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Lepage M.,IRSTEA | Harrison T.,17 Antrim Rd | Breine J.,Research Institute for Nature and Forest | Cabral H.,University of Lisbon | And 10 more authors.
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2016

A simple procedure to harmonise and intercalibrate eight national methods classifying the ecological status using fish in transitional waters of the North East Atlantic is described. These methods were initially intercalibrated and a new method recently developed was added to this exercise. A common human pressure index pre-classified the status of each water body in an independent way. Ecological class boundaries values were established according to the level of anthropogenic pressure using regression analyses. A simulated dataset was used to assess the level of agreement between the fish classification methods. Fleiss' multi-rater kappa analysis indicated that boundary harmonisation was achieved; all classifications fell within one class of each other and class agreement between methods exceeded 70%. The use of a pressure index to establish boundary thresholds provides a practical method of defining and harmonizing the quality classes associated with human pressures, as required by the European Water Framework Directive. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Krautwald-Junghanns M.-E.,University of Leipzig | Ellerich R.,University of Leipzig | Mitterer-Istyagin H.,University of Leipzig | Ludewig M.,University of Leipzig | And 5 more authors.
Poultry Science | Year: 2011

The present study demonstrates the prevalence of footpad lesions in turkeys and their level of expression in both live birds and in carcasses. In clinical investigations of 11,860 turkeys (5,740 males, 6,120 females) of the strain British United Turkeys Big 6, individuals of all the observed flocks showed alterations to the plantar skin. In general, the degree and severity of skin alterations were higher in the 16th week of life than in the 6th or 11th week of life. Epithelial necrosis, however, was already apparent in about 45% of individuals in the 6th week of life. At this point, deep lesions on the footpad surface were still rare findings. In the 11th week of life, such skin changes were apparent in 14.7% of males and 25.7% of hens. In general, the feet of male turkeys were less affected by footpad damage than those of females in the subsequent fattening period. In hens, the prevalence of lesions of the footpads at wk 16 of age was 60.0%, almost twice as high as in males of the same age group (33.8%). A comparison of the findings from the right and left feet showed that the state of the 2 extremities was correlated (Spearman correlation: r = 0.830). During the visual inspection of 16,200 slaughtered turkeys (7,800 males, 8,400 hens), almost all carcasses studied showed alterations to the footpad skin. Only 2.1% of males and 0.6% of females were without lesions. The most frequently observed lesions measured up to 2 cm in diameter (males: 59.2%; hens: 57.7%). Pronounced skin lesions of the footpad (males: 21.1%; females: 29.5%) and necrosis of the superficial epithelium (males: 17.5%; females: 12.1%) were less common. Foot abscesses were diagnosed only sporadically (males: 0.1%; females: 0.1%). © 2011 Poultry Science Association Inc.

Mitterer-Istyagin H.,University of Leipzig | Ludewig M.,University of Leipzig | Bartels T.,University of Leipzig | Krautwald-Junghanns M.-E.,University of Leipzig | And 5 more authors.
Poultry Science | Year: 2011

This project involves the prevalence of breast skin alterations (breast buttons, blisters, purulent bursitis) in male and female fattened turkeys (British United Turkeys Big 6) from conventional intensive farming. In this case, 24 turkey farms across Germany and 11,860 turkeys (5,740 toms, 6,120 hens) were clinically examined, and 16,200 birds (8,400 hens, 7,800 toms) were evaluated on slaughter lines at 7 turkey abattoirs. Each turkey farm included examination of at least 3 consecutive fattening cycles. Especially in the meat examinations, breast skin alterations were a frequent discovery, particularly in the form of breast buttons. The turkey toms exhibited a prevalence of 27.15%, and the toms were affected significantly more frequently (P < 0.001) by these variations than the turkey hens (7.77%). It is possible that the higher BW of the male specimens leads to increased lying times and is therefore connected with more severe strain on the breast region. The increased fattening period of the turkey toms (slaughtering at wk 21 to 22 of life) vs. the female specimens (slaughtering at wk 15 to 17 of life) must be discussed as a cause. Breast blisters and bursitis sternalis were discovered with a prevalence of 7.36 and 1.24% in toms and more seldom in hens, at 0.30% and 0.15%. Large differences in prevalence were partially recognizable between individual farms as well as between the 3 fattening cycles on a farm. Breast buttons and breast blisters are pathological skin variations for which the etiology is multifactorial. Clear correlations between the prevalence of breast skin alterations and the manner of rearing the birds were not able to be determined. An improvement in this situation, which is considered very problematic from the perspective of bird protection and economics, may be achieved only via cooperation to achieve optimized rearing methods, management, and breeding practices. © 2011 Poultry Science Association Inc.

Muller W.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Hotzel H.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Otto P.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Karger A.,Institute of Molecular Biology | And 16 more authors.
BMC Microbiology | Year: 2013

Background: Tularemia is a zoonotic disease caused by Francisella tularensis that has been found in many different vertebrates. In Germany most human infections are caused by contact with infected European brown hares (Lepus europaeus). The aim of this study was to elucidate the epidemiology of tularemia in hares using phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of F. tularensis. Results: Cultivation of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica bacteria from organ material was successful in 31 of 52 hares that had a positive PCR result targeting the Ft-M19 locus. 17 isolates were sensitive to erythromycin and 14 were resistant. Analysis of VNTR loci (Ft-M3, Ft-M6 and Ft-M24), INDELs (Ftind33, Ftind38, Ftind49, RD23) and SNPs (B.17, B.18, B.19, and B.20) was shown to be useful to investigate the genetic relatedness of Francisella strains in this set of strains. The 14 erythromycin resistant isolates were assigned to clade B.I, and 16 erythromycin sensitive isolates to clade B.IV and one isolate was found to belong to clade B.II. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS) was useful to discriminate strains to the subspecies level. Conclusions: F. tularensis seems to be a re-emerging pathogen in Germany. The pathogen can easily be identified using PCR assays. Isolates can also be identified within one hour using MALDI-TOF MS in laboratories where specific PCR assays are not established. Further analysis of strains requires genotyping tools. The results from this study indicate a geographical segregation of the phylogenetic clade B.I and B.IV, where B.I strains localize primarily within eastern Germany and B.IV strains within western Germany. This phylogeographical pattern coincides with the distribution of biovar I (erythromycin sensitive) and biovar II (erythromycin resistance) strains. When time and costs are limiting parameters small numbers of isolates can be analysed using PCR assays combined with DNA sequencing with a focus on genetic loci that are most likely discriminatory among strains found in a specific area. In perspective, whole genome data will have to be investigated especially when terrorist attack strains need to be tracked to their genetic and geographical sources. © 2013 Müller et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Freuling C.M.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute | Beer M.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute | Conraths F.J.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute | Finke S.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute | And 8 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases | Year: 2011

A virus isolated from a Natterer's bat (Myotis nattererii) in Germany was differentiated from other lyssaviruses on the basis of the reaction pattern of a panel of monoclonal antibodies. Phylogenetic analysis supported the assumption that the isolated virus, Bokeloh bat lyssavirus, may represent a new member of the genus Lyssavirus.

Buchholz U.,Robert Koch Institute | Bernard H.,Robert Koch Institute | Werber D.,Robert Koch Institute | Bohmer M.M.,Robert Koch Institute | And 23 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2011

BACKGROUND: A large outbreak of the hemolytic-uremic syndrome caused by Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli O104:H4 occurred in Germany in May 2011. The source of infection was undetermined. METHODS: We conducted a matched case-control study and a recipe-based restaurant cohort study, along with environmental, trace-back, and trace-forward investigations, to determine the source of infection. RESULTS: The case-control study included 26 case subjects with the hemolytic-uremic syndrome and 81 control subjects. The outbreak of illness was associated with sprout consumption in univariable analysis (matched odds ratio, 5.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2 to 29) and with sprout and cucumber consumption in multivariable analysis. Among case subjects, 25% reported having eaten sprouts, and 88% reported having eaten cucumbers. The recipe-based study among 10 groups of visitors to restaurant K included 152 persons, among whom bloody diarrhea or diarrhea confirmed to be associated with Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli developed in 31 (20%). Visitors who were served sprouts were significantly more likely to become ill (relative risk, 14.2; 95% CI, 2.6 to ∞). Sprout consumption explained 100% of cases. Trace-back investigation of sprouts from the distributor that supplied restaurant K led to producer A. All 41 case clusters with known trading connections could be explained by producer A. The outbreak strain could not be identified on seeds from the implicated lot. CONCLUSIONS: Our investigations identified sprouts as the most likely outbreak vehicle, underlining the need to take into account food items that may be overlooked during subjects'recall of consumption. Copyright © 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.

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