August 17, 2007

Emerging (Disease) Markets [Press Release]
EurekAlert -
15 Aug 2007

Cost-effective disease prevention includes closing or regulating wildlife markets

Instead of attacking wild birds for our new disease problems, a far more cost effective approach should focus on keeping wild animals separate in the places where they often commingle: in wildlife markets and international trade, according to wildlife health experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in a recent issue of the prestigious Journal of Wildlife Diseases. This is an ounce of prevention that we really need to use in trading hubs where human commerce of wild animals allows for the spread of diseases, said Dr. William Karesh, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Field Veterinary Program and lead author of the peer-reviewed paper titled Implications of wildlife trade on the movement of avian influenza and other infectious diseases.

The wildlife trade, and markets in particular, serve as very dirty mixing bowls for diseases. We can significantly reduce the threat of avian flu and other emerging diseases by decreasing contact among different animal species in markets and thus giving pathogens fewer opportunities to mutate and spread. In the paper, Karesh and his co-authors point out birds and other animals moving through wildlife markets give pathogens a chance to jump into new species and geographic regions via the global trade in wildlife. For example, two instances of highly pathogenic avian influenza traveling vast distances in bird hosts include two mountain hawk eagles that were illegally smuggled from Thailand to Belgium and wild songbirds shipped from Taiwan to the United Kingdom.

West Nile Virus Found in Dead Pelicans
The Bismarck Tribune -
15 Aug 2007
R Hinton
Area: North Dakota USA

The carcasses of two juvenile American white pelicans from Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge have tested positive for West Nile virus, and federal wildlife managers are awaiting results from tests on four other carcasses. "It's a slow process," Ken Torkelson, a spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Bismarck office, said Tuesday of the testing being done at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis. "The big problem this year was all that moisture - Ithink 10 inches of rain - in late June. Between the rain, wind and cold, it's pretty tough on those birds without much protection in their natural systems," Torkelson said. "Later on, the warm temperatures probably were equally hard on them," he added.

The moisture also helped produce a prolific crop of mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus. Researchers are uncertain of the extent of the outbreak because all of the rain has produced lush foliage on the nesting islands, and the heat also tends to make the carcasses decompose quickly. "And we hate to disturb them too often. It's just a bad situation," Torkelson said. The West Nile virus was first diagnosed in the pelican colony in 2002, and the disease has been hitting young pelicans pretty hard just about every year since, Torkelson said.

Disease Hits Tennessee Deer Populations
17 Aug 2007
B Brasher
Area: Tennessee USA

Stricken whitetails reported in Fayette and across Tenn.

A disease that causes whitetail deer to develop high fever, drink water incessantly and bleed gruesomely has been noted all over Tennessee, leading wildlife officials to fear that one of the state's worst outbreaks is imminent. Alan Peterson, a wildlife biologist with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, has received reports of epizootic hemorrhagic disease from across the state during the past few weeks, including a possible outbreak at Ames Plantation in Grand Junction. Reports of the disease are coming in earlier this year -- and from a much wider range than usual. "We hear reports of EHD just about every summer," Peterson said.

"But they usually don't start coming in until late August when hunters re-enter the woods for squirrel season. Even then, they're usually confined to one or two areas. "This certainly seems to be something different." Peterson said he has had "lots and lots" of EHD cases reported from more than a dozen counties, including Chester, Hardin, Decatur and Benton.

Anthrax, Bison - Canada (NWT) - Archive Number 20070816.2686
ProMED Mail -
15 Aug 2007
Area: North West Territories Canada

Here's a bit of a summary of where we are at with the anthrax situation here at Wood Buffalo National Park (WBNP): A bison carcass found 17 Jul 2007, near a back-country road, tested positive for anthrax. Since then, 60 additional carcasses have been found. Most carcasses have been found in an area of approximately 500 square kilometers [193 square miles].

Strict Guardians of Animal and Human Health
The Press (Posted by
17 Aug 2007
T Cronshaw
Area: Australia

. . .The laboratory is recognised as a world authority on rabies, newcastle disease, brucella, avian influenza and Sars, as well as two fish diseases. "It was this laboratory that identified Sars was from bats," says Jeggo. "If we need to work with a nasty bug that affects animals and humans, we work in an enclosed air supply." About 75 per cent of all new diseases today come from animals.

. . .The zoonotic laboratory is reserved for diagnosing emergency diseases, such as avian influenza, that are hazardous to animals and humans. (Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases able to be transmitted from animals, both wild and domestic, to humans or from humans to animals.) Bird flu, otherwise known as avian influenza or H5N1, has killed half of the 600 people infected from birds so far. If it mutates to be able to pass between people it could trigger a global pandemic, with fatal results, says Abraham.


West Nile Virus MONITOR: 2007 Human Surveillance

New Prion Protein Discovered by Canadian Scientists May Offer Insight into Mad Cow Disease


Early Production of Type I Interferon during West Nile Virus Infection: Role for Lymphoid Tissues in IRF3-Independent Interferon Production [online abstract only]
Journal of Virology. 2007 Sept; 81(17): 9100-9108
N Bourne et al.

Antibody Recognition of Cell Surface-Associated NS1 Triggers Fc- Receptor-Mediated Phagocytosis and Clearance of West Nile Virus-Infected Cells [online abstract only]
Journal of Virology. 2007 Sept; 81(17): 9551-9555
KM Chung et al.

Efficient In Vitro Amplification of Chronic Wasting Disease PrPRES [online abstract only]
Journal of Virology. 2007 Sept; 81(17): 9605-9608
TD Kurt et al.

A New Generation of Modified Live-Attenuated Avian Influenza Viruses Using a Two-Strategy Combination as Potential Vaccine Candidates [online abstract only]
Journal of Virology. 2007 Sept; 81(17): 9238-9248
H Song et al.

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