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Sunday, January 31, 2016

FACTS ABOUT ZIKA VIRUS.

An RNA virus of flaviviridae family and genus flavi virus.Transmission is through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito.The mosquitoes are urban dwellers and aggressive day time feeders,feeding both in door and outdoor.The zika virus infection is an emerging mosquito borne illness,1st identified in Uganda in 1947. 1 in every 5 people infected with the zika virus become ill,and the common symptoms of zika are 1) fever 2)rash 3)joint pain 4)red eyes,while other signs include muscle pain and headache.The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to weeks. Pregnant women infected with the virus have babies with small brains,resulting in delayed development. The symptoms of the zika virus are similar to that of dengue and chikungunya. The zika virus remains in the blood of an infected person for 2-7 days but can be longer in some people. There are no vaccines or medication to prevent the zika virus infection,rather symptoms are treated symptomatically following these steps 1) get plenty of rest. 2) drink plenty of fluid to prevent dehydration and 3) use acetaminophen to relieve fever and pain. An infected mosquito can spread virus to other people.People living in areas with high mosquito population should protect themselves by using screened doors,windows ,insecticides and insect repellent. # stay safe # insecticides # treated nets

ZIKA VIRUS # PREGNANT WOMEN AND UNBORN BABIES.

Birth deformity linked to zika virus,thus pregnant women are advised to stay away from zones with outbreaks and those returning from such areas are advised to hold on before making babies.The adaptability of the Aedes aegypti to urban life coupled with global travelling make it a global threat. Be protected,use environmentally friendly insecticides and screened nets. Photo credit; C.D.C.

VECTOR CONTROL AND ZIKA VIRUS.

When the life cycle of the mosquito is understood, then specific interventions can be instituted to kill them.The elimination of stagnant water where some of the stages occur is very important,the spraying of drains with kerosene, cleaning and removing trash from environment will also prevent development of mosquito. The use of insecticides, treated nets and treated clothes are also important.Living quarters surrounded by large bodies of water must be screened to prevent mosquito bites. The Aedes egypti is the identified specie that transmits the zika virus,its also responsible for yellow fever,dengue and chikungunya. The simple protocol of cleaning your environment,removing water collecting containers,using insecticides, clearing drains ,using treated nets and also the use of insect repellent on skin in susceptible environment will keep you safe and free from mosquito bites. Photo credit; internet.

THE ZIKA THREAT AND THE GLOBAL VILLAGE.

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness and it was first isolated from a Rhesus monkey in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947. It was first identified in humans in 1957 in Uganda and in 1968, researchers found the virus in people in Nigeria and between 1951 and 1981,the virus found in people in Uganda,Tanzania,egypt,Sierra leone,Gabon e.t.c .The first outbreak outside of Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands only occurred in May 2015, when a case was reported in Brazil. Since then the disease has spread to 18 other countries in south and central America and the Caribbean. The symptoms of Zika include joint pain and a rash – scientists believe it is linked to microcephaly, or abnormally small brains, in newborns. As a result, authorities in Brazil, Colombia and El Salvador have advised women against becoming pregnant during the outbreak. Three travellers who returned to the UK from South and Central America have been diagnosed with the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne illness that has been linked to brain deformities in babies. The three people had presented with the virus after travelling to Colombia, Suriname and Guyana, all countries which are experiencing Zika outbreaks. Zika does not occur naturally in the UK ,but it can be transmitted only from the bite of a mosquito or, in rare cases through sexual transmission or by transmission from mother to foetus via the placenta.It does not spread directly from person to person. Mosquitoes transmitting the zika virus was only identified in tropical regions but recent research has shown adaptability to colder regions making it easy for spread of the infection.The Aedes aegypti is a day time feeder found predominantly in urban areas in close association with man,making humans the primary target.The best way to stop threat is to protect yourself from bites,avoid travelling to places with outbreaks, wear protective clothing in susceptible areas,use insecticides, screened doors/nets and sleep under treated nets. The war against ZIKA VIRUS is total destruction of mosquitoes, (irrespective of species),clean your environment, remove containers of stagnant water and pour kerosene in your drains/gutters .

THE ZIKA THREAT.

The Zika virus,transmitted by the bite of Aedes aegypti. The mosquito vectors breed in domestic water holding containers,living in urban areas and are aggressive day-time feeders,though they feed at any time.The virus can affect any age group but pregnant women are so vulnerable with dire consequences in their babies. The virus stays 2-7 days in the blood of an infected person,thus infected people should be protected from further mosquito bites to prevent spread to more people.The basic methods to prevent infection is to prevent mosquito bites.The Aedes aegypti is also responsible for yellow fever,has been known to adapt to cold climate thus the widespread nature of the infection. The Zika virus outbreak in Latin America could be a bigger threat to global health than the Ebola epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people in Africa, claims several senior health experts ahead of an emergency meeting of the World Health Organisation. Where they will decide whether the Zika threat – which is linked to an alarming rise in cases of foetal deformation called microcephaly – should be rated a global health crisis. Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome Trust, said “In many ways the Zika outbreak is worse than the Ebola epidemic of 2014-15,” “Most virus carriers are symptom less and It is a silent infection in a group of highly vulnerable individuals ( pregnant women) – that is associated with a horrible outcome for their babies.” There is no prospect of a vaccine for Zika at present, in contrast to Ebola, for which several are now under trial. “The real problem is that trying to develop a vaccine that would have to be tested on pregnant women is a practical and ethical nightmare,” added Mike Turner, head of infection and immuno-biology at the Wellcome Trust. At least 80% of those infected show no symptoms ,making tracking the disease extremely difficult. The mosquito species that spreads Zika, Aedes aegypti, has been expanding its range over the past few decades. “It loves urban life and has spread across the entire tropical belt of the planet, and of course that belt is expanding as global warming takes effect,” added Farrar. The Zika threat, can be contained with the use of insecticides to eradicate Aedes aegypti , mosquito nets and bedding's and clearing environment of stagnant water.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

APPS AND RABIES VACCINATION IN DOGS.

Researchers are using the app to track free-roaming dogs that have been vaccinated against rabies.Rabies could be eradicated from street dogs in India with the help of a new smartphone app, a study has shown.Monitoring them in this way has enabled vets to vaccinate 70 per cent of the dog population in the City of Ranchi - the threshold needed to minimise the risk that the disease is passed to people. Adopting the approach more widely could help to eliminate rabies from people and animals, the researchers say. Teams vaccinated more than 6000 dogs in 18 districts of the city of Ranchi, India. They surveyed the number of marked, vaccinated and unmarked, unvaccinated dogs to monitor the proportion of animals that had received the vaccine. A smartphone app - called the Mission Rabies app - was developed for researchers to instantly upload information about the animals vaccinated, including their exact location.In areas where coverage fell below 70 per cent, catching teams were re-deployed to vaccinate more dogs until the target was achieved. The study was led by Mission Rabies in collaboration with researchers from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh.Rabies remains a global problem that leads to the suffering and premature deaths of over 50,000 people and many times more dogs each year.The disease has been eliminated from many countries through mass vaccination of the dog population. However, rabies elimination remains challenging in countries where the majority of dogs are allowed to roam freely. Previous research has shown that vaccinating just 70 per cent of the dog population is enough to cut the risk of rabies infections in people. Dr Richard Mellanby, a Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellow at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, said: "We have shown that mobile technology can help to monitor the efforts of large scale vaccination of free roaming dogs in real time This allows us to identify areas where vaccination needs to be increased to meet the 70 per cent threshold and cut the risk of the disease being passed to people." Story source; journal BMC Infectious Diseases.

Friday, January 29, 2016

RODENT CONTROL AND PREVENTION OF LASSA FEVER.

. Rats have been linked to the spread of a lot of disease ,some are fatal while others can be treated.The best way to stay safe is by rodent control.The health risk posed by rats affects man, poultry,dogs and some other animals. Diseases occur as a result of interaction between hosts, agent and environment.Rats are no different from all other carriers,in this sense hence environment influences the infection and risk/rate of exposure. Living in a dirty,unkempt environment increases the chances of infection and consequent spread of infection.Rats are know to thrive where there is food and water, and most rats can eat anything. Living in close quarters with dogs, poultry and horses increases risk of infection.Living in highly populated environment surrounded by filth also poses risk of infection.Rats find their way to food industry and food processing plants posing a risk of food contamination from source. Rats are everywhere causing diseases by contamination through urine,feces, hair,and feet. Rats basically transfer these disease agents by contamination of feed,food,water,toys and clothing.The best way to avoid any disease is by proper pest control and maintenance of clean environment.The following are steps to keeps rats out;1) Use of rat traps 2) keep houses/farms rodent proof; by removing unfinished food, cover bins and keep them far away from homes. 3) rat adhesive boards 4) baits 5)proper waste management. 6) rat-proof your doors,windows in farms,homes and factory. Rats cause food wastage resulting in economic losses,when a food is contaminated by urine or feces,throw away immediately. If you suspect your pets toy is contaminated with rat urine throw away,same with clothing or any other contaminated material. PIC CREDIT; INTERNET.

PORCINE HEALTH.

PREVENTION OF MASTITIS USING FEED ADDITIVES.

The need to fight mastitis with a reduced amount of antibiotics is growing. Certain supplements, when applied to cow diets can reduce somatic cell counts and hence mastitis incidence.one of these additives, based on 1-monoglycerides of a medium chain fatty acid. One of the most common and most costly health disorders in dairy cows is mastitis. Dairy farmers need to maintain udder health and milk quality as these parameters directly affect farm profitability. A lot of research has been conducted worldwide to gain insights in how to fight mastitis. Despite all the research done and tools to fight mastitis, there are still farms all over the world that have structural problems with this disease. While antibiotics are still widely used to counter mastitis, there is a growing demand to reduce the use of antibiotics. Non-antibiotic tools to fight mastitis can be found in feed supplements. Mastitis is an inflammation of the mammary gland and is characterized by an increased somatic cell count (SCC) in the milk. In the case of clinical mastitis, abnormal milk is detected, whereas in sub clinical mastitis, the milk composition is changed without visually detectable changes. Mastitis is caused by different strains of bacteria that enter the udder. Inside the udder the bacteria will multiply and cause inflammation. Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, both gram-positive bacteria, are probably the most common bacteria causing mastitis. Mastitis results in major economic losses. In general, the overall milk production and milk quality deteriorates. Treatment of mastitis will result in additional veterinary costs. The milk from cows treated with antibiotics will be discarded due to the withdrawal period of antibiotics. In some countries it is even common that the milk price will be reduced in case of a somatic cell count above a certain limit. Moreover, premature culling of cows results in additional losses as well. Furthermore, addressing mastitis problems give rise to extra labour costs and is time consuming. A lot of solutions have been suggested to reduce mastitis incidence in dairy cows. Besides maintaining good hygiene in the stable and milking house, improvement of udder health will be one of the key aspects to avoid mastitis problems. The company FRAmelco has developed the product FRA® Udder Health dry (hereafter called 'solution'), based on a new molecule, that can lower the somatic cell counts in milk when applied over a longer period of time. The product is a combination of α-monolaurin, a zinc product and micro-ingredients. The rumen-protected α-monolaurin, the main active component in the solution, is a 1-monoglyceride of lauric acid. 1-Monoglycerides of medium chain fatty acids are known to inhibit gram-positive pathogenic bacteria, like Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, which are known to cause mastitis. The zinc in the solution is a nano-sized zinc embedded in a matrix of medium chain fatty acid salts. This coating technique and coating material ensure stability during feed processing and the preparation of the total mix ration (TMR). The interaction with other components will not occur as the minerals remain protected inside the fat matrix until they reach the beginning of the small intestine. Zinc is known as an essential trace element and is especially important for the defense mechanism against pathogens in the udder. This is explained by the fact that zinc is required for the formation of keratin. Keratin is present in the teat canal and inhibits penetration of bacteria. In addition, keratin is important for the functioning of macrophages, which are cells present in the udder and are involved in the protection against pathogens in the mammary gland.

PROBIOTICS AND PREVENTION OF MASTITIS.

A new research shows that the cow’s own lactic acid bacteria, isolated from the bacteria in the mammary gland, could serve as a tool to prevent and/or treat mastitis. Bovine mastitis is a costly disease in dairy cattle worldwide. Currently, the control of bovine mastitis is mostly based on prevention by thorough hygienic procedures during milking. Additional strategies include vaccination and utilization of antibiotics. Despite these measures, mastitis is not fully under control, thus prompting the need for alternative strategies. One alternative is the emerging concept of mammary probiotics. For this purpose, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are good candidates due to their Generally Recognised As Safe (GRAS) status and their recognized technological and inhibitory properties. LAB have been investigated for many years for their beneficial effects on human health. Likewise, the use of probiotics has gained interest in the veterinary community. the treatment of bovine mastitis is predominantly based on antibiotics. However, they are not totally effective and contribute to the emergence and transmission of antibiotic resistance within the host microbiota. There is thus a need for alternative strategies. story source; global diary.net

THE ZIKA VIRUS# MICROCEPHALY.

The Zika virus is "spreading explosively" in the Americas and the region may see up to four million cases of the disease strongly suspected of causing birth defects, the World Health Organization . The Zika virus, unlike other mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue, is relatively unknown and unstudied. That is set to change since Zika, now spreading through Latin America and the Caribbean, has been associated with an alarming rise in babies born in Brazil with abnormally small heads and brain defects -- a condition called microcephaly. Since the Zika outbreak began in northeastern Brazil last spring, an estimated 500,000 to 1.5 million people have been infected. The resulting illness only lasts a few days. The symptoms, including a rash, joint pains, inflammation of the eyes and fever, tend to be less debilitating than those of dengue. As many as 80 percent of infected people may be asymptomatic. It was not until months after Zika cases showed up in Brazil that a spike in microcephaly births was tied to women infected during pregnancy. More than 3,500 microcephaly cases have been reported since October in Brazil, compared to around 150 cases in 2014. While Zika's connection to microcephaly has yet to be definitively proven, the presence of the virus has been found in the bodies of five of the newborns that died with the condition and in the placentas of two women who miscarried babies with microcephaly.

THE ZIKA VIRUS.

On Monday (Jan. 25), the World Health Organization announced that Zika virus, a mosquito-borne illness that in the past year has swept quickly throughout equatorial countries, is expected to spread across the Americas and into the United States. Zika virus is transmitted by the mosquito species Aedes aegypti, also a carrier of dengue fever and chikungunya, two other tropical diseases. Though Aedes aegypti is not native to North America, researchers at the University of Notre Dame who study the species have reported a discovery of a population of the mosquitoes in a Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, D.C. , the team identified genetic evidence that these mosquitoes have overwintered for at least the past four years, meaning they are adapting for persistence in a northern climate well out of their normal range. This mosquito is typically restricted to tropical and subtropical regions of the world and not found farther north in the United States than Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina. What this means for the scientific world," said Severson, who led the team, "is some mosquito species are finding ways to survive in normally restrictive environments by taking advantage of underground refugia. Therefore, a real potential exists for active transmission of mosquito-borne tropical diseases in popular places like the National Mall.(source ;science daily) The emergence of mosquitoes in normally restricted areas has exposed the pandemic potential of the ZIKA VIRUS,with pregnant women at highest risk.Prevention of mosquito bites through use of treated nets,insecticides,and clearing environment of stagnant water,destruction of developmental stages and more recently the introduction of genetically modified mosquitoes to wipe out the infective strains have all been employed to reduce disease incidence. Travelling to zika-risk zones by pregnant women has also been initiated as they are mostly prone to the infection.

FIBER RICH DIET REDUCES RISK OF LUNG DISEASE.

A diet rich in fiber may not only protect against diabetes and heart disease, it may reduce the risk of developing lung disease, according to new research. "Lung disease is an important public health problem, so it's important to identify modifiable risk factors for prevention," said lead author Corrine Hanson PhD, RD, an associate professor of medical nutrition at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. "However, beyond smoking very few preventative strategies have been identified. Increasing fiber intake may be a practical and effective way for people to have an impact on their risk of lung disease." Analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, researchers report in "The Relationship between Dietary Fiber Intake and Lung Function in NHANES," that among adults in the top quartile of fiber intake: • 68.3 percent had normal lung function, compared to 50.1 percent in the bottom quartile. • 14. 8 percent had airway restriction, compared to 29.8 percent in the bottom quartile. In two important breathing tests, those with the highest fiber intake also performed significantly better than those with the lowest intake. Those in the top quartile had a greater lung capacity (FVC) and could exhale more air in one second (FEV1) than those in the lowest quartile. Researchers reviewed records of 1,921 adults, ages 40 to 79, who participated in NHANES during 2009-2010. Administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NHANES is unique in that it combines interviews with physical examinations. Fiber consumption was calculated based on the amount of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains participants recalled eating. Those whose diets included more than 17.5 grams of fiber a day were in the top quartile and represented the largest number of participants, 571. Those getting less than 10.75 grams of fiber a day were in the lower group and represented the smallest number of participants, 360. Fiber-rich diet has been linked to healthy life style free of risk of heart disease,diabetes,colon cancer and bowel diseases emanating from constipation.This new research (according to American Thoracic Society) sheds light on how fiber reduces risk of lung diseases,further reinforcing the need to include more vegetables,fruits,nuts,oatmeal and other fiber rich sources to our menu. The benefits of fiber-rich meals also has the same results in animals, incorporating vegetables,oatmeal and fruits into their meal has been known to reduce risk of cancer, constipation and as a treatment protocol for diabetic patients and also prevention of diabetes in animals.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

RATS; THE MISSING LINK IN DISEASE TRANSMISSION.

The world has been faced with the issue of drug-resistance, super bugs and antibiotic residue in animal-by-products,forcing producers to look critically at methods of production and handling of products to resolve these issues. The war against super bugs is super hot with various school of thoughts proposing various theories and solutions to resolve the issue to ensure better health for man and the food animals consumed. The environment has been know to play host to various disease agents and the host/carriers are also housed in the environment,creating an unending cycle of infection to diverse hosts. Rats are ubiquitous,with the propensity to carry disease agents in their urine,feces,hair and feet.These creatures could actually be the missing link in the antibiotic resistance saga, their presence in poultry houses,farms and pet homes will result in feed/water contamination with urine/feces resulting in salmonellosis,which the farmer responds to using antibiotics. Since the source of infection is not removed, there will be a continuous cycle of infection-reinfection and treatment with various antibiotics .The threat of rats to health of man and animals is real and must be properly understood to ensure the necessary strategy is incorporated. A recent study by scientist in the University of Colombia, has revealed the risk that rats pose; Rats can absorb disease agents from their local environment and spread them, according to a University of British Colombia new study. The results also indicate that the threat rats pose to the health of poultry and humans has been underestimated.Researchers studied the feces of rats caught at an Abbotsford, B.C. poultry farm, and discovered they all carried avian pathogenic E. coli, a bacteria with the ability to cause disease in chickens and potentially humans. More than one quarter of the rats were carrying multidrug resistant strains of the bacteria. The findings support lead author Chelsea Himsworth's theory that rats act as a "pathogen sponge," soaking up bacteria from their environment. If rats can absorb pathogenic E. coli, then they could potentially be a source of all sorts of other pathogens that we have not anticipated," said Himsworth, assistant professor in the UBC School of Population and Public Health and leader of the Vancouver Rat Project, a group aiming to address the knowledge gap about the health threats associated with rats. Himsworth was surprised to find that the E. coli strains carried by the farm rats were very similar to those found in chickens, and totally different from E. coli strains found in urban rats. Basically, the rural rat gut looked like the poultry gut, and nothing like the urban rat gut . This latest study follows previous research by Himsworth that found human pathogens, including MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and C. difficile, in the feces of rats in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Rat infestations ought to be taken seriously," said Himsworth. "They need to be tackled with an educated, informed approach in collaboration with scientists and pest control professionals. There shou the development of municipal programs for managing rat infestations and rat-related issues. Rodent control # rodenticide rodent bait # rodent proof.

RATS: THE UNCONVENTIONAL DISEASE CAUSING AGENT IN MAN AND ANIMALS.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Cells from cow knee joints used to grow new cartilage tissue in laboratory.

An effort to develop a method for cartilage tissue engineering, researchers have successfully used cartilage cells from cow knee joints. By creating a successful method with conditions conducive to growing healthy cartilage tissue, the findings could help lead to a new treatment cure for osteoarthritis using stem cell-based tissue engineering, a new report suggests. In an effort to develop a method for cartilage tissue engineering, researchers at Umeå University in Sweden successfully used cartilage cells from cow knee joints. By creating a successful method with conditions conducive to growing healthy cartilage tissue, the findings could help lead to a new treatment cure for osteoarthritis using stem cell-based tissue engineering. This is according to a doctoral dissertation at Umeå University. Tissue engineering provides a possible solution to osteoarthritis. In their experiments, the researchers at Umeå University made findings that provided useful information for efforts to develop new methods to produce cartilage-like "neotissues" in a laboratory environment. In the engineering process, the cells, the signaling molecules and the scaffold, i.e. artificial support material, are combined to regenerate tissue at the damaged site in the joint. The process is difficult and much of what constitutes suitable growth factors and a mechanical loading environment is still unknown. Today, there is a huge variety of available synthetic and natural scaffolds. It is also unclear whether stem cells or primary cells are best suited. Using primary bovine chondrocytes, i.e. cartilage cells from cows, the researchers improved methods to grow cartilage tissue in a laboratory environment, producing tissue similar to tissue normally present in the human joints. In future, these results may help the development of neocartilage production for actual cartilage repair. For this, stem cells could be grown to provide unlimited amount of material for tissue engineering. However, more research is needed to improve the tissue quality and make it more structurally similar to the hyaline cartilage found in the human body. source; science daily.

HANDLING THE RAT MENACE..

. Rats have been linked to the spread of a lot of disease ,some are fatal while others can be treated.The best way to stay safe is by rodent control.The health risk posed by rats affects man, poultry,dogs and some other animals. Diseases occur as a result of interaction between hosts, agent and environment.Rats are no different from all other carriers,in this sense hence environment influences the infection and risk/rate of exposure. Living in a dirty,unkempt environment increases the chances of infection and consequent spread of infection.Rats are know to thrive where there is food and water, and most rats can eat anything. Living in close quarters with dogs, poultry and horses increases risk of infection.Living in highly populated environment surrounded by filth also poses risk of infection.Rats find their way to food industry and food processing plants posing a risk of food contamination from source. Rats are everywhere causing diseases by contamination through urine,feces, hair,and feet. Rats basically transfer these disease agents by contamination of feed,food,water,toys and clothing.The best way to avoid any disease is by proper pest control and maintenance of clean environment.The following are steps to keeps rats out;1) Use of rat traps 2) keep houses/farms rodent proof; by removing unfinished food, cover bins and keep them far away from homes. 3) rat adhesive boards 4) baits 5)proper waste management. 6) rat-proof your doors,windows in farms,homes and factory. Rats cause food wastage resulting in economic losses,when a food is contaminated by urine or feces,throw away immediately. If you suspect your pets toy is contaminated with rat urine throw away,same with clothing or any other contaminated material. Stay safe # avoid rat bites # dont eat rats # keep environment clean.

MEAT SAFETY.

A simple, rapid test to help ensure safer meat. Scientists now report a simple method that uses nanotubes to quickly detect spoilage. It could help make sure meats are safe when they hit store shelves. Transporting meats and seafood from the farm or sea to the market while they're still fresh is a high priority. But telling whether a product has gone bad isn't a simple process. Current strategies for measuring freshness can be highly sensitive to spoilage but require bulky, slow equipment, which prevents real-time analysis. Some newer methods designed to speed up the testing process have fallen short in sensitivity. Yanke Che and colleagues wanted to develop one simple test that could deliver both rapid and sensitive results. The researchers turned to highly fluorescent, hollow nanotubes that grow dim when they react with compounds given off by meat as it decomposes. To test the nanotubes, the team sealed commercial samples -- 1 gram each -- of pork, beef, chicken, fish and shrimp in containers for up to four days. When they exposed the portable system to a teaspoon of vapor emitted by the samples, it reacted in under an hour, fast enough to serve as a real-time measure of freshness. The researchers also found that if the tubes' glow dulled by more than 10 percent, this meant a sample was spoiled. Story source;American Chemical Society.

RAT FLEAS SPREAD HEART DAMAGING BACTERIA.

Bacteria that can cause serious heart disease in humans are being spread by rat fleas, sparking concern that the infections could become a bigger problem in humans. Research published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology suggests that brown rats may be carrying the bacteria. Since the early 1990s, more than 20 species of Bartonella bacteria have been discovered. They are considered to be emerging zoonotic pathogens, because they can cause serious illness in humans worldwide from heart disease to infection of the spleen and nervous system. "A new species called Bartonella rochalimae was recently discovered in a patient with an enlarged spleen who had travelled to South America," said Professor Chao-Chin Chang from the National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan. "This event raised concern that it could be a newly emerged zoonotic pathogen. Therefore, we decided to investigate further to understand if rodents living close to human environment could carry this bacteria." Scientists have found that rodents carry several pathogenic species of Bartonella, such as B. elizabethae, which can cause endocarditis and B. grahamii, which was found to cause neuroretinitis in humans. Although scientists are unsure about the main route of transmission, these infections are most likely to be spread by fleas. Ctenophthalmus nobilis, a flea that lives on bank voles, was shown to transmit different species of Bartonella bacteria. These pathogens have also been found in fleas that live on gerbils, cotton rats and brown rats. The scientists analysed bacteria found in Rattus norvegicus in Taiwan. The brown rat is also the most common rat in Europe, When the DNA of the bacteria was analyzed, it was discovered that a strain that is most closely related to B. rochalimae, which has been isolated recently from a human infection in the United States. The researchers took samples from 58 rodents, including 53 brown rats, 2 mice (Mus musculus) and 3 black rats (Rattus rattus). 6 of the rodents were found to be carrying Bartonella bacteria; 5 of these were brown rats. Four of the rodents were carrying B. elizabethae, which can cause heart disease in humans, and one of the black rats was found to be harbouring B. tribocorum. However, the scientists noticed one strain that had not been identified in rodents previously. The strain was finally shown to be close to B. rochalimae. These results raise concerns about the existence of other reservoirs and vectors for this emerging infection. Source; journal of medical microbiology.

Teenager infected with rat-bite fever from her pet rodent .

A 17-year-old woman was infected with the rare, but treatable rat-bite fever, that developed from pet rodents that lived in her bedroom, report the doctors who treated her.Rat-bite fever has been reported in writings dating as far back as 2300 years. It was originally described as a disease of the poor, but these days most cases occur in lab workers or in children with pet rodents.The condition is often goes unrecognized and undiagnosed. Most cases of rat-bite fever involve a bite or scratch from a rodent, but there are several reports of infection without direct bacterial inoculation. The young woman was admitted to hospital with pain in her right hip and lower back that had continued for two days and led to immobility. Over the proceeding two weeks, she had an intermittent fever, nausea and vomiting, and a pink rash on her hands and feet.Her nausea and vomiting improved, but the fever continued, and she had tenderness of a joint in her pelvis, and pain in her right leg. The doctors learnt that the woman had numerous pets including a dog, cat, horse and three pet rats. The rodents lived in her bedroom. One of these rats had died 3 weeks prior to onset of her symptoms.A blood test returned positive for --the most common cause of ratbite fever.The disease can have mortality as high as 13%, if left untreated. Fortunately, the woman underwent 4 weeks of antibiotics. After 5 days, her rash and fever disappeared, and the joint pain in her pelvis improved over the following weeks. She made a full recovery. Story source ; Science daily.

RATS POSE HEALTH THREAT TO MAN AND POULTRY.

Rats can absorb disease agents from their local environment and spread them, according to a University of British Colombia new study. The results also indicate that the threat rats pose to the health of poultry and humans has been underestimated.Researchers studied the feces of rats caught at an Abbotsford, B.C. poultry farm, and discovered they all carried avian pathogenic E. coli, a bacteria with the ability to cause disease in chickens and potentially humans. More than one quarter of the rats were carrying multidrug resistant strains of the bacteria. The findings support lead author Chelsea Himsworth's theory that rats act as a "pathogen sponge," soaking up bacteria from their environment. If rats can absorb pathogenic E. coli, then they could potentially be a source of all sorts of other pathogens that we have not anticipated," said Himsworth, assistant professor in the UBC School of Population and Public Health and leader of the Vancouver Rat Project, a group aiming to address the knowledge gap about the health threats associated with rats. Himsworth was surprised to find that the E. coli strains carried by the farm rats were very similar to those found in chickens, and totally different from E. coli strains found in urban rats. Basically, the rural rat gut looked like the poultry gut, and nothing like the urban rat gut . This latest study follows previous research by Himsworth that found human pathogens, including MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and C. difficile, in the feces of rats in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Rat infestations ought to be taken seriously," said Himsworth. "They need to be tackled with an educated, informed approach in collaboration with scientists and pest control professionals. There should be the development of municipal programs for managing rat infestations and rat-related issues. Story source; University of British Colombia.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

New HPAI strain strikes US turkey farm.

. The US is bracing itself for more avian influenza heartache following confirmation of a previously unseen strain of highly pathogenic H7N8 striking a commercial turkey farm in southern Indiana.The outbreak, which has prompted the culling of about 60,000 birds, is different than the one that caused more than 200 outbreaks in US poultry last year, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).An Indiana State veterinarian confirmed that the strain was unique to Indiana and the nation and isn't related to the strains that struck the upper Midwest last year or to an outbreak last May in a backyard flock in north-eastern Indiana.Indiana is the nation's fourth-largest turkey producer, the third-biggest egg producer, and first in duck production. The state's poultry industry is worth $2.5 billion. story source;CIDRAP

Antiviral favipiravir successfully treats Lassa virus in guinea pigs.

Favipiravir, an investigational antiviral drug currently being tested in West Africa as a treatment for Ebola virus disease, effectively treated Lassa virus infection in guinea pigs, according to a new study. Lassa fever is endemic to West Africa and affects about 300,000 people annually, killing roughly 5,000. In some parts of Sierra Leone and Liberia, it is believed nearly 15 percent of people admitted to hospitals have Lassa fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No vaccine or licensed treatment exists for Lassa fever, although ribavirin, licensed for hepatitis C treatment, has been used with limited success. In the new study, published Oct. 12, 2015, in Scientific Reports, favipiravir not only effectively treated guinea pigs infected with Lassa virus, it also worked better than ribavirin. Two days after infecting groups of guinea pigs with a lethal dose of Lassa virus, the scientists treated the rodents daily for two weeks with either ribavirin, low doses of favipiravir, or high doses of favipiravir. They also evaluated the effect of high-dose favipiravir in the rodents that began treatment five, seven or nine days after infection. All of the animals that received high-dose favipiravir were completely protected from lethal infection; animals treated seven or nine days after infection had begun showing signs of disease, but their conditions quickly improved when treatment began. Those animals in the low-dose favipiravir group showed mild to moderate signs of disease, but those symptoms resolved after about one week of treatment. The animals treated with ribavirin appeared normal during the treatment phase but developed severe disease shortly after treatment ended. Further testing and human clinical trials are needed to determine if favipiravir, also known as T-705 and Avigan, could effectively treat Lassa virus infection in people. Story source;NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

HAND SANITIZER AND ANTIFREEZE CAN HELP PRESERVE DNA.

A few simple products, such as hand sanitizer and antifreeze, can preserve DNA in samples collected by lay people for scientific research, a new University of Florida study shows.This is great news because unlike high-concentration chemicals, such as 95 percent ethanol or pure propylene glycol -- which are expensive and hard to access -- these products are inexpensive and are commonly sold at grocery stores,said Andrea Lucky, an assistant research scientist at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and supervisor of Sedonia Steininger, the master's student who led this study. In the study, published in the journal Invertebrate Systematics, Lucky, her collaborator, Jiri Hulcr, assistant professor in the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation and his graduate student, Caroline Storer, checked several products for their ability to preserve the DNA in ambrosia beetles. These beetles are "notorious forest pests," the study says. For example, ambrosia beetles transmit the laurel wilt pathogen to avocado trees and are a major threat to Florida's $100 million-a-year avocado industry.To test the effectiveness of different preservatives, UF/IFAS scientists experimentally preserved 33 ambrosia beetles collected from an avocado tree in ethanol, hand sanitizer, pure propylene glycol and automobile antifreeze and coolant.To check how well the preservatives kept the DNA intact, scientists used polymerase chain reaction to amplify the genetic material. They found that alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and propylene and ethylene glycol-based automobile antifreeze can preserve DNA. Now, there is an easy way for anyone who is interested in preserving insects for a project to get the materials themselves. It also means that professionals can sample more widely, at a lower cost and with fewer concerns about safety. This also offers a big boost for scientists who collect samples in remote locations, where accessing laboratory-grade . Story source;University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

ALUM AS AN AGENT TO REDUCE AMMONIA CONCENTRATION IN POULTRY LITTER.

A research team is working on how adding alum as an amendment to poultry litter reduces ammonia and greenhouse gas concentrations and emissions, specifically carbon dioxide, in poultry houses.The University of Delaware's Hong Li is part of a research team looking at how alum can reduce green house emissions in poultry. Acid-based chemical compounds, alum and PLT -- another amendment -- that are added to the bedding material in poultry houses prior to the birds entering have proven to be a very effective tool in controlling ammonia emissions. In the poultry industry, ammonia build up is a major concern and ammonia concentration is usually high during the growth period . Ammonia can do a lot of damage to the animal, especially the respiratory system, and can effect overall animal health and welfare.There is a need to control the ammonia, not only for the animal health but also for the public health. Adding alum to poultry litter is known to reduce ammonia concentration in poultry houses, its effects on greenhouse gas emissions had been unknown. MODE OF ACTION;The carbon dioxide was reduced in two ways.First, because alum is an acidic product, it reduces microbial activity in the litter and reduces the ammonia emissions.Ammonia comes from uric acid being broken down by bacteria and enzymes. Once the uric acid is broken down, two products are created -- one is ammonia and one is carbon dioxide.By reducing the bacterial activity, the ammonia concentration and also the carbon dioxide reduce. Second, by using acid-based litter amendments in poultry litter, growers can reduce the ventilation rate and reduce fuel used for heating the poultry houses, especially during the winter. In the broiler industry, there is a need to control ammonia to improve animal health and welfare. They have to keep the bird comfortable with optimum temperatures. However, if you want to have lower ammonia, you have to bring in more fresh air to remove more of the ammonia-laden air. This will result in over ventilation of the house,resulting in more cost to keep the house warm. The use of the acid-based litter amendments, will reduce the ventilation rate and the rate of fuel used, which reduces the carbon dioxide emission from the house through the heating process. Thus if the microbial activity is reduced and also reduce the heating, there will be lower carbon dioxide emissions. Story source; papers from university of Delaware.

RATS, LEPTOSPIROSIS AND LASSA FEVER

Rats are carriers of both the spirochete bacteria responsible for Leptospirosis in man and animals and also the Lassa fever virus which affects man. The rat spread both infection by contamination with urine, when rats urine contaminate food and water, they spread these diseases. The consumption of rats have also been fingered in the spread of Lassa fever. The signs of Lassa infection occurs 1-3 weeks after exposure to the virus. The signs could be mild or severe and these are 1) slight fever 2) general malaise 3) weakness 4) headache. The severe signs include 1) bleeding/hemorrhaging in gums, eyes and nose. 2) respiratory distress 3)repeated vomiting 4) facial swelling 5) pain in chest ,back, abdomen and neck. Lassa fever infection also show neurological signs such as tremors, encephalitis and deafness. The treatment is supportive therapy of fluids and vitamins and Ribavirin, an antiviral drug. The prognosis is hinged on early treatment. Death usually occurs within 2 weeks after onset of symptoms. The major form of prevention is pest control; ensure your house, farms and factories are rodent proof. The proper disposal of waste is advised, remove all unfinished food and store food material on rodent-proof containers. Regular de-ratization in premises is advised. Do not eat rats. Stay safe # kill rats don’t eat them

RATS AND LEPTOSPIROSIS.

Leptospirosis a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may be similar to other diseases and some infected persons, however, may have mild to severe symptoms. Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis,liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death. The risk of infection with Leptospirosis is high with people close to animals such as dogs, cattle, horses, and pigs. These animals get infected when they are exposed to urine of infected rats, or have contact with contaminated drinking water or swimming/paddling through water inhabited by rats or contaminated by rat’s urine. When these animals are infected, they may show no signs of the disease. Infected animals may continue to excrete the bacteria into the environment continuously or every once in a while for a few months up to several years. Humans can become infected through; 1) Contact with urine (or other body fluids, except saliva) from infected animals. 2) Contact with water, soil, or food contaminated with the urine of infected animals. 3) The bacteria can enter the body through skin or mucous membranes of eyes, nose and mouth, especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. 4) Drinking contaminated water can also cause infection. Outbreaks of Leptospirosis are caused by exposure to contaminated water, such as floodwaters and person to person transmission is rare. Leptospirosis occurs worldwide, but is most common in temperate or tropical climates. It is an occupational hazard for many people who work outdoors or with animals, such as: Farmers, Mine workers, Sewer workers, Slaughterhouse workers,(abattoir),Veterinarians and animal handlers, Fish farmers, and Dairy farmers. The time between a person's exposure to a contaminated source and becoming sick is 2 days to 4 weeks. Illness usually begins abruptly with fever and other symptoms. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS; In humans, Leptospirosis can cause mild or severe signs this include; 1) High fever 2) Headache 3) Chills 4) Muscle aches. The Severe signs include; 1) Vomiting 2) Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes) 3) Red eyes 4) Abdominal pain 5) Diarrhea and 6)Rash.

Monday, January 18, 2016

RATS AND LASSA FEVER!!!!

The role of pests in transmission of diseases cannot be overemphasized and thus steps must be taken to prevent entry of such pests in the food industry.The major pest to contend with in the food industry is rat.Rats cause severe economic losses along side transmission of diseases.Rats in the food industry can be excluded by blocking any cracks/openings in the building.Food can be stored in crates in stores away from rats. Rat baits can be used outside the food holding area while traps can be used in the food processing/packaging area. Hazard of rats in the food industry; 1) fecal contamination of food. 2) urine contamination of food products. 3) food waste due to consumption by rats. Rat urine has been linked to Lassa fever,thus contamination of food with urine is a risk to man.The infection in man manifests with fever,muscular pain,generalized weakness.Vomiting and diarrhea are also observed in affected patients.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

HOW CHICKEN MOVEMENT IS USED TO DETECT CAMPYLOBACTER-INFECTED FLOCK.

An Oxford team tested the hypothesis that flocks colonized with Campylobacter might be distinguishable by their behavior.This is based on suggestions that infection could have an impact on chickens' welfare. Professor Marian Dawkins, of Animal Behaviour at Oxford and corresponding author on the paper, said: "We used a novel and non-invasive way of monitoring the behavior of chickens throughout their lives that involved analyzing the optical flow patterns from cameras inside broiler houses. What is optical flow and how is it measured? Optical flow works by detecting the patterns formed by changes in brightness in moving images, both temporally and spatially.It is computationally simple and does not require tagging or marking individual animals, making it ideal for long-term continuous monitoring of large groups of similar animals such as egg-laying hens and broiler chickens, where optical flow is predictive of key welfare measures such as mortality rate. To test the hypothesis that optical flow analysis might also be able to detect when flocks become infected with Campylobacter, the researchers collected data for 31 commercial broiler flocks.They also collected faecal samples from those same flocks and tested them for the presence of Campylobacter at different ages (21 days, 28 days and 35 days) using standard laboratory methods. This gave a direct comparison between optical flow and testing from fecal samples. Campylobacter-positive flocks showed lower mean optical flow (less average movement) and higher kurtosis (less uniform movement) than flocks without the bacteria - as early as the first 10 days of life. Additionally, this link was independent of external temperature. Professor Dawkins said: "Our results provide statistical evidence of a link between broiler chicken flock behavior and Campylobacter status. excerpts from journal proceedings from Royal society B

Chicken Movements Help Combat Campylobacter.

A new technique that monitors the movement of chickens can be used to predict which flocks are at risk of becoming infected with Campylobacter - the most common bacterial source of food poisoning in humans in the UK. Research by scientists at Oxford University has found that by using a camera system to analyse the 'optical flow' of chickens, at-risk flocks can be detected when the birds are only seven to 10 days old - much earlier than is usually possible with conventional on-farm sampling methods.Despite efforts to improve bio security, Campylobacter - which can reach humans through raw or undercooked chicken - has so far been persistently difficult to eliminate from the food chain. This new early warning system has the potential to transform the way Campylobacter is controlled, benefiting producers, consumers and the birds themselves. Source ;Royal society B/ POULTRY SITE.

Avian Flu Found in Hong Kong Wild Bird.

An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza has been discovered in Hong Kong's Diamond Hill area.The virus was found in a dead Great Egret, as part of an intensive surveillance effort. Laboratory tests confirmed the bird was infected with the H5N6 strain of the virus.The dead bird was found and collected from a non-public area near Spring Hill in the Nan Lian Garden, Diamond Hill, Wong Tai Sin, last Thursday (December 31). The great egret is a common resident of Hong Kong and some are winter visitors. The spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said cleaning and disinfection have been stepped up at the venue, adding that there are no poultry farms within 3 kilometres of where the dead bird was found. In view of the case, the AFCD has phoned poultry farmers to remind them to strengthen precautionary and biosecurity measures against avian influenza. Letters have been issued to farmers, pet bird shop owners and licence holders of pet poultry and racing pigeons reminding them that proper precautions must be taken. The spokesman said the department would conduct frequent inspections of poultry farms and the wholesale market to ensure that proper precautions against avian influenza have been implemented. The department will continue its wild bird monitoring and surveillance."People should avoid contact with wild birds and live poultry and their droppings. They should clean their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them. story source; poultry site.

Barking characterizes dogs as voice characterizes people.

Research on canine behavior shows that gender, age, context and individual recognition can be identified with a high percentage of success through statistical and computational methods of pattern recognition applied to their barking. The canine communication has been a research topic in ethology over the last decade. Most of the research has focused on studying how dogs are capable to understand different forms of human communication, for example by displaying gestures and human voice recognition. This joint research between CIG and UPM aimed to understand the acoustic signals obtained from dog barking when they are subjected to certain situations. This research is conducted through the development of a computational system based on statistic modeling that is able to recognize diverse characteristics of the dog . The experiments were carried out in Budapest with eight dogs -- three males and five females -- Mudi breed, from Hungary usually used as sheep-dogs. Each dog (aged between one and 10) registered 100 barks. A total of 800 barks was obtained by placing the dog in seven different situations: (a) alone, the owner tied the dog to a tree; (b) playing with a ball; (c) fighting, the human pretended to attack the dog's owner; (d) receiving their food ration; (f) in the company of a person who was foreign to the dog; and (g) to get ready to going out with the owner. Each one of the 800 barks was characterized from 29 acoustic measurements. By using the diverse computational models obtained from the collected data during the experiment, researchers were able to successfully recognize the dog's gender the 85.13% of the time while the age of the dog (recorded as young, adult and old) was classified without mistakes the 80.25% of the time. The task of identifying the situation in which the dog was it was successful the 55.50%, while the recognition (among the eight dogs participating in the study) of the Mudi breed was successful the 67.63% of the time.This study reveals the biological relevance and richness of the information in dog barking and brings new possibilities in applied research. story source; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Fish oil may help curb seizure frequency in epilepsy.

Low doses of fish oil may help to curb the frequency of epileptic seizures when drug treatment no longer works, suggests a small study. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are able to cross over from the bloodstream into heart cells where they work to stabilize heart rhythm and protect against heart attacks. This is particularly important for people with epilepsy because they have a significantly high risk of having a heart attack. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are able to cross over from the bloodstream into heart cells where they work to stabilize heart rhythm and protect against heart attacks.This is particularly important for people with epilepsy because they have a significantly higher risk of having a heart attack than those without the condition.And experimental research indicates that omega 3 fatty acids can also cross over into the central nervous system, where they reduce the excitability of brain cells which trigger seizures. source;British Medical Journal

Fish oil helps transform fat cells from storage to burning.

.Credit: Eiri Ono/Kyoto University. Kyoto University researchers have found that fish oil transforms fat-storage cells into fat-burning cells, which may reduce weight gain in middle age. Fish oil activates receptors in the digestive tract, fires the sympathetic nervous system, and induces storage cells to metabolize fat. The team explains in Scientific Reports that fish oil activates receptors in the digestive tract, fires the sympathetic nervous system, and induces storage cells to metabolize fat.Fat tissues don't all store fat.The So-called "white" cells store fat in order to maintain energy supply, while "brown" cells metabolize fat to maintain a stable body temperature. Brown cells are abundant in babies but decrease in number with maturity into adulthood. A third type of fat cell -- "beige" cells -- have recently been found in humans and mice, and have shown to function much like brown cells. Beige cells also reduce in number as people approach middle age; without these metabolizing cells, fat continues accumulating for decades without ever being used. story courtesy;science daily

New NDV-H5NX avian influenza vaccine has potential for mass vaccination of poultry.

Researchers have developed and tested a new vaccine that protects chickens and other poultry from multiple strains of avian influenza found in the U.S., including H5N1, H5N2 and H5N8. A team of researchers at Kansas State University, in collaboration with Garcia-Sastre of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, has developed a vaccine that protects poultry from multiple strains of avian influenza found in the U.S., including H5N1, H5N2 and H5N8. The vaccine has the potential to be administered through water or into embryonated eggs, making it easier for poultry producers to vaccinate flocks.The vaccine, called NDV-H5Nx, protects chickens and likely other poultry against the three recently introduced U.S. avian influenza strains H5N1, H5N2 and H5N8, as well as against Newcastle disease virus -- a virus that naturally affects poultry. Avian influenza killed millions of chickens and turkeys in the U.S. in spring and summer 2015, leading to billions in lost revenue for the U.S. poultry industry. The NDV-H5Nx vaccine also has the potential to be administered to millions of birds at a time through water, said Jürgen Richt, Regents distinguished professor of veterinary medicine, director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases at Kansas State University and one of the researchers involved in the discovery. "The vaccine we produced is a live vaccine, which means it replicates in birds," Richt said. "Because it's live, we believe that the vaccine could be sprayed into the air or put in the water supply so that when the chickens need a drink, they could be vaccinated. A poultry farm could vaccinate all of its birds in a single day because all living creatures need water to live." The vaccine also has potential to be administered to developing chicks in eggs, resulting in offspring being automatically vaccinated for the diseases, said Wenjun Ma, Kansas State University assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and patho biology and one of the researchers involved. The NDV-H5Nx vaccine has the ability to differentiate infected from vaccinated animals, or DIVA. This compatibility is critical for the U.S. poultry industry because it provides evidence to trade partners that poultry have been vaccinated and is free of H5, Richt said. H5 vaccines currently on the market require that each chicken be injected by hand. Many poultry operations have millions of birds and it would take many hours to vaccinate every chicken, Richt said.This is a major advantage as many birds can be vaccinated per time. Story source; science daily.

ELEPHANT INFECTED 7 ZOO WORKERS WITH TUBERCULOSIS.

Seven employees of an Oregon zoo contracted tuberculosis from three elephants in their care in 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.The staff members at the Oregon Zoo in Portland were infected with a latent form of the respiratory illness and therefore displayed no symptoms and were not contagious, a report published by the CDC said. The CDC report on the outbreak pointed to a lack of research about tuberculosis in elephants. It also called for improved screening to detect the disease because the present method of detection – taking cultures – may miss some cases or result in false positives.Jennifer Vines, deputy health officer for Multnomah County, whose office worked with the CDC on its report, said the investigation did not conclude that tuberculosis is highly transmissible between elephants and people. About 5 percent of captive Asian elephants in North America, like the ones in Portland, are believed to have tuberculosis, the CDC said. Human-to-elephant transmission was first identified in 1996 and there have been a handful of cases in recent years in Tennessee and elsewhere.The outbreak prompted the Portland zoo to say it would conduct more frequent tuberculosis tests of both animals and staff through at least June 2016. The outbreak was identified in May 2013 when a routine annual check of elephants found that a 20-year-old bull named Rama was infected.Rama’s father, 51-year-old Packy, also tested positive as did Tusko, a 44-year-old former circus performer. Public health officials do not know the cause of the outbreak. The CDC said it was possible that a zoo volunteer diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2012 may have spread the disease to the elephants.The zoo’s other elephants were not infected, nor were another roughly 100 people who were near the three sickened bull elephants. story source;http://newsdaily.com/2016/01/elephants-infected-seven-oregon-zoo-workers-with-tuberculosis-cdc/

NANOTECHNOLOGY TO TREAT HUMAN WASTE AND REMOVE STENCH.

A toilet that does not need water, a sewage system or external power but instead uses nanotechnology to treat human waste, produce clean water and keep smells at bay is being developed by a British university.The innovative toilet uses a rotating mechanism to move waste into a holding chamber containing nano elements. The mechanism also blocks odors and keeps waste out of sight. “Once the waste is in the holding chamber we use membranes that take water out as vapor, which can then be condensed and available for people to use in their homes,” Alison Parker, lead researcher on the project, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The pathogens remain in the waste at the bottom of the holding chamber, so the water is basically pure and clean.”Cranfield University is developing the toilet as part of the global “Reinvent the toilet Challenge” launched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Nanotechnology is the science of creating and working with materials about one nanometer wide, or one-billionth of a meter. A human hair is about 80,000 nanometers wide. According to the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) 2.4 billion people, mostly in rural areas, live without adequate toilets.Poor sanitation is linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio, the WHO says. A replaceable bag containing solid waste coated with a biodegradable nano-polymer which blocks odor will be collected periodically by a local operator, it says. story courtesy;News daily. http://newsdaily.com/2016/01/waterless-toilet-uses-nanotechnology-to-treat-waste-banish-smells/

Friday, January 8, 2016

BIO-DIGESTER. SUPPLIES ENERGY TO FARMS.

The digestive system of a cow served as a model to researchers to create a container that receives organic waste, mostly livestock manure, where it is mixed with millions of bacteria to obtain natural gas integrated mostly of methane, called biogas, as well as a high quality bio-fertilizer. The principle of action of the digestive system of a cow served as a model to Camilo Pagés and Alexander Eaton to create a container that receives organic waste, mostly livestock manure, where it is mixed with millions of bacteria to obtain natural gas integrated mostly of methane, called biogas, as well as a high quality bio-fertilizer. The biodigester, commercially called Biobolsa (bio-bag), transform the waste in a container made of high density geomembrane where polyethylene components and bacteria generate gas that is used as fuel for stoves or heaters, and even in the form of electricity. In very simple terms, Alex Eaton explains that his technology is a huge bag of 15 meters long and two meters wide and two more in height, which can contain up to 40,000 liters of liquid capacity, and treat one ton waste per day. However, they have adapted it to specific needs and created smaller Bio-bags of two by two meters, working with 20 kilos of manure. "The system is modular and can interface, it also is deployable and adjustable. On average, the return on investment is contemplated in a year and a half, and if you consider that the material used for the Biobolsa lasts longer than 20 years, there is much room for profit," says the journalist with a graduate degree in environmental protection. Source; science daily.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Remote-controlled robot inspects suitcase bombs.

Abandoned items of luggage are frequently found at airports and train stations. This is a case for the emergency services, who have to assume that these items might contain bombs. They must assess the potential threat quickly, avert any possible danger, and preserve evidence for criminal proceedings. In the future, police will have the support of a remote-controlled sensor system as they go about their duties, say researchers who are developing this sensor suite in cooperation with industry partners and criminal investigation authorities. Emergency services do not have to enter the danger zone,the system the researchers have developed comprises a multimodal sensor suite consisting of a millimeter wave scanner, a high-resolution digital camera, and a 3D environment monitoring system. The components are contained in a housing and mounted on a robot platform. Bomb disposal engineers remotely control the robot from a safe distance. Its swiveling 3D sensors make a three-dimensional survey of the crime scene, and the digital camera provides high-resolution images for later optical evidence preservation. Meanwhile the millimeter wave sensor scans the source of danger and creates an image of what's inside. A built-in embedded PC on the robot collects the data and sends it to the investigators, where it will be merged on the computer by means of sensor data fusion. Up to now our techniques have not allowed us to form a 3D outline of suitcase bombs, and it has been impossible -- or only partially possible -- to make a spatial map of the contents. With the sensor suite we can visualize in three dimensions what's inside a luggage item, and so determine the composition of the bomb and how the parts are arranged in the luggage," explains Stefan A. Lang, team leader at the FHR and the project's coordinator. This lets the explosives experts quickly assess the threat, and going forward they will also be able to preserve as much evidence as possible about the bomb. Until now, specialists were often forced to destroy suitcase bombs -- making it difficult to identify the perpetrators. Other advantages of the contact-free detection system: it is light, compact, and platform independent, which means it can be mounted on any robot. story credit; science daily.

WATERMELON FARMER SINGS TO GET THE SWEETEST FRUIT.

A Queensland watermelon grower says he sings and talks to his crop to ensure he gets the sweetest fruit, but the tastiest is left in the field. Grower Anthony Rehbein says he sings to his watermelons to ensure he gets the best fruit. (ABC Rural) Anthony Rehbein will harvest 100 tonne of the fruit per day for an eight week period over summer, and has used social media to allow consumers to follow the life cycle of a watermelon."Everyday since I planted them I talk to them, sing to them, look at them, touch them, make sure there's no stress so no matter what crop you grow you've got to nurture just like kids," he said.Despite the love and attention Mr Rehbein gives it, he said fussy consumers have forced him to leave behind a quarter of his crop, because the melons contain seeds."There's two types (of melon) and you can't grow one without the other," he said."There's a pollinator, which is a seeded watermelon, and then there's a seedless, which is three quarters of your crop. The bees come in, do their work and cross pollinate so the customer gets seedless watermelons."That's the only way you don't get seeds, is through bee pollination, and using the Red Tigers, which is a fantastic seeded watermelon, and the Royal Armarda, which is our seedless."You've got to have both."But Mr Rehbein still believes the seeded varieties are the better eating fruit. Mr Rehbein sais the busy harvest is an exciting time on the farm."The pickers go out and pick virtually every daylight hour that we have," he said."They're looking for the blush of the melon, like a slight yellowing or a sunburn on top, which tells you that the internal colour is nice and red and ready to go."They give it a little 'love tap' so that they know that the melon is solid and full inside. He said the melons hit the Sydney or Melbourne markets within three days of being picked."When it's hot, people like melon and it's a great time of year, we're coming out of winter, great to take to the beach," he said.Read the benefits of watermelon;www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=7719362384747421432#editor/target=post;postID=1320249339715928435;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=6;src=postname Story credit; ABC NEWS.

TICK VACCINE FOR AFRICAN CATTLE .

Two Queensland scientists have been recruited as part of a global project to help develop a tick vaccine for the African cattle industry.The tick may be an enemy of the Australian beef industry, but the situation is even more dire in Africa.The research is part of a global project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to help the overseas cattle producers combat tick infestation. Researcher Alicja Lew-Tabor said ticks were having a significant impact on domestic beef production in Africa.Unlike Australian producers, African producers generally only supply their domestic market and Dr Lew-Tabor said ticks caused significant problems in meat and milk supply. "Most of the countries in Africa have cattle of sorts, whether it is for milk or beef production, and most of them would be in regions that are affected by cattle tick and the diseases that they carry," Dr Lew-Tabor said."Ticks are resistant to a lot of the drugs that they use to put on the cattle; they become resistant to them in time."That chemical resistance was the very reason why Dr Lew-Tabor and fellow researcher Manuel Rodriguez-Valle were selected to join the worldwide project. For five years, they have worked on the development of many vaccine strains which could have potential in Africa.They started with 300 possibilities and have selected 25 vaccines which could be successful in controlling the tick infestation.Dr Rodriguez-Valle said the work was tedious, but the results looked good."We have two candidates that look very interesting [and] we will have results very quickly, at the end of February; we are very confident in them," he said.To control the results, the cattle are kept isolated in pens.The goal is to try to reduce the number of ticks per animal by 70 per cent. We infect the animals with around 5,000 tick larvae and wait until the ticks drop off each animal, then we collect the tick, weigh it and analyse the reduction in the number of ticks," Dr Rodriguez-Valle said.The vaccines inject antigens into the cattle, creating antibodies to attack the ticks."We got 80 per cent protection in a trial that we did in Brazil but what they [Gates Foundation] has wanted us to do is pull that mixture apart and work out what the most active components are," Dr Lew-Tabor said.The vaccine is expected to be ready to use within five years, and Dr Lew-Tabor said there could be benefits for Australian beef producers too."They will be able to bring the more susceptible breeds into regions where they don't have those breeds," she said. source; ABC NEWS.

PROFIT POTENTIAL OF RAISING TURKEY.

A farmer explains the benefits of raising turkeys for profit;Ms Leadoux would not have it any other way, although she got involved because of her husband. Ms Leadoux produces about 6,000 turkeys throughout the year, with preparation for Christmas starting more than 12 months ahead of the festive season.However, she said demand for turkey throughout the year had resulted in huge increases in demand."We are struggling to keep up," she said."We have worked pretty hard to establish a market throughout the year, which means we are producing turkey more often. We are continually knocking back orders at this time of the year, and big orders, like 400 birds."Ms Leadoux said the potential for further increases in demand was "absolutely huge""People have traditionally seen turkey as a festive fare, a speciality meat," she said. "People have been amazed at the variety. When we first started going down to the market, people would walk past the stand. We started taste-testing the product, and getting them to try it."Now it's just phenomenal. The potential of this business is absolutely huge." The profit potential is phenomenal, an aspect of the value chain that is a goldmine. # turkey # poultry # profit # market. story source;ABC NEWS.

BLUE FIN TUNA IN JAPAN.

( courtesy ;internet). Most tuna farming in Japan involves catching young tuna in the wild and cultivating them in coastal reserves – a practice that experts believe has contributed to plummeting populations of small fish. Kinki University, however, prides itself on a method it calls “complete cultivation”, in which the fish are artificially raised from egg to adulthood before the larvae are then used to start a new cycle. Experts involved in the project say they still have a long way to go before they can farm enough tuna to meet demand. The survival rate for newly hatched fry is low, and rearing tuna in captivity requires vast areas of coastal water. Shigeru Miyashita, of the university’s fisheries laboratory, said the rate at which researchers had successfully raised bluefin from egg to adult – without using any fish caught in the wild – had improved over the years. “Through the complete aqua-farming of bluefin tuna, we hope to help ensure the stability of the world’s marine resources,” Miyashita said. “But to make 10,000 tonnes of farmed adult tuna you need 1.6m fry. The other problem is space. Wild Pacific bluefin have the whole ocean to swim in, but we have to raise them in a confined area. The university’s project received a boost at the end of last year when it joined forces with Toyota Tsusho, the trading arm of the Japanese carmaker, to begin the mass farming of bluefin tuna hatchlings at a site in Goto, south-western Japan. We started this project because we were concerned about the future of the bluefin tuna. Japanese people love tuna – we now want to encourage them to eat ours instead of the wild variety.” story excerpts from the Guardian.

How satellite technology is helping to fight illegal fishing.

A new initiative is arming coastguards with satellite intelligence that allows them to target their search for pirate fishing vessels in remote marine areas Pirate fishing vessels plundering fish from the world’s marine reserves, such as the one around Ascension Island announced on the weekend, can now be watched, tracked and brought to justice using satellite technology.Despite a proliferation of huge, publicly lauded marine reserves, actually stopping fishing in many remote areas has previously been almost impossible. Fishing vessels are required to carry a transponder that tracks their movements and allows authorities to monitor their behaviour. But illegal fishers simply switch off the machine, disappearing from the system. A UK-funded initiative, developed by Satellite Applications Catapult (SAC) and the Pew Charitable Trusts, uses satellite radars to track these “dark targets”. Now, instead of blindly patrolling vast areas of ocean, coastguard vessels use the satellite intelligence to target their search. Bradley Soule, senior fisheries analyst for SAC. Satellite radar has traditionally been used by the military and law enforcement agencies. But the cost has dropped dramatically, opening up the data for private companies to use.“It is definitely a big deal,” he said. “[The global satellite tracking] gives a sense of the scope ... It is a wide-ranging problem.” Roughly one in every five fish landed around the world is caught illegally. Story source ;http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/04/how-satellite-technology-is-helping-to-fight-illegal-fishing

TECHNOLOGY OVERDRIVE!!!!

Technology @ its best!!! I just have to share this # all things are possible. Jessica Cox proved...YOU DON'T NEED 'WINGS' TO FLY...the first pilot with no arms..I salute her!!

INTERNET OF FOOD PIE.

Take a bite.

INTERNET AND FOOD SAFETY.

The use of internet in our everyday life not only makes our work easy but its also a point of access for food safety.The concept above can be modeled in various industries to expand and cutoff excesses with regards to sharp/wrong practices. Farm animals fitted with RFID allows for easy tracing and tracking from the farm to various departure points.The animals are processed and issued a code during packaging, this is easily read by phones/ barcode reader.These products make their way to various superstores ,as hygienically packaged wholesome products fit for human consumption. # food court # internet of food # techy foods #food market # food safety.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

‘Internet of food’ could revolutionise personal nutrition: researcher

‘Internet of food’ could revolutionise personal nutrition: researcher

Study links Irritable Bowel Syndrome with vitamin D deficiency

Study links Irritable Bowel Syndrome with vitamin D deficiency

DYSBIOSIS IN BROILERS.

Poultry products are a major avenue for the introduction of Campylobacter into the food supply, with undercooked poultry and cross-contamination as the common way that Campylobacter is transmitted to humans. The largest number of these food borne bacterial infections is caused by the species Campylobacter jejuni. Professor Tom Humphrey of Swansea University in Wales gave a presentation entitled ‘Campylobacter: important human and chicken pathogens’. According to Humphrey, Campylobacter is currently the most significant pathogen that can be transmitted from animals to humans through meat. In that framework, more attention should be given to Campylobacter than to Salmonella at present. Currently around the world, Campylobacter is causing a massive number of infections and inflammations. One big problem in the fight against Campylobacter at this time is that there are no concrete measures that can be taken to prevent meat from being contami-nated. The only advice that can be given to consumers is that they should thoroughly roast or cook chicken meat. According to Van Immerseel, the group of professor Pasmans at Ghent University is currently working on research that involves developing Campylobacter antibodies to be used as feed additives. The antibodies attach themselves to the Campylobacter bacterium, thus impeding the bacterium in its interaction with the chicken gut. These antibodies can then be added to compound feeding stuffs. “They expect to be able to say within months whether it’s going to work or not,” said Van Immerseel. According to the professor, the poultry sector worldwide has Salmonella increasingly under control. “Laying hens are vaccinated and, in respect of broilers, the focus is on good hygiene and decontamination measures.” Excerpts from presentation at the IHSIG termed One world,One health.

DYSBIOSIS.

This basically refers to an imbalance in the gut flora leading to various illness such as inflammatory bowel disease,cancer, bacterial vaginosis and colitis.The disruption in the normal flora of the gut is largely due to abuse of antibiotics which not only have harmful effect in man but in animals as well. Campylobacter is an important player here; causes intestinal infections as it normally inhabits the gut of warm blooded animals such as poultry and cattle and are usually detected in products derived from them. Campylobacter are the major causes of food borne illness in homes,usually characterized by abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. The prevention of food illness from campylobacter is to embrace basic food hygiene protocol and cook beef and poultry thoroughly as the bacteria is killed by heat.

AVIAN INFLUENZA # SIGNS #