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Monday, December 25, 2017

Not just bite, dog’s scratch too causes rabies.

Not just bite, dog’s scratch too causes rabies. Fifty-year-old Savita (not her real name) was brought to rural doctor Himmat Bawaskar's hospital in Mahad on a May afternoon with an undiagnosed condition, but the diagnosis became obvious when the doctor mentioned 'pani' (water). Savita severely choked just as patients with rabies do on developing its welldocumented symptom - hydrophobia (fear of water). "She was brought to us on the fourth day of fever, bodyache and breathlessness. She heard 'water' and got a laryngeal (vocal cord) spasm," said Dr Bawaskar. Soon, doctors noticed another rabies symptom -extreme sensitivity to light. Dr Bawaskar, who is credited with several researches on snake and scorpion venom, has written about Savita's case in the latest edition of the Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine to highlight poor awareness and dangerous societal practices vis-a-vis rabies. "People in rural areas go to tantriks after a dog-bite though the vaccine and immunoglobulin shots are available at government centres," said the doctor. Savita died after four days at the Mahad hospital, managing to relate how a rabid dog in her village had bitten four people before tugging at her saree 'pallu'. She got a few abrasions on her feet. According to the medical journal, Savita washed the wound and didn't bother about a vaccine as she felt only dog bites cause rabies. She only took herbal medicine from a tantrik. Dr Bawaskar, who has been in the news for filing a case against a diagnostic chain for offering him a cutback for referring a patient for a CT scan, said Savita must have got infected as dogs' nails and claws too harbour the virus as they keep licking them. "This case busts the myth that cuts don't result in rabies," he said. Vaccine is advised for any cut where blood flows out. #rabies #bites #cuts #vaccination.#travel

Vampire bat rabies kills hundreds of cattle a year in Peru.

Vampire bat rabies kills hundreds of cattle a year in Peru.The vampire bat is known to be the principle reservoir of rabies throughout Latin America, yet the burden of vampire bat-transmitted rabies on human lives and livestock has been largely anecdotal. Now, researchers have calculated that, in Peru, more than 500 cattle a year die of rabies. Rabies is among the most important zoonoses for human and animal health in Latin America. The common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) is the principle reservoir, and the main prevention methods are culling of bats and vaccination of humans and livestock. In Peru, recent geographic expansion of vampire bat rabies (VBR) has raised public health concerns, but the true incidence of VBR and the rate of under-reporting of cases is unknown. #rabies #publichealth #agribusiness.

How to promote agribusiness with incubation hubs.

How to promote agribusiness with incubation hubs. Agribusiness is the new gold and many people are moving into the sector but the growth impact is not as evident as it should be because of lack of organisation/structure in the industry. The issue of incubation hubs in agribusiness will promote the industry,provide more jobs and expand the value chain markets which is where more money can be accessed. Incubation hubs will give budding entrepreneurs platforms to start and grow the business and expand making more money. Agribusiness today is big business and currently only the very big are calling the shots,but with incubation hubs many more will have opportunities. How will the incubation hubs work? 1) It is a place where entrepreneurs churn out their ideas. 2) Ideas are analysed and market possibilities are charted. 3) Production is set in motion. 4) Entrepreneur start to think about how to grow and multiply the business. Why is the incubation hub important? Growth is the main purpose for the hub. The budding entrepreneur has to contend with a lot of factors which basically stifles growth,but if an incubation hub takes away most of these factors,then growth is inevitable. Lets look at this idea: an entrepreneur wants to start making fruit juices ,he has to contend with power,rent of factory,employee, registration,documentation and so many hidden charges. When the budding entrepreneur sits down to calculate all he needs to start,he will have a rethink and postpone his startup and if he strives to startup he can only go mum-and -pop and if the idea is so great,the big guys will take over and hes out of business. Entrepreneurs in incubation hubs have a leverage such that much more can be done with his capital. Agribusiness with development of the value chains is a money spinner,but incubation hubs are the keys to drive the vision. Thinking agribusiness,business development? think incubation hubs. Incubation hubs are more like furnished office spaces that you rent,you just go in do your business and go home. Agribusiness hub, a place setup for production,processing,packaging, distribution and even exportation.The entrepreneur will just come in with idea,produce,package and sell while the hub will take care of necessary documents.#NAFDAC #NEPC #employee #certification. The profit is worked out at a percentage that is fair for all parties and this will regulate the industry as you can easily trace and track products.

Agribusiness ; how to make lollipops with zobo leaves.

Starting your SME with zobo leaves, lollipops and Popsicle made easy. These are the steps to turn your zobo to refreshing lollipops for sale. The lollipops could be made at home using cups or you get a mould to make for large scale production. How to make lollipops with zobo leaves. 1) get the leaves,clean and wash . 2) boil the leaves for 45 mins. 3) pour in clean bowl and add flavor. 4) pour in your mold and freeze or pour in your plastic cups and freeze. 5) remove from mold /cup when frozen and enjoy. #Christmas #giveaway #money #startup #agribusiness #leanstartup.
#businessdeevelopment #entrepreneur

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Agribusiness: how to start a small medium enterprise (SME) with zobo leaves.

Sorrel leaves popularly called zobo leaves is used to produce a healthy nutritious drink. Hibiscus sabdariffa commonly referred to as ( SOBO LEAVES/sorrel leaves), has various uses and several benefits in man . Its referred to as sobo leaves and has found usefulness in treatment of hypertension, weight control, ant-inflammatory agent, diuretic and as a soothing tea. The leaves are also boiled,flavored and served as a refreshing drink,the leaves can also be used for preparation of jams,jellies and wine. The fiber from the plant have been used to make ropes as a substitute for jute bags. The leaves are known to be a good source of iron,calcium, niacin,vitamin C B vitamins,, carotene as well as manganese. The sobo leaves also contain protein,phosphorus,fat and fiber making it a perfect nutritional meal.
Sobo leaves are beneficial to man for health and wealth. The zobo leaves can be used to produce many products that have huge financial gains and minimal startup capital. The leaves can be used in the following ways to start an SME. 1) Tea production. The leaves are cleaned, dried and packed into tea bags such that the consumer draws the bags in the hot water. The processed leaves can be packed and sold in fanciful packs,where consumers pour the packed leaves into boiling water and then sieve the leaves out of the pot and drink.
Tea bags materials can be sourced here 2) Flavored drinks. The leaves are cleaned,washed and then boiled. The drink is filtered when cool and different flavors are added. The flavors are either natural or sweeteners depending on your market,sugar is the most common sweetener. The drink can be flavored with ginger, watermelon,strawberry or oranges. This can be packed in bottles or nylons for school children.
3) lollipops/Popsicle can also be made using the zobo leaves. The leaves are picked and washed then boiled. The filtered drink is flavored and poured into the Popsicle maker to make a healthy treat for kids. The lollipops can be made without the Popsicle maker by using cups.The drink is poured in the cups,then the stalk/holder is set in the cup and frozen. The lollipops are removed from cup when fully set.

Friday, December 22, 2017

A visual database of human plasma compounds.

A visual database of human plasma compounds.Researchers have created a database of metabolites from blood samples collected from over 5,000 Japanese volunteers, making it freely available online as a valuable resource for researchers around the world. Metabolites and proteins control many of the processes inside our bodies, and also inform the interaction between our cells and their surroundings. Understanding these compounds and how they relate to each other more, could help researchers to evaluate the health state of people and develop new personalised treatments for various diseases.

Heroic rats detect land mines and now they might help save an endangered anteater.

Heroic rats detect land mines and now they might help save an endangered anteater.The pangolin, an endangered anteater that is one of the world’s most poached animals, could use a hero. Fortunately, a big rat is training for the job. Actually, 11 African giant pouched rats are. At a research center in central Tanzania, the 2-foot-long rodents are learning to detect the smell of pangolins’ armor-like scales, which are smuggled to Asia for use in sham traditional remedies. If the rats succeed, they and their twitching noses could eventually deploy to ports, national park borders and even highways to sniff out illegal shipments and help bust traffickers. The species already has a strong track record in detection. The Belgian organization APOPO has been training their “heroRATS” to find land mines for 20 years, and it says the animals have helped clear more than 100,000 mines from former war zones. In the past decade, the rats have been used to detect tuberculosis, a highly infectious disease that public health facilities often miss. They can screen 100 mucus samples in 20 minutes — a job that would take clinics four days — and APOPO says they’ve boosted TB detection by 40 percent at the clinics they work

Female reindeer's pull Santa's sleigh..

Santa, turns out, did some savvy hiring of his prancing parade,he got female reindeer's pull his sleigh. The male reindeer shed their antlers at the end of the mating season in early December, while females sport their thinner antlers throughout the winter.Sounds like Rudolph and the gang were all gals. "It appears that way," said physiologist Perry Barboza of the Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska at Fairbanks, who studies reindeer and their closest cousins, caribou. Scientists consider reindeer and caribou the same species. While all reindeer would be equipped for an Arctic journey, though a flightless one, females might have the edge over their male counterparts.When the Christmas journey rolls around, male reindeer carry as low as 5 percent body fat, having lost much of their fatty stores during the energy-sapping mating season. Female reindeer, however, enter winter with about 50 percent body fat, making them "seals on hooves," Barboza said. The fat, which can be a couple of inches thick on their rumps, keeps the reindeer toasty in temperatures as low as minus 45 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 43 degrees Celsius). Which leaves us wondering, however, how they can be "faster than eagles," as legend has it. Santa's reindeer have another hoof up on other animal sleigh pullers: They can see in the ultraviolet range of the electromagnetic spectrum, something humans (and Santa) can't do. This vision ability will come in handy in the winter, said researchers who published a review of reindeer research in the journal Frontiers for Young Minds in 2015.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tail vaccinations in cats to prevent cancer.

Tail vaccinations in cats to prevent cancer. It’s estimated that about 1 to 10 out of every 10,000 cats vaccinated will develop cancer at the injection site. If 1000 cats are vaccinated, then we are looking at hundreds of cats each year developing vaccine associated sarcomas. These sarcomas are usually difficult to treat and researchers have associated these sarcomas to rabies and feline leukemia vaccines. A university of Florida study has shown how to reduce incidence of sarcomas in cats. The study changed injection site to the tail and it worked.The University of Florida, study suggests that tail vaccinations are a good alternative to rear leg vaccinations. The University of Florida veterinarians studied 60 cats,and they studied two parameters. 1)is it possible to use the tail? and 2) will it provide immunity? The study suggests that there are no significant differences in the behavior of the cats that receive vaccinations below the knee and in the tail. The result showed that 99% of cats that received the tail vaccines developed protective antibody titres. The researchers came to the conclusion that tail vaccines work and are well tolerated. The researchers further opined that in case a sarcoma develops on the tail, a simple procedure to remove it is easy,safe and effective.

Traffic-monitoring tech will make cities smarter and safer.

Traffic-monitoring tech will make cities smarter and safer. Technology has simplified life and daily activities but this can be taken a step further to our roads. Traffic gridlock is common in most developed and developing countries,the difference is management of such gridlock. Data is life,and it is been used to monitor activities on the road to prevent logjams and ensure free flow of data. The data revolution can save a lot of wasted hours in traffic thus creating a peaceful conducive atmosphere for work and business. How to use data to ease traffic : the first step will be to a) identify the zone you are interested in. b) get data of vehicles that ply the route per time .c) mine this data,and create a prototype of traffic during the peak and low periods.d) then fashion out alternate routes,detours,back-roads and link -roads and bridges to prevent gridlocks. This technology can be implemented easily in Nigeria to save the commuters from unnecessary pain, imagine you in traffic for 3-4 hrs just to get to your office #Ajah ,not cool at all. Technology at our disposal, #moving ahead #2018. A company waycare is taking the #bulls by the horns,they are making sure that Speed limits, crashes and bumper-to-bumper traffic may become a thing of the past. Waycare is helping to put the smarts into smart cities by monitoring everything to do with traffic flow – traffic lights, road sensors, security cameras and data sent from connected cars. Waycare consolidates and makes sense of all that data for a city’s traffic management center.
Israel’s Waycare – already in use in Las Vegas - helps monitor everything to do with traffic flow, from traffic lights, to road sensors, security cameras and data sent from connected cars.#data #bigdata

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy could ease Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy could ease Alzheimer’s symptoms.According to Israeli researchers, this therapy has potential to improve behavioral and physical problems associated with the disease. This revolutionary treatment for Alzheimer’s disease uses a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which has been shown in the past to be extremely effective in treating wounds that were slow to heal,according to Prof. Uri Ashery of TAU’s Sagol School of Neuroscience and the Faculty of Life Sciences, who led the research for the study. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, prescribed for conditions including embolisms, burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness and fibromyalgia, involves breathing in pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber. In this chamber, the air pressure is increased to twice that of normal air. Under these conditions, oxygen solubility in the blood increases and is transported by blood vessels throughout the body. The added oxygen stimulates the release of growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Gut bacteria in bees spread antibiotic-resistant genes to each other.

Gut bacteria in bees spread antibiotic-resistant genes to each other.Researchers have discovered that antibiotic-resistant genes are spread in honey bee gut bacteria so that all strains of bacteria survive, rather than just one gut bacterium acquiring resistance and outcompeting others.
Antibiotic use in farming and human health leads to bacteria acquiring resistance (indicated by a + sign in the illustration). Antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the environment are picked up by honey bees during pollination. In the bee's gut, genetic material for resistance "jumps" to natural gut bacteria, which can spread resistance further. Overuse of antibiotics (USA) leads to more widespread and elaborate patterns or resistance (indicated by multiple colors of + signs). Restricted antibiotic use (Norway) leads to limited and less complex patterns of resistance. How will humans survive serious infections in the future if we're running out of tools today to fight them? Antibiotic resistance among disease-causing bacteria is of global concern, as some last-resort drugs can no longer cure common illnesses such as urinary tract infections. To make matters worse, researchers from Arizona State University and Norwegian University of Life Sciences have discovered that our very own gut bacteria may be perpetuating the resistance. Scientists uncovered this startling finding while investigating the microbial life in honey bee guts.

Tick that feeds on birds may increase the range of Lyme disease.

Tick that feeds on birds may increase the range of Lyme disease.A tick that is not known to bite people may play a role in the transmission of Lyme disease, according to a new article. This study adds to a growing body of evidence that indicates that in order to understand the spread of Lyme disease, researchers must consider the ecology of all of its various hosts and vectors. Blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) are the primary vector of Lyme disease to humans, but researchers at Old Dominion University in Virginia are focusing on another tick, Ixodes affinis, even though it doesn't bite people. In their paper published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, "New records of Ixodes affinis parasitizing avian hosts in southeastern Virginia," Erin Heller and co-authors document Ixodes affinis parasitizing five songbird species on which it had not previously been recorded. This is important because birds are able to travel long distances, and bring tick hitchhikers with them. As the range of Ixodes affinis expands northwards and overlaps more with that of the human-biting blacklegged tick, the authors predict that having two competent tick vectors may increase transmission of the pathogen throughout the system and lead to an increase in the number of Lyme disease cases in humans.

New light shed on Lyme disease-causing bacteria.

New light shed on Lyme disease-causing bacteria.A new species of bacteria that causes Lyme disease needs the same amount of time for transmission after a tick bite compared to previously implicated bacteria, according to new research. Existing guidelines for frequent tick checks and prompt removal of attached ticks remain the same. The duration of attachment of a single nymphal blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) needed for the tick to be likely to transmit the bacterial species Borrelia mayonii, identified in 2016, is 48 hours or more, according to the study. By 72 hours, however, likelihood of transmission has risen significantly. This timeframe aligns with existing research on Borrelia burgdorferi, previously the sole bacteria species known to cause Lyme disease in the United States. The research is published in the Entomological Society of America's Journal of Medical Entomology.

What is Lyme disease.

What is Lyme disease? Lyme disease or Lyme borreliosis is an infectious tick-borne disease, caused by the Borrelia spirochete, a gram-negative microorganism. Lyme disease is named after a cluster of cases that occurred in and around Old Lyme and Lyme, Connecticut in 1975. Before 1975, elements of Borrelia infection were also known as "tick-borne meningopolyneuritis", Garin-Bujadoux syndrome, Bannwarth syndrome or sheep tick fever. It is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks.

Lyme bacteria survive 28-day course of antibiotics months after infection.

Lyme bacteria survive 28-day course of antibiotics months after infection.Lyme bacteria can survive a 28-day course of antibiotic treatment four months following infection by tick bite, according to a new study using a primate model for the disease. Despite testing negative for Lyme disease, some subjects were infected with Lyme bacteria in heart, brain and other organs. Based on a single, extensive study of Lyme disease designed by Tulane University researchers, the study employed multiple methods to evaluate the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, before and after antibiotic treatment in primates. The study also measured the antibody immune response to the bacteria both pre- and post- treatment, as this is how current diagnostics typically evaluate Lyme disease in humans. The data show that living B. burgdorferi spirochetes were found in ticks that fed upon the primates and in multiple organs after treatment with 28 days of oral doxycycline. The results also indicated that the immune response to the bacteria varied widely in both treated and untreated subjects. "It is apparent from these data that B. burgdorferi bacteria, which have had time to adapt to their host, have the ability to escape immune recognition,tolerate the antibiotic doxycycline and invade vital organs such as the brain and heart," said lead author Monica Embers, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Tulane University School of Medicine.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Avian influenza viruses can persist in footbaths and manure.

Avian influenza viruses can persist in footbaths and manure.Growers shouldn’t assume the disinfectants they use in footbaths are effective against avian influenza (AI), indicates a study from the University of California–Davis. Researchers conducted a survey about biosecurity practices in California and then used the information to design experiments to test the effectiveness of footbath disinfectants against AI. They also evaluated the longevity of AI viruses under different conditions. “Surprisingly,” they say, quaternary ammonia and quaternary ammonia plus glutaraldehyde-based footbaths did not eliminate highly pathogenic H5N8 or low-pathogenic H6N2 particles on boots. However, a chlorine-based granulated disinfectant was able to destroy the virus, say Rüdiger Hauck* and colleagues. To evaluate the longevity of AI viruses in litter and feces, they seeded different bedding samples from commercial layer, broiler and turkey production units with the same two AI viruses. Live H5N8 particles in layer feces remained for at least 96 hours, compared to less than 60 hours in broiler and turkey bedding. However, H6N2 low-pathogenic viruses persisted less than 24 hours in all the different substrates. This knowledge may help producers determine effective litter treatments to destroy AI viruses in the bedding material.

Study shows link between E. maxima, Clostridium.

Study shows link between E. maxima, Clostridium. New research by Callie McQuain, DVM, veterinarian and grad student at the University of Georgia, substantiates anecdotal field experience indicating that Eimeria maxima is the type of coccidia that most interacts with Clostridium perfringens and leads to necrotic enteritis (NE). The reason why C. perfringens grows so readily in these flocks is because of the type of damage E. maxima causes to intestinal mucosa. Common industry knowledge has been that E. maxima is the No. 1 coccidial species that leads to NE. Clostridium is part of the gut flora. Together with the coccidial damage, it creates a perfect storm that allows it to grow exponentially and results in NE. As poultry producers either reduce or eliminate antibiotics, it’s hard to stop NE from becoming severe. The emphasis now is on preventing the coccidia from damaging the gut. McQuain recommends adding citric acid or some kind of acidity to the water system, which decreases the pH so Clostridium will not grow as fast. It is also important to quickly collect birds that have succumbed to NE to minimize the presence of Clostridium in the poultry house.

Twitter can reveal our shared mood.

Twitter can reveal our shared mood.In the largest study of its kind, researchers have analyzed mood indicators in text from 800 million anonymous messages posted on Twitter. These tweets were found to reflect strong patterns of positive and negative moods over the 24-hour day. Circadian rhythms, widely referred to as the 'body clock', allows people's bodies to predict their needs over the dark and light periods of the day. Most of this circadian activity is regulated by a small region in the hypothalamus of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which is particularly sensitive to light changes at dawn and dusk, and sends signals through nerves and hormones to every tissue in the body. The research team looked at the use of words relating to positive and negative emotions, sadness, anger, and fatigue in Twitter over the course of four years. The public expressions of affect and fatigue were linked to the time they appeared on the social platform to reveal changes within the 24-hours.

Twitter and people with ADHD.

Twitter and people with ADHD. People with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder tend to tweet using words like 'hate' or 'disappointed,' messages related to lack of focus, self-regulation, intention and failure and expressions of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion, according to recent research. Better understanding this condition can help clinicians more effectively treat patients. What can Twitter reveal about people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD? Quite a bit about what life is like for someone with the condition, according to findings published by University of Pennsylvania researchers Sharath Chandra Guntuku and Lyle Ungar in the Journal of Attention Disorders. Twitter data might also provide clues to help facilitate more effective treatments. "On social media, where you can post your mental state freely, you get a lot of insight into what these people are going through, which might be rare in a clinical setting," said Guntuku, a postdoctoral researcher working with the World Well-Being Project in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Penn Medicine Center for Digital Health. "In brief 30- or 60-minute sessions with patients, clinicians might not get all manifestations of the condition, but on social media you have the full spectrum." Twitter and people with ADHD.

Machine learning detects marketing and sale of opioids on Twitter.

Machine learning detects marketing and sale of opioids on Twitter.Using advanced machine learning, a cross disciplinary team of University of California San Diego researchers developed technology that mined Twitter to identify entities illegally selling prescription opioids online. Between June and November 2015, some 619,937 tweets containing the keywords codeine, Percocet, fentanyl, Vicodin, Oxycontin, oxycodone and hydrocodone were collected. The findings, published online in the American Journal of Public Health in October, detected 1,778 posts that were marketing the sale of controlled substances, 90 percent included hyperlinks to online sites for purchase.

How diabetes in pregnancy affects baby's heart.

How diabetes in pregnancy affects baby's heart.Researchers have discovered how high glucose levels -- whether caused by diabetes or other factors -- keep heart cells from maturing normally. Their findings help explain why babies born to women with diabetes are more likely to develop congenital heart disease. Researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have discovered how high glucose levels -- whether caused by diabetes or other factors -- keep heart cells from maturing normally. When developing heart cells are exposed to high levels of glucose, the researchers found, the cells generate more building blocks of DNA than usual, which leads the cells to continue reproducing rather than mature.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Living happily in a material world: Material purchases can bring happiness.

Living happily in a material world: Material purchases can bring happiness.A recent study shows material purchases provide more frequent happiness.Researchers have shown that material purchases, from sweaters to skateboards, provide more frequent happiness over time, whereas experiential purchases, like a trip to the zoo, provide more intense happiness on individual occasions. By having people record their thoughts in the weeks following their purchases, as well as one month after their purchases, the researchers showed that material and experiential purchases bring happiness in two distinct flavors. Material purchases bring repeated doses of happiness over time in the weeks after they are bought, whereas experiential purchases offer a more intense but fleeting dose of happiness. Additionally, when people looked back on their purchases 6 weeks after Christmas, they felt more satisfaction about experiential purchases.

Fruit and vegetable consumption could be as good for your mental as your physical health.

Fruit and vegetable consumption could be as good for your mental as your physical health. New research focused on mental wellbeing found that high and low mental wellbeing were consistently associated with an individual's fruit and vegetable consumption. 33.5% of respondents with high mental wellbeing ate five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day, compared with only 6.8% who ate less than one portion. The research, conducted by the University of Warwick's Medical School using data from the Health Survey for England, and published by BMJ Open focused on mental wellbeing and found that high and low mental wellbeing were consistently associated with an individual's fruit and vegetable consumption.

Self talk and voices in our head.

Self talk and voices in our head.As far our brain is concerned, talking to ourselves/self talk in our heads may be fundamentally the same as speaking our thoughts out loud, new research shows. The findings may have important implications for understanding why people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia hear voices.

Cerebellum plays a major role in schizophrenia.

Cerebellum plays a major role in schizophrenia.The cerebellum is among the most affected brain regions in schizophrenia, new research has found. Compared to healthy individuals, cerebellar volume was smaller in patients with schizophrenia. The study is the largest brain imaging study to date on the cerebellum in schizophrenia, with important implications for our understanding of the disorder. In a new study, Norwegian researchers have documented that the cerebellum is among the most affected brain regions in schizophrenia.Although the cerebellum (latin for "little brain") occupies only about 20% of the human brain, it actually contains about 70% of all its neurons.The current study included brain scans from 2300 participants from 14 international sites. The researchers used sophisticated tools that allowed them to analyze both the volume and shape of the brain. The results showed that the cerebellum is among the brain regions with the strongest and most consistent differences in schizophrenia.

Brain wiring quiets the voice inside your head.

Brain wiring quiets the voice inside your head. During a normal conversation, your brain is constantly adjusting the volume to soften the sound of your own voice and boost the voices of others in the room. This ability to distinguish between the sounds generated from your own movements and those coming from the outside world is important not only for catching up on water cooler gossip, but also for learning how to speak or play a musical instrument. Now, researchers have developed the first diagram of the brain circuitry that enables this complex interplay between the motor system and the auditory system to occur. The research, which appears in The Journal of Neuroscience, could lend insight into schizophrenia and mood disorders that arise when this circuitry goes awry and individuals hear voices other people do not hear.

How to Use Twitter to Predict Sickness.

How to use twitter to predict sickness.Researchers have showed how Twitter can be used to predict how likely it is for a Twitter user to become sick. They have also used Twitter to model how other factors -- social status, exposure to pollution, interpersonal interaction and others -- influence health. "If you want to know, down to the individual level, how many people are sick in a population, you would have to survey the population, which is costly and time-consuming," said Adam Sadilek, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Rochester. "Twitter and the technology we have developed allow us to do this passively, quickly and inexpensively; we can listen in to what people are saying and mine this data to make predictions." Sadilek also explained that many tweets are geo-tagged, which means they carry GPS information that shows exactly where the user was when he or she tweeted. Collating all this information allows the researchers to map out, in space and in time, what people said in their tweets, but also where they were and when they were there. By following thousands of users as they tweet and go about their lives, researchers also could estimate interactions between two users and between users and their environment.

Tweets can help predict the outcome of soccer matches.

Tweets can help predict the outcome of soccer matches.New research shows that Twitter activity can help predict the result of soccer matches when combined with betting market prices.The tone of Twitter posts can predict when a team is more likely to win and soccer bets are mispriced, the study by the University of East Anglia (UEA) found. Researchers examined 13.8 million tweets -- an average of 5.2 tweets per second -- during an English Premier League (EPL) season. These were compared with in-play betting prices available at the same time on Betfair, the world's largest online betting exchange. They found that if the combined tone of tweets in a given second during a match was positive -- as measured by a micro-blogging dictionary -- then the team was more likely to win than the betting market prices implied. Tweets were particularly informative in the aftermath of goals and red cards, suggesting that social media content is particularly useful in assessing the implications and significance of new information. Social media is used as a forecasting tool by a variety of firms and agencies.

Social media trends can predict tipping points in vaccine scares..

Social media trends can predict tipping points in vaccine scares.Analyzing trends on Twitter and Google can help predict vaccine scares that can lead to disease outbreaks, according to a study from the University of Waterloo. In the study, researchers examined Google searches and geocoded tweets with the help of artificial intelligence and a mathematical model. The resulting data enabled them to analyze public perceptions on the value of getting vaccinated and determine when a population was getting close to a tipping point. In the study, a tipping point represented the point at which vaccine coverage declines dramatically due to spreading fear, which could cause large disease outbreaks due to a loss of population immunity. As part of their study, the researchers collected tweets that mentioned measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and classified their sentiment using artificial intelligence computer programs. They also collected data on measles-related Google searches. Their mathematical theory on vaccine scares predicted what kind of early warning signals they should observe in the data. They found they were able to detect those signals in data from California before the 2014-15 Disneyland, California measles outbreak, which showed early warning signs of a tipping point two years before the outbreak occurred. Their mathematical model also predicted how the Disneyland outbreak helped push California back from the tipping point by making parents more afraid of the disease than the vaccine.

How to process meat rabbit for profit..

Rabbits are herbivores,easy to rear and manage. Their characteristic prolific mature coupled with short gestation period has made them the urban animals to rear.The meat is also nutritious as its fatless and has no cholesterol making it a healthy substitute for red meat. Rabbits an be reared in farms or in -house in hutches,wooden cages or wire cages depending on the scope of production.

When nature gives you Zika virus ... cure cancer with it!.

When nature gives you Zika virus ... cure cancer with it!New research shows that Zika kills the kind of brain cancer cells that are hardest to treat.Each year, glioblastoma is diagnosed in about 12,000 people in the United States (including Senator John McCain). After surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, a small population of glioblastoma stem cells often survives and soon begins producing new tumor cells. Because of their neurological origins and ability to create new cells, glioblastoma stem cells reminded the researchers of neuroprogenitor cells. Zika virus is known to specifically target and kill neuroprogenitor cells. The researchers tested whether the Zika virus could kill stem cells in glioblastomas removed from human patients. The virus spread through the tumors, infecting and killing the cancer stem cells while avoiding other tumor cells. This suggests that Zika infection and chemotherapy-radiation treatment could be used as complementary treatments, with one killing the bulk of the tumor cells and Zika attacking the stem cells.

New type of diabetes caused by a genetic mutation.

New type of diabetes caused by a genetic mutation.Scientific research has led to the identification of a new type of diabetes caused by a mutation in the gene RFX6. Scientists from the ULB Center for Diabetes Research and the Erasmus Hospital of the ULB, together with colleagues at the University of Exeter (UK), University of Helsinki (Finland) and Kyoto University (Japan), have identified a new type of diabetes caused by a mutation in the gene RFX6. Individuals carrying the RFX6 mutation have a high probability of developing diabetes: it can start early, before the age of 20 years, and by the age of 50 years 80% has developed the disease. It is transmitted from parents to children and may affect many generations in the same family. RFX6 diabetes often requires insulin treatment because patients have reduced insulin secretion by the pancreas.

Psoriasis severity linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Psoriasis severity linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes. People with psoriasis are at a higher risk to develop type 2 diabetes than those without psoriasis, and the risk increases dramatically based on the severity of the disease. Researchers found people with psoriasis that covers 10 percent of their body or more are 64 percent more likely to develop diabetes than those without psoriasis, independent of traditional risk factors such as body weight. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found people with psoriasis that covers 10 percent of their body or more are 64 percent more likely to develop diabetes than those without psoriasis, independent of traditional risk factors such as body weight. Applying the study's findings to the number of people who have psoriasis worldwide would equate to 125,650 new cases of diabetes attributable to psoriasis per year.

Research links psoriasis, depression.

A study has shown the link between psoriasis and depression.Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease which affects the skin and joints. It commonly causes red scaly patches to appear on the skin. The scaly patches caused by psoriasis are often called psoriasis plaques or lesions. Psoriasis plaques are areas of excessive skin cell production and inflammation. Skin rapidly accumulates at these sites and sometimes takes a silvery-white appearance. Plaques frequently occur on the skin of the elbows and knees, but can affect any area including the scalp and genitals. Psoriasis is not contagious; it cannot be passed from person to person.Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Dr. Ho and his colleagues studied cases of psoriasis and depression in a pool of 12,382 adult patients. About 16.5 percent of the psoriasis patients studied met the criteria for major depression, and the odds of having major depression were doubled among psoriasis patients. The association between the two conditions remained significant even when researchers adjusted for other risk factors, including age, gender, race, body mass index, physical activity, history of alcohol use and smoking, and history of other conditions like myocardial infarction, stroke and diabetes mellitus. Dr. Ho believes the connection between psoriasis and depression may be linked to the public's stigmatization of psoriasis. The condition is highly visible on the skin, especially in the summer months when more skin is exposed, he says, and those who are unfamiliar with the disease may react unfavorably to people who have it.

How to prevent psoriasis with vanilla extract.

How to prevent psoriasis with vanilla extract. Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disorder that affects about 125 million people worldwide, resulting in scaly red plaques that typically show up on the elbows, knees or scalp. Immune system proteins called interleukins (IL) 17 and 23 are known to be key players in the development of the condition. In a recent mouse study reported in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers report that vanillin an extract of vanillia could also prevent or reduce psoriatic skin inflammation. Small amounts of artificial vanilla extract, also known as vanillin, are in a wide range of products, from baked goods to perfumes. Interestingly, vanillin can have effects on different interleukins that are involved in other inflammatory conditions and diseases.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Diphtheria: What Exactly Is It ... And Why Is It Back?.

Diphtheria: What Exactly Is It ... And Why Is It Back? The World Health Organization says it is sending a shipment of antitoxins to Bangladesh this weekend, after six deaths in a Rohingya refugee settlement. The organization did the same last week for Yemen, where at least 30 have died of the bacterial infection, many of them children. "It is shocking that in 2017, there are children dying of an ancient disease that is vaccine-preventable and can be easily treated," says Dr. Nevio Zagaria, the WHO representative in Yemen. The bacterium that causes diphtheria can live in some people without causing them to show symptoms, which can occasionally lead to a Typhoid Mary-type situation where a person spreads it around without even realizing he has it. It spreads between people in infected coughs and sneezes. Kids can also pick it up from playing with contaminated toys. Symptoms include sore throat, a low fever and lack of appetite, followed by a visible grayish coating in the nose or throat, and a swollen throat sometimes called a "bullneck." The bacteria attach to the lining of the respiratory system and produce a poison that starts killing healthy tissue. It does so by preventing cells from creating proteins, which essentially shuts them down. After a few days, it can kill so many cells that dead tissue forms a grayish layer in the nose and throat that can make it hard to breathe or swallow. Essentially, it can choke a person on his own dead cells. If the poison also gets into the bloodstream, it can damage vital organs like the heart and kidneys. Interestingly, there are actually two layers of infection going on here, because it's a virus inside the bacterium that causes it to create the toxin in the first place. Eventually, the illness can cause nerve damage, paralysis and respiratory failure.

Pet Store Puppies Linked To Campylobacter Outbreak In People.

Pet Store Puppies Linked To Campylobacter Outbreak In People.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a Campylobacter outbreak in people and its link to puppies purchased from a chain of pet stores. According to the CDC, at least 39 people across seven states have confirmed or suspected cases of Campylobacter bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. While the investigation is ongoing, federal officials have linked it to contact with puppies sold by Petland, a chain of pet stores based in Ohio. Twelve of the confirmed cases are in Petland employees, and 27 other people who fell ill either visited a Petland, recently purchased a puppy there, or visited or live in a home with a Petland puppy. According to the CDC's announcement, nine people have been hospitalized and there are no reported deaths. Campylobacter can infect dogs, cats and humans, but most commonly the bacteria are spread through eating raw or undercooked meat. About 47 percent of raw chicken samples tested in 2011 were positive for Campylobacter, according to the CDC. Humans don't typically spread the bacteria to each other, but it is possible to be exposed through dog feces. In a typical case, symptoms last for about a week.The CDC estimates that annually, Campylobacter affects 1.3 million people. The good news is that most people get well on their own. The CDC says people typically need antibiotics only if they're immune compromised or at high risk of complications. To minimize risk of illness, the CDC suggests washing your hands after touching your dog, though for any dog lover, washing your hands every time .The CDC also recommends quickly disposing of dog poop using disposable gloves, as well as regular visits to the veterinarian to keep your dog healthy.

Campylobacter in dogs and cats.

Campylobacter in dogs and cats. Campylobacter also causes infection in man, man usually acquire an infection by consuming contaminated raw milk, under-cooked chicken or poultry, or other food contaminated during preparation. Although human-human infection is uncommon its possible to be exposed through dog feces. Campylobacter infection results in enteritis, an inflammation of the intestinal tract, which results in diarrhea. Puppies and kittens with diarrhea who are younger than 6 months of age and who live in crowded conditions, poor sanitation, or are under stress due to surgery, pregnancy, or illness are more susceptible . Pets with concurrent intestinal diseases and infections caused by parvovirus, Salmonella, Giardia and other intestinal parasites are also at an increased risk. Pets with campylobacter infection have enteritis, which is an inflammation of the small intestine, and usually results in diarrhea. The pet may also experience abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, black tarry feces and weight loss. The best prevention of this condition is to avoid situations that may expose you or your pets to high-risk environments, such as unsanitary locations, crowded kennels, etc. Most important: if your pet develops diarrhea, contact your veterinarian.

Campylobacter in poultry.

Campylobacter in poultry. Campylobacter is a leading cause of foodborne gastroenteritis in humans worldwide. Campylobacter is, in general, highly prevalent on poultry farms, but the prevalence varies by region, seasons and production types, with reported Campylobacter-positive flocks ranging from 2% to 100%. Once a broiler flock is infected with Campylobacter, the majority of birds become colonized within a few days, and the overall within-flock prevalence reaches very high levels by processing age, leading to increased carcass contamination. Campylobacter is ubiquitous in the poultry farm environment, and the sources of flock infection and risk factors influencing Campylobacter introduction are complex but horizontal transmission from environmental sources is the primary way flocks become colonized. Some of the most common factors associated with Campylobacter colonization in commercial broilers are poor farm biosecurity; the presence of other animals in the vicinity of poultry houses such as other poultry species, livestock, pets and wildlife; older processing age; large flock size; the use of ventilators; the presence of flies and rodents; and the use of old litter. Campylobacter can be introduced onto poultry farms by farm equipment, transport vehicles and farm workers. The prevalence of colonization tends to be much higher during hot weather. Campylobacter is common in the farm environment and can contaminate poultry houses via many different routes, preventing flock colonization with this organism is not an easy task, but these measures could help. Biosecurity and hygiene: Implementing strict biosecurity and good hygiene measures can help prevent Campylobacter from entering the broiler house from the outside environment. Treatment of drinking water: Acidification of drinking water with organic acids such as lactic acid, acetic acid or formic acid and water chlorination, especially when combined with other approaches, may decrease the risk of Campylobacter colonization in broilers. Litter treatment: Acidification of litter with aluminum sulfate and sodium bisulfate may decrease Campylobacter colonization frequency and cecal loads. Litter treatment with a combination of sodium bisulfate, ammonium sulfate and magnesium sulfate can significantly reduce the pH and moisture of litter as well as the numbers of contaminating Campylobacter, subsequently reducing colonization of chickens. Feed additives: A combination of 2% formic acid and 0.1% potassium sorbate in feed has been shown to be effective for preventing the colonization of broilers.

Campylobacter in poultry: An elusive pathogen.

Campylobacter in poultry: An elusive pathogen. Campylobacter — primarily Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli — frequently colonize the intestinal tract of domestic poultry at high levels. The bacterium is well adapted to the avian host and, despite extensive colonization, it produces little or no overt disease in poultry. That makes it difficult to detect and control in live birds. Despite its insignificance for poultry health, Campylobacter is a leading cause of foodborne gastroenteritis in humans worldwide.The poultry reservoir, especially broiler meat, is the most commonly recognized source for human Campylobacter. Campylobacter is, in general, highly prevalent on poultry farms, but the prevalence varies by region, seasons and production types, with reported Campylobacter-positive flocks ranging from 2% to 100%. Once a broiler flock is infected with Campylobacter, the majority of birds become colonized within a few days, and the overall within-flock prevalence reaches very high levels by processing age, leading to increased carcass contamination. A unique feature of Campylobacter ecology in poultry is that birds younger than 2 to 3 weeks of age are almost never colonized by the organism in commercial production settings, which implies that young birds have a biological mechanism for colonization resistance. If the reasons for this colonization resistance are revealed, they could be used to design effective strategies to prevent birds from getting infected.

Avian flu: Virus with an Eggshell.

Avian flu: Virus with an Eggshell. Avian flu can be transmitted from birds to humans; transmission among humans, however, is limited. The reason may be an eggshell-like mineral layer that the virus acquires due to the high calcium concentration in the intestines of birds. As reported by Chinese researchers in the journal Angewandte Chemie, these mineralized viruses are significantly more infectious and, in addition, more robust and heat stable than the native viruses. Avian flu is a highly infectious disease among birds that has developed into a serious threat to human health. Close contact with diseased birds or their feces is considered to be the primary source of infections in humans. Transmission between humans is limited, however, which indicates that these viruses cannot directly infect humans. Previously it was assumed that these viruses crossed the species barrier as a result of mutation or recombination with another pathogen. More recent results demonstrate that avian flu viruses isolated from infected humans have the same gene sequences as those from birds.Avian flu: Virus with an Eggshell. So how is it that humans catch the disease from birds? Researchers working with Ruikang Tang at Zhejiang University (Hangzhou, China) claim that it is because the viruses acquire a mineral "shell" in the bird intestines. They discovered that viruses can become mineralized under calcium-rich conditions. Naturally, the digestive tract of birds--the primary location of avian flu viruses--provides just such a calcium-rich environment, so that the birds can make egg shells.Avian flu: Virus with an Eggshell. Experiments with a solution that imitates the bird intestine environment allowed the researchers to demonstrate that 5 to 6 nm shells of a calcium phosphate mineral form around H9N2 and H1N1 viruses. In both cell cultures and mice, these mineralized viruses proved to be significantly more infectious--and deadly--than the native viruses. In humans, avian flu viruses infect the airways and are then found in bodily fluids, where the calcium concentration is too low for mineralization.

Breeding Resistant Chickens for Improved Food Safety.

Breeding Resistant Chickens for Improved Food Safety. A recent test developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in College Station, Texas, could make it easier to breed pathogen-resistant chickens. The test identifies roosters whose blood contains naturally high levels of two key chemicals, cytokines and chemokines. These chemicals mobilize the birds' innate immune response, according to ARS microbiologist Christi Swaggerty, in ARS's Food and Feed Safety Research Unit. Using the new test, commercial poultry breeders can single out roosters that have a strong immune response and use them to selectively breed a more robust flock. Such resistance, especially during the birds' first week of life, may lower costs related to animal well-being and food safety. Protecting chickens from pathogens involves sanitation, vaccination, biosecurity and use of antibiotics and other medications. But some chickens have an especially robust and efficient immune response and can resist pathogens, notes Swaggerty.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

TB a leading cause of death among children worldwide.

TB a leading cause of death among children worldwide. Tuberculosis ranks among the top 10 causes of death among children around the world, a mathematical modeling study showed. Researchers wrote that the disease represents a “key omission” from analyses of mortality in children aged younger than 5 years. “The UN Inter-agency Group on Child Mortality Estimation tracks overall under-5 mortality, and breakdowns by cause of death have been estimated by the study group formerly known as the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group, most recently in 2016,” Peter J. Dodd, PhD, of the University of Sheffield, UK, and colleagues wrote. “These estimates have been important in assessing progress toward targets, directing public health funding and spending and for advocacy. However, tuberculosis has never been explicitly mentioned in these reports. The researchers used a mathematical model to estimate deaths of children aged younger than 5 years in 217 countries and territories. Dodd and colleagues disaggregated WHO pediatric TB estimates by age, as well as treatment status and HIV status, using pediatric TB notification data and pediatric ART estimates. Most deaths –more than 70% – occurred in southeast Asia and Africa (n = 182,000; 95% CI, 140,000-239,000), the researchers reported. Seventeen percent (n = 39,000; 95% CI, 23,000-73,000) of children who died had HIV, with 31,000 of those children living in Africa (36%; 95% CI, 19,000-59,000). The vast majority of children who died (96%; n = 230,000; 95% CI, 185,000-289,000) did not receive treatment for TB, Dodd and colleagues wrote. The large mortality burden of undiagnosed pediatric tuberculosis should … not spur hopelessness, but action; these new estimates identify a prime opportunity to address an under-recognized and preventable cause of child deaths.

Surge in human H7N9 cases caused by poultry, not people.

Surge in human H7N9 cases caused by poultry, not people. New study findings indicate that the recent surge in human influenza A(H7N9) cases in China is probably due to increased spread from poultry to people and not because of a swell in human-to-human transmission. With a case fatality rate of around 40%, experts consider H7N9 to be one of the most troubling infectious disease threats in the world because of its potential to cause a deadly pandemic. So far, most of the more than 1,500 human cases since 2013 have been transmitted from poultry, not people. Since 2013, China has been struck by five epidemics of H7N9, the most recent one being by far the largest and most widespread. In addition to a record number of human cases, the fifth epidemic produced evidence that the virus had split into two strains, including one that was no longer susceptible to the old vaccine and was becoming harder to treat. The CDC developed a new vaccine, replacing the old one that was based on viruses taken after H7N9 emerged in 2013.

Many health care workers do not know correct influenza precautions.

Many health care workers do not know correct influenza precautions. In a small survey conducted at a St. Louis hospital, many health care personnel could not describe the correct transmission-based precautions for patients with influenza, and some even said they had reservations about the safety and effectiveness of the influenza vaccine. Hilary M. Babcock, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Washington University School of Medicine, and colleagues surveyed 170 full- and part-time health care personnel (HCP) at a long-term care (LTC) facility with a mandatory influenza vaccination policy. Just 73 people responded to the survey. Among those, 42 reported closer contact with patients — including many nurses — and 21 said they had less patient contact working in jobs such as food service worker and administrator.

What PED taught us about handling future disease outbreaks.

What PED taught us about handling future disease outbreaks. The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) outbreak that devastated many US hog farms over the past 4 years served as a wake-up call for the pork industry to be more vigilant against foreign animal diseases. “We know what to do in the case of foreign animal diseases, like foot-and-mouth disease, classical swine fever and African swine fever,” Dustin Oedekoven, DVM, South Dakota state veterinarian, said. He thinks the industry also has a “fairly clear direction” about how to handle future investigations and where to submit diagnostic samples. A gap that became evident with the PEDV outbreak is we weren’t working in a coordinated manner to control the spread of the disease. As a result, it spread very rapidly because the swine industry was very naïve to the virus. Veterinarians worked with producers to identify the critical problems. Samples were submitted to diagnostic labs for routine workup. And when the expected diseases weren’t found, the labs initiated additional diagnostic tests and were able to identify PEDV. Other diagnostic labs worked collaboratively to develop a rapid test to identify the virus. However, a break in communications caused a gap in timely response to the disease.

PEDV and other pathogens survive in feed for weeks.

PEDV and other pathogens survive in feed for weeks.In 2013-2014, infection of pig farms with porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) was a frequent event, even on farms using the highest level of biosecurity. Investigations into the occurrence showed one common denominator across many of these farms which was feed outage in a specific subpopulation of animals, requiring an emergency feed delivery to a specific bin onsite. The pigs consuming the feed from the emergency delivery were the first to become infected. Samples from inside the suspect feed bins were collected and sent to a diagnostic lab for testing. The results showed the feed did contain live PEDV, an outcome that had not been confirmed before.

Learn the best PRRS strategy for your herd.

Every year, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) infects an estimated 25% to 45% of sow herds in the US, according to Clayton Johnson, DVM, Carthage Veterinary Clinic, Carthage, Illinois. No other hog disease today exerts a larger economic toll on hog farms than PRRS. On farms that break with PRRS, producers should decide if they are going to control the virus and keep antibiotics available for secondary bacterial infections, or if they are going to eliminate it. “Elimination is very difficult,” he said. “And inappropriate attempts to do elimination may actually hinder PRRS management by creating naïve animals that won’t stay naïve. They will propagate the disease at a greater level than an immune animal.” A herd’s “break rate” for PRRS can help determine if a herd is a candidate for elimination. The break rate should be less than once every 3 years to consider elimination, Johnson said. If it is very regular, the herd probably needs additional biosecurity work or technology to minimize outbreaks.

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome control in Asia.

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome control in Asia. Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) continues to be one of the most economically devastating viral diseases affecting pig farms in major swine producing countries in Asia. Recent data from Japan showed a reduction of 53.7g per day on ADG and an increase of 2.2% in post-weaning mortalities in PRRS positive farms as compared to the production performance of PRRS negative farms. However, although many farms are infected, the clinical impact of PRRS infection varies. Different factors lead to such variability in the clinical presentation including the strain infecting the herd, the type of production (single site farrow-to-finish vs multi-site systems), the season (weather), the presence of co-infections prior to PRRS introduction, the pig density in the immediate locality of the farm and the way the farm manages their replacement breeders. Effective control programs focus on addressing the predisposing factors through management changes and on ensuring herd immunity is well established. Different approaches have been done to stabilise herd immunity to PRRS including exposing the sow herd to infected animals or live virus and doing whole herd vaccination. However, although vaccination is increasingly used in Asia to reduce the impact of PRRS, the results have been variable. Many factors may have contributed to the differences in efficacy of vaccines, but the major difference is PRRS vaccine strain used in the final formulation and its ability to provide effective cross protection against the predominant field PRRS strains.

Wildlife at risk around the globe because of threat of canine distemper.

Wildlife at risk around the globe because of threat of canine distemper and scientists say vaccinating endangered carnivores of increasing importance.Experts from around the world focused on the threat that canine distemper virus poses to the conservation of increasingly fragmented populations of threatened carnivores. The canine distemper has been known for many years as a problem affecting domestic dogs, the virus has been appearing in new areas and causing disease and mortality in a wide range of wildlife species, including tigers and lions. In fact, many experts agree that the virus should not be called “canine distemper” virus at all, given the diversity of species it infects. The previous attempts to manage the risk of infectious disease to wild carnivore conservation have mostly focused on vaccination of domestic dogs. While this approach benefits the dogs themselves (and in the case of rabies, can be crucial to protecting local people), it often fails to prevent infections in threatened species that share their environment. This seems to be due to the presence of abundant, small-bodied wild carnivores that act as an alternative reservoir of infection. Wildlife at risk around the globe because of threat of canine distemper.

Parasitic eye infection poses significant threat to UK dogs and may have implications for other UK animal, human populations.

Parasitic eye infection poses significant threat to UK dogs and may have implications for other UK animal, human populations.A parasitic worm that is becoming increasingly common in Europe poses a significant threat to UK dogs, warn experts in a new report. A research team, led by John Graham-Brown at the University of Liverpool, describe three cases in UK dogs with recent history of travel to mainland Europe. They call for vigilance when examining travelled dogs and warn that other animals -- and people -- should also be considered at risk of infection when travelling to areas where the parasite is endemic. Thelazia callipaeda is a parasitic worm capable of infecting a range of mammalian host species including dogs, cats and human beings. The worm is found in a species of fruit fly known to be present in the UK. The researchers believe the introduction of this species is a potential risk. Adult worms live in the eyes and associated tissues. Infected animals show a variety of symptoms, from mild conjunctivitis to severe corneal ulceration which, if untreated, can lead to blindness.

Curcumin offers potential therapy for cancers caused by HPV.

Curcumin offers potential therapy for cancers caused by HPV. Curcumin, an antioxidant found in the curry spice turmeric, has been found to slow or limit the activity of the HPV virus, which causes oral and cervical cancers. Turmeric -- the familiar yellow spice common in Indian and Asian cooking -- may play a therapeutic role in oral cancers associated with human papillomavirus, according to new research published in ecancermedicalscience. One of the herb's key active ingredients -- an antioxidant called curcumin -- appears to have a quelling effect on the activity of human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a virus that promotes the development of cervical and oral cancer. There is no cure, but curcumin may offer a means of future control. The research indicates that curcumin turns down the expression of HPV in infected oral cancer cells by downregulating the levels of cellular transcription factors AP-1 and NF-kB. These findings could suggest a new therapeutic role for curcumin in cancer control.

Curcumin may help overcome drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Curcumin may help overcome drug-resistant tuberculosis.New research indicates that curcumin -- a substance in turmeric that is best known as one of the main components of curry powder -- may help fight drug-resistant tuberculosis. In Asia, turmeric is used to treat many health conditions and it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and perhaps even anticancer properties. Investigators found that by stimulating human immune cells called macrophages, curcumin was able to successfully remove Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative bacterium of tuberculosis, from experimentally infected cells in culture. The process relied on inhibiting the activation of a cellular molecule called nuclear factor-kappa B. The ability of curcumin to modulate the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis points to a potential new tuberculosis treatment that would be less prone to the development of drug resistance.

Fighting tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis is one of the most widespread life-threatening infectious diseases. Not only does antibiotic resistance make treatment increasingly difficult, but the bacteria's relatively impermeable mycomembrane also limits the effectiveness of many drugs. In search of new antibiotics, researchers have developed a structural analogue of mycolic acid, the essential membrane building block. This drug blocks key enzymes used in mycomembrane biosynthesis, significantly increasing the effectiveness of conventional antibiotics.

Four in hospital isolation after contracting anthrax.

Four in hospital isolation after contracting anthrax. Four people have been put in an isolation ward at Mt Kenya Hospital Nyeri after been suspected to be infected with anthrax. Nyeri Central sub-county commissioner John Marete said the two brothers and their two neighbours from Thunguma village are reported to have eaten uninspected meat in Ruiru, Kiambu County before travelling to Nyeri on Friday. Mr Marete confirmed that the patients presented themselves at Nyeri Referral Hospital on Saturday morning and were immediately transferred to the health facility after screening. “They went to the county hospital in the morning and were immediately transferred to Mt Kenya hospital. They are receiving treatment at an isolation room since Anthrax is a contagious disease,” said Mr Marete.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Flu outbreak reduces boar semen quality.

Flu outbreak reduces boar semen quality.An accidental outbreak of influenza A virus has been demonstrated to reduce semen quality in boars, US researchers found.The researchers, attached to Purdue University in Indiana, United States, found this out when an influenza outbreak occurred at the university’s swine barn, resulting in the infection of 28 boars with influenza A virus (H3N2) and causing the death of 2 boars. The article describes how the 28 boars, about 35 weeks of age, were enrolled in a study for semen quality parameters at the time of the outbreak. This allowed the researchers to describe the effects of the unintended influenza outbreak on sperm production, they wrote in the publication. They described how the first observation of mild clinical signs of illness (intermediate coughing and lethargy) in 3 boars occurred in April 2016, 3 weeks into the evaluation of semen quality.

Human hookworm infection exerts high health and economic burden.

Human hookworm infection exerts high health and economic burden. A new study suggests that the health and economic burden of hookworm infection is estimated to exceed those of a number of diseases receiving greater attention and investment. Researchers found that human hookworm infection confers a substantial global health and economic burden through loss of productivity, and years of life living with disability due to infection outcomes. Hookworm affects approximately 500 million people worldwide, yet its global economic and health impact is not well understood. While hookworm infection rarely results in death, it can lead to iron-deficiency anemia and malnutrition. Chronic health problems resulting from these conditions include lethargy, impaired physical and cognitive development, and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Anemia protects African children against malaria.

Anemia protects African children against malaria.Iron deficiency anemia protects children against the blood-stage of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Africa, and treating anemia with iron supplementation removes this protective effect, new research suggests. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have proven these concerns valid after finding iron deficiency anemia actually protects children against the blood-stage of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Africa, and treating anemia with iron supplementation removes this protective effect. Their results were published in EBioMedicine.

Effect of Iron Supplementation Among Children Living in Malaria-Endemic Area on Incidence of Malaria.

Effect of Iron Supplementation Among Children Living in Malaria-Endemic Area on Incidence of Malaria.Children in a malaria-endemic community in Ghana who received a micronutrient powder with iron did not have an increased incidence of malaria, according to a new study. Previous research has suggested that iron supplementation for children with iron deficiency in malaria-endemic areas may increase the risk of malaria. In sub-Saharan Africa, malaria is a leading cause of childhood morbidity and mortality, and iron deficiency is among the most prevalent preventable nutritional deficiencies. The provision of iron to children with iron deficiency anemia can enhance motor and cognitive development and reduce the prevalence of severe anemia. However, studies have suggested that iron deficiency anemia may offer protection against malaria infection and that the provision of iron may increase malaria morbidity and mortality.

Maternal malaria during pregnancy causes cognitive defects in the offspring.

Maternal malaria during pregnancy causes cognitive defects in the offspring. Over half of all pregnant women world-wide are at risk for malaria, but little is known about possible consequences for the neurodevelopment of children exposed to malaria in pregnancy. A new study reports a causal link between prenatal exposure to malaria and subsequent neurocognitive impairment in offspring in a mouse model of experimental malaria in pregnancy. The research also identifies some of the molecular mechanisms involved. In this study, the researchers examined neurocognitive function in mice of normal birth weight that had been exposed to--but not themselves infected with--malaria in the uterus (both low birth weight and fetal malaria might also affect neurodevelopment, and were therefore eliminated as possible complicating factors). The researchers found that young mice that had been exposed to malaria in pregnancy have impaired learning and memory and show depressive-like behavior that persists to adulthood. These neurocognitive impairments are associated with decreased tissue levels of major neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine) in specific regions of the brain. Pushing the technology by imaging blood vessels in the uterus, the researchers also saw changes in neurovascular development in the brain of malaria-exposed mouse fetuses.

New research agenda to accelerate malaria elimination, eradication.

New research agenda to accelerate malaria elimination, eradication. Over 180 scientists, malaria program managers and policy makers from around the world have come together through a consultative process to update the research agenda for malaria elimination and eradication, first produced in 2011. The outcome is a series of seven 'malERA Refresh' papers. This forward-looking research and development agenda should help accelerate progress towards a malaria-free world.The aim of this exercise, coordinated by the Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance (MESA) with headquarters at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), was to define a forward-looking research and development agenda that will accelerate progress towards malaria elimination and global eradication. A world free of malaria would present enormous benefits in terms of health, equity and economy. The WHO has set ambitious goals for reducing the burden of malaria, and 21 countries have been identified as having the potential to eliminate local transmission of malaria by 2020.

Hepatitis C-like viruses identified in bats and rodents.

As many as one in 50 people around the world is infected with some type of hepacivirus or pegivirus, including up to 200 million with hepatitis C virus (HCV), a leading cause of liver failure and liver cancer. There has been speculation that these agents arose in wildlife and jumped species to infect humans; however, little was known about their distribution in other species. Hepatitis C-like viruses identified in bats and rodents.Investigators report the discovery of hepaciviruses and pegiviruses -- close relatives of HCV -- in rodents and bats. The viruses are similar to those that infect humans and may therefore provide insights into the origins of HCV, as well as the mechanisms behind animal-to-human transmission. It may also enable development of new animal models. The discovery may also enable development of new animal systems with which to model HCV pathogenesis, vaccine design, and treatment.As reported in mBio, screened more than 400 wild-caught rodents. Molecular analysis revealed the presence of hepaciviruses and pegiviruses closely related to those found in humans. The rodent hepaviviruses contained sequences that are thought to play a role in liver infection in HCV.

A new way to treat parasitic infections discovered.

A new way to treat parasitic infections discovered. UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified a chemical that suppresses the lethal form of a parasitic infection caused by roundworms that affects up to 100 million people and usually causes only mild symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the soil-dwelling Strongyloides stercoralis nematode, or roundworm, is the primary strongyloides species that infects humans. Experts estimate that between 30 million and 100 million people are infected worldwide, and most of them are unaware of it because their symptoms are so mild. The parasite can persist for decades in the body because of the nematode's unique ability to reinfect the host, repeatedly going through the early stages of its life cycle. The nematode that causes the original infection exists in dirt on all continents except Antarctica, and it is most common in warmer regions, particularly remote rural areas in the tropics and subtropics where walking barefoot combined with poor sanitation leads to infection. However, in people with compromised immune systems -- such as those using long-term steroids for asthma, joint pain, or after an organ transplant -- the mild form of the illness can progress to the potentially lethal form, a situation called hyperinfection. Studies indicate that mortality from untreated hyperinfection can be as high as 87 percent. The World Health Organization reports that although the parasitic illness has almost disappeared in countries where sanitation has improved, children remain especially vulnerable in endemic regions due to their elevated contact with dirt. Further, the drug of choice, ivermectin, is unavailable in some affected countries.

Exposure to pig farms and manure fertilizers associated with MRSA infections.

Exposure to pig farms and manure fertilizers associated with MRSA infections.Researchers have found an association between living in proximity to high-density livestock production and community-acquired infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA. Researchers from Geisinger's Henry Hood Center for Health Research and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found an association between living in proximity to high-density livestock production and community-acquired infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Their analysis concluded that approximately 11 percent of community-acquired MRSA and soft tissue infections in the study population could be attributed to crop fields fertilized with swine manure. The study examine the association between high-density livestock operations and manure-applied crop fields and MRSA infections in the community.

Workers at industrial farms carry drug-resistant bacteria associated with livestock.

Workers at industrial farms carry drug-resistant bacteria associated with livestock. A new study found drug-resistant bacteria associated with livestock in the noses of industrial livestock workers in North Carolina but not in the noses of antibiotic-free livestock workers. The drug-resistant bacteria examined were Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as "Staph," which include the well-known bug MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).New Staph strains are emerging in people who have close contact with livestock animals and for this reason have been given the name livestock-associated Staph. While everyone in the study had direct or indirect contact with livestock, only industrial workers carried antibiotic-resistant Staph with multiple genetic characteristics linked to livestock. Many industrial livestock operations raise animals in large conferment buildings and use antibiotics, including non-therapeutically in animals' feed and water to promote their growth. Previous studies have detected strains of drug-resistant S. aureus from livestock, first among farm workers, and subsequently in hospital and community settings in Europe. S. aureus can cause a range of illnesses in humans, from minor to life-threatening skin, bloodstream, respiratory, urinary and surgical site infections. Like most illnesses caused by bacteria, S. aureus infections are treated with antibiotics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some Staph cannot be killed by antibiotics, meaning they are resistant.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Rise of ampicillin resistance began years before human use.

The rise of ampicillin resistance began years before human use,and likely triggered by overuse of penicillin s in agriculture in the 1950s. Bacteria that can pass on genes resistant to ampicillin, one of the most commonly used antibiotics today, emerged several years before the widespread use of this antibiotic in humans, according to new research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Low doses of penicillin routinely fed to livestock in the 1950s in North America and Europe may have encouraged antibiotic-resistant bacteria to evolve and spread, report scientists. Bacteria that can pass on genes resistant to ampicillin, one of the most commonly used antibiotics today, emerged several years before the widespread use of this antibiotic in humans, according to new research. Molecular analysis of historical samples of Salmonella by researchers at the Institut Pasteur (Paris, France) suggests that the ampicillin resistance gene (blaTEM-1) emerged in humans in the 1950s, several years before the antibiotic was released onto the pharmaceutical market. The findings also indicate that a possible cause was the common practice of adding low doses of penicillin to animal feed in the 1950s and 60s. The study comes just weeks after WHO called for the end to routine antibiotic use to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy farm animals.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Reverse zoonosis. How human pathogens affect animals.

Reverse zoonosis. The fact that diseases can pass from humans to animals is, perhaps, not such a surprise. An estimated 61.6 percent of human pathogens are regarded as multiple species pathogens and are able to infect a range of animals. Also, over 77 percent of pathogens that infect livestock are multiple species pathogens. One of the earliest studies demonstrating reverse zoonosis was conducted in 1988 and looked at dermatophytes - fungi that cause superficial infections of the skin, nails, and hair - including Microsporum and Trichophyton. The authors found that these fungi could be transmitted from animal to animal, human to human, animal to human, and human to animal. From 2000, studies began to emerge investigating the ability of certain parasites to pass from human to animal, including Giardia duodenalis (the parasite responsible of giardiasis), and Cryptosporidium parvum (a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis).Reverse zoonosis. A study, published in the journal Veterinary Microbiology in 2006, looked at methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in pets and its transmission between humans and animals.The paper mentions a specific case in which a couple was repeatedly infected with MRSA. The re-infections only stopped once their dog was identified as the source and treated. It is presumed that the dog was initially infected by the couple and then passed the infection back to them each time they had been successfully treated. The emergence of MRSA in household pets is of concern in terms of animal health and the potential for animals to act as sources of infection or colonization of human contacts.Reverse zoonosis. A paper, published in 2004, describes the case of a 3-year-old Yorkshire terrier who arrived at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine with anorexia, vomiting, and a persistent cough. After running a barrage of tests - including, sadly, an eventual postmortem - the authors concluded that it had contracted tuberculosis (TB) (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). The dog's owner had been receiving treatment for TB for 6 months. This was the first documented transmission of TB from human to canine. In 2009, the first recorded case of fatal human-to-cat transmission of the H1N1 flu virus occurred in Oregon. The owner of the cat had a severe case of influenza and had to be taken to the hospital. Her cat - an indoor cat with no exposure to other people or animals - later died of pneumonia caused by an H1N1 infection. Details of the case were published in the journal Veterinary Pathology. In 2011 and 2012, researchers identified more than 13 cats and one dog with pandemic H1N1 infection that appeared to have come from human contact. Interestingly, the animals' symptoms were similar to those experienced by human carriers - rapidly developing respiratory disease, a lack of appetite and, in some cases, death.

Re-emerging zoonosis: Fascioliasis.

Re-emerging zoonosis are zoonotic infections that have been recognized before and has protocol measures of prevention and treatment in place,but now these infections have higher incidences and wider geographic scope. Fascioliasis is one of such re-emerging zoonotic infections that was common in developing nations of Africa and sparse dispersion in America,Europe and Asia. Today this infection is widespread and with higher prevalence. The food-borne trematodes causing infection in man are Fasciola hepatica and gigantica are the 2 most common in the tropics. Transmission is by ingestion of flukes in under-cooked or poorly processed liver. Drinking water contaminated with the flukes and eating water plants or vegetables washed with such water. Accidental ingestion of flukes from infected liver as shown below is very common in developing countries. Butchers usually cut up affected liver in strips to cut out the white tracts formed by the flukes. This is usually called Eedo oni ishan, they typically sell to food vendors and people who want meat that you chew for long before swallowing. The next time you visit your butcher and observe livers cut up with tracts,donot buy.
Acute phase. when the immature worms penetrate the intestinal wall and the peritoneum, the protective membrane surrounding the internal organs .They puncture the liver's surface and eat their way through its tissues until they reach the bile ducts. This invasion kills the liver cells and causes intense internal bleeding. Typical symptoms include fever, nausea, a swollen liver, skin rashes and extreme abdominal pain and inflammation. Chronic phase. The chronic phase begins when the worms reach the bile ducts, where they mature and start producing eggs. These eggs are released into the bile and reach the intestine, where they are evacuated in faeces, thereby completing the transmission cycle. Symptoms include intermittent pain, jaundice and anaemia. Pancreatitis and gallstones. Patients with chronic infections experience hardening of the liver (fibrosis) as a result of the long-term. The fluke sometimes migrates from the liver to the eye and nervous tissue. The migration causes neurological signs such as tremors/seizures .Ocular lesions arise from migration to the eyes, where there is occasional moving out of fluke from orbit.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Agribusiness: Agricollege makes money from yoghurt.

Agribusiness: Agri-college makes money from yoghurt. Bukura college starts to produce its own milk products after years of focusing on training only.
The college has set up a milk processing plant to make yoghurt, mala and pasteurised milk as it seeks to turn around its fortunes and train all-round agri-entrepreneurs.

FUNAAB trains extension officers in cassava development.

FUNAAB trains extension officers in cassava development.The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Prof. Felix Salako, has joined the call on the need for the nation to move away from its overdependence on oil resources and embrace agriculture as a sustainable route to national development. The vice-chancellor stated this while declaring open the facilitation and communication skills training programme that was organised in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, by the Cassava, Adding Value for Africa II Nigeria Project, for Agricultural Development Programmes’ extension officers and procurement personnel of the large-scale cassava producers.