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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.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Bovine tuberculosis a major source of human tuberculosis in Nigeria.

Bovine tuberculosis a major source of human tuberculosis in Nigeria. According to recent reports Nigeria ranks 4th in TB infection worldwide. Statistics also shows that 80% of TB cases in Nigeria are undetected and it claims 1.2 million lives annually,this is a sad scenario for a disease that is preventable and treatable.
Bovine tuberculosis has been identified as a major source of human tuberculosis infections which is usually fatal because of late detection and non-diagnosis. Tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium spp is usually transmitted by aerosol route when one comes into contact with droplets of infected persons. The bacteria can also be transmitted through consumption of products from infected animals such as beef and unpasteurized milk. Tuberculosis can affect anybody but there is a higher incidence in men than women,and its also an occupational hazard for butchers,food processors, farmers and veterinarians. The majority of infections in Nigeria can be traced to the abattoir,making it a foci of infection and re-infection. A percentage of cattle brought in for slaughter often are confirmed as having bovine tuberculosis,with the offals, and lymph nodes riddled with tubercles as shown in the picture. Butchers often refer to lungs with TB as "fuku elegusi" and in a bid to convince you its okay,cut part of the raw meat and eat it. This singular act by butchers have caused deaths of many of them who eventually develop tuberculosis,which is usually generalized. When the butchers start coughing,nobody thinks its TB, they start taking antibiotics for the cough but it does not stop it. These prolonged used of various antibiotics is the reason there is a prevalence of the drug-resistant type of TB.
These butchers still handle beef,working in the abattoir and spreading the droplets everywhere and even in their homes. Living conditions of most the people working in abattoirs is such that droplets can spread fast,as most live in congested rooms with poor ventilation and very dirty environment. A study carried out shows that most of the butchers have tuberculosis,but this is under reported as many of the butchers dont believe TB is real or can cause deaths,instead they link these deaths to rivalry and arrows from jealous colleagues. Veterinarians and public health officials are also at great risk of infection. Post mortem inspection is a major point of infection,handling the tuberculous organs is another route of infection and also consumption of tainted meat or offals .Tuberculosis infection in officers have been overlooked sometimes,going undiagnosed and thereby potentiating the spread. An officer who served for an extended period in the control post and abattoir recently died of cerebral tuberculosis,buttressing the study that bovine tuberculosis is a key factor of tuberculosis infection in man.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

$2.7bn invested in malaria control globally.

According to WHO, $2.7bn invested in malaria control globally. World Health Organisation, WHO yesterday said despite an estimated US$ 2.7 billion invested in malaria control and elimination efforts globally in 2016 the world were still well below the target of $6.5 billion annual investment required to meet the 2030 targets of the WHO global malaria strategy. According to the World Malaria Report 2017, there were an estimated 5 million more malaria cases in 2016 than in 2015 and malaria deaths stood at around 445 000, a similar number to the previous year.The study revealed that Borno State in Nigeria benefited from WHO mass anti-malarial drug administration campaign this year that reached an estimated 1.2 million children below the age of five years.

WHO fears complacency as progress against malaria stalls.

WHO fears complacency as progress against malaria stalls.Progress in the global fight against malaria has stalled amid signs of flat-lining funding and complacency that the mosquito-borne disease is less of a threat, the WHO said. WHO said in its annual World Malaria Report said malaria infected around 216 million people in 91 countries in 2016, an increase of five million cases over the previous year.

A Crocodile farmer’s success story from Kenya.

A Crocodile farmer’s success story from Kenya. Daniel Haller is one of Kenya’s most successful crocodile farmers. For the last 20 years, he has been farming Nile Crocodiles from eggs laid by wild crocodiles along the banks of the local Tana river where he engages local residents to collect the eggs between December and January. Haller keeps up to 40,000 crocodiles on his farm and slaughters between 4,000 and 5,000 reptiles each year. He sells the crocodile skins to a leather company in Singapore and sells the meat to tourist hotels and the local community. Last year, he sold nearly 20,000 kilograms of crocodile meat. A kilo of crocodile meat from his farm sells for $3.50, on average.Haller partnered with a local entrepreneur to start the crocodile farm business in 1996. They got a loan of $380,000 from the European Investment Bank, and his partner contributed the money to purchase the land. They later got a licence from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to practice crocodile farming in the country. Haller uses up to 6,000 kilograms of food daily to feed his 40,000 crocodiles. He feeds the reptiles on animal innards from slaughter houses, cooked maize mixed with blood, meat and fish.

How to start crocodile farming.

How to start crocodile farming.crocodile farming is open to anyone, the sale of crocodile skins on the international market is strictly regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Before commercial crocodile farming, crocodiles in the wild were almost hunted to extinction for their skins. Nowadays, due to the strict trade regulations and high quality demands in the crocodile skin market, rendered skins from wild crocodiles are worthless as they do not meet the high standards on the international market. This has helped to save the dwindling crocodile populations worldwide. Crocodiles are cold-blooded animals, which makes them extremely sensitive to temperature changes. Only a 3°C variance in their core body temperature can slow their metabolism by half, hampering their ability to absorb food and grow. This can be a challenge during the winter months in places like South Africa and Zimbabwe. Crocodiles reach maturity at 3 years old, when they can mate and produce offspring. Female Nile crocodiles can lay between 30 to 45 eggs, once a year around October or November. On crocodile farms, the eggs are removed and placed, for better control, in an incubator. When they’re about to hatch, baby crocodiles make a high pitched call and then crack the shell with a temporary “egg-tooth” on the tip of the snout. The temperature of incubation determines the sex of the crocodiles. Temperature between 26ºC and 30ºC produces mostly females and between 30ºC and 33ºC produces mostly males.

Crocodile as meat and medicine.

Crocodile as meat and medicine. Crocodile meat is considered an ‘exotic meat’ and is sold commercially to top-end restaurants abroad, most notably in Europe and the Far East. Over 400 tons of crocodile meat is consumed every year. China and Hong Kong are the main importers of crocodile meat. The Chinese attribute medicinal powers to crocodile meat and it is largely considered to be a cure for ailments like respiratory diseases. Crocodile meat is also becoming a popular exotic food in South Africa and it often features on the menu for tourists and adventurous foodies. However, there remains a strong upside potential for crocodile meat on the continent.

Crocodile farming in Africa.

Crocodile farming in Africa.Crocodile farming in Africa is a major contributor to the global luxury market for designer handbags, shoes, belts and other leather accessories. Currently, over one million crocodile skins are traded on the international market every year, exported legally from about 30 countries across the world. In Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa are the largest operators of crocodile farms and producers of crocodile skins.
The Nile Crocodile, which is the dominant crocodile species in Africa, is highly valued for its boneless underbelly and soft leather. It’s no surprise that the European market orders over 100,000 crocodile skins from Africa every year. Asia is another big market for African crocodile skins, where it is used to produce non-branded leather products. Southern Africa dominates the crocodile farming business on the continent. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and a few other countries in East Africa (especially Kenya) are home to the biggest crocodile farms in Africa. The region exports over 250,000 crocodile skins every year. Crocodile farms in Africa predominantly breed Nile crocodiles, which can grow to a length of 20 feet and weigh as much as 400 kilograms. Nile crocodiles are the second-largest crocodile breed in the world, after the saltwater crocodile. In South Africa, there are about 50 registered crocodile farms with over 500,000 crocodiles. Every year, the country exports over 80,000 crocodile skins, worth $12-16 million. Zimbabwe is another major producer of crocodile skins. In Zimbabwe, crocodile skin exports are worth close to $30m, as they are sent – mainly to Europe – to be crafted into handbags, boots and other accessories. The short video below about crocodile farming in Zimbabwe profiles the country’s $100 million per year crocodile farming industry.

Tomato Millionaires In The Making: How These 4 Smart Entrepreneurs Are Making Money from Africa’s Tomato Problems.

Tomato Millionaires In The Making: How These 4 Smart Entrepreneurs Are Making Money from Africa’s Tomato Problems. Tomatoes are Africa’s most consumed fruit (or vegetable); eaten by millions of people across our continent’s diverse religious, ethnic and social groups. Both in its raw and processed forms, tomatoes are central to most African diets and remain a regular ingredient in many soups, stews, sauces and dishes across the continent. Sadly, despite the ‘celebrity’ status of tomatoes in Africa, our continent does not provide enough tomatoes to meet its own needs. Almost every country in Africa consumes more tomatoes than it produces. The rest is imported from outside the continent, especially from China – which is now the world’s biggest exporter of tomato products. More than 50 percent of tomatoes harvested every year in Nigeria never make it to the market. Due to poor storage and a lack of processing options, a lot of tomatoes harvested in Nigeria is wasted. Another reason is, in most parts of Africa, tomatoes are mainly grown by small-scale rural farmers who have limited access to good seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. They also depend on natural rainfall to grow their tomatoes which makes the harvests unpredictable and inconsistent. Nigeria is not alone in this. This same ugly tomato situation is at play across the continent; from West and East Africa to Southern Africa.There are already a few smart entrepreneurs on the continent who have observed the huge and lucrative gaps in Africa’s tomato market and are already making some good progress.

How cassava beer in Mozambique has transformed a poor man’s crop into a cash crop.

How cassava beer in Mozambique has transformed a poor man’s crop into a cash crop .Mozambique is among the key players at the forefront of the growing buzz around cassava, having found a way to farm and process the plant on a large scale.
Mozambique’s Impala Beer is made from cassava, a root vegetable that grows in tropical areas.There’s a quiet cassava revolution in Africa as organisations and governments realise the plant’s impact on empowering smallholder farmers and developing rural communities. At the heart of this development is the Dutch Agriculture Development and Trading Company (DADTCO). The company has developed a mobile processing factory that is able to process the crop into cake and starch flour. Not only has DADTCO’s invention changed the perception around cassava and the way the crop is grown and processed, it has helped empower smallholder farmers, whom the company buys cassava from. This breakthrough technology, they say, “bridges the gap between smallholder farmers and large food companies.” At the beginning of the initiative, farmers used to sell an average of 1.5 tonnes of cassava roots per year, but now the number has more than tripled. This indicates the benefits of a steady market for those who grow the tropical plant.

5 Exciting Reasons Why You Should Start A Business in Africa’s Agribusiness industry.

5 Exciting Reasons Why You Should Start A Business in Africa’s Agribusiness industry.When most people think of agriculture in Africa, images of poor and overworked farmers with crude tools on a rural farm readily come to mind. Many, especially young Africans, still think that agribusiness is a poor man’s occupation. Nowadays everybody wants a white-collar office job in the city. Agribusiness is hardly on anyone’s mind. Did you know that since 2009, investors in the USA, Europe, Middle East and Asia have been buying and leasing millions of hectares of African land for agricultural purposes? Many people may not know it but there’s a trend of serious land grabbing by foreign interests for African land. Did you know that Foreign Direct Investment in African agribusiness was $10 billion in 2010 and is projected to reach $45 billion by 2020? Agriculture is taking a huge leap in Africa and investors want a piece of the action too. Did you know that Africa’s agribusiness industry will be worth $1 trillion by 2030! That’s huge! If this projection by the UN comes true, agribusiness will become the ‘new oil’ in Africa. Agribusiness is one of the best business opportunities in the world because food never goes out of fashion. People must eat food everyday! Currently, Africa’s population is just over one billion people. At its current growth rate, the continent’s population is expected to reach 2.2 billion by 2050. Now and in the future, Africa will always have a lot of mouths to feed. Africa currently spends billions of dollars every year to import grains, flour and all kinds of finished and semi-finished foods which it can produce locally. There is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs who can provide cheaper and locally-grown alternatives to the food that Africa imports. It’s not just the food industry that depends on agribusiness. Several other industries, especially the manufacturing and processing industries, depend on agribusiness for a wide range of raw materials. As Africa’s economies continue to grow, the demand for raw materials will surely increase and create more interesting opportunities for agribusiness on the continent.

Post-Harvest Losses in Horticulture Crops and the Importance of Clean Cold Chain Development in India.

Post-Harvest Losses in Horticulture Crops and the Importance of Clean Cold Chain Development in India.The objective of the workshop was to co-design the implementation of frameworks for the provision of clean and sustainable post-harvest food cold chain. The latter is defined in the report "India's Third Agricultural Revolution- Doubling Farmers' Income through Clean Cold Chains" as an integrated and seamless network of refrigerated and temperature controlled pack houses, distribution hubs and vehicles used to maintain the safety, quality and quantity of food while moving it swiftly from farm gate to consumption centre. Such facilities, the report highlights, ought to be attractive to end users, civil society, government, policy makers and industry to ensure impact, legacy, and scalability.

Central New York accounting firm launches agribusiness division.

Central New York accounting firm launches agribusiness division.Syracuse-based Dermody, Burke & Brown CPAs LLC recently launched a division specializing in agricultural issues. The firm, which operates an Auburn office, has provides services for agribusiness clients for several years, but decided to formalize a speciality group due to the industry's growth. Agribusiness clients include dairy farms, feed mills, swine/hog farms, beef farms, apple orchards, distilleries, wineries, vineyards and breweries, and services provided to those businesses include accounting, auditing and taxation.

How to start food business with cassava .

How to start food business with cassava . Cassava root is very rich in starch and contains significant amounts of calcium, dietary fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Garri, is a staple food in most African countries with various ethnic groups relishing the delicacy and Nigeria been the highest producer of cassava has a lot of potential for the business of cassava and cassava products. Garri otherwise called cassava flakes is one of the products from cassava and its a delicacy enjoyed by all classes of people and all age groups. Garri is widely accepted and cuts across all tribes with each tribe modifying how they process,prepare and consume the garri. Cassava can be processed into various products adding value to the various products such as chips,cassava flakes,bread,cake e.t.c Learn how to make snakes with cassava and make money. Cassava Puto Ingredients: pressed grated cassava grated coconut Procedure: Prepare local steamer using the following materials, milk can (powdered milk) bao ng niyog divided into 2 using the sides with hole, grated cassava and water. Place the bao ng niyog to sit on top of the milk can and seal with grated cassava moist in water, allow to dry before using. Pulverize pressed grated cassava and allow to air dry for 30 min to 1 hour. Set aside. Fill the steamer with water until it boils. Place the grated cassava enough to cover the baong niyog then cover with banana leaves, invert the steamed cassava until both sides are cooked. Remove from the steamer and allow the piyutu to roll in grated coconut. Divide into bite size.

Cassava as food and medicine.

Cassava as food and medicine. Among crop plants, the cassava plant provides the highest yield of food energy and is a staple food for more than 500 million people. Cassava root is very rich in starch and contains significant amounts of calcium, dietary fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. A recent study conducted in the Philippines (one of the countries where cassava is an important crop) looked into the effects of root crops and legumes in lowering cholesterol levels among humans with moderately-raised cholesterol levels. The study showed that cassava significantly decreased total cholesterol levels, decreased low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (considered as “bad” cholesterol), and may help lower triglyceride levels due to its high total dietary fiber content. Another study show that cassava may help support the nervous system and help alleviate stress, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome.Beside as a food, cassava also has many benefits as a drug, such as for rheumatic, headache, fever, wounds, diarrhea, intestinal worms, dysentery, night blindness, beri-beri, and also can increase stamina. Overcoming arthritis can be done by eating the cassava or rub it on the pain area.

How to make indigenous microorganism (IMO).

How to make indigenous microorganism (IMO). In natural farming, Indigenous Microorganism (IMO) is becoming popular among farmers. This Indigenous microorganism (IMO) has been successfully tried by government agriculturists, academic researchers, non-profit organizations and farmers alike. They have found that IMO is useful in removing bad odors from animal wastes, hastening composting, and contributing to crops’ general health. How to Make Your Own Indigenous Microorganism (IMO): 1. Cook a kilo of rice, preferably organic. After cooling, put the cooked rice in a wooden, earthen or ceramic container. Avoid plastic or aluminum. 2. Cover the mouth of the container completely with cloth or paper, fixed in place with a rubber band, to prevent water or small insects from getting in. 3. Put the covered container, protected from possible rain, under the trees, in a bamboo grove, a forest floor, or wherever a thick mat of leaves has formed. Leave it there for three days. 4. After whitish moldy filaments have formed, transfer the entire contents of the container to a larger glass or earthen jar and add one kilo of brown sugar or molasses, preferably organic. 5. Cover the jar with clean cloth or paper, fixed with a rubber band. Keep the jar in a dark, cool place. Let it ferment for seven days, until it appears muddy. This is your IMO concoction.

How to make pigs grow bigger and faster with vitamin c.

How to make pigs grow bigger and faster with vitamin c.According to a team of experts from UP at Los Baños, adding ascorbic acid or Vitamin C to the diet of pigs — 800 gms. for every kilo of feeds, will make them grow faster compared to those treated with normal diets. It was further noted that Vitamin-C treated pigs when slaughtered had a higher dressing percentage, leaner backfat and more lean cut yields.

How to use yeast in broiler feed to reduce use of antibiotics.

How to use yeast in broiler feed to reduce use of antibiotics. Meat color is an important visual quality factor when consumers purchase chicken. However, high use of antibiotics during broiler raising to achieve desirable color and freshness may have residual effects on human health. To prevent irrational use of antibiotics, a supplementary application of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) with antibiotics was suggested. In this study, yeast powder mixed with antibiotics was found effective as probiotics in increasing broiler weight, improving feed efficiency, and preventing growth of pathogen microorganisms.

How to treat mastitis in cattle using Aloe vera.

How to treat mastitis in cattle using Aloe vera.

Ethno -Veterinary Practice_ deworming

Ethno-botanical dewormer treat roundworms. A study showed that the use of combined formulated ethnobotanical anthelmintic, specifically 2 g/kg body weight of formulated Ipil-ipil and betel nut, was most effective in treating roundworms of Darag native chicken. Titled “Production and distribution of ethnobotanical anthelmintics for free-range native chicken”, the study was conducted by researchers of the Capiz State University (CapSU). Results also showed that the ethnobotanical anthelmintic has a comparable effect with the commercial dewormer.