September 14, 2007

New Insight Into Lethal Shrimp Viral Disease
Science Daily
12 Sep 2007

This story has been adapted from a news release issued by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Researchers report the most complete list so far of proteins present in a virus that causes severe shrimp mortality and significant economic losses to shrimp cultivation worldwide. This discovery could help understand how the virus is assembled and how it infects shrimps.
White spot syndrome is a viral infection of shrimps that is highly lethal and contagious, killing shrimps within 7 to 10 days.

In 1993, this disease resulted in a virtual collapse of the Chinese shrimp farming industry and, by 1996, it had severely affected East and South Asia. The disease was reported in the United States in late 1995. Although no treatment for the disease is available yet, scientists have been studying the proteins that make up the virus to understand how it infects shrimps and avoids their immune system.





Bluetongue Found in Wildlife
billingsgazette.com
14 Sep 2007
M Henckel

Bluetongue has been confirmed as the cause of death for a whitetail buck and an antelope buck in the Musselshell River drainage. Those results are something of a surprise. Bluetongue is normally considered a livestock disease that typically hits sheep the hardest. Wildlife typically die from bluetongue's close cousin, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, which hits white-tailed deer the hardest.

"Bluetongue can affect wildlife, and we got testing results back on our first two animals Tuesday that show bluetongue was the cause of death," said Jay Newell, wildlife biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks at Roundup. "I submitted samples from five animals. So far, the only results that have come back are from the antelope buck and the whitetail buck," he said. "They haven't finished testing the others. And I sent in another sample today from a sick antelope. Animals are still dying. It's not over yet."



Virus Suspected in WNC Deer Deaths

Citizen-Times.com
14 Sep 2007

An insect-borne virus may be the cause of more than 100 deer deaths this summer in Western North Carolina, according to officials from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Hemorrhagic disease, which is carried by the biting midge, is the most likely cause of the dead deer that have been found in the region. Biologists say the disease is common among deer populations but rare in WNC, where the majority of this summer’s cases have been reported.

“We see it every year to some degree in different parts of the state, but we’ve never seen it quite like this,” said Mike Carraway, a wildlife biologist with the state Wildlife Commission. Other states in the Southeast also have reported outbreaks of the disease. Hemorrhagic disease is not harmful to humans or other animals but has the potential to wipe out a quarter of a deer herd.



First Plague Case Since 2000 Reported in Arizona [press release]
Arizona Department of Health Services - Office of the Director
13 Sep 2007

Arizona’s first case of plague since 2000 has been reported in an adult female in Apache County. The woman became ill early September from a flea bite at her home in northern Arizona. She is now recovering after receiving the appropriate antibiotics treatment. . . .

48 cases of plague have been reported in Arizona during the last 30 years (1977-2006), eight of which were fatal. The plague risk has been relatively low during the last six years due to drought conditions and high summer temperatures. “The recent appearance of plague activity in two northern counties has us concerned that we may see plague in other areas as well,” said Craig Levy, head of the state Vector Borne and Zoonotic Disease Program.



Related Articles




Deadly Bird Virus Makes Mockery of Quarantine
The Canberra Times (Posted by Kalgoorlie)
12 Sep 2007
R Beeby


. . . The parrots are captive bred at three sites in Adelaide, Victoria and Tasmania to minimise the risk of disease wiping out the entire breeding population. But with such an unexpected and alarmingly high death rate, there were concerns chicks bred at Adelaide zoo could have been exposed to a deadly virus, possibly transmitted by a seized consignment of smuggled South American parrots. The parrots were temporarily housed at the zoo's quarantine facilities.

The suspected disease in question was Pacheco's virus, which spreads rapidly and kills parrots and cockatoos within 48 hours of infection. Australia is supposedly free of the disease, so if it was threatening a flagship captive breeding program for one of Australia's critically endangered species, it might have been reasonable to expect a promptly implemented government action plan to identify the disease and stop it spreading.



OTHER WILDLIFE DISEASE RELATED NEWS


Fish-smelling Cubes Deliver Rabies Vaccine


Hundreds of Animals Culled after Tractor Spreads Foot-and-mouth

State's First Known Rabies Case in a Dog Confirmed

Nine Cows Die after Drinking from Delmoe Lake, Algae Bloom Suspected



JOURNAL ARTICLES OF INTEREST


Prion Protein Expression Differences in Microglia and Astroglia Influence Scrapie-Induced Neurodegeneration in the Retina and Brain of Transgenic Mice
[online abstract only]
Journal of Virology. 2007 Oct 01; 81(19): 10340-10351
L Kercher et al

Human and Domestic Animal Populations as a Potential Threat to Wild Carnivore Conservation in a Fragmented Landscape from the Eastern Brazilian Amazon [online abstract only]
Biological Conservation. 2007 Aug; 138(1-2): 290-296
CW Whiteman et al

PrPCWD in Rectal Lymphoid Tissue of Deer (Odocoileus spp.) [free full-text available]
Journal of General Virology. 2007 Jul;88(Pt 7):2078-82.
LL Wolfe et al

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