Careful with that boar: 90 sick with trichinosis after eating raw sausage in Italy

ProMed reports 90 persons presented to the Infectious Diseases Hospital Amedeo di Savoia, Torino, North-West Italy between 24 Dec 2019 and 10 Jan 2020 after consuming raw sausages from a wild boar hunted in the area of Susa Valley, 50 km [31.1 mi] away from Torino, in late November 2019.

All of them either were symptomatic (fever, muscle and/or abdominal pain, nausea) or had peripheral blood eosinophilia over 500/cmm, or both. IgG serology for trichinella was performed by immunoblot (Trichinella E/S IgG kit, EFFEGIEMME, Milan, Italy) and resulted positive in 48/90 (53.3%), allowing a diagnosis of confirmed trichinella infection.

Otherwise, a diagnosis of suspected trichinella infection was made with a negative serology, probably due to performing the test too early, before the development of antibodies or possibly a false negative result. In a few cases (under 10 cases) an alternative diagnosis was considered.

All patients were treated with oral albendazole 400 mg twice daily for 10 days and prednisone 50 mg/day.

Most likely, all patients were infected after eating meat from a single animal, given the low prevalence of the infection in this area: no human case has ever been detected in Torino province, and only one wild boar has been found positive for trichinella at microscopy in Susa valley in the last 10 years.

Vaccines work: Diners at Christchurch eatery Madam Woo potentially exposed to hepatitis A

Hepatitis A outbreaks happen daily. I usually only report those where people are sickand food is involved.

But, ever since the Feb. 2011 earthquake that killed 185, and speaking with some of the public health first responders, I’ve got a soft spot for Christchurch, New Zealand.

Health authorities are searching for about 40 walk-in guests who ate at the St Asaph St restaurant on Wednesday January 15, and Friday January 17.

Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Ramon Pink said there was a limited timeframe – two weeks – where vaccinations could prevent someone with no previous immunity from developing the disease. 

People who dined on January 15 have until Wednesday, January 29 to get vaccinated, and those who dined on January 17 have until this Friday, January 31.

People are considered immune if they have already been vaccinated or have had hepatitis A. Those diners who are not immune are being offered an urgent hepatitis A vaccination.

FDA warns Purell to stop making ‘unproven’ claims that sanitizer can eliminate Ebola

WTKR reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to the maker of Purell hand sanitizer to stop making unproven claims that the product can help eliminate diseases like Ebola, MRSA and the flu.

According to CNN, the FDA’s director of compliance sent a “warning letter” to Gojo, Purell’s parent company, to stop making unproven claims for marketing purposes that could position the hand sanitizer as a pharmaceutical drug.

The letter from the FDA reportedly notes that Purell says on its website and on social media that the sanitizer “kills more than 99.99% of the most common germs that may cause illness in a healthcare setting, including MRSA & VRE.” Purell and Gojo also note that “Purell Advanced Gel, Foam, and Ultra-Nourishing Foam Hand Sanitizer products demonstrated effectiveness against a drug resistant clinical strain of Candida auris in lab testing.

Finally, the FDA chastized Purell for claiming on the Q&A section on its website that the product can be “effective against viruses such as the Ebola virus, norovirus and influenza.” The FDA says it is not aware of any hand sanitizers that have been tested against Ebola.

The Tripartite Zoonotic Guide (TZG): Worst catchphrase ever, but important

Every day I see jobs being advertised for communications and marketing types that I know I am qualified for and it would be nice to have a paycheck, but then I look at what is produced and realize I would have to check my brain at the door.

Not my style.

Someone from the OIE writes, we hear about health challenges at the human-animal-environment interface. Zoonotic diseases such as avian influenza, rabies, Ebola, and Rift Valley fever continue to have major impacts on health, livelihoods, and economies. These health threats cannot be effectively addressed by one sector alone. Multidisciplinary and multisectoral collaboration is needed to tackle them and to reduce their impacts.

As a way to support countries in taking a One Health approach to address zoonotic diseases, the guide: “Taking a Multisectoral, One Health Approach: A Tripartite Guide to Addressing Zoonotic Diseases in Countries” has been jointly developed by the Tripartite organizations (FAO, OIE, and WHO). This Guide, referred to as the Tripartite Zoonotic Guide (TZG) is flexible enough to be used for other health threats at the human-animal-environment interface; for example, food safety and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

I won’t go into anymore. If you’re interested, click on the url.

Here’s a tripartite (below).

Use a thermometer and cook your damn food: Tapeworm removed from Texas man’s brain after more than a decade

WMC 5 reports a Texas man has successfully had a tapeworm removed from his brain in what doctors are calling a miracle.

Doctors think the tapeworm had been growing slowly ever since the man, identified only as Gerardo, contracted it from eating undercooked pork in Mexico more than a decade ago.

Gerardo says he got an MRI after fainting last year while playing soccer. He says he had been having headaches and “feeling off” for months prior to the fall.

“It’s very intense, very strong because it made me sweat too, sweat from the pain, pain in the head, and then, I would vomit from the pain,” said Gerardo in Spanish.

Even so, Gerardo was shocked when the MRI revealed a tapeworm in his brain.

After a complex surgery to remove the tapeworm, Gerardo says he’s back to his normal self. He has even returned to work.

Dr. Jordan Amadio, neurosurgeon at Ascension Seton, says the man’s case was “rare and truly extraordinary.” Interestingly, a tapeworm had also been found in Gerardo’s sister’s brain years earlier.

“In certain regions of the country, like Texas and California, this can be more common. So, there’s definitely something, I think, for every medical professional to be aware of. It is not commonly seen and can actually masquerade as different things,” Amadio said.

Several kinds of tapeworms, which are found worldwide, cause the parasitic infection taeniasis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Eating raw or undercooked beef or pork is the primary risk factor for becoming infected.

Trust but verify: Food fraud is hidden in plain sight

John Keogh of Big News Network writes that the globalization of the food chain has resulted in increased complexity and diminished transparency and trust into how and where our foods are grown, harvested, processed and by whom.

But this homily – we knew our grower so it must be safer – has no basis in factor data.

It’s like washing produce: It might make you feel better, but microbiologically, it does shit.

While the extent of global food fraud is difficult to quantify, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) suggests food fraud affects 10 per cent of commercially sold food. Various academic and industry sources suggest that globally, food fraud ranges from US$10 billion to $49 billion. This is likely a conservative range considering estimates of fake Australian meats alone and sold worldwide are as high as AUD$4 billion, or more than US$2.5 billion.

If you add the sales of fake wines and alcohol, adulterated honey and spices, mislabelled fish and false claims of organic products, wild-caught fish or grain-fed

As social media amplifies recurring high-profile incidents of food fraud, trust in our global food supply chains remains a concern. For the foreseeable future, much of Canada’s food fraud remains hidden in plain sight, sitting right there on our grocery store shelves.

154 humans sickened from cross-contamination: FDA, CDC say US pig ear pet treat Salmonella outbreak over

This is old, but I’m playing catch-up after my medical adventures.

Being married to a veterinarian first time around, I hung out with lots of vets, who would tell me pig ear treats were potato chips for canines.

As of October 30, 2019, officials believe the Salmonella outbreak connected to pig ear pet treats seems to be over. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) started their investigation of the outbreak in July. CDC now reports that the rate of new human infections has returned to pre-outbreak, baseline levels.

“Based on the slowed rate of human illness reports, the FDA and CDC are no longer recommending that people avoid purchasing or feeding pig ear pet treats entirely,” FDA officials wrote in a press release.

At the end of July, FDA and CDC recommended no pig ear pet treat sale or use in the United States. With the end of the outbreak, the FDA altered its guidance to pet product retailers and pet owners. The agency now recommends that retailers who wish to re-introduce pig ear pet treats should take appropriate steps to ensure that their suppliers are controlling for pathogens such as Salmonella, and that products are not cross-contaminated after processing. Likewise, the agency advised pet owners to use good hygiene when feeding pig ear pet treats.

Reports of illness from these Salmonella infections started on June 10, 2015 and ran until September 13, 2019. Over the course of the outbreak, official reports tied 154 cases of human infection with exposure to pig ear pet treats in 34 states. Patients ranged in age from less than one year to 90 years. Of 133 cases with info available, 35 people needed hospitalization. Children younger than 5 years were infected in 27 cases.

Public health officials conducted genome sequencing of the Salmonella involved in the outbreak. The researchers revealed that many of the strains were resistant to multiple antibiotics, including ampicillin, streptomycin, tetracycline and ciprofloxacin. Salmonella strains identified were Cerro, Derby, London, Infantis, Newport, Rissen and I 4,[5],12:i:-.

Three firms recalled product associated with the outbreak: Pet Supplies Plus, Lennox, and Dog Goods USA. A fourth firm, Hollywood Pet, also recalled Salmonella positive pet ear treats that it had sourced from Dog Goods USA, but testing was not sufficient to determine if these treats were connected to illnesses. All of these recalled products originated from suppliers in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. The importers were placed on Import Alert 72-03 (“Detention Without Physical Examination and Intensified Coverage of Pig Ears And Other Pet Treats Due To The Presence of Salmonella”). These importers were Suarko, SRL (Argentina) and Anabe Industria e Comercio de Proteinas (Brazil), and Custom Pet S.A.S. (Colombia).

3 dead, one miscarriage, Listeria, ready-to-eat products, EU, 2017-2019

The European Centers for Disease Control reports patients had onset of illness between 2017 and August 2019. Three patients have died and one suffered a miscarriage due to the infection. The close genetic relatedness of the strains (≤3 allelic differences), and the temporal distribution of the cases suggest a prolonged, intermittent, common source foodborne outbreak which occurred in at least two EU Member States.

Nine isolates from six sliced ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products, produced between 2017 and 2019 by the Dutch Manufacturing Company A, were found to be contaminated with L. monocytogenes strains matching the outbreak strain (≤3 allelic differences). Although the exact points of contamination have not been identified yet, the results of the investigation suggest that the contamination may have happened at the Dutch Manufacturing Company A, which represents the only common manufacturing point of the contaminated products. The Dutch Manufacturing Company A distributed products to several EU countries as well as to countries outside the EU.

Following the detection in food of L. monocytogenes isolates matching the outbreak strain, and the discovery of the environmental contamination with other L. monocytogenes strains, the Dutch Manufacturing Company A stopped the production in October 2019, and finalised the withdrawals and recalls of all RTE meat products. This measure decreases the risk of new cases occurring possibly associated with products from this company.

Pregnant women, the elderly and immunocompromised people are at higher risk of invasive listeriosis, which is associated with severe clinical course and potential death. Therefore, specific attention should be paid to the administration of RTE meat products to people in hospitals, nursing homes and those belonging to vulnerable population groups.

Reverse zoonoses: It’s when people infect animals

We talk a lot about Norovirus because there are a lot of outbreaks and a lot of sick people.

Dogs too.

In July 2018, recombinant norovirus GII.Pe-GII.4 Sydney was detected in dogs who had diarrhea in a kennel and in children living on the same premises in Thailand. Whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of 4 noroviruses from Thailand showed that the canine norovirus was closely related to human norovirus GII.Pe-GII.4 Sydney, suggesting human-to-canine transmission.

Human norovirus infection in dogs, Thailand

Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 26, no. 2

Kamonpan Charoenkul, Chanakarn Nasamran, Taveesak Janetanakit, Ratanaporn Tangwangvivat, Napawan Bunpapong, Supanat Boonyapisitsopa, Kamol Suwannakarn, Apiradee Theamboonler, Watchaporn Chuchaona, Yong Poovorawan, and Alongkorn Amonsin 

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/2/19-1151_article?deliveryName=DM17555

We’re all hosts on a viral planet, even bacteria

Listeria monocytogenes may persist in food production environments and cause listeriosis. In Norway, a product of concern is the traditional and popular fermented fish product “rakfisk”, which is made from freshwater salmonid fish by mild-salting and brine maturation at low temperatures for several months. It is eaten without any heat treatment, and L. monocytogenes, therefore, poses a potential hazard.

We investigated the effect of salt and temperature on the growth of L. monocytogenes in rakfisk during the 91 days of maturation. The amounts of organic acids produced during fermentation were too low to inhibit growth of L. monocytogenes.

Temperature was clearly the most important parameter for controlling L. monocytogenes. At 7 °C, approximately 2 log growth was observed during the first 14 days of fermentation, and the level of L. monocytogenes thereafter remained constant. At 4 °C, only a little growth potential of the pathogen was recorded. We also investigated the effect of the anti-Listeria bacteriophage P100 on rakfisk with added L. monocytogenes. The phage was introduced to the L. monocytogenes-inoculated fish before fermentation, and an average of 0.9 log reduction was observed throughout the fermentation period.

This is the first study of L. monocytogenes behavior in rakfisk and points to possible measures for increasing the product safety.

Growth behavior of listeria monocytogenes in a traditional Norwegian fermented fish product (rakfisk), and its inhibition through bacteriophage addition

Foods

Lars Axelsson, Guro Alette Bjerke, Anette McLeod, Ingunn Berget and Askild L. Holck

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/9/2/119/pdf&ct=ga&cd=CAEYASoTMTE1NzcxMjA4OTIyNjc2MTc3NDIaYmM3NzBmMDk3NWY0YjI4ZTpjb206ZW46VVM&usg=AFQjCNFJNVQuk-sddOTM-d7FT6mqcqo94w