What's new ? - 2007

What's new ? - 2007

Health Risk: Euralis, recall of foie gras

28 December, 2007 In a statement, the company Euralis Food recalls one of its products, Foie gras - brand Montfort, and recommends that customers "do not eat" because of a "risk of microbiological contamination". The product, "Foie gras torhcon authentic 430g Montfort" bears the number barcode (EAN) 310 454 4003 941. About 200 pounds (~90 Kg) of foie gras are concerned. Read More

The Scientific American Award to Dr. Ilaria Capua

19 December, 2007 Ilaria Capua was recognized for her work on open access (OA) for avian influenza data. From the citation: "Until recently, laboratories doing bird flu research often kept their findings private, with access to many avian influenza gene sequences confined to just 15 facilities globally....Instead of entering her avian influenza findings into this database, Ilaria Capua of Vialle University in Padua, Italy, disclosed the results of her studies in the publicly accessible GenBank and boldly rallied her colleagues to follow.
Read More

Israel set for poultry product exports to Canada

21 November, 2007 The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has carried out extensive checks in Israel.
Israel is about to begin exporting poultry products to Canada.
The Ministry of Agriculture Veterinary Services received the export permit after a long process of examination by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Read More

Australia: NSW to improve conditions for layer hens

2 November, 2007 The New South Wales (NSW) government has promised an improvement in conditions for layer hens from January 1 next year with an increase in cage sizes.
National legislation has been amended to increase the cage size in a move aimed at improving the welfare of the birds.
NSW will come into line with other states, such as Queensland and Victoria, which have already adopted the increased cage sizes in the amended Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1979). Read More

Tamiflu the child-size, lower strength version approved by EU authorities

22 September, 2007 Roche has just had the child-size, lower strength version of its flu treatment Tamiflu (oseltamivir) approved by EU authorities, though possibly just a little too late for this year's flu season.
Roche received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) for its 30mg and 45mg dose capsules back in July, shortly after gaining approval for the lower doses in the US.
Up until now, Tamiflu had only been available as a 75mg capsule, or as a powder for oral suspension for use in children. Read More

Vietnam to import more avian influenza vaccines

14 September, 2007 Vietnam is expected to import additional 100 million doses of avian influenza vaccines for fowls.
Early this month, the country imported 200 million doses of the vaccines from China.
The country has so far this year vaccinated over 164.2 million fowls in 63 out of its 64 cities and provinces, including nearly 87.4 million chickens, nearly 73 million ducks and roughly 3.9 million white-winged ducks.
Read More

WHO amends criteria used to confirm H5 infection

30 August, 2007 The WHO will accept positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results from national reference laboratories that (1) have participated successfully in the WHO's new External Quality Assessment (EQA) project and (2) have accurately identified H5 influenza viruses in at least three previous cases. Read More

Novartis: new vaccine plant

USA 24 August, 2007 Facility on track to be the first to manufacture new cell cultured-derived influenza vaccines in the US. Novartis has broken ground on construction of the first cell culture-derived influenza vaccines manufacturing plant in the United States. Once completed, the Holly Springs, North Carolina facility is expected to annually produce up to 50 million doses of seasonal trivalent flu vaccines or up to 150 million monovalent doses within six months of a pandemic declaration.
Completion of the facility is expected in late 2008, and following validation and FDA approval, initial vaccine production at the site is anticipated for 2011. Read More

First overarching report on antimicrobial usage and bacterial resistance published

14 July, 2007 First overarching report on antimicrobial usage and bacterial resistance published.
The UK Government has published new report that combines for the first time a range of information on antimicrobial resistance in bacteria in farmed animals, humans, and food. The report includes information from Defra, the Department of Health, Health Protection Agency, Food Standards Agency and other Government agencies including the Devolved Administrations.
For the complete report: Overview of Antimicrobial Usage and Bacterial Resistance in Selected Human and Animal Pathogens in the UK:2004 Read More

Vietnam: Locally-made avian influenza vaccine to be used as of June 2008

13 July, 2007 According to the Central Veterinary Diagnosis Centre, as of June 2008, avian influenza vaccine produced by Vietnam will be partly used in the national avian influenza vaccination programme.
Vietnam is spending hundreds of billion dong to import H5N1 and H5N2 vaccine, mainly from China, and H5N9 from Italy to vaccinate for fowls. Vietnam plans to import around 500 million doses of the vaccine in 2007-2008. However, in mid-2007, provinces used most of the volume of vaccine imported for the year so the country has to import an additional 200 million doses.
This additional import has caused difficulties for Chinese producers because they only produce the vaccine based on contracts already signed with Vietnam. Read More

OIE provides Togo with 1M doses of H5N1 AI vaccines

5 July, 2007 The OIE provided Togo with 1, 000, 000 doses of AI vaccines off its vaccine bank for protecting poultry against the H5N1 Avian influenza strain , immediately following the confirmation of a first outbreak in this country.
This delivery comes as a result of the OIE partnership with donors to the OIE World Animal Health and Welfare Fund and the financial support of Canada via the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Since its inception in May 2006, the vaccine bank also delivered 20,300,000 vaccines to African countries: Egypt (14 million doses), Mali (1 million), Mauritania and Ghana (2 million),Senegal (1 million) and Mauritius (300,000) within the OIE/ Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources of the African Union (AU-IBAR) partnership, with the financial support of the European Commission (EC) and of Canada. Read More

Canada Stockpiling AI Vaccine For Poultry

21 May, 2007 The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has purchased10 million doses of an avian influenza vaccine for poultry.
5M doses of H5N3 and 5M doses of H7N3 avian influenza vaccine as a hedge against a possible outbreak of H5N1 or another highly pathogenic strain in domestic flocks.
The vaccine is being purchased for US$468,300 from Fort Dodge Laboratories Inc. in Fort Dodge, Iowa and will be added to the 400,000 doses of an H5 vaccine the agency bought last year. Read More

EU: New rules on chicken welfare

9 May, 2007 New rules to improve the welfare of chickens kept for meat production (broilers). The Directive (A proposal agreed by European Council) is a package of measures for improving meat chicken welfare. It aims to reduce the overcrowding of chickens, by setting a maximum stocking density of 33kg/m2, or 39kg/m2 if stricter welfare standards are met. The Directive applies to flocks of 500 plus birds. The new legislation also lays down a number of other conditions to ensure better animal welfare, such as lighting, litter, feeding, and ventilation requirements. The Directive also provides for the Commission to possibly introduce further measures in the future, based on the scientific data and practical evidence collected by the Member States. Read More

Chickens Given Feed Contaminated with melamine

7 May, 2007 Approximately 30 broiler poultry farms and eight breeder poultry farms in Indiana received contaminated feed in early February and fed it to poultry within days of receiving it. All of the broilers (2.7 M) believed to have been fed contaminated product have since been processed. The breeders (100,000) that were fed the contaminated product are under voluntary hold by the flock owners. Keith Williams, USDA spokesman was cited as saying that USDA, FDA and EPA are overseeing a risk assessment to determine whether the chickens that potentially fed melamine-contaminated feed. Melamine is the major metabolite of cyromazine (IGR).
The European Chemical Industry Ecotoxicology and Toxicology Centre (ECETOC) evaluated the toxicity of melamine, and concluded that melamine is of low acute toxicity, and is neither teratogenic nor genotoxic. Read More

WHO to help fund influenza vaccine plants in developing world

26 April, 2007 The World Health Organization is donating millions of dollars to help developing countries et up their own influenza vaccine production in preparation for a possible avian influenza pandemic.
The programme will provide cash for six nations to establish capacity to manufacture influenza vaccine. India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam will each get up to $2.5m from an $18m fund provided by the Government of Japan and the US Department of Health and Human Services. Read More

FDA approves first H5N1 vaccine for human use

17 April, 2007 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its first approval of a vaccine for human use in the United States against the H5N1 influenza virus.
The vaccine, manufactured by sanofi pasteur was obtained from a human strain and was found to be able to develop adequate immunity against H5N1 in 45 percent of the people receiving two doses of the vaccine. Read More

Schering-Plough to Acquire Organon BioSciences

12 March, 2007 Schering-Plough announced that its Board of Directors has approved a transaction under which Schering-Plough will acquire Organon BioSciences N.V., the human and animal health care businesses of Akzo Nobel N.V., for approximately - €11bn in cash. The acquisition of Organon BioSciences enhances Schering-Plough's strength in animal biologic products. Read More

Tamiflu linked to 18 teenage suicides in Japan

1 March, 2007 Japanese health authorities are investigating a death case of a teenager who jumped 11 storeys to his death after taking Tamiflu. It was the 18th juvenile fatality linked to Tamiflu in 17 months.
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has asked the Japanese importer of Tamiflu, an anti-viral drug regarded as the most important shield against avian influenza in humans, to collect information about the conditions of patients who take the drug.
The 14-year-old boy's death follows a similar case two weeks ago, when a girl also 14, died after jumping from an apartment building at Gamagori, in central Japan. Read More

Research: Tropism of avian influenza in the respiratory tract.

13 January, 2007 In a new paper in Nature Medicine by Nicholls JM, Chan MC, Chan WY, et al. it appears that both H5N1 and H3N2 bind and replicate quite well to tissues in the upper respiratory tract.
Poor human-to-human transmission of influenza A H5N1 virus has been attributed to the paucity of putative sialic acid α2-3 virus receptors in the epithelium of the human upper respiratory tract, and thus to the presumed inability of the virus to replicate efficiently at this site. Read More

Denmark orders 4.6 mln doses of avian influenza vaccine (human) from GSK

5 January, 2007 Denmark's Statens Serum Institut said it has signed an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline for delivery of 4.6 mln doses of avian influenza vaccine in the event of a global epidemic.
This would be enough to vaccinate half of the country's population with two doses, said Nils Strandberg Pedersen, the institute's managing director.
No financial details were released. Read More