EXPOSING the FDA and the USDA - Broad Casting here the things that they would prefer us NOT to know about our FOOD & DRUGS & Farming.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Cases of Humans Catching Pig Virus (H3N2) WI & PA.

INFLUENZA (14): SWINE ORIGIN (TRIPLE REASSORTANT) H3N2 VIRUSES
**************************************************************
A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases


Date: Fri 12 Nov 2010
Source: CDC Online Newsroom [edited]



Reports of human infections with swine origin influenza A (H3N2)
----------------------------------------------------------------
The 12 Nov 2010 FluView reports 2 human infections with swine origin
influenza A (H3N2) viruses in the United States. Test samples from 2
patients submitted by Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have been confirmed at the
CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] as positive for swine
origin triple-reassortant (tr) H3N2 influenza viruses -- viruses that
normally infect pigs. While human infection with swine influenza viruses is
rare, it can occur. This is most likely to occur when people are in close
proximity to infected pigs, such as in pig barns and livestock exhibits
housing pigs at fairs.

Both of the patients with confirmed trH3N2 infection reported in FluView
were in the vicinity of live pigs. Dates of illness onset in the 2 patients
are more than 6 weeks apart and the viruses from the 2 patients have some
genetic differences, confirming that these 2 cases are not linked. Ongoing
investigations in both states have not shown any evidence of community
transmission of these viruses. The most likely scenario at this point is
that these are 2 isolated cases of human infection with swine influenza
viruses that, while very rare, do occur from time to time. Both patients
have fully recovered from their illnesses; however, these 2 cases do
underscore the importance of human and animal surveillance for influenza.

These 2 cases reported in FluView bring the total number of human
infections with swine origin influenza viruses reported to CDC since 2005
to 18. Previously, 3 of these reports had been swine origin A (H3N2)
viruses. The Pennsylvania and Wisconsin cases bring the number of reports
swine origin A (H3N2) infections in humans in the United States to 5. The
viruses identified in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are similar to viruses
that infected a patient in Iowa in September 2009, a patient in Kansas in
August 2009 and a patient in Minnesota in May 2010.

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type
A influenza viruses that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs.
Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs.
Swine influenza viruses may circulate among swine throughout the year, but
most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to
outbreaks in humans. There are 4 main influenza type A virus subtypes that
have been isolated in pigs: H1N1, H1N2, H3N2, and H3N1. Most flu viruses
circulating in pigs are referred to as "triple-reassortant" viruses because
these flu viruses contain genes from human, swine and avian influenza viruses.

Most commonly, cases of human infection with swine-origin influenza viruses
occur in people with direct exposure to pigs. The patient in Pennsylvania
lives in an area where live pigs are farmed and the patient in Wisconsin
became sick 2 days after attending a state fair where pigs were exhibited.
It's important to note that swine influenza viruses are not transmitted to
humans by food. You can not get swine influenza from eating pork or pork
products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe.

In the past, CDC received reports of approximately one human infection with
a swine influenza virus every one to 2 years, but in the past few years,
about 3 cases have been reported per year. Increased reporting of human
infections with swine influenza could be the result of increased influenza
testing capacity and capabilities in public health laboratories.

These trH3N2 viruses are different from the 2009 H1N1 virus that has been
circulating in the United States since late April 2009. They are also
different from human seasonal influenza A (H3N2) viruses that typically
circulate among people during the flu season. Swine trH3N2 viruses commonly
circulate in pigs in North America, but rarely infect humans. These viruses
are different from the swine classical H1N1 or swine trH1N1 influenza
viruses that also circulate in pigs in North America because they have H3N2
surface antigens. Tr H3N2 viruses first emerged in North American swine
herds in the late 1990s. The H3 and N2 genes which 1st emerged in swine flu
viruses originated from human seasonal H3N2 influenza viruses that
circulated globally among humans in the late 1990s.

Although the vast majority of instances of human infection with animal
influenza viruses do not result in human to human transmission, each case
should be fully investigated to be sure that such viruses are not spreading
among humans and to limit further exposure of humans to infected animals if
infected animals are identified. Surveillance for both seasonal and novel
influenza viruses is conducted by the CDC and its state and local health
partners year round.

For more information about swine influenza, see:
.
Weekly US surveillance updates are published in FluView and posted at:
.

--
communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall

[There are 4 main influenza type A virus subtypes that have been isolated
in pigs: H1N1, H1N2, H3N2, and H3N1. Most flu viruses circulating in pigs
are referred to as "triple-reassortant" viruses because these flu viruses
contain genes from human, swine, and avian influenza viruses.

Swine triple-reassortant H3N2 influenza viruses commonly circulate in pigs
in North America, but rarely infect humans. The total number of human
infections with swine origin influenza viruses reported to the CDC since
2005 had been 16, and 3 of these reports had been swine origin A (H3N2)
viruses. The Pennsylvania and Wisconsin cases described above bring the
number of reports swine origin A (H3N2) infections in humans in the United
States to 5, and the total of swine origin A influenza A viruses to 18.

The dates of illness onset in the 2 patients are more than 6 weeks apart
and the viruses from the 2 patients have some genetic differences,
confirming that these 2 cases are not linked.

Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs.
Swine influenza viruses may circulate among swine throughout the year, but
most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to
outbreaks in humans.

Transmission of swine (tr) influenza a viruses to humans has been rare,
even in individuals occupationally exposed to pigs. With the exception of
the swine-origin A (H1N1) 2009 pandemic virus human-to-human transmission
has occurred rarely, if at all.

The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of the United States, showing the
locations of the states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, can be accessed at
. - Mod.CP]

[see also:
Influenza (13): WHO update 20101111.4092]

...................cp/ejp/sh



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Friday, November 5, 2010

Bayer (pesticide) to Blame for Honey Bee Die-Off?

Linda Moulton Howe
Science/Environment Reporter and Editor
www.Earthfiles.com
and Investigative Reporter
Premiere Radio Networks


P. O. Box 21843
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87154

TEL: 505-797-7727
FAX: 505-797-7908

e-mail: earthfiles@earthfiles.com
website: www.earthfiles.com

************************************************************************************

> Honey Bee Disappearances Not "Solved" by Virus and Fungi
>
> © 2010 by Linda Moulton Howe
>
>
>
> "Beekeepers there in North Dakota saw so many dead bees ...
> and we sent some samples into a lab in Florida and they found
> Imidacloprid
> in the honey and the bees and the wax. I mean, that pretty much nails it
> down."
>
> - Daniel F. Mayer, Ph.D., Entomologist
>
>
>
>
> In Colony Collapse Disorder, honey bees
> either don't return to the hive or are found dead
> around the honey bee colony (above image).
>
>
>
> Bayer v. Beekeepers
> by Katherine Eban, October 8, 2010
> from Fortune.com: "What a scientist didn't tell The New York Times
> about his study on bee deaths"
>
> As for the Bayer-Bromenshenk connection, in 2003 a group of 13 North
> Dakota beekeepers brought a class-action lawsuit against Bayer, alleging
> that the company's neonicotinoid, Imidacloprid, which had been used in
> nearby fields, was responsible for the loss of more than 60% of their
> hives. "My bees were getting drunk," Chris Charles, a beekeeper in
> Carrington, N.D., and a plaintiff in the lawsuit, told me in 2008. "They
> couldn't walk a white line anymore -- they just hung around outside the
> hive. They couldn't work."
>
> Charles and the other North Dakota beekeepers hired Bromenshenk as an
> expert witness. Bayer did not dispute that Imidacloprid was found among
> the bees and their hives. The company simply argued that the amount had
> not been enough to kill them.
>
> As the North Dakota lawsuit moved forward, an expert witness for the
> beekeepers, Dr. Daniel Mayer, a now retired bee expert from Washington
> State University, traveled to 17 different bee yards in North Dakota and
> observed dead bees and bees in the throes of what looked like
> Imidacloprid poisoning, he told me in 2008. He theorized that after
> foraging in planted fields where the seeds had been treated with
> Imidacloprid, the bees then brought the pesticide back to the hive,
> where it built up in the wax combs.
>
>
>
> October 28, 2010 Hamilton, Montana and Gainesville, Florida - Nearly
> four years ago on February 23, 2007, I produced my first Earthfiles
> report about the alarming disappearance of honey bees [Archived 022307
> Earthfiles
> ].
> Between the Fall of 2006 and spring of 2007, twenty-two American states
> reported honey bee disappearances of 60% to 100% of their bee colonies.
>
> Pennsylvania beekeeper Dave Hackenberg lost 60% of his colonies and told
> me in an interview that he and other beekeepers thought the culprits
> were systemic nicotine-based insecticides getting into crops that
> flower, contaminating the pollen on which honey bees forage. That was
> the first time I heard about new nicotine-based pesticides such as
> Gaucho (another Bayer-registered product name for Imidacloprid) that are
> applied to seeds to work systemically, persisting in plants as the
> stems, leaves, flowers, pollens and nectars grow.
>
> In other words, right from the Fall 2006 beginning of Colony Collapse
> Disorder (CCD), beekeepers suspected nicotine-based insecticides.
>
>
>
> Who makes Imidacloprid/Gaucho?
> Bayer CropScience of Germany.
>
> So, what was behind the October 6, 2010, New York Times headline
> "Scientists and Soldiers Solve A Bee Mystery" ?
>
> The news was a research article that postulated a DNA-based Iridovirus
> combined with a Nosema ceranae fungi were killing honey bees collected
> from Colony Collapse Disorder research. The main scientist is Jerry
> Bromenshenk, Ph.D., owner of Bee Alert Technology, Inc., in Missoula,
> Montana. He collaborated with the U. S. Army Edgewood Chemical
> Biological Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground and others.
>
> But the word "solved" in the New York Times headline puzzled
> other bee scientists who knew that viruses and fungi had already been
> found in large quantities in the guts of dead honey bees back in 2007
> lab investigations. That's when bee researchers concluded the
> viruses and fungi were opportunists taking advantage of damaged honey
> bee immune systems. The unanswered questions were and still are: What
> is suppressing honey bee immune systems so much? And why do so many
> honey bees apparently die in the fields and not return to their hives?
>
> Two days after the New York Times article, Fortune.com followed up on
> October 8, 2010, with another headline: "What a scientist didn't
> tell the New York Times about his study on bee deaths."
>
> The allegation by reporter-writer Katherine Eban was that Dr. Jerry
> Bromenshenk of Bee Alert was funded by Bayer in Germany to look at
> disease. Eban quoted others who implied Bayer's intent is to keep
> scientists from studying its largest-selling insecticide on Earth:
> Imidacloprid.
>
>
>
> What is Imidacloprid?
>
> Imidacloprid is a "Nicotine Acetylcholine receptor
> agonist/antagonist" that lab tests have confirmed will interfere
> with nerve impulse transmissions in insects, including honey bees. That
> means the affected insects die when their body functions won't work.
>
>
>
>
> Source: Bayer CropScience.
> id_se.htm>
>
> Imidacloprid is a systemic insecticide that moves from treated seeds
> into the stems, leaves, flowers, pollen, nectar and fruits of growing
> plants. That means the entire treated crop becomes toxic to many
> insects. Since the first use of Imidacloprid in France in 1994 on
> sunflowers, French beekeepers reported what they called "mad bee
> disease" where bees were trembling, disoriented and died.
>
> By 1999, France banned Imidacloprid/Gaucho from use on sunflowers and
> corn – two Bayer CropScience-produced, nicotine-based insecticides.
> Italy followed with bans as well. But in the last year or two, some bans
> have been rescinded under commercial pressures.
>
> But farmer concerns were not confined to France and Italy. Very
> disturbing in 2003 were reports from North Dakota beekeeper that 60% of
> their honey bee colonies died after Gaucho/Imidacloprid had been applied
> to their canola crops - similar to the French and Italian beekeeper
> complaints. One scientist who followed up to help the North Dakota
> canola farmers was Daniel F. Mayer, Ph.D. Dr. Mayer spent thirty-five
> years working as a research and extension entomologist for Washington
> State University in Pullman, Washington, and is co-author of a 2000 book
> entitled Crop Pollination by Bees. After traveling several times to 17
> different bee yards in North Dakota and seeing dead bees and bees that
> trembled and moved erratically in what looked like Imidacloprid
> poisoning, Dr. Mayer took samples from the canola plants and the damaged
> honey bee colonies, Dr. Mayer found Gaucho/Imidacloprid in flowers,
> pollens, wax, bees, and the "honey supers" used to collect honey
> in commercial beehives - all at surprising levels in the second year
> after the first application of the nicotine-based insecticide.
>
> That's when Dr. Mayer joined thirteen North Dakota beekeepers, led by
> Carrington, North Dakota, beekeeper Chris Charles, in a class action
> lawsuit against Bayer CropScience in Germany. But strangely, the federal
> court judge in Washington, D. C., who watched over three years of
> depositions, testimonies and all, suddenly decided that Dr. Mayer was
> not an "expert" and the case was dismissed. Many wondered who
> Bayer paid off that time.
>
> Interview:
>
> Daniel F. Mayer, Ph.D., Retired Research and Extension Entomologist,
> Washington State University (Pullman, WA), and co-author Crop
> Pollination by Bees, © 2000, Hamilton, Montana: "Beekeepers
> there in North Dakota saw so many dead bees. So I went out there in 2003
> and examined the colonies. I went out there three times to seventeen
> different bee yards and we sent some samples into a lab in Florida. That
> lab found Imidacloprid in the honey and the bees and the wax and the
> honey super. I mean, that pretty much nails it down.
>
> IMIDACLOPRID IS ONE OF THE NICOTINE-BASED PESTICIDES THAT BAYER MAKES.
>
> Right. And Gaucho (another name for an Imidacloprid product) was being
> sold as a seed treatment for canola. And in that part of North Dakota,
> lots of acreage of canola were being treated, so the bees were pretty
> much confined to foraging on Imidacloprid-treated canola.
>
> What our tests showed was that the bees would forage on this (canola)
> crop and then Imidacloprid would build up in the super (honey super)
> – there's honey and pollen still in there.
>
> [ Editor's Note: Wikipedia - Honey supers.
>
>
> Comb honey supers ready to go for a colony.
> Image © 2010 by Honeyflow Farm.
>
> A honey super is a part of a commercial beehive that is used to collect
> honey. The most common variety of honey supers may contain 8-10 frames.
> Western honeybees collect nectar and store the processed nectar in the
> honeycomb of the frames. When the honeycomb is full, the bees will cap
> the comb with beeswax. Beekeepers will take the full honey supers and
> extract the honey. Honey supers are removed in the fall when the honey
> is extracted and before the hive is winterized.]
>
> Then the second year, when you put that (honey) super back in the honey
> bee colony, there was still enough Imidacloprid in there to affect the
> colony and cause colony decline and the colony would not make any honey
> and it would die. They were losing up to 60% of the colony – the
> beekeepers there in North Dakota.
>
> AND THAT WAS 2003.
>
> Right.
>
> [ Editor's Note: 2003 was nearly four years before the first
> Pennsylvania beekeeper, Dave Hackenberg, reported to the Univ. of
> Pennsylvania that in the fall-winter of 2006-2007, he lost up to 60% of
> his bees in the mysterious syndrome now called Colony Collapse Disorder,
> CCD. ]
>
> IF I UNDERSTAND CORRECTLY, WHAT YOU WERE FINDING IS THAT THERE WAS A
> YEAR-TO-YEAR BUILD UP OF THE NICOTINE-BASED PESTICIDE SO THAT IT MIGHT
> NOT HAVE HURT THE BEES IN ONE APPLICATION THE FIRST YEAR, BUT THAT IT
> DOES TEND TO BUILD UP AND THIS (Imidacloprid) MIGHT BE WHAT WAS UNDOING
> THE BEES AND CAUSING ALL THE DISAPPEARANCES?
>
> Yes, it was causing it in my mind, my opinion.
>
> WHAT IS THAT RISK TO THE BEES AND PPOLLINATORS? WHAT HAPPENS IN THE
> PRESENCE OF NICOTINE-BASED PESTICIDES?
>
> Well, if the bees get enough, at a certain level it's going to cause
> harm to the individual bee and to the colony, and if enough Imidacloprid
> gets into the colony, it's going to kill the colony.
>
> IMIDACLOPRID CAUSES DISORIENTATION IN THE BEE BRAIN?
>
> Yes.
>
> CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN WITH YOUR OWN EYES?
>
> A bee that is being affected by such a pesticide – it kind of
> trembles, it flips around, it's acting very abnormally. And it's
> kind of like a drunk twitching and moving around erratically. Sometimes
> it is unable to fly or crawl - like typical symptoms of bee poisoning.
>
> SO IF BEES ARE OUT FORAGING ON CANOLA OR ANOTHER FLOWERING CROP TREATED
> WITH A NICOTINE-BASED PESTICIDE, THE BEES ARE GOING TO INTAKE THAT
> NICOTINE-BASED PESTICIDE THAT WILL CAUSE THE BEES DISORIENTATION TO THE
> POINT THAT THEY PROBABLY CAN'T RETURN TO THE HIVE?
>
> Yeah, there will be some of that and they just die out in the field.
>
>
>
> Federal Judge "Threw Out"
> North Dakota Class Action Lawsuit
>
> SO WHAT HAPPENED NEXT (IN NORTH DAKOTA CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT)?
>
> Eventually there were depositions and all that and the case went to
> court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and went in front of a judge
> (where) Bayer said I was not a qualified expert. So the judge threw the
> whole thing out saying I was not a qualified expert when it comes to
> pesticides on bees.
>
> BUT YOU ARE AN ENTOMOLOGIST BY PH.D. FOR YEARS AND YOU HAD BEEN WORKING
> IN EXTENSION AND GOING OUT AND STUDYING WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO THE HONEY
> BEES IN NORTH DAKOTA.
>
> And for thirty-five years, I worked on the issue of pesticide toxicity
> to bees. But the federal judge threw it out. And now in 2009, when they
> came up for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review, Bayer still
> had not done any tests to see if there was Imidacloprid in the flowers
> after the nicotine-based pesticide seed treatment.
>
>
>
> Original Bayer Gaucho Label Warned
> Some Insects Could Be Harmed "During Bloom"
>
> You know, what is really puzzling to me is on the original label for
> Gaucho, it clearly stated when it first came out that this material is
> good for suppression of Lygus bugs and Cabbage Seedpod Weevil during
> bloom. Now, that proves to me that Bayer knew the insecticide was
> getting into the bloom and honey bees forage on the blooming flowers!
>
>
> Honey bee foraging on yellow, blooming canola flower.
> Image © Nature Amateur Photography.
>
> Later on there was communication from Bayer – `Oh, we don't
> know where this statement came from – it's not true.'
>
> Well, then why did Bayer put it on their label?
>
> I AM GETTING THE DISTINCT IMPRESSION THAT BAYER IS TRYING TO BUY ITS
> INNOCENCE IN COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER BY FUNDING RESEARCH THAT WILL LOOK
> AT EVERY OTHER POSSIBLE CULPRIT EXCEPT NICOTINE-BASED PESTICIDES.
>
> That's probably a pretty good guess. Bayer is huge! I mean, it's
> all over the world – pesticides, pharmaceuticals, everything! Bayer
> has a lot of money and Imidacloprid has made a lot of money for them and
> so it is in their best interest to do just about anything to keep it on
> the market.
>
> As long as they are using the nicotines, there are going to be problems
> with pollinators when it is applied to a crop where bees are going to
> forage. But if you take Imidacloprid and spray it on pine trees,
> there's going to be no effect on pollinators because there is no
> bloom.
>
> But as long as it is used around blooms, especially as a soil treatment
> or as a seed treatment like Gaucho/Imidacloprid, there's going to be
> problems with killing bees."
>
>
>
> Another Bee Expert Comments About
> NYT Headline Announcing CCD "Solved"
>
> Back to The New York Times's surprising headline about Dr. Jerry
> Bromenshenk of Bee Alert Technology and the U. S. Army "solving"
> Colony Collapse Disorder as a one-two punch by Iridovirus and Nosema
> fungi. I also asked long-time apiary researcher Jerry Hayes for comment.
> Mr. Hayes is Assistant Chief, Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection in
> the Apiary Inspection Section of the Florida Department of Agriculture
> in Gainesville, Florida.
>
> Interview:
>
> Jerry Hayes, Asst. Chief, Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection, Apiary
> Inspection Section, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Dept. of
> Agriculture, Gainesville, Florida: "Certainly Jerry
> (Bromenshenk)'s research is interesting. Is it the Holy Grail of
> anything? No, it certainly isn't. If you read his paper, he's
> not saying it is the cause of CCD, but it could be a possible marker
> for colony health issues.
>
> DON'T YOU THINK IT IS PECULIAR THAT THE NEW YORK TIMES WOULD HAVE A
> HEADLINE, `SCIENTIST AND SOLDIERS SOLVE A BEE MYSTERY'?
>
> That's the media for you, Linda.
>
> BUT IT IS AS IF DR. BROMENSHENK AND THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORTER JOHNSON
> HAD AGREED TO DO A STORY ABOUT BROMENSHENK AND THE ARMY SOLVING COLONY
> COLLAPSE DISORDER, WHEN IN FACT THAT IS HIGHLY MISLEADING AND THE
> HEADLINE IS WRONG.
>
> I would agree with you.
>
> NOTHING HAS BEEN SOLVED IN COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER?
>
> No. The only thing that Bromenshenk was pointing out was that he found
> more of this Iridovirus than perhaps other people. It has been found, I
> think, in 2009, but he was putting a correlation together between that
> and Nosema. Viruses and Nosema are markers for colony health problems.
>
> BUT HOW DO WE TRUST ANY CONTRADICTORY REPORTS ANYMORE WHEN BAYER IS
> PAYING SCIENCE TO COME UP WITH OTHER ALTERNATIVES TO EXPLAIN COLONY
> COLLAPSE DISORDER? EVEN DR. BROMENSHENK HIMSELF SAYS THE BIG PROBLEM IS
> THAT NO ONE CAN TRUST WHAT BAYER IS SAYING ANYMORE.
>
> Yeah, I certainly have my concerns about not only Big Government, but
> Big Private Industry and Chemical Companies. We should all be more
> knowledgeable about what we do, how we do it and who is doing it to us?
>
>
>
> Future of Honey Bee Industry?
>
> WHAT IS YOUR BOTTOM LINE RIGHT NOW ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE HONEY BEE
> INDUSTRY?
>
> I think it's teetering - possibly frightening, but the bigger
> question is: What we can do to mitigate this?
>
> WHAT YOU MEAN IS THAT HONEY BEES AND POLLINATOR HEALTH CONTINUE TO
> WORSEN AND THESE HIGH DECLINES OF 30% TO 35% A YEAR ARE NOT GOING AWAY.
> HONEY BEE AND POLLINATOR HEALTH IS WEAK, SO WHAT THAT BODES FOR THE
> FUTURE IS STILL UNKNOWN?
>
> Yes, is still unknown! And because this is being impacted by lots of
> negative things, we are a big animal and should we be paying attention
> to these things that are happening to a small animal? And what meaning
> does it have for our survivability, sustainability and our culture?
>
> I don't mean that pesticides are not negative influences on honey bees
> or anything else. Dr. Jamie Ellis at the University of Florida has done
> some pesticide work and shows that pesticides do negatively affect the
> gut lining of honey bees. You know, we've talked about this in the
> past, Linda – are honey bees the canary in the coal mine?"
>
>
>
> Humble Bees Faster Problem
> Solvers Than Supercomputers
>
> On October 25, 2010, bee researchers at Queen Mary University of London
> reported that bee brains solve complex problems faster than
> supercomputers. Professors Lars Chittka and Mathieu Lihoreau point out:
> "There is a common perception that smaller brains constrain animals
> to be simple reflex machines. But in nature, bees have to link hundreds
> of flowers in a way that minimizes travel distance, and then reliably
> find their way home. ... such problems keep supercomputers busy for
> days. Studying how bee brains solve such challenging tasks might allow
> us to identify the minimal neural circuitry required for complex problem
> solving."
>
> More Information:
>
>
> ISIS Report September 6, 2008. Click here to ISIS.
>
>
> Emergency Pesticide Ban for Saving the Honeybee
>
> Prof. Joe Cummins' warning against neonicotinoid pesticides in the
> killing of honeybees was dramatically confirmed, resulting in swift
> action on the part of the German Government.
>
> The German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL)
> suspended the registration of eight neonicotinoid pesticide seed
> treatment products used in oilseed rape and sweetcorn. a few weeks after
> honeybee keepers in the southern state of Baden W├╝rttemberg reported
> a wave of honeybee deaths linked to one of the pesticides, clothianidin.
>
> 'It's a real bee emergency,' said Manfred Hderer, President of the
> German Professional Beekeepers' Association to The Guardian. '50% to 60%
> of the bees have died on average and some beekeepers have lost all their
> hives.' The incriminating evidence was so convincing that a press
> release from the Julius Kuehn Institute (JKI), the German federal
> agricultural research agency, stated: 'It can unequivocally be concluded
> that a poisoning of the bees is due to the rub-off of the pesticide
> ingredient clothianidin from the corn seeds.' Tests on dead bees showed
> that 99% had a build-up of clothianidin sold in Europe under the trade
> name Poncho and produced by Bayer CropScience, approved for use in
> Germany in 2004, and with some restrictions in the United States in
> 2003.
>
>
>
> Press Release, September 19, 2008
> Coalition Against Bayer Dangers (Germany)
> C lick here for CBG Press Release.
>
>
> Italy bans Pesticides linked to Bee Devastation
>
> Neonicotinoids now suspended in four European countries
>
> The Italian government banned the use of several neonicotinoid
> pesticides that are blamed for the deaths of millions of honeybees. The
> Ministero del Lavoro della Salute e delle Politiche Sociali issued an
> immediate suspension of the seed treatment products clothianidin
> (Poncho), imidacloprid (Gaucho), fipronil and thiamethoxam used in
> rapeseed oil, sunflowers and sweetcorn.
>
> Italy followed Germany and Slovenia which banned sales of clothianidin
> and imidacloprid in May. In France imidacloprid has been banned on
> sunflowers already since 1999. In 2003 the substance was also banned as
> a sweetcorn treatment. Bayer´s application for clothianidin was
> rejected by French authorities.
>
> The two substances, imidacloprid and clothianidin, are produced by the
> German company Bayer CropScience and generated more than $1 billion in
> 2007. Imidacloprid is Bayer´s best-selling pesticide.
>
>
>
> For further reports about honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD),
> please see other Earthfiles reports below in the Earthfiles Archive
> .
>
> • 07/28/2010 — Bee Expert Says Cell Phones Are Not Cause of
> Honey Bee Collapse
> • 05/05/2010 — Updated: U. S. Honey Bee Industry Struggles with
> 34% Colonies Loss
> • 02/18/2010 — U. S. Honey Bee Deaths Increase Again
> • 11/20/2009 — Red List of Earth Life Facing Extinction Keeps
> Growing
> • 03/30/2009 — European Honey Bee Decline Continues While
> Aggressive Africanized Honey Bees Attack in Southern U. S.
> • 09/26/2008 — NRDC Sues EPA for Honey Bee Lab Data and EPA
> Approves Another Bee-Killing Pesticide
> • 08/31/2008 — Honey Bees Not Healthy in U. S. or U. K.
> • 04/10/2008 — Honey Bee Collapse Now Worse on West Coast
> • 10/13/2007 — Now Bumblebees Are Disappearing, Too.
> • 09/26/2007 — North American Honey Bees Still Weak
> • 09/07/2007 — Honey Bee DNA Study Finds Australian Virus in
> Colony Collapse Disorder
> • 06/28/2007 — Hackenberg Apiary, Pennsylvania - 75-80% Honey
> Bee Loss in 2007. What Happens If Colony Collapse Disorder Returns?
> • 05/04/2007 — Environmental Emergency Updates: Part 1 -
> Spreading Honey Bee Disappearances - Nosema ceranae Not the Answer?
> • 04/06/2007 — Collapse of Honey Bees in U. S., Canada and 9
> European Countries
> • 03/17/2007 — Honey Bee Disappearances Continue: Could
> Pesticides Play A Role?
> • 02/23/2007 — Part 1: Earth Life Threats - Alarming
> Disappearance of Honey Bees
>
> Websites:
>
> Fortune.com, October 8, 2010: "What a scientist didn't tell The New
> York Times about his study on bee deaths," by Katherine Eban:
> http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/08/news/honey_bees_ny_times.fortune/index.h\tmhtm
>
>
> CBD Press release: Imidacloprid: Long-term risks undervalued, August
> 2, 2010:
> http://www.cbgnetwork.org/3490.html

>
> Coalition Against Bayer Dangers (CBD) Press Releases, 1990 - 2010:
> http://www.cbgnetwork.org/269.html
>
> Understanding the Science: the Impact of Imidacloprid On Bees:
> http://pierreterre.com/page/impact-imidacloprid-bees
>
> Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association about Imidacloprid:
> http://www.metroatlantabeekeepers.org/registration_of_imidacloprid_fro.h\tm
>
> "Mysterious Honey Bee Disorder Buzzes into Court," August 19, 2008:
> http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/aug2008/2008-08-19-092.asp
>
> "How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides" © 1999 by D. F. Mayer,
> Ph.D.: http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/pnw0518/pnw0518.pdf

> Credits
> Copyright © 1999 - 2010 by Linda Moulton Howe.
> All Rights Reserved.
> www.earthfiles.com

> earthfiles@...

Monday, November 1, 2010

PROGRESSIVE MULTIFOCAL LEUKOENCEPHALOPATHY, MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

BioGen's "Tysabri" drug to blame

***********************************************
A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases



Date: Fri 29 Oct 2010
Source: Nasdaq, Dow Jones Newswires [edited]



Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) disclosed 2 more cases of a rare brain
infection in multiple sclerosis patients on Tysabri, which it sells
with Elan Corp. (ELN), bringing the total number of cases to 70 as of
Fri 1 Oct 2010. [Tysabri (Natalizumab) is a humanized monoclonal
antibody against the cellular adhesion molecule Eo4-integrin.
Natalizumab is used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and
Crohn's disease. Further information can be obtained from the
Natalizumab (Tysabri) Fact Sheet:
. - Mod.CP].

The Weston, Mass., biotech company reported that there have been no
additional deaths among patients that have developed the infection --
known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML -- a
number that stands at 14.

Sales of Tysabri are important to the future of both Elan and Biogen.
The drug is considered a highly effective therapy for multiple
sclerosis, but its growth has been slower than originally hoped due
to concerns about the risk of PML that led to the drug's temporary
withdrawal beginning in 2005.

The multiple sclerosis market is getting increasingly competitive,
something that Wall Street believes could put some pressure on
Tysabri. Novartis AG's ( NVS) Gilenya, the 1st oral therapy for the
disease, was recently approved, and numerous other therapies are in
development.

Biogen is scheduled to report its 3rd-quarter result on 26 Oct 2010,
when it will update patient numbers.

The overall global PML rate is about 0.91 per 1000 patients, the
company said, which falls within the one-in-1000 rate previously seen
in clinical trials and implied on the drug's label.

As of 30 Jun 2010, 52 700 patients were using the drug around the
world. In total, about 71 400 patients have used the drug since its
launch. Of the total PML cases, 29 were in the U.S., 37 were in the
European Union and 4 were in other areas.

The number of cases is important, because if the infection rate
climbs too high, the drug's sales growth may drop. Regulators have
said that they watch the cases but have concluded that the benefits
of the medicine to MS patients outweigh the risks.

The risk of the infection increases with the number of monthly
infusions that a patient receives. The incidence rate appears to drop
after 30 months of use, but Biogen views the drop as inconclusive,
because there aren't enough patients to have confidence in that finding.

The most recent data update translates to a rate of 1.42 cases per
1000 for patients on the drug for a year or longer, but rises to 1.87
per 1000 for those on the drug for 2 years or longer.

Looked at another way, the rate is about 1.44 cases per 1000 patients
on the drug for between 2-3 years. The incidence is about 0.38 case
per 1000 patients in those using it for 1-2 years, and it is
essentially nonexistent in patients using it for less than a year.

[Byline: Thomas Gryta]

--
Communicated by:
T J Allen

[Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is caused by the
reactivation of a common virus in the central nervous system of
immune-compromised individuals. JC Polyomavirus (often called JC
virus, JC being the initial of the 1st PML patient [and not to be
confused with Jamestown Canyon virus, an orthobunyavirus - Mod.DK])
is carried by a majority of people and is harmless except among those
with lowered immune defenses. The disease occurs, rarely, in organ
transplant patients, people undergoing chronic corticosteroid or
immunosuppressive therapy, and individuals with cancer, such as
Hodgkin's disease, lymphoma, and sarcoidosis. PML is most common
among individuals with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Studies estimate that prior to effective antiretroviral therapy, as
many as 5 percent of people with AIDS eventually developed PML. For
them, the disease was most often rapidly fatal. As described above,
PML is being observed now in a minority of patients undergoing
prolonged therapy for multiple sclerosis.

The symptoms of PML are the result of an infection that may cause the
loss of white matter (which is made up of myelin, a substance the
surrounds and protects nerve fibers) in multiple areas of the brain.
Without the protection of myelin, nerve signals can't travel
successfully from the brain to the rest of the body.

Typical symptoms associated with PML are diverse, since they are
related to the location and amount of damage in the brain, and evolve
over the course of several days to several weeks. The most prominent
symptoms are clumsiness; progressive weakness; and visual, speech,
and sometimes, personality changes. The progression of deficits leads
to life-threatening disability and death over weeks to months.

A positive diagnosis of PML can be made on brain biopsy, or by
combining observation of a progressive course of the disease,
consistent white matter lesions visible on a magnetic resonance image
(MRI) scan, and the detection of the JC virus in spinal fluid. For
further information concerning PML, see: NINDS Progressive Multifocal
Leukoencephalopathy Information Page:
.

JC polyomavirus is a human virus with a circular double-stranded DNA
genome that is genetically similar to another human virus, BK
polyomavirus virus, and to the well known laboratory virus, Simian
virus 40 (SV40). JC polyomavirus was discovered in 1971 and named
after the initials of a patient with progressive multifocal
leukoencephalopathy. The virus causes PML and other diseases normally
only in cases of immunodeficiency, such as in AIDS or during
treatment with drugs intended to induce a state of immunosuppression
(e.g. organ transplant patients). The above report reaffirms that
there is risk of activation of latent JC polyomavirus infection by
prolonged treatment with Tysabri in the treatment of multiple
sclerosis. This poses a unwelcome dilemma for both multiple sclerosis
patients, the regulatory authorities and the pharmaceutical industry. - Mod.CP]

[see also:
1998
----
Simian viruses, potential for human infection (04) 19980414.0684]
..................................................cp/msp/dk

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