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Lab results and toxicology reports from labs in Wisconsin, Washington and Idaho show a viral infection was present in tissue samples taken from dead ducks gathered near the stream.
Aspergillosis, an infection caused by the Aspergillus fungus, likely killed the birds said Kelton Hatch, a conservation educator for Fish and Game.
Fungal diseases: Aspergillosis (Brooder Pneumonia)
Aspergillosis has been observed in almost all birds and animals, including man. The disease is observed in one of two forms; acute outbreaks with high morbidity and high mortality in young birds, and a chronic condition affecting adult birds.
Most healthy birds can withstand repeated exposure to these organisms.
Aspergillus can invade the lungs and cause serious pneumonia in people with an impaired immune system.
An Escherichia Coli Epizootic in Captive Mallards (PDF)
Death of these birds was due to septicemia/bacteremia. Escherichia coli, type 1 was the etiologic agent. ...E. coli has been reported as the most common bacterial agent isolated from free-living waterfowl (composing 78% of the
bacteria isolated in mallards) ... The fungal hyphea observed in the 2-wk-old birds was probably a secondary (and compounding) factor... Aspergillosis has been sporadically reported in multiple free-ranging avian species and, although it may be attributed to an initial debilitating/immunocompromizing insult, it is often the only infectious agent identified... For the 2-wk-old mallard ducklings, the straw litter may have been a contributing factor as the dust created a medium upon which E. coli and Aspergillus spores could attach. Inhalation of the aerosolized dust, created by the ducklings’ movements, likely resulted in the introduction of the bacteria and fungal spores into the air sacs.
Asp f 16 - Allergen with unknown biological function:
Recently a 43kDa protein of (Aspergillus) fumigatus was expressed from a gene cloned in E. coli (Banerjee et al., in press). This protein Asp f 16 is a new allergen with no similarity to any of the proteins in the data bank.
Expanding The Genetic Code: The World's First Artificial Organism
A group of scientists ...created an organism that can produce a 21st amino acid and incorporate it into proteins completely on its own.
Mehl and a team of scientists led by Peter Schultz, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at Scripps, added a pathway to an E. coli bacterium that allows it to make a new amino acid - p-aminophenylalanine (pAF) - from simple carbon sources.
Originally posted by Regenmacher
It makes me wonder if they are a bunch of incompetent nitwits or they are trying cover it up with misleading medical info and botched stories.
This all reminds me of the recent spat of e. coli in produce, and they still have yet to figure out what the cause is. Oh it's spinach, no it's the chives, no it's the onions, not it's the grain..oh we don't know, you guess.
Caspar Star Tribune. Sunday, December 17: Infection could be cause of duck die-off
Preliminary test results indicate a bacterial or fungal infection could be to blame for the deaths of as many as 2,500 mallard ducks in a bizarre cluster along a southeastern Idaho creek bed, a state game official says. ...More tests are now planned on water and grain, said David Parrish, supervisor for the Magic Valley region of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. ..."We have some preliminary results," he told The Associated Press late Thursday in a telephone interview. "It could be some type of bacterial infection or a fungal-related infection. But we haven't confirmed that for sure."
Parrish and members of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, the state Department of Agriculture, the federal Homeland Security Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conferred by conference call late Thursday. ...He declined to say specifically what was discussed, but didn't rule out that more ducks might die in the area. ..."We may have a few more, but that's a little difficult to predict right now until we can determine the exact cause of the mortality," he said.
He said the die-off was not typical. ..."It's fairly uncommon, especially in these types of numbers and in such a confined area," he said.
Originally posted by cyberdude78
Somethings not right here. ...it does suggest a cover-up considering these men are professionals. ...the usual strategy would be to blame terrorism right off the bat. So unless terrorism is going to be pointed to as the cause later down the road, this isn't like the Bush administration's usual methods.
So is it possible that a corporate friend of the administration had a bit of an accident? Or could somebody lower than the White House be covering up something, such as the microbiological storm mentioned above?
Originally posted by angryamerican
If the bush administration blames terrorist then they can no longer say, "look since we started the war on terror in iraq no terrorist attacks at home". At this point and time they need us to think this BS war is a good thing keeping all the bad guys over there.
West Nile virus (WNV) ...is now the dominant vector-borne disease in this continent.
"For the past four years, since the appearance of the disease, weâ€™ve looked at West Nile Virus as a human/wildlife disease, working closely with our partners at CDC and other state and local public health agencies," said Dr. Christopher Brand, USGS Wildlife Disease Scientist. "While we will continue working closely with the human health community, we also recognize that the virus may be dramatically affecting wildlife, especially wild bird populations, and that we need to focus additional research efforts on wildlife impacts."
West Nile Virus (WNV) belongs to the family of viruses known as Flaviviruses. Other flaviviruses include the well-know viruses that cause Yellow Fever and Dengue lever. West Nile is most closely related to Japanese Equine Encephalitis and St. Louis Encephalitis, also flaviviruses West Nile Virus is transmitted through a mosquito vector and is classified as an arbovirus (arthropod-borne virus). ...Birds are the primary reservoir for the virus; however, mammals, notably rodents and horses, are susceptible to West Nile Virus, and can also act as reservoirs. ...Raccoon, squirrel, chipmunk, rabbits, and three species of bat tested positive for West Nile virus in the New York Area in year 2000.
Experience with old-world West Nile Virus epidemics demonstrates that West Nile Virus poses similar, if not lesser, mortality risk to humans than the closely related, North America endemic, and bird-reservoired St. Louis Encephalitis virus.
Birds are important sentinels for the overall health of the environment. Birds dying from West Nile Virus originally alerted public health officials in the United States to the presence of the virus.
West Nile virus and North America: an unfolding story (PDF)
Before the introduction of the West Nile virus (WNV) into the United States of America (USA) in 1999, conditions in North America were ideal for an arboviral epidemic. Such factors as the large, susceptible and non-immune animal and human populations, the presence of competent vectors, increasing international travel and commerce, existing methods for rapid dissemination and an ill-prepared animal and public health infrastructure all combined to create the essential elements for a severe animal and public health crisis â€“ the â€˜perfect microbial stormâ€™. The introduction of WNV into New York City was the final factor, serving as the catalyst to initiate one of the most significant epidemics in the USA. The spread of WNV across the country resulted in very large populations of wildlife, equines and people being exposed and infected. The epidemic is still not fully understood and its character continues to change and adapt. The recent recognition of a number of non-vector modes of transmission has revealed the disease as a greater threat and more difficult to control than first thought. West Nile virus gives every indication that it will become a permanent part of the â€˜medical landscapeâ€™ of the USA, continuing to threaten wildlife, domestic animals and humans as a now endemic disease. This paper discusses the features of this extraordinary epidemic, and emphasises the need for an integrated surveillance system, greater diagnostic capacity and improved control strategies.
The introduction of West Nile virus became the catalyst and final element to initiate this microbial â€˜stormâ€™ for which scientists know the beginning, but not the end of the story. The aggressiveness with which WNV became integrated into the diverse ecosystems within the Americas and the severity of the epizootics in terms of human and animal morbidity and mortality continually surprised, dismayed and frustrated public and animal health communities as they worked to educate the public, detect virus emergence, diagnose clinical cases and try to slow epizootic transmission. Each year has led to new information about the host range, modes of transmission and clinical manifestations of infection. Old paradigms were continually discarded as new information became available through the co-ordinated efforts of public health agencies, the medical community, wildlife officials, veterinarians, animal health agencies, basic researchers and industry in a broad coalition of disease surveillance, reporting and research initiatives established in the wake of the virus. While the effort to establish a surveillance infrastructure was huge, nothing prepared the human and animal health community for the rapidity of the geographic migration of the virus or the escalating severity of the epizootic as it occurred at the leading edge of this migration.
West Nile virus is a remarkable example of an emerging zoonosis that involves the dynamic interface of wildlife, domestic animals and humans. North America, with its non-immune hosts, competent vectors and opportunities for rapid transmission, created an ideal setting for the â€˜perfect microbial stormâ€™ to occur. Today, the storm â€˜continues to rageâ€™ and the prospect of controlling it in the near future is unlikely. West Nile virus will remain in North America and, with continuous ecological changes, adaptation of the virus and the potential expansion of its host range, the WNV story will continue to unfold, often in unpredictable ways.
Molecular Biology of Aspergillus niger
...experiments demonstrated that A. niger amino acid biosynthetic genes function efficiently in E. coli and S. cerevisiae
High expression of bacterial Ã«-endotoxin in plants (Adang et al. 1993) and whale myoglobin in E. coli (Springer and Sligar, 1987) were obtained by changing the host sequences to conform with the host codon bias. Thus, it may be possible to manipulate the sequence of genes to maximize, or otherwise modulate, the levels of the final product.
Preliminary sequence analysis indicated these clones encode the A. niger homologs of the E. coli genes. Further analyses await funding.
He said the die-off was not typical. ..."It's fairly uncommon, especially in these types of numbers and in such a confined area," he said. "I've never seen anything like this in 20 years here," he said. "There were dead mallards everywhere - in the water and on the banks. It was odd, they were in a very small area." (David Parrish, supervisor for the Magic Valley region of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.)
"I've never seen anything like this in 20 years here," he said. "There were dead mallards everywhere - in the water and on the banks. It was odd; they were in a very small area." "Typically, you'd see this spread into other types of waterfowl as well," Parrish said.