September 18, 2007

Chikungunya Virus Spreads to Europe
NewScientistSpace -
12 Sep 2007
Area: Europe

As feared, the chikungunya virus has begun spreading in Europe. In June, a few people near Ravenna in north-east Italy developed a fever with severe joint pain, but by mid-August there were more than 100 cases. The Italian government has confirmed that the culprit is chikungunya virus, a previously rare, mild infection spread by mosquitoes, that has mutated into a virulent, rapidly spreading strain. Since 2005, it has infected at least 1.4 million people in India and on islands in the Indian Ocean and may have killed thousands.

Tuberculosis, Cervids - Canada (MB) - Archive Number 20070918.3094
ProMED-mail -
18 Sep 2007
Area: Manitoba Canada

I am responding to questions raised in the recent posting on findings of bovine tuberculosis in wild cervids in and around Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP) in Manitoba, Canada. Surveillance for bovine tuberculosis in wild cervids in and around RMNP consists of 2 elements: a capture-collar-test program that is used inside the park where hunting is not permitted; and a hunter-harvest sampling program that is used outside the RMNP boundaries where hunting is permitted. Blood tests are a component of the capture-collar-test program only, wherein wild elk are captured using a net-gun fired from a helicopter, a radio-collar is attached to the elk, and whole blood and serum are collected. If a rapid test is being conducted on the blood sample, any positive animal is humanely destroyed at the time of capture.

Otherwise the collared elk is released and the results of the blood tests are awaited. If the results require the animal to be destroyed, the radio-collar is used to locate the animal by helicopter, the animal is recaptured and humanely destroyed, the carcass necropsied, and tissue samples are collected for histopathology and culture which is carried out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Laboratory. The blood tests that were performed by the CFIA Laboratory on whole blood and serum samples collected from the captured wild cervids were the lymphocyte stimulation test (LST) and the fluorescent polarization assay for bovine tuberculosis (FPA-TB). Another test, a proprietary rapid test developed by Chembio Inc., was performed on-site by Parks Canada staff. Not all cervids received all tests.

Red River Catfish Kill Still Being Studied
The Associated Press (Posted by
15 Sep 2007
B Nicholson
Area: United States

Officials investigating a Red River catfish die-off are testing for viruses - to rule them out. They believe the culprit is a bacterial infection. Technicians at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources pathology lab in St. Paul are testing for the viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus, which can cause a wide range of trophy fish, including walleye and bass, to bleed to death. The virus has not yet been found in North Dakota or Minnesota.

"It's just routine," said Henry Drewes, a regional fisheries supervisor for DNR. "The preliminary assessment seems to be pointing at columnaris, a bacterial infection." Channel catfish virus also is a possible cause, said Lynn Schlueter, Red River fisheries biologist with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. The virus normally occurs in hatcheries where a lot of fish are confined, but Schlueter said it can strike in the wild if conditions are right. He compared it to winning the lottery - "just getting that perfect combination (of conditions) that really allows it to take off."

Rabies Scare in Toronto
eFluxMedia -
16 Sep 2007
A Boyd
Area: Toronto, Ontario Canada

Toronto Public Health urgently needs to locate a woman who came into contact with a rabid bat and has asked the public for help, according to local reports. Canadian media reports that Toronto Public Health is seeking a woman who took an injured bat to the Toronto Wildlife Center at the beginning of the month. As the animal subsequently tested positive for rabies, the woman may be at risk. “We are asking the individual who recently took a bat to the Toronto Wildlife Center to contact Toronto Public Health immediately,” Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, Associate Medical Officer of Health, said in a public-health statement.

“People can become easily infected with rabies if they are scratched or bitten by an infected bat, and this individual may need to be vaccinated,” Pellizzari added. The woman brought the injured bat to the Wildlife Center on Sept. 4. The animal underwent tests which showed it was infected with rabies. Pellizzari said a human can become infected if a rabid animal's saliva comes in contact with open cuts or with the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose or eyes.


UN Agency Warns Increased Meat Production Could Lead to Higher Risks of Diseases

New Foot-and-Mouth Case Confirmed


Rapid Field Immunoassay for Detecting Antibody to Sin Nombre Virus in Deer Mice [PDF]
Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 Oct; [Epub ahead of print]
T Schountz et al.

Mosquitoes Inoculate High Doses of West Nile Virus as They Probe and Feed on Live Hosts (free full-text available)
PLoS Pathogens. 2007 Sep; 3(9): e132
LM Styer et al.

Isolation and Establishment of the Raccoon Ehrlichia-Like Agent in Tick Cell Culture [online abstract only]
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. 2007; [Epub ahead of print]
UG Munderloh et al.

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