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From: TSS ()
Subject: Panel to report on controversial Ames MAD COW animal lab today
Date: November 17, 2006 at 7:34 am PST

Panel to report on controversial Ames animal lab today ASSOCIATED PRESS

November 17, 2006

A panel of scientists is expected today to release its review of whether the National Animal Disease Center improperly disposed of animal waste into Ames’ wastewater treatment system.

The eight-person panel was asked to investigate claims that the federal research center failed to properly treat infectious waste before it was sent to the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The allegations were made this spring by two center employees who claimed they approached their supervisors with questions about the disposal of animal waste, including blood, feces, urine and other bodily fluids. The workers said they weren’t given sufficient answers and were threatened with a loss of funding for their jobs.

Animal caretaker supervisor Richard Auwerda sent a letter on May 4 to the city, state veterinarian and state and federal agencies, saying he hoped the lab’s practices didn’t harm the environment or Ames residents.

Auwerda and caretaker Timothy Gogerty claimed that the NADC’s procedures for destroying abnormally shaped proteins — called prions — appeared less stringent than the procedures at the nearby National Veterinary Services Laboratories. Prions are found in fatal diseases, including mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease.

Auwerda and Gogerty said the rules also were less restrictive than those recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, and the National Institutes of Health.

They also alleged the center wasn’t following its internal operating procedures for destroying prions.

The Agricultural Research Service, which runs the lab, has denied that animal waste was improperly handled. Research service officials have said all the water used to wash away liquid animal waste was sterilized at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes — a method accepted by the World Health Organization.

The panel was expected to identify scientifically accepted methods for destroying prions, and determine any environmental risk posed to humans by the center's methods and decide whether any remediation is needed.

J Gen Virol 87 (2006), 3737-3740; DOI 10.1099/vir.0.82011-0

Infectious agent of sheep scrapie may persist in the environment for at least 16 years

Gudmundur Georgsson1, Sigurdur Sigurdarson2 and Paul Brown3

1 Institute for Experimental Pathology, University of Iceland, Keldur v/vesturlandsveg, IS-112 Reykjavík, Iceland
2 Laboratory of the Chief Veterinary Officer, Keldur, Iceland
3 Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Gudmundur Georgsson

In 1978, a rigorous programme was implemented to stop the spread of, and subsequently eradicate, sheep scrapie in Iceland. Affected flocks were culled, premises were disinfected and, after 2–3 years, restocked with lambs from scrapie-free areas. Between 1978 and 2004, scrapie recurred on 33 farms. Nine of these recurrences occurred 14–21 years after culling, apparently as the result of environmental contamination, but outside entry could not always be absolutely excluded. Of special interest was one farm with a small, completely self-contained flock where scrapie recurred 18 years after culling, 2 years after some lambs had been housed in an old sheep-house that had never been disinfected. Epidemiological investigation established with near certitude that the disease had not been introduced from the outside and it is concluded that the agent may have persisted in the old sheep-house for at least 16 years.

2:00 Soil Minerals Enhance Prion Infectivity
Judd M. Aiken, DVM, Professor, Animal Health & Biomedical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine
We have recently demonstrated that prions bind clay and silica. The binding of PrPSc to a common soil clay (montmorillonite) is avid and this interaction enhances infectivity. The implications of this enhancement of transmission are far-reaching and include how scrapie and CWD are environmentally transmitted. The ramifications of these findings with regard to food safely will also be discussed.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Sent: Friday, April 14, 2006 8:50 AM
Subject: Prions Adhere to Soil Minerals and Remain Infectious

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

Subject: Prions Adhere to Soil Minerals and Remain Infectious
Date: April 14, 2006 at 7:10 am PST
Prions Adhere to Soil Minerals

and Remain Infectious

Christopher J. Johnson1,2, Kristen E. Phillips3, Peter T. Schramm3, Debbie McKenzie2, Judd M. Aiken1,2,

Joel A. Pedersen3,4*

1 Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, 2 Department of Animal Health and Biomedical

Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, 3 Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center,

University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, 4 Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United

States of America

An unidentified environmental reservoir of infectivity contributes to the natural transmission of prion diseases

(transmissible spongiform encephalopathies [TSEs]) in sheep, deer, and elk. Prion infectivity may enter soil

environments via shedding from diseased animals and decomposition of infected carcasses. Burial of TSE-infected

cattle, sheep, and deer as a means of disposal has resulted in unintentional introduction of prions into subsurface

environments. We examined the potential for soil to serve as a TSE reservoir by studying the interaction of the diseaseassociated

prion protein (PrPSc) with common soil minerals. In this study, we demonstrated substantial PrPSc

adsorption to two clay minerals, quartz, and four whole soil samples. We quantified the PrPSc-binding capacities of

each mineral. Furthermore, we observed that PrPSc desorbed from montmorillonite clay was cleaved at an N-terminal

site and the interaction between PrPSc and Mte was strong, making desorption of the protein difficult. Despite

cleavage and avid binding, PrPSc bound to Mte remained infectious. Results from our study suggest that PrPSc released

into soil environments may be preserved in a bioavailable form, perpetuating prion disease epizootics and exposing

other species to the infectious agent.

Citation: Johnson CJ, Phillips KE, Schramm PT, McKenzie D, Aiken JM, et al. (2006) Prions adhere to soil minerals and remain infectious. PLoS Pathog 2(4): e32. DOI: 10.1371/



PLoS Pathogens | April 2006 | Volume 2 | Issue 4 | e32 0007

Sorption of Prions to Soil

Epidemiology Update March 23, 2006
As of today, 13 locations and 32 movements of cattle have been examined with
27 of those being substantially completed. Additional investigations of
locations and herds will continue. In addition, state and federal officials
have confirmed that a black bull calf was born in 2005 to the index animal
(the red cow). The calf was taken by the owner to a local stockyard in July
2005 where the calf died. The calf was appropriately disposed of in a local
landfill and did not enter the human or animal food chain.

> The calf was appropriately disposed of in a local
> landfill and did not enter the human or animal food chain.

well, back at the ranch with larry, curly and mo heading up the USDA et al,
what would you expect, nothing less than shoot, shovel and shut the hell up.
no mad cow in USA, feed ban working, no civil war in Iraq either.

but what has past history shown us, evidently it has shown the USDA et al
nothing ;


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