the study included an adviser from the World Health Organisation, and said the number of avoidable deaths was “staggering”.

The evidence was welcomed by Professor Dame Sally Davis, the chief medical officer...

Friday, 2 August 2013

Germ Warfare - Britain still has to live in the veterinary dark ages.

An informative article with associated sources, illustrating how closely the US is monitoring events in Denmark.

It is a pity Britain still has to live in the veterinary dark ages. The consequences to human health are serious.

Full report and associated PDF from Environmental  Health Perspectives here

Germ Warfare? Strategies for Reducing the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance

A growing body of literature describes how human pathogens in the environment acquire antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), a process potentially boosted by selection pressure from antibiotics...

...Limiting antibiotics in animal production is the most direct way to control environmental ARB and ARGs, according to the authors.1 After Denmark banned antibiotics as animal growth promoters in 1998, investigators found marked reductions of antibiotic resistance...

...Good animal husbandry practices, such as low animal density and good nutrition, keep animals healthy and reduce the need for antibiotics...

...Antibiotic resistance is now making an appearance on Capitol Hill. A bill titled Strategies to Address Antimicrobial Resistance (STAAR) was reintroduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in June 2013.9
STAAR was originally introduced in both chambers in 2007 but died in committee.10,11 The House bill was reintroduced in 2009 but once again failed. The legislation would establish an Office of Antimicrobial Resistance and strengthen funding for related research.