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Status Brief

Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

 Current Assessment/State of the Field:




Editors, The Baker Company, “Risks to Assess when Selecting Clean Benches and Biosafety Cabinets for Animal ResearchACUMEN. Vol. 3. Number 1. June, 2000. http://www.bakercompany.com/lib/pdf/acumen/acumen_vol3no1.pdf

  1. “Responsible officials have logically suggested that precautions taken when working with animals infected with viruses should not be different, or certainly not less stringent, than the precautions taken with the viruses themselves.”
  2. The article also gives examples of infections to humans from lab animals, and a chart describing the risks with lab equipment.

Lab Safety, Zoonotic


Lyn, TanGrowing number of farm animals spawn new diseases,” Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/11/us-livestock-health-diseases-idUSTRE71A32H20110211 Feb 11, 2011. Last checked Feb 13, 2011.

  1. “A growing number of livestock, such as cows and pigs, are fuelling new animal epidemics worldwide and posing more severe problems in developing countries as it threatens their food security, according to a report released on Friday.”
  2. “Some 700 million people keep farm animals in developing countries and these animals generate up to 40 percent of household income, the report by the International Livestock Research Institute said.”
  3. “‘Wealthy countries are effectively dealing with livestock diseases, but in Africa and Asia, the capacity of veterinary services to track and control outbreaks is lagging dangerously behind livestock intensification,’ John McDermott and Delia Grace at the Nairobi-based institute said in a statement on the report.”
  4. “Seventy-five percent of emerging infectious diseases originate in animals, they added. Of these 61 percent are transmissible between animals and humans.”
  5. “The report warned that rapid urbanization and climate change could act as ‘wild cards,’ altering the present distribution of diseases, sometimes ‘dramatically for the worse.'”
  6. “The two researchers urged developing countries to improve animal disease surveillance and speed up testing procedures to help contain livestock epidemics before they become widespread.”

Zoonotic, Developing Countries, Biosurveillance


Stewart, Linda, “Attempt to Infect Herd with Dead Calf Probed,” Belfast Telegraph, March 5, 2011, p. 8.

  1. “Criminals have attempted to infect a herd of cattle with a virulent livestock disease by dumping part of a calf carcass in silage that was being used to feed heifers in Co Armagh.”
  2. ”Department of Agriculture and Rural Development vets have joined forces with police to investigate, as the calf leg that was found may have been infected with brucellosis and could pass the disease on to the heifers.”
  3. ”Police were called in last year following a spate of sinister incidents. An infected calf foetus was left at the home of a department official, while another was found slashed open and sprinkled with cattle feed near a feeding trough at a Co Armagh farm.”
  4. ”The calf carcass has been submitted to the AFBI laboratory for DNA testing. The cattle that may have come into contact with the carcass will also be tested for brucellosis.”
  5. ”There have been several incidents in Armagh in the last year that have led to local hotspots of disease.”

Brucellosis, Law Enforcement, Northern Ireland, Zoonotic


Ruitenberg, Rudy, “Anthrax continues to haunt farms, livestock in southern Italy,” The Washington Post, September 23, 2011 http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/anthrax-spreads-in-southern-italy-as-10-more-farms-infected/2011/09/23/gIQA9dBuqK_story.html Last checked 10/5/2011

  1. “Anthrax is caused by spores of the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which can survive in soil years after an outbreak and be brought to the surface by wet weather or deep tilling.”
  2. “Livestock typically become infected by ingesting spores from the soil or in feed.”
  3. “Proper disposal of dead animals is critical, and carcasses should not be opened because exposure to oxygen will allow anthrax bacteria to form spores.”

Anthrax, Zoonotic


University of California – Los AngelesH1N1 Flu Virus Prevalent in Animals in Africa,” Medical News Today, September 26, 2011 http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/234952.php Last checked 10/5/2011

  1. “UCLA life scientists and their colleagues have discovered the first evidence of the H1N1 virus in animals in Africa.”
  2. “‘Africa is ground zero for a new pandemic. Many people are in poor health there, and disease can spread very rapidly without authorities knowing about it.’”
  3. “The pigs in Cameroon, the researchers say, were infected by humans.”
  4. “Any virus in any part of the world can reach another continent within days by air travel.”
  5. “‘The fact that pigs in Africa are infected with the H1N1 flu virus illustrates the remarkable interconnectedness of the modern world with respect to diseases.’”
  6. “The discovery of H1N1 in African swine is also important because it shows how farming practices can trigger disease outbreaks and suggests opportunities for improving human and livestock health.”
  7. “Viruses in pigs can mix into a much more virulent strain that can spread extremely fast.”
  8. “When different strains of influenza are mixed in pigs, such as an avian strain with a human strain, you can get new hybrid strains that may affect humans much more severely and can potentially produce a pandemic that can allow human-to-human infection.”

Zoonotic, Flu, Pandemic, Africa


Editors, “Scientists Brace for Media Storm Around Controversial Flu Studies,” Science Insider, November 23, 2011.  Available at  http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/11/scientists-brace-for-media-storm.html
Last checked 12/5/11

  1. ”The virus is an H5N1 avian influenza strain that has been genetically altered and is now easily transmissible between ferrets, the animals that most closely mimic the human response to flu. Scientists believe it’s likely that the pathogen, if it emerged in nature or were released, would trigger an influenza pandemic, quite possibly with many millions of deaths.”
  2. ”The other study—also on H5N1, and with comparable results—was done by a team led by virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the University of Tokyo, several scientists told ScienceInsider.”
  3. ”Both studies have been submitted for publication, and both are currently under review by the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which on a few previous occasions has been asked by scientists or journals to review papers that caused worries.”
  4. ”NSABB chair Paul Keim, a microbial geneticist, says he cannot discuss specific studies but confirms that the board has “worked very hard and very intensely for several weeks on studies about H5N1 transmissibility in mammals.”
  5. ”’I can’t think of another pathogenic organism that is as scary as this one,’ adds Keim, who has worked on anthrax for many years. ‘I don’t think anthrax is scary at all compared to this.’”
    ”’This work should never have been done,’ says Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute who has a strong interest in biosecurity issues.”
  6. ”Those stories describe how Fouchier initially tried to make the virus more transmissible by making specific changes to its genome, using a process called reverse genetics; when that failed, he passed the virus from one ferret to another multiple times, a low-tech and time-honored method of making a pathogen adapt to a new host.”
  7. ”Fouchier says he consulted widely within the Netherlands before submitting his manuscript for publication. The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funded the work, has agreed to the publication, says Fouchier, including officials at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (NIH declined to answer questions for this story.)”
  8. ”Osterholm says he can’t discuss details of the papers because he’s an NSABB member. But he says it should be possible to omit certain key details from controversial papers and make them available to people who really need to know.”
  9. ”Even Ebright, however, says he’s against efforts to ban the publication of the studies now that they have been done.”
  10. ”’The researchers “have the full support of the influenza community,’ Osterholm says, because there are potential benefits for public health. For instance, the results show that those downplaying the risks of an H5N1 pandemic should think again, he says.”

Open Science, Classified, Due Process Vetting, Flu, Dual Use, NSABB, Anthrax, Pandemic, Zoonotic


Uzun, Mustafa, et al. “Epidemiological and Clinical Characteristics and Management of Oropharyngeal Tularemia Outbreak.Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences, Volume 45 Issue 4. 902. 2015

  1. ”Tularemia is a zoonotic disease cause by the bacterium ”Francisella tularensis”. The infection is endemic in the northern hemisphere, including Turkey.” – page 902
  2. ”Oropharyngeal tularemia is the most common clinical form of the disease in East Europe, including Turkey.” – page 902
  3. ””Francisella tularensis” is quite a resistant bacterium, surviving in humid and cold environments for weeks. However, it is not resistant to high temperatures ad direct sunlight, and cannot survive in chlorinated water.” – page 902
  4. ”The wide range of reservoir hosts for humans include primarily rodents, such as rabbits, mice, and squirrels, and secondarily raccoons, cattle, cats, and dogs. Tularemia is transmitted mainly by arthropod vectors living on animals, such as ticks, and by consumption of contaminated food and water.” – page 902
  5. ”Tularemia may be misdiagnosed and treated for long periods as an upper respiratory tract infection. Furthermore, the complications of the infection may lead to prolonged treatment and patient discomfort.” – page 903
  6. ”The purpose of this study was to discuss the demographic, clinical, and epidemiological features of oropharyngeal tularemia in patients living in rural Amasya, who were diagnosed in our clinic.” – page 903
  7. ”The study included 31 patients referring to our clinic with complaints of fever, sore throat, and swelling in the neck in the time period between January 2009 and March 2011. Patients who referred to our clinic with ‘neck mass of unknown origin’ were hospitalized for further examination.” – page 903
  8. ”The most significant epidemiological findings were that animal husbandry was the most common means of livelihood in these areas, and that there had been increased rodent activity around the village. In the villages where tularemia was found, the main water system was not regularly chlorinated.” – page 904
  9. “In the management of tularemia, the first choice antibiotics are streptomycin and gentamicin.” – page 905

Tularemia, Public Health, Zoonotic


Togan, Turhan, et al. “The Impact of Acute Brucellosis on Mean Platelet Volume and Red Blood Cell Distribution.” Jundishapur Journal of Microbiology, Volume 8 Issue 2. 1. February 2015.

  1. ”Brucellosis is a frequently encountered zoonotic disease in the developing countries, and considered as an important public health problem.” – page 1
  2. ”People can be contracted especially through contaminated meat, milk, and dairy products as well as direct contact with the excrements or body secretions of the infected animals.” – page 1
  3. ”Brucellosis is an inflammatory disease that can infect any organs or systems in the body.” – page 1
  4. ”Besides leukocyte and high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), the current study investigated whether the values of mean platelet volume (MPV) and red blood cell distribution (RDW) could be considered as surrogate markers during the illness phase.” – page 1
  5. ”MPV reveals the presence of inflammatory burden and disease activity in many diseases including preeclampsia, acute pancreatitis, unstable angina, myocardial infarction, and cases of systemic inflammation such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.” – page 1
  6. ”Various studies revealed the clinical implications of RDW about the presence of various pathologies such as inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, pulmonary embolism, and coronary artery disease.” – page 2
  7. ”In the clinic, the patients diagnosed with brucellosis had high fever, chills, shivering fatigue, sweating, and muscle and joint aches.” – page 2
  8. ”The current study results suggested that these values, MPV and RDW, do not play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of brucellosis.” – page 5
  9. ”Among other inflammatory markers, high CRP is still the most valuable marker for the treatment and follow-up of brucellosis.” – page 5

Brucellosis, Public Health, Developing Countries, Zoonotic