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.
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
Many consumers think of pork and poultry when it comes to AMR, but other sectors including aquaculture are affected, too. Yes, the sample size (5) is small, but against a background of very limited evidence, this paper adds at least a few relevant facts.
The Eurobarometer report may be downloaded here.
TAFS will launch a project on animal welfare soon. Let us know if you wish to join the team.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) is reporting the first case of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Brazil and says that it "may be atypical". The affected animal was a beef breeding cow of almost 13 years of age at the time of death (December 2010).
Brazil is still recognized by the OIE as having a negligible BSE risk in accordance with Chapter 11.5. of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code.
A final investigation summary into the Californian case of BSE in April this year has been published by FDA. The BSE case is confirmed to have been 'isolated', but there is no reason to assume it was unique.
Lamont et al. report observing MaP cultures going into a 'spore-like morphotype' under stress conditions. This has important implications for strategies to control MaP.
Pribylova et al. report finding MaP bacteria in intestine (used for sausage casings), masseter (chewing muscle) and diaphragm of dairy cattle. They state that "due to the changing behaviour of consumers, both of these muscles have started to be widely used in cuisine" and suggest that "processing of cows with paratuberculosis in abattoirs without any precautions (restrictions) and the usage of meat for human consumption should be rethought."
Münster et al. report finding about 17% of a random sample of German cattle MaP positive.
TAFS members: please log in to read our comments on this paper.
A new virus has been detected in Germany and The Netherlands and is suspected to be the cause of disease and abortions in cattle and sheep. The virus has been called Schmallenberg virus (SBV) preliminarily, after the German city where the identified strain was sampled. The risk for humans seems to be low, but significant uncertainties exist.
The debate as to who should pay for food safety is a good one to have as it indicates that the problem has moved from the technological to the economic level. This may not be entirely the case with Shigatoxin-producing E. coli, but it is good to learn about advances in this field.
See http://www.usatoday.com for a recent article on the topic.
See the full news article for interpretation and comment.
High prevalence of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (‘Indian bison type’) in animal attendants suffering from gastrointestinal complaints who work with goat herds endemic for Johne's disease in India25 November 2011 | Technical news (commented)
Singh, A.V., Singh, S.V., Singh, P.K., Sohal, J.S., Singh, M.K. (2011)
Journal of Infectious Diseases; Volume 15, Issue 10 , Pages e677-e683, October 2011
"Conclusions: The prevalence of MAP was higher in attendants suffering from gastrointestinal problems who worked with goat herds endemic for Johne's disease, than in humans with no history of contact with animals. The risk of developing gastrointestinal problems with clinical symptoms indistinguishable from inflammatory bowel disease was higher in humans who were in contact with goat herds endemic for Johne's disease as compared to healthy humans, and the risk was correlated with the duration of association with the endemic goat herds."
(C) 2011 International Society for Infectious Diseases.
See the full news article for interpretation.
TAFS member A. Aguzzi reports in a recent paper about very efficient transmission of prions by aerosols. This important study adds airborne-transmission to the previous list of (natural or experimental) transmission pathways: food, blood, milk, saliva, feces and urine.
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