SARS-CoV-2 keeps the world in suspense. The global number of cases is steadily increasing, and more deaths are to be mourned. At the same time, a positive trend regarding a relaxation of the restriction measures can be observed in several countries, signalling that we are on the road to normality.
With this regular update, TAFS wants to provide its members with a summary of valuable information on current developments concerning COVID-19.
Read the full update here.
The TAFS forum has published a new White Paper entitled "Campylobacter - The role of poultry meat in Campylobacter epidemiology and mitigation measures along the food chain".
The aim of this paper is to present a fair appraisal of the current knowledge regarding epidemiology and intervention measures along the poultry food chain and to provide guidance for risk management decisions. It is not intended to promote or endorse any particular intervention strategy.
See https://tafsforum.org/other-topics.html for more details.
A new case of BSE or mad cow disease has been confirmed in Scotland, the first in the UK since 2015.
One of the central questions in the disease investigation will be whether it is a 'typical' or 'atypical' case as distinguished by 'Western Blot' testing. This will inform the search for the source of infection.
The TAFS Forum has been instrumental in solving the BSE crisis in Europe and will follow the situation closely. More information about BSE on our website https://tafsforum.org/tse.html
Avian influenza: Commission strengthens preparedness with new biosecurity rules for poultry farms at risk23 August 2018 | Technical news (uncommented clippings)
Today [released August 10], the Commission adopted a Decision which lays down harmonised risk mitigation and reinforced biosecurity measures in relation to avian influenza, to prevent virus introduction by contacts with infected wild birds. This will step up preparedness and prevention ahead of the winter season. The Decision is based on EFSA's recent scientific opinion and Member States' experiences with past epidemics. It will enhance Member States' capacities to deal with crisis situations, while giving the required flexibility built on a modern risk-based approach. The measures blend perfectly with the 'One Health approach' towards diseases affecting animals and possibly humans.
First reported by Reuters, Tel Aviv, July 30:
Israel's RedHill Biopharma said on Monday it had positive safety and efficacy results from a late-stage clinical trial with its treatment for Crohn's disease called RHB-104.
The study met its primary endpoint and key secondary endpoints, demonstrating the drug's superiority over a placebo in achieving remission of the gastrointestinal disease at week 26, the company said in a statement.
"The proportion of patients meeting the primary endpoint was significantly greater in the RHB-104 group compared to placebo," RedHill said.
Patients treated with RHB-104 also experienced a statistically significant benefit in achieving early remission at week 16 and in durable remission over weeks 16-52.
RHB-104 was found to be generally safe and well tolerated, said the company, which is focused on proprietary drugs for gastrointestinal diseases.
"Many patients with Crohn’s disease do not achieve remission on current standard-of-care therapies, which are accompanied with poor side effects," said David Graham, lead investigator of the Phase III study.
"RHB-104 appears to have the potential to become a promising, new, orally administered therapy for this important debilitating disease."
RHB-104 is a proprietary, antibiotic combination therapy that is based on the hypothesis that Crohn’s disease is caused by a bacterial infection in susceptible patients called Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP).
Comment [by Johnes.org; highlighting by TAFS]: If the final published results of this trial are consistent with the claims in this press release, it represents a final piece of evidence indicating that MAP is a cause of Crohn’s disease. This would heighten the need for veterinary medicine, animal agriculture, and relevant governmental agencies concerned with food safety to limit contamination of food and water by MAP.
Seven global food firms—Nestlé, Unilever, Ikea Food Services, Aramark, Compass Group, Elior Group, and Sodexo—have joined forces to create the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW).
The new coalition is being called one of the world’s first global food industry-led groups focused on accelerating the development of animal welfare standards.
Our long-time member Douwe Bakker was awarded the Emeritus Member Award of the International Association for Paratuberculosis at its 14th International Colloquium earlier this month in Mexico. Congratulations, Douwe! We are honored to have you in our group and look forward to you briefing us again on this important topic, together with your fellow experts Irene Grant and Mike Collins, at the next TAFS meeting.
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