November 29, 2007

Imported Bees Not Source of Virus Associated with Colony Collapse Disorder
United States Department of Agriculture (Posted by
29 Nov 2007
Area: United States

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have found that the Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), a virus recently shown to be associated with Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) of honey bees, has been in the United States since at least 2002, according to a note published in the American Bee Journal. Research entomologists Yanping (Judy) Chen and Jay D. Evans, both with the ARS Bee Research Laboratory here, conducted a detailed genetic screening of several hundred honey bees that had been collected between 2002 and 2007 from colonies in Maryland, Pennsylvania, California and Israel.

"Our study shows that, without question, IAPV has been in this country since at least 2002," said Chen. "This work challenges the idea that IAPV is a recent introduction from Australia." Evans added, "Our study in no way rules IAPV out as a factor in CCD. We have always believed that CCD is a complex issue likely involving multiple elements. Research by several groups will now focus on understanding differences in virulence across strains of IAPV and on interactions with other stress factors." IAPV showed a high degree of genetic diversity in the U.S., with distinct lineages in California, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Wildlife Officials Respond to Bill's Questions on Foxhound Training Centers
The Roanoke Times -
29 Nov 2007
B Cochran
Area: Virginia United States

. . . Q. A major issue appears to be the importation of foxes and coyotes from out of state to be used in foxhound training centers. Why is this a concern?

A. The importation of foxes or coyotes from out of state poses serious wildlife disease and health issues to native Virginia wildlife. For that reason it has been prohibited from the start for foxhound training facilities in Virginia. The Texas coyote/dog strain of rabies is not found in Virginia and represents clear health risks for wildlife, domestic animals and humans, and as such, the interstate translocation of coyotes should be strictly prohibited. With regards to out of state fox importation, there is a tapeworm (echinococcus multilocularis) which is not found in the southeast but is found in the Midwest and other regions. This parasite has health implications for wildlife, domestic livestock and humans; thus, the importation of foxes from outside Virginia is considered biologically hazardous.

Bird Flu Virus in Europe – A Hidden Danger
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations -
25 Oct 2007
Area: Europe

H5N1 could become endemic in parts of the region – virus search in domestic ducks and geese crucial

. . . The link between domestic ducks and geese and chickens is seen by many experts as one of the major underlying factors in outbreaks of HPAI in disease-entrenched countries. “We are particularly concerned about the Black Sea area which has a high concentration of chickens, ducks and geese,” said FAO senior animal health officer Jan Slingenbergh. “In the Ukraine alone, the number of domestic ducks is estimated at around 20 million birds. In Romania, four million domestic ducks and four million domestic geese are found in the Danube delta.

These figures compare easily with chicken and waterfowl densities in Asia, where the virus continues to circulate among chickens and has found a niche in countries with tens of millions of domestic ducks and geese,” Slingenbergh said. Importantly, the Black Sea area serves as a main wintering area for migratory birds coming from Siberia and moving also to the Mediterranean and other regions. All countries bordering the Black Sea have experienced outbreaks of avian influenza in the past, favoured by traditional open poultry systems with poor separation between wild and domestic birds.

“Explorer” Accident Raises Enviro Concerns in Chile
The Santiago Times -
29 Nov 2007
C Valdes
Area: Chile

Chilean scientists and environmentalists said Wednesday they hope to determine within the next few days the extent of environmental damage resulting from recent the sinking of the cruise ship S/M Explorer. The Explorer’s tragic accident last Friday in the Antarctic left a 1.5 km oil slick and has led to calls for stiffer sanctions against the cruise ship owners and for greater restrictions on Antarctic tourism. “Aside from the effects of the spilled fuel, we are also worried about parts of the ship such as the painting and the heating and air conditioning systems. Those could definitely affect the Antarctic’s marine life,” said Samuel Leiba of Greenpeace Chile.

. . . Still, when officials returned to the accident site on Monday they could still detect a strong presence of hydrocarbons. Although details are still forthcoming, Navy representatives and environmental NGO officials are concerned about the effects that the leak could have on area fauna. The vicinity around the accident site, officials say, is rich in biodiversity and especially well known for its penguin population. “The effects of this sinking are going to be especially severe. The accident site is an area of high and very particular biodiversity, and the marine wildlife is going to suffer,” Antonia Fortt, the head of Oceana’s Clean Oceans Program, told the Santiago Times. “Damages caused by oil spills are long term because they are so difficult to clean up. Consequently, we are talking about permanent damages to the area’s wildlife population.”

Panel of Experts: Innovations in Avian Influenza Preparedness
Department of Sustainable Development - Organization of American States -
29 Nov 2007
Area: United States

. . . The OAS General Assembly resolution AVIAN INFLUENZA: INTER-AMERICAN COOPERATION TO MEET A GLOBAL THREAT- 2006 recognized the potential risk a pandemic due to novel influenza viruses, such as the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza, would pose to our societies and citizens with possible severe consequences for animal and human health, the global economy, and stability. The OAS then resolved to in concert with IICA and PAHO to, (i) affirm member states' commitment to work together in combating avian and pandemic influenza and to identify priority areas for further action and (ii) develop national, sub-regional, and regional avian and pandemic influenza preparedness and response plans.

The conference site includes a background paper, agenda and each of the speakers' presentations (PDF format) on the panel. See additional link for presentation videos.



Urinary Excretion and Blood Level of Prions in Scrapie-infected Hamsters [online abstract only]
Journal of General Virology. 2007 Oct ; 88(Pt 10): 2890-8
Y Murayama et al.

Sequence Analysis of the Msp4 Gene of Anaplasma Ovis Strains [online abstract only]
Veterinary Microbiology. 2007 Jan 31; 119(2-4): 375-81. Epub 2006 Oct 18.
J de la Fuente et al.

Health Screening for a Translocation of Captive-reared tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) to an Island Refuge [online abstract only]
New Zealand Veterinary Journal. 2006 Dec; 54(6): 344-9
BD Gartrell et al.

No comments: