While China may be covering up H5N1 bird flu cases - everyone else is equally guilty.
Today's epidemics were predicted in the 1970's - and H5N1 bird flu is not the only catatastrophe we are facing. Numerous epidemics are already
present, and are due to mutated and newly created forms of viruses, bacteria, spirochetes, mycoplasma and more - all hinge on "hybrids" originally
mediated by a prion called "a-smooth muscle actin," and which now use a variety of actin-related proteins, proteases, and enzymes.
OF SPECIAL NOTE:
Dangerous liaisons between a microbe and the prion protein. J Exp Med. 2003 Jul 7;198(1):1-4. Aguzzi A, Hardt WD. PMID: 12847133
"Animal prion infections, such as scrapie (sheep) and "mad cow disease" (cattle), have shown a pattern of horizontal transmission in farm
conditions and several ectoparasites have been shown to harbor prion rods in laboratory experiments. Fly larvae and mites were exposed to
brain-infected material and were readily able to transmit scrapie to hamsters. New lines of evidence have confirmed that adult flies are also able to
express prion proteins. Several cell types found on the human skin, including keratinocytes, fibroblasts and lymphocytes, are susceptible to the
abnormal infective isoform of the prion protein, which transforms the skin to produce a potential target for prion infection.
Int J Dermatol. 2003 Jun;42(6):425-9. Could ectoparasites act as vectors for prion diseases? Lupi O. Center for Vaccine Development, University of
Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX, USA. PMID: 12786866
"Scientists have evidence that bacteria dangerous to humans have begun evolving in insects, for reasons that are not clear.
The October edition of Nature Reviews: Microbiology reports that invertebrates such as worms and insects may have begun enabling a rapid evolution for
bacteria normally not harmful to humans. Not only are insects capable of delivering disease through bites and stings, they now may be the breeding
ground for strains of infectious bacteria never before seen in humans."
Dangerous Bacteria Evolving in Insects
From FMD to Bird Flu, Super Bugs, Psuedo-Rabies and Cancer: How
INDEPTH: HOSPITAL INFECTIONS
"Something happened 18 to 24 months ago, where the use of particular antibiotics didn't seem to matter anymore," said Dr. Mark Miller, chief
of infectious diseases at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital.
Fears of Terrorism Hide Real Biological Attack, Assault on Voting Rights
Kerry Claims 100 Million Americans Chronically Debilitated
A brief history of alerts and warnings from scientists about some of the emerging epidemics.
"The host's immune system may play both a protective and a pathogenic role."
Rev Infect Dis. 1982 Jul-Aug;4(4):851-8. Giardiasis: host-pathogen biology. Stevens DP. PMID: 6750749
"Only recently recognized as human pathogens, ...Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora have been shown to be transmitted through fecally contaminated food
and water. The mode of transmission for microsporidia is still unclear. The laboratory diagnosis of these protozoa is difficult. The routine ova and
parasites screen does not include screening for them."
Clin Lab Sci. 1997 Sep-Oct;10(5):273-8. Emerging intestinal protozoa: a diagnostic dilemma. Collins PA, Wright MS. University of Kentucky, Lexington
40536-0080, USA. PMID: 10177205
Brasseur P. Waterborne cryptosporidiosis: a major environmental risk. J Eukaryot Microbiol. 1997 Nov-Dec;44(6):67S-68S. PMID: 9508449
"...disease associated with exposure to low levels of waterborne protozoa are of increasing concern. Current methodologies may not be sensitive
enough to define these low levels of disease. ...Single microbial exposures (non-threshold) are capable of causing symptomatic illness unlike
traditional chemical exposures, which require a threshold to be reached. Due to the lack of efficient recovery and detection methods for protozoa, we
may be underestimating the occurrence, concentration and distribution of these pathogenic micro-organisms."
Parasitology. 1998;117 Suppl:S205-12. Risk assessment of waterborne protozoa: current status and future trends. Gibson CJ 3rd, Haas CN, Rose JB.
Department of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg 33701, USA. PMID: 10660941
"The initial cases were not diagnosed as cryptosporidiosis by the health-care system despite patients seeking care, underscoring the need for
increased awareness of cryptosporidiosis and routine laboratory diagnostic practices among health-care providers."
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1998 Oct 16;47(40):856-60. Outbreak of cryptosporidiosis associated with a water sprinkler fountain--Minnesota, 1997. PMID:
"The signs are that the growing strength of molecular epidemiology on the one side, and of a global epidemiology based on information systems on the
other, will come to dominate epidemiology and segregate it into separate disciplines. At the same time, the links with public health interests grow
weaker. A multilevel ecoepidemiology has the potential to bind these strands together."
J Epidemiol Community Health. 1998 Oct;52(10):608-11. Does risk factor epidemiology put epidemiology at risk? Peering into the future. Susser M.
Columbia University, Sergievsky Center, New York, NY 10032, USA. PMID: 10023453
"Recognized as waterborne parasites, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Cyclospora have now been associated with several foodborne outbreaks. The oocysts
and cysts of these organisms can persist and survive for long periods of time both in water and on foods. As a result, these parasites have emerged as
public health risks and have become a concern to the food industry. Control and prevention of protozoan foodborne disease depends upon our ability to
prevent, remove, or kill protozoan contaminants. This review will address the biology, foodborne and waterborne transmission, survival, and methods
for detection and control ...."
J Food Prot. 1999 Sep;62(9):1059-70. Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Cyclospora and their impact on foods: a review. Rose JB, Slifko TR. Department of
Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg 33701, USA. PMID: 10492484
"The environmental route of transmission is important for many protozoan and helminth parasites, with water, soil and food being particularly
significant. Both the potential for producing large numbers of transmissive stages and their environmental robustness, being able to survive in moist
microclimates for prolonged periods of time, pose a persistent threat to public and veterinary health. Global sourcing of food, coupled with changing
consumer vogues, including the consumption of raw vegetables and undercooking to retain the natural taste and preserve heat-labile nutrients, can
increase the risk of foodborne transmission. Robust, efficient detection, viability and typing methods are required to assess risks and to further
Int J Parasitol. 2000 Nov;30(12-13):1379-93. Emerging parasite zoonoses associated with water and food. Slifko TR, Smith HV, Rose JB. College of
Marine Science, University of South Florida, 140 7th Avenue South, FL 33701, St. Petersburg, USA. PMID: 11113263
"Various disinfection processes ...produce certain types and amounts of disinfection by-products (DBPs), including trihalomethanes (THM), haloacetic
acids, haloacetonitriles, and bromate, among others. Human health risks from the ubiquitous exposure to complex mixtures of DBPs are of concern
because existing epidemiologic and toxicologic studies suggest the existence of systemic or carcinogenic effects."
Drug Chem Toxicol. 2000 Feb;23(1):307-21. A multiple-purpose design approach to the evaluation of risks from mixtures of disinfection by-products.
Teuschler LK, Gennings C, Stiteler WM, Hertzberg RC, Colman JT, Thiyagarajah A, Lipscomb JC, Hartley WR, Simmons JE. NCEA, U.S. EPA, Cincinnati, OH,
USA. PMID: 10711404
"The measures needed to prevent food-borne protozoa causing disease require clear assessments of the risks of contamination and the effectiveness of
processes to inactivate them. The globalisation of food production can allow new routes of transmission, and advances in diagnostic detection methods
and surveillance systems have extended the range of protozoa that may be linked to food."
Br Med Bull. 2000;56(1):209-35. Food-borne protozoa. Nichols GL. Environmental Surveillance Unit, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London,
UK. PMID: 10885117
"These findings, ...clearly demonstrate the presence of low level, asymptomatic infections in post-weaned and adult cattle in the United States and
indicate the potential role of such cattle as reservoirs of infectious parasites."
Vet Parasitol. 2000 Nov 10;93(2):103-12. Prevalence of Cryptosporidium, Giardia and Eimeria infections in post-weaned and adult cattle on three
Maryland farms. Fayer R, Trout JM, Graczyk TK, Lewis EJ. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 10300 Baltimore
Avenue, Building 1040, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA. PMID: 11035228
"Waterborne diseases, such as cryptosporidiosis, cause many cases of serious illness in the United States annually. Recommendations are made for
government actions that would increase the efficiency of efforts to ensure water quality; protect watersheds; strengthen waterborne disease
surveillance; and protect the health of vulnerable populations."
Am J Public Health. 2000 Jun;90(6):847-53. Water quality laws and waterborne diseases: Cryptosporidium and other emerging pathogens. Gostin LO,
Lazzarini Z, Neslund VS, Osterholm MT. Georgetown/Johns Hopkins Program on Law and Public Health, Washington, DC, USA. PMID: 10846499
"During the last 30 years, our concept of cryptosporidiosis has changed from that of a rare, largely asymptomatic disease, to an important cause of
diarrhea in animals and humans worldwide. Cryptosporidium are now ubiquitous and disease has been described in over 79 host species. "
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000;916:102-11. Cryptosporidiosis. A global challenge. Mosier DA, Oberst RD. Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, Kansas
State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, USA. PMID: 11193609
"...waterborne infections from agents such as Cryptosporidium parvum and Escherichia coli: O157:H7 might be transmitted from contaminated water to
humans through drinking water; from interpersonal contact; or from infected individuals to the environment, and back to other susceptible individuals.
These multiple pathways and the dependency of exposure on the prevalence of infection in a population suggest that epidemiological models are required
to complement standard risk assessments in order to quantify the risk of infection. This paper presents new models of infection transmission systems
that ...are designed to help inform water treatment system design decisions."
Sci Total Environ. 2001 Jul 2;274(1-3):197-207. Infection transmission system models for microbial risk assessment. Chick SE, Koopman JS, Soorapanth
S, Brown ME. Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-2117, USA. PMID: 11453296
"Unusual findings included two enteroinvasive E. coli strains, one Shigella dysenteriae 2 isolate, and a non-O:1 Vibrio cholerae culture. EPEC
bacteria and S. flexneri (but not Salmonella) showed unusually frequent antimicrobial resistance, especially towards beta-lactam antibiotics..."
J Clin Microbiol. 2001 Jun;39(6):2134-9. Etiology of children's diarrhea in Montevideo, Uruguay: associated pathogens and unusual isolates. Torres
ME, Pirez MC, Schelotto F, Varela G, Parodi V, Allende F, Falconi E, Dell'Acqua L, Gaione P, Mendez MV, Ferrari AM, Montano A, Zanetta E, Acuna AM,
Chiparelli H, Ingold E. Bacteriology and Virology Department, Institute of Hygiene, School of Medicine, Universidad de la Republica, CP 11600,
Montevideo, Uruguay. PMID: 11376047
"This is the first time that parasites have been detected on vegetables and fruit obtained in a highly developed. wealthy country, without there
being an outbreak situation. These findings may have important implications for global food safety."
J Food Prot. 2001 Nov;64(11):1793-8. Occurrence of parasites on fruits and vegetables in Norway. Robertson LJ, Gjerde B. Department of Pharmacology,
Microbiology and Food Hygiene, The Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Oslo. PMID: 11726161
RE: CHRONICALLY INFECTED BUT ASYMPTOMATIC: "asymptomatic" means that the disease does not show up on standard tests - it does not mean that the
disease is not progressive, or that infected people don't feel pain or other degenerative effects.
"...most of the participant families were chronically infected but asymptomatic. Our findings highlighted differences in the transmission mode of
these two pathogens..."
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2002 Jun;66(6):794-8. Hyperendemic Cryptosporidium and Giardia in households lacking municipal sewer and water on the United
States-Mexico border. Redlinger T, Corella-Barud V, Graham J, Galindo A, Avitia R, Cardenas V. Department of Biologic Sciences and Center for
Environmental Resource Management, The University of Texas at El Paso, 79968, USA. PMID: 12224594
"The presence of human pathogenic parasites in irrigation waters used in the production of crops traditionally consumed raw suggests that there may
be a risk of infection to consumers who come in contact with or eat these products."
J Food Prot. 2002 Feb;65(2):378-82. Detection of protozoan parasites and microsporidia in irrigation waters used for crop production.
Thurston-Enriquez JA, Watt P, Dowd SE, Enriquez R, Pepper IL, Gerba CP. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, University of
Nebraska, Lincoln 68583-0934, USA. PMID: 11848571
"...a risk assessment framework must be based on a description of the exposure and disease processes. Regarding exposure to waterborne pathogens, the
appropriate framework is one that explicitly models the disease transmission pathways of pathogens. This approach provides a crucial link between
science and policy."
Environ Health Perspect. 2002 Aug;110(8):783-90. Disease transmission models for public health decision making: analysis of epidemic and endemic
conditions caused by waterborne pathogens. Eisenberg JN, Brookhart MA, Rice G, Brown M, Colford JM Jr. Center for Occupational and Environmental
Health and School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA. PMID: 12153759
"As the epidemiology of waterborne diseases is changing, there is a growing global public health concern about new and reemerging infectious diseases
that are occurring through a complex interaction of social, economic, evolutionary, and ecological factors."
Crit Rev Microbiol. 2002;28(1):1-26. Emerging waterborne infections: contributing factors, agents, and detection tools. Theron J, Cloete TE.
Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa. PMID: 12003038
�Problems in the management of waterborne communicable disease outbreaks.� Commun Dis Public Health. 2002 Sep;5(3):183-4. Mayon-White R. PMID:
"The results confirm the resistance of Clostridium perfringens spores, enteroviruses and protozoa to chlorination and demonstrate the relative
persistence of these organisms in the effluents even during the ultraviolet light treatment. The yields also emphasise the influence of the analytical
method for the determination of protozoan parasites."
New Microbiol. 2002 Oct;25(4):413-20. Fate of bacterial indicators, viruses and protozoan parasites in a wastewater multi-component treatment system.
Bonadonna L, Briancesco R, Cataldo C, Divizia M, Donia D, Pana A. Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Laboratorio di Igiene Ambientale, Roma, Italy. PMID:
"The transmission of Cryptosporidium and Giardia through treated water supplies that meet water quality standards demonstrates that water treatment
technologies have become inadequate, and that a negative coliform no longer guarantees that water is free from all pathogens, especially from
protozoan agents. Substantial concern persists that low levels of pathogen occurrence may be responsible for the endemic transmission of enteric
disease. In addition to Giardia and Cryptosporidium, some species of genera Cyclospora, Isospora, and of family Microsporidia are emerging as
opportunistic pathogens and may have waterborne routes of transmission. More than 15 different groups of viruses, encompassing more than 140 distinct
types can be found in the human gut. Some cause illness unrelated with the gut epithelium, such as Hepatitis A virus (HAV) and Hepatitis E virus
(HEV). The most striking concern is that enteric viruses such as caliciviruses and some protozoan agents, such as Cryptosporidium, are the best
candidates to reach the highest levels of endemic transmission, because they are ubiquitous in water intended for drinking, being highly resistant to
relevant environmental factors, including chemical disinfecting procedures."
Crit Rev Microbiol. 2002;28(4):371-409. Microbial agents associated with waterborne diseases. Leclerc H, Schwartzbrod L, Dei-Cas E. Faculte de
Medecine de Lille, and Institut Pasteur de Lille, France. PMID: 12546197
"The major protozoan species that affect humans are Entamoeba histolytica, Acanthamoeba sp., Neagleria sp. Giardia intestinalis, Cryptosporidium
parvum, Cyclospora cayetanensis, Toxoplasma gondii, Isospora/Sarcocystis sp. Encephalitozoom intestinals and Enterocytozoon bieneuisi. These parasites
exist in the environment as oocyst, cysts or spores, which are the transmissive stages in many environmental conditions, e.g. water, soil, food as
well as being infective stages to subsequent generation of hosts. Global concern with parasitic contamination of our environment must influence
development of better detection methods and of evaluation and risk assessment of these infections."
Acta Microbiol Pol. 2003;52 Suppl:97-107. Environmental contamination with protozoan parasite infective stages: biology and risk assessment. Sinski E.
Department of Parasitology, Institute of Zoology, Miecznikowa 1 str., 02-096 Warsaw, Poland. PMID: 15058818
"The results of this study do not support the hypothesis that drinking water is an independent risk factor for cryptosporidiosis .... These findings
should be used to design larger studies of endemic cryptosporidiosis to elucidate the precise mechanisms of transmission, whether waterborne or
BMC Public Health. 2003 Mar 07;3(1):11. Print 2003 Mar 7. Is drinking water a risk factor for endemic cryptosporidiosis? A case-control study in the
immunocompetent general population of the San Francisco Bay Area. Khalakdina A, Vugia DJ, Nadle J, Rothrock GA, Colford JM Jr. Division of Public
Health Biology and Epidemiology, Centers for Family & Community Health and Occupational & Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of
California, Berkeley, California, USA. PMID: 12689343
"Our study showed that these two protozoan exist in dairy farm soil at different rates, and this risk could be modified by manipulating the pH of the
J Dairy Sci. 2003 Mar;86(3):784-91. Factors associated with the likelihood of Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. in soil from dairy farms. Barwick
RS, Mohammed HO, White ME, Bryant RB. Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University,
Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. PMID: 12703614
"Predation by free-living protozoa and rotifers was investigated as a possible mechanism for the removal of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in aquatic
ecosystems including wastewater treatment plants. All organisms investigated ingested oocysts. Predation activity and rates of ingestion varied with
predator species and prey density. The significance of predation on the fate of Cryptosporidium oocysts in the environment is discussed."
Water Sci Technol. 2003;47(3):77-83. Predation of Cryptosporidium oocysts by protozoa and rotifers: implications for water quality and public health.
Stott R, May E, Ramirez E, Warren A. Dept of Civil Engineering, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth PO1 3QL, UK . PMID: 12639009
"Because filth flies carry viable C. parvum oocysts and G. lamblia cysts acquired naturally from unhygienic sources, they can be involved in the
epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis."
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2003 Feb;68(2):228-32. Detection of Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia carried by synanthropic flies by combined
fluorescent in situ hybridization and a monoclonal antibody. Graczyk TK, Grimes BH, Knight R, Da Silva AJ, Pieniazek NJ, Veal DA. The W. Harry
Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205,
USA. PMID: 12641416
"This article provides an overview of the waterborne disease (WBD) issue in developed countries (USA, Canada, UK and other European countries). The
factors involved in the epidemiology of waterborne infection are analysed (microbial, social, environmental, etc.) and the main WBD etiological agents
are described with particular interest to emerging pathogens (i.e. Cryptosporidium parvum, Legionella and Calicivirus)."
Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2004;40(1):117-40. [Drinking water microbiological risk in developed countries] Carraro E, Bonetta S, Palumbo F, Gilli G.
Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Ambiente e della Vita, Universita del Piemonte Orientale "A. Avogadro", Alessandria. PMID: 15269459
"Washington -- Scientists are researching ways that genetically modified (GM) insects could be used to stop the spread of diseases that affect
livestock and crops, reduce pesticide use and create pharmaceutical proteins, said speakers at a "Biotech Bugs" conference held September 20-21 in
Washington. However, speakers said, more regulations need to be developed, and must be clear and coordinated among government agencies to ensure that
the development of improved insects includes adequate risk assessments."
"Biotech Bugs" Could Stop Spread of Diseases, Scientists Say
Right. And infectious prions only cause brain disease.
Community-Acquired MRSA on the Upswing; Linked to Necrotizing Fasciitis
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Apr 06 - Infections with community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are becoming more prevalent
in cities across the US, according to reports in The New England Journal of Medicine for April 7th. The infection is even being associated with
....These reports "clearly [represent] an epidemic of MRSA in the community," Dr. Henry F. Chambers, from the University of California-San
Francisco, states in a related editorial.
"Clinical trials will be sorely needed to determine the precise role of antimicrobial agents in the treatment of uncomplicated skin and soft-tissue
infections and to identify which agents are most clinically effective and cost-effective," he adds.
A review of pathological, molecular, and biochemical evidence supporting the hypothesis that herpesviruses are involved in the development of vascular
diseases. PMID: 9514401
Mad Cow Madness
"Mad Cow" Spreading in Deer and Elk
Population Control Bioweapon? Medical Accident? What is Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD)?