July 9, 2007

UW Scientists Say CWD Protein Strongly Binds to Soil Particles
The Associated Press (posted by WBAY-TV - wbay.com)
7 Jul 2007

University of Wisconsin researchers say they have found that the infectious nature of abnormal proteins that cause chronic wasting disease in deer dramatically increase when bound to certain soil particles. The scientists led by professor Judd Aiken published a study in the journal Public Library of Science Pathogens saying that proteins known as prions which cause CWD and other brain wasting diseases bind tightly to a common soil mineral.

They studied how prions interact with the mineral montmorillonite, which is generally found in clay soils. Aiken says he and professor Joel Pedersen were shocked at how tightly the prions bound to the mineral and found they had to boil the soil in detergent to get them off. The scientists say that, when they fed the prion-mineral mix to hamsters, they expected to see a lower rate of infection than in animals fed just the infectious protein without the mineral.

Kenya Arrests Illegal Hunters, Bushmeat Dealers
Environment News Service
9 Jul 2007
Area: Kenya
Photos courtesy of NASA and unknown, respectively

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers have arrested seven professional Tanzanian hunters and their Kenyan guide for illegally hunting around Tsavo West National Park. The rangers who had laid an ambush at Koranze in Taita Taveta District recovered firearms and ammunition in the Saturday arrest. The suspects have been booked at Voi Police Station and are awaiting prosecution. At the same time, three suspected game meat dealers and their driver are being held at the Athi River Police Station on the outskirts of Nairobi for illegal meat trade and poaching.

The three suspected dealers in game meat, also called bush meat, were intercepted with 213 kilograms (470 pounds) of meat in five plastic sacks before dawn Saturday morning at the Toll Station police check on Mombasa-Nairobi highway, barely 10 kilometers (six miles) from Nairobi. They will be charged with wildlife and public health offences once investigations are complete. One member of the group escaped while police were inspecting what the dealers had initially claimed to be "rice."

New Research Facility Opens To Tackle Zoonoses
5 Jul 2007
G Reynolds
Area: Iowa, USA

A new multi-million pound research center has opened, which brings together three government science units to tackle zoonoses. The facility in Iowa, combines two units from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and one US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to form the largest federal animal disease center in the US. USDA said research at the "world class" facility will focus on improving animal health, disease diagnosis and reducing food safety problems.

By tackling zoonoses while livestock are being reared, reduces the likelihood of product contamination during slaughter and processing. ARS' National Animal Disease Center is one of the units that now occupy the building. Part of its work is to research zoonoses, which are animal diseases capable of transmission into humans, such as salmonella, campylobactor and avian influenza to develop ways to imrove food safety.

Reproductive Problems May Lead to Rare Rhino's Extinction
Guardian Unlimited
5 Jul 2007
I MacKinnon
Area: Malaysia
Photo Courtesy of Bazuki Muhammad/Reuters

The Sumatran rhino, one of the world's most endangered species, is being driven closer to extinction due to reproductive problems that may be the result of habitat loss, wildlife scientists believe. Low sperm counts and other reproductive problems such as cysts are hampering pregnancies among Malaysian rhinos, according to a three-year study spearheaded by Malaysia's wildlife department.

Only between 30 and 50 Sumatran rhinos - the only two-horned rhino in Asia - are left in the jungles of Malaysia's Sabah state, on Borneo. The entire Sumatran rhino population numbers just 300, halved in the last 15 years by poaching. But illegal logging on Borneo has also destroyed much of the habitat of the animal, also called the "hairy rhino" because of its unusual covering of long hair that allows it to live at high altitudes.

Other Wildlife Disease News

Boxer's Push to Protect Honeybees

Gray Whales Showing Signs of Malnutrition: Scientists: Warmer Seawater May Be To Blame

Zambezi Fish Disease Mystery Cracked

Experts Promote Deer Hunts to Help Control Lyme Disease

Re: Request For Information on Experimental Infection Trials in Wild Birds - ProMED-mail - Archive Number 20070706.2155

Hantavirus Infection - Brazil (Federal District)- ProMED-mail - Archive Number 20070708.2173

World Rabies Day is Sept. 8, 2007

Hot Topic: AAHL Guarding Against Deadly Diseases

Journal Articles of Interest

Field Anaesthesia of Leatherback Sea Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea)
C. A. Harms, S. A. Eckert, S. A. Kubis, M. Campbell, D. H. Levenson, and M. A. Crognale
Vet Rec. 2007;161 15-21

Canine Adenovirus Type 1 Infection of a Eurasian River Otter (Lutra lutra)
Veterinary Pathology. 2007 July; 44(4): 536-539.
NY Park et al.

Chronic Wasting Disease of Deer and Elk in Transgenic Mice: Oral Transmission and Pathobiology
Virology. 2007 Aug 15; 365 (1): 136-143
MJ Trifilo et al.

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