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News Article | November 17, 2016
Site: phys.org

Antimicrobial consumption in Danish animals has continued to decrease in 2015, mainly due to a reduction in pigs. By contrast, serious outbreaks of disease among broilers and mink have resulted in an increased use of antimicrobials in these animals. These are some of the findings in the annual DANMAP report from Statens Serum Institut as well as the National Veterinary Institute and the National Food Institute, which are both departments under the Technical University of Denmark. This year's report is the 20th anniversary edition of DANMAP. The total antimicrobial consumption in Denmark – when measured in kilos – in production and companion animals was 5% lower in 2015 than the previous year. The fall in consumption is mainly due to a 5% reduction in usage in the pig production sector, which constitutes about 86% of meat production in Denmark. These figures should be seen in light of the fact that Danish farmers have produced more pigs in 2015 than the year before. Antimicrobial consumption in pigs - when measured in doses and adjusted for the number of pigs produced per year - was 22% lower in 2015 than in 2009, when consumption was at its peak following Denmark's ban on the use of antimicrobial growth promoters. This decrease in consumption is primarily due to a reduction in the use of the type of antimicrobials called tetracyclines, which has been reduced by 9% since 2014 and by 24% since 2009. The development in the consumption of colistins is worrying Contrary to the general fall in antimicrobial use in pigs, the use of colistins has doubled from 409 kilos in 2009 to 825 kilos in 2015 - mainly because of an increased use in weaners. "The increase in consumption of colistins among animals is not desirable, because this type of antimicrobial is used to treat serious bacterial infections in people, where other antimicrobials are ineffective," Head of Division Flemming Bager from the National Food Institute says. Several severe disease outbreaks in the boiler production are the reason behind a 184% increase in antimicrobial consumption in the poultry production in 2015. The increase applies particularly to tetracyclines and macrolides. As such, consumption is by far the highest in the past decade. "Antimicrobial consumption in the broiler production has traditionally been very low. So when – as in this past year – it is necessary to take action to treat some serious disease outbreaks, this will result in considerable fluctuations in consumption figures," Flemming Bager explains. Large fluctuations in the consumption of antimicrobials for the treatment of mink and fish have been observed in 2015. Again, this can mainly be explained by unusual disease patterns, such as the biggest outbreak in Danish history of plasmocytosis in mink, which has resulted in a 23% increase in antimicrobial consumption in the mink industry. By contrast, a cool summer has resulted in fewer disease problems in Danish fish farms and antimicrobial consumption is thus 42% lower in 2015 than the year before. A successful vaccination strategy has also helped to generally reduce consumption in fish farms. Consumption figures for companion animals show an overall 15% fall in 2015, which includes a reduction in the use of two types of critically important antimicrobials, namely cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones. This is in line with the Danish Veterinary Association's treatment manual, which encourages minimal use of critically important antimicrobials. Consumption of critically important antimicrobials – such as cephalosporins og fluoroquinolones – is still very low in production animals. "By only using critically important antimicrobials to treat animals, when it is absolutely necessary, farmers are helping to ensure that these drugs continue to be effective in the treatment of seriously ill people," Flemming Bager says. Explore further: Decrease in antimicrobial use in animals in Denmark

News Article | November 14, 2016
Site: news.europawire.eu

COPENHAGEN, 14-Nov-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — The Board of the University of Copenhagen has found the person to succeed Ralf Hemmingsen as leader of the university for the next five years. On 1 March 2017, the current Provost at the Technical University of Denmark, Henrik C. Wegener, will become Rector of the university. A total of 26 persons applied for the position. The University of Copenhagen’s new Rector knows about bacteria, infectious diseases – and about running a university. Henrik Wegener has a PhD in microbiology from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, which merged with the University of Copenhagen in 2007. After his PhD degree he has, among other things, been Head of Research, Professor, Centre Director, Institute Director and, since 2011, Provost at the Technical University of Denmark in charge of research, research centres, collaboration agreements, international relations, etc. Henrik Wegener holds a Master of Public Administration and serves as one of the EU Commission’s top research advisers. “We’ve had a strong and broad field of applicants. The Board has chosen Henrik Wegener because he has both the professional and personal competences required, and because he has created excellent results throughout his career, both as a researcher and in leadership roles. Altogether, he has 18 years of leadership experience at all levels. He has been in charge of large-scale change processes, and is recognised for working through dialogue and involvement of the entire organisation, and for achieving the goals of the initiatives he launches. The University of Copenhagen will get a leader who has good knowledge of the university, but who also has an outsider’s new and refreshing view of the tasks ahead. And then he understands how a university can impact framework conditions for research as well as the importance of protecting the integrity of the university,” Nils Strandberg Pedersen says. Henrik Wegener is an internationally recognised researcher within food safety, antibiotic resistance and bacterial zoonoses, i.e. bacteria transferred from animals to humans. As a researcher he has been working with applied research at four sector research institutions: The Danish Veterinary Serum Institute, the Danish Zoonosis Centre, Denmark’s National Veterinary Institute and the Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research, all of which are now merged with the Technical University of Denmark. For a number of years he served as national expert to the World Health Organisation, WHO. As Provost at the Technical University of Denmark, he has had the overall responsibility for the university’s research activities.  In addition, he has extensive experience of collaboration with public and private sector players, nationally and internationally. “The University of Copenhagen is the most important university in Denmark. The university must continue to address society’s need for new knowledge and talented graduates. Quality of education and basic research at the highest international level should therefore still be top of the agenda. The university must be developed through a determined focus on high-level research, keen priorities, global recruitment of researchers as well as inspiring and demanding research-based teaching of an international standard. The same goes for the efforts to develop a professional and coherent administration in collaboration with staff and students. And then, of course, we will continue to focus on safeguarding the university’s external interests, and not least maintain our independence,” Henrik Wegener says.

News Article | January 3, 2016
Site: phys.org

"Our staff will inspect it, weigh and take samples. The body will then be sent to the National Veterinary Institute," Jonas Bergman, a conservationist at the county administrative board told the newspaper Sodre Dalarnes Tidning. The animal was shot and killed near the town of Ludvika in Dalarna County. Under a temporary ruling, 14 animals can be killed until the hunting season ends on February 15 unless the Supreme Administrative Court issues a final decision ahead of that date. Sweden's Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the wolf population stands at just over 400 and recommends it be kept at that level through regulated hunting. Hunters claim wolves have been decimating stocks of other game and threatening hunting dogs in rural areas. They also say that many of the wolves they killed had been in good health, which shows that the species—considered extinct in the 1970s—has made a good recovery in Sweden. A back-and-forth battle between hunters and conservationists saw Sweden resume the cull in 2010 and 2011, leading to a protest by the European Commission, which oversees European Union laws on protecting wolves and other endangered species. For Sweden's 2016 season, three parallel proceedings were launched, with various rulings from different courts. A temporary ruling last week allows for the killing of 14 wolves in two regions, less than a third of the 46 animals in five regions that was originally planned. EU members can carry out a cull of wolves provided the measure is justified on very specific grounds and meets conservation criteria. But in its 2011 complaint, the EU executive said Sweden had failed to meet the conditions for an exemption. Sweden was also faulted for failing to devise a habitat strategy to help a wolf population that the Commission said was "small, threatened by both geographic isolation and inbreeding." France, another country where wolves have returned, also sets a quota of animals that can be killed in order to protect alpine flocks. For 2015, it set a limit of 36 wolves, but as of late November, only 26 had been killed.

Hirt R.P.,Northumbria University | Alsmark C.,Uppsala University | Alsmark C.,National Veterinary Institute | Embley T.M.,Northumbria University
Current Opinion in Microbiology | Year: 2015

Our knowledge of the extent and functional impact of lateral gene transfer (LGT) from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, outside of endosymbiosis, is still rather limited. Here we review the recent literature, focusing mainly on microbial parasites, indicating that LGT from diverse prokaryotes has played a significant role in the evolution of a number of lineages, and by extension throughout eukaryotic evolution. As might be expected, taxonomic biases for donor prokaryotes indicate that shared habitat is a major factor driving transfers. The LGTs identified predominantly affect enzymes from metabolic pathways, but over a third of LGT are genes for putative proteins of unknown function. Finally, we discuss the difficulties in analysing LGT among eukaryotes and suggest that high-throughput methodologies integrating different approaches are needed to achieve a more global understanding of the importance of LGT in eukaryotic evolution. © 2014 The Authors.

Sandodden R.,National Veterinary Institute | Johnsen S.I.,Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
Aquatic Invasions | Year: 2010

Signal crayfish Pasifastacus leniusculus were first discovered in Norway in the Dammane area of Telemark County in October 2006. This introduced population was found to be infected with the oomycete Aphanomyces astaci, the causative agent of crayfish plague. The Dammane watershed consists of 5 small ponds, the largest with a surface area of approximately 2000 m2. The Norwegian National Veterinary Institute conducted a feasibility study for the eradication of the Dammane signal crayfish population at the request of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and Directorate for Nature Management. This study recommended the use of the pharmaceutical BETAMAX VET.®, followed by pond drainage as a feasible course of action. BETAMAX VET.® is a cypermethrin-based pharmaceutical developed for treatment of salmon louse (Lepeophtherius salmonis) infestations of farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Cypermethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid and a common agent in many insecticides licensed throughout Europe. Following a comprehensive mapping of the Dammane watershed, the ponds were treated with BETAMAX VET.® on the 14 and 28 May, 2008. Subsequently, the ponds were drained by pumping out the water in two separate stages on 2-4 June, 2008 and 22-24 December 2008. During the first treatment with BETAMAX VET.®, signal crayfish were captured in the two upper ponds. During and following the second treatment and draining of the ponds, no signal crayfish were found. The ponds were gradually re-filled with water during the spring of 2009. It is too early to conclude whether the treatment has led to the complete eradication of the signal crayfish, but the results so far are promising. We believe that BETAMAX VET.® can be a useful tool in managing alien crayfish populations. © 2010 The Author(s).

Kamel W.,Uppsala University | Segerman B.,National Veterinary Institute | Oberg D.,Uppsala University | Punga T.,Uppsala University | Akusjarvi G.,Uppsala University
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2013

At late times during a lytic infection human adenovirus type 5 produces ∼108 copies per cell of virus-associated RNA I (VA RNAI). This short highly structured RNA polymerase III transcript has previously been shown to be essential for lytic virus growth. A fraction of VA RNAI is processed by Dicer into small RNAs, so-called mivaRNAIs, which are efficiently incorporated into the RNA-induced silencing complex. Here, we constructed recombinant adenoviruses with mutations in the seed sequence of both the 5′-and the 3′-strand of the mivaRNAI duplex. The results showed that late viral protein synthesis, as well as new virus progeny formation, was essentially unaffected by the seed sequence mutations under lytic replicative conditions in HeLa or HEK293 cells. Collectively, our results suggest that either strand of the mivaRNAI duplex does not have target mRNA interactions that are critical for the establishment of virus growth under lytic conditions. Further, by depletion of protein kinase R (PKR) in HEK293 cells, we show that the suppressive effect of VA RNAI on the interferon-induced PKR pathway is most critical for late gene expression. © 2013 The Author(s).

Wahlstrom H.,National Veterinary Institute
Euro surveillance : bulletin européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin | Year: 2012

Echinococcus multilocularis is a parasite that can cause alveolar echinococcosis disease. After the first positive finding of E. multilocularis in Sweden in 2011, a consulting group with representatives from relevant authorities was summoned. In this group, all relevant information was shared, strategies for information dissemination and any actions to be taken due to the finding of E. multilocularis were discussed and decided. The present paper describes the actions taken during 2011 and the results thereof, including surveillance in animals, risk assessment for humans to become infected and recommendations given to the public. Further discussion about whether the parasite was introduced, and if so, how, as well as possible future development of the infection in animals and humans in Sweden and future actions are included.

Jenbreie S.,National Veterinary Institute
Tropical animal health and production | Year: 2012

The study was conducted in eight districts of Ethiopia with the objectives of determining the seroprevalence and associated risk factors of infectious bursal disease (IBD). From the total of 2,597 chicken serum samples examined using ELISA, 83.1 % were found positive. The highest seroprevalence was found at Mekele (90.3 %) while the lowest was recorded at Gondar district (69.8 %). These differences among the study areas were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Highest seroprevalence was found in crossbreed of chicken (91.4 %) while the lowest was recorded in indigenous breed of chicken (81.4 %). This difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05) among the three breeds of chickens, but sex was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). The seroprevalence of the disease was found high in young (≤ 8 weeks) age group (86.6 %) while the lowest prevalence was recorded in adults (>8 weeks) (72 %). This is also statistically significant (p < 0.05) between young and adult age groups. The prevalence of IBD in different production system indicated that higher seroprevalence was recorded in intensive production system (85.9 %) while the lowest was recorded in extensive production system (81.6 %). This difference is also statistically significant (p < 0.05).

Unnerstad H.E.,National Veterinary Institute
Acta veterinaria Scandinavica | Year: 2013

Hitherto, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has not been detected in Swedish cattle. However, due to the report of mecC, a novel homologue to the mecA gene, there was reason to re-evaluate susceptibility results from strain collections of Staphylococcus aureus and test suspected isolates for the presence of mecC. Bovine isolates of S. aureus with elevated minimum inhibitory concentrations of beta-lactams were retrospectively tested for presence of mecC. In four of the isolates mecC was detected. In Sweden, this is the first finding of MRSA in cattle and the first detection of MRSA harbouring mecC of domestic animal origin. MRSA in animal populations has implications as a potential reservoir with risk for spread to humans. Occurrence of MRSA among Swedish cattle appears still very limited.

Noremark M.,National Veterinary Institute | Widgren S.,National Veterinary Institute
BMC Veterinary Research | Year: 2014

Background: During outbreak of livestock diseases, contact tracing can be an important part of disease control. Animal movements can also be of relevance for risk-based surveillance and sampling, i.e. both when assessing consequences of introduction or likelihood of introduction. In many countries, animal movement data are collected with one of the major objectives to enable contact tracing. However, often an analytical step is needed to retrieve appropriate information for contact tracing or surveillance.Results: In this study, an open source tool was developed to structure livestock movement data to facilitate contact-tracing in real time during disease outbreaks and for input in risk-based surveillance and sampling. The tool, EpiContactTrace, was written in the R-language and uses the network parameters in-degree, out-degree, ingoing contact chain and outgoing contact chain (also called infection chain), which are relevant for forward and backward tracing respectively. The time-frames for backward and forward tracing can be specified independently and search can be done on one farm at a time or for all farms within the dataset. Different outputs are available; datasets with network measures, contacts visualised in a map and automatically generated reports for each farm either in HTML or PDF-format intended for the end-users, i.e. the veterinary authorities, regional disease control officers and field-veterinarians. EpiContactTrace is available as an R-package at the R-project website (http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/EpiContactTrace/).Conclusions: We believe this tool can help in disease control since it rapidly can structure essential contact information from large datasets. The reproducible reports make this tool robust and independent of manual compilation of data. The open source makes it accessible and easily adaptable for different needs. © 2014 Nöremark and Widgren; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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