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From: TSS ()
Subject: Environmental Health Impacts of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: Anticipating Hazards Searching for Solutions
Date: November 19, 2006 at 1:48 pm PST

National Institutes of Health

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services







Environmental Health Impacts of

Concentrated Animal

Feeding Operations: Anticipating Hazards –

Searching for Solutions

Peter S. Thorne

doi:10.1289/ehp.8831 (available at

Online 14 November 2006


Environmental Health Impacts of Concentrated Animal

Feeding Operations: Anticipating Hazards – Searching for


Report of a Scientific Workshop

Peter S. Thorne

Send page proofs to: Peter S. Thorne, PhD, Professor, College of Public Health, The

University of Iowa, 100 Oakdale Campus, IREH, Iowa City, IA 52242-5000.

TEL: (319) 335-4216. FAX: (319) 335-4225. Email:


Running Title: Environmental Health Impacts of CAFOs

Key Words: air quality, animal confinements, antibiotic resistance, antimicrobial growth

promotants, avian influenza, bioaerosols, livestock, poultry, swine, water quality

Commonly used abbreviations in this report:

CAFO: Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation

EHSRC: Environmental Health Sciences Research Center at the University of Iowa

PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

U.S. EPA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


This conference was supported by the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center

at the University of Iowa and NIEHS P30 ES05605-S1. The authors thank Susan

Kaliszewski, Robin Ungar, Jenn Cook and Laura McCormick for handling the numerous

arrangements for the conference and Nancy Newkirk for organization and editing of

these workgroup reports.


Manuscript Outline



Summary of Workshop Recommendations




A scientific conference and workshop was held in March 2004 that brought together

environmental scientists from North America and Europe to address major environmental

health issues associated with concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which are

large, industrialized livestock production facilities. After one and a half days of plenary

sessions, five expert workgroups convened to consider the most relevant research areas

including: respiratory health effects; modeling and monitoring of air toxics; water quality

issues; influenza pandemics and antibiotic resistance; and community health and

socioeconomic issues. The Workgroup Reports that follow outline the state of the science

and public health concerns relating to livestock production as they apply to each workgroup

topic. The reports also identify areas where further research is needed and suggest

opportunities to translate science to policy initiatives that would effect improvements in

public and environmental health. Viable solutions to some of the current environmental

health problems associated with CAFOs are outlined. In addition, these reports bring to light

several major concerns, including air and water contamination, the rise of antibiotic-resistant

bacteria in livestock and the specter of influenza outbreaks arising from siting industrialized

poultry and swine production in close proximity to each other and to humans.



Dramatic changes in livestock production have occurred over the past two decades. The

trend in swine, poultry, and cattle operations has been toward fewer, but increasingly larger

operations. Traditional crop-livestock farms were balanced in that livestock manure supplied

nutrients to grow the crops to feed those livestock. Farmers raised the quantity of livestock

their croplands could support. Industrialized livestock production requires drawing feed from

a wide area, often far away, while manure is distributed to a small, local landmass resulting

in soil accumulation and runoff of phosphorus, nitrogen and other pollutants (Iowa State

University and University of Iowa Study Group 2002). The consolidation of the livestock

industry has been observed throughout North America and Europe and has led to calls for

increased regulation to reduce and control the wastes. The State of Iowa, which produces

one-fourth of the U.S. pork, exemplifies this trend. The number of farms in Iowa raising hogs

decreased from 64,000 in 1980 to 10,500 in 2000 – an 84% decrease – while the average

number of hogs per farm increased from 250 to 1,430 over this same period (Otto and

Lawrence 2000). Farms with over 500 hogs now account for 65% of the statewide inventory

and 75% of the U.S. inventory.

The results of the increasing intensity of livestock operations have been regionally levels of

air contaminants and increased problems with contamination of surface waters with animal

waste. Management practices such as feeding animals with antimicrobial growth promotants

and housing poultry and swine in close proximity are additional concerns. Community and

neighbor fears of potential adverse human health effects have increased, leading to the

formation of citizen action groups in many locales. These groups have lobbied government

officials at the local and regional levels to promulgate and enforce regulations to reduce

environmental impacts and health hazards from nearby CAFOs. A Town Meeting

sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the University of


Iowa, Environmental Health Sciences Research Center (EHSRC) was held in Des Moines,

Iowa in 2001 to bring stakeholders together to seek common ground. This Town Meeting

gave producers, concerned citizens and regulators the opportunity to air the issues. Many

areas of discord were identified and a need for better translation of science to policy was


Findings from the 2001 Town Meeting prompted the EHSRC to organize this scientific

conference and workshop held in Iowa City, Iowa which brought together experts in

environmental science from the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Denmark and The Netherlands to

address major environmental health issues associated with CAFOs. The conference

audience was comprised of scientists, agriculturalists, producer group representatives,

environmental and community activists, government officials and rural residents. Five

workgroups of scientists convened to further consider the major topics and identify the state

of the science. Their reports follow. These reports outline the scientific issues and public

health concerns relating to livestock production as it applies to each workgroup topic and

identify areas where further research is needed. They also suggest opportunities to translate

science to policy initiatives that would advance public and environmental health.

Summary of Workshop Recommendations

The Workgroup on Health Effects of Airborne Exposures from CAFOs found that there

is a lack of data on the health effects of odors and complex mixtures emanating from

CAFOs (Heederik et al. 2006). They also identified a need for research on susceptibility

of people for ill health from CAFO exposures based on age, gender or genetic makeup.

This workgroup expressed the view that international harmonization is needed for

analytical methods for exposure assessment of biological agents such as bacterial


endotoxin, fungal glucan, and other pathogen-associated molecular patterns.

Additionally, they noted that recent advances have identified less invasive approaches

for collection of body fluids from which more sensitive biomarkers of response can be

measured. They recommended that panel studies be performed among susceptible

populations exposed to CAFO emissions, as this approach would be most effective for

determining responsible agents and disease mechanisms. In terms of science

translation to policy, they recommended that best practices for occupational hygiene be

promoted for the livestock industry and that exposure standards for organic dust,

biological agents and toxic gases should be promulgated and enforced across the


The Workgroup on Modeling and Monitoring of Emissions from CAFOs noted that the

downstream concentrations of airborne effluents from CAFOs are not well understood

(Bunton et al. 2006). They recommended establishment of monitoring networks for

hydrogen sulfide and ammonia using many low-cost passive monitors and a lesser

number of expensive realtime monitors. Some monitors should be located in relatively

pristine areas away from livestock operations to characterize background levels in rural

areas. There is a further need for particulate monitoring accompanied by analysis of

adsorbed malodorous vapors and gases, since these appear to travel up to a kilometer

from the source. This Workgroup found that additional studies should be conducted

seeking to identify links between specific agents ascribed to CAFO emissions and

health outcomes in the rural community. In terms of modeling fate and transport from

livestock operations, the Workgroup found that additional data are needed on emission


rates from manure storage tanks or lagoons, land-applied manure, and livestock

buildings that are tied to animal inventories and management practices . The

Workgroup determined that modeling has advanced as a science and should be better

utilized for decisions on permitting, siting and waste management of CAFOs. Further

refinements should include models that account for chemical transformation of effluents

and models that provide long-term concentration distributions at a regional level.

The Workgroup on Impacts of CAFOs on Water Quality listed several priority research

areas including monitoring of whole watersheds in order to understand the effects of

extreme events on ecosystem health, toxicologic assessment of water contaminants

from CAFOs, and studies of primary effluents and metabolites in soils, sediments and

water (Burkholder et al. 2006). This Workgroup recommended surveillance programs for

rural private well water in areas at high risk for contamination. They suggested that

effective waste and wastewater treatment practices known for managing human wastes,

augmented with emerging technologies, should be translated into practice to prevent

consumption of emerging contaminants, such as veterinary pharmaceuticals (including

antibiotics and anabolic hormones). The Workgroup identified a need for

implementation of best management practices through education and regulation to

reduce release of CAFO contaminants into surface waters and aquifers.

The Workgroup on The Potential Role of CAFOs in Infectious Disease Epidemics and

Antibiotic Resistance raised concerns about the practice of co-locating swine and

poultry facilities and the specter of a global pandemic arising from new strains of avian


influenza incubated in swine and transmitted to humans (Gilchrist et al. 2006). They

recommended that minimum separation distances should be established and that

animals should not be fed tissues, fecal matter, or contaminated water from other

animals. This Workgroup stated that solid tanks for storage of manure and municipal

style waste treatment are necessary to limit microbial contamination of soil and water,

prevent access to waterfowl and limit the spread of disease. The Workgroup strongly

endorsed phasing out the use of antimicrobial agents as growth promotants in the U.S.,

as is happening in the European Union and was called for by the World Health

Organization and dozens of scientific and medical organizations. One complication is a

difference between the U.S. and the European Union animal industries’ interpretation of the

terms, “growth promoter” and “therapeutic use.” In the U.S., some routine, non-therapeutic uses

of antibiotics are not considered to be growth promotion, while in the European Union, they are

defined as such. At the time Denmark phased out antibiotic use for animal growth promotion, all

remaining antibiotic uses with animals were administered by prescription only. This phase-out

resulted in an overall drop in antibiotic use of about 54%. On the other hand, the U.S.-based

Animal Health Institute has in the past stated that only about 10% of antibiotic use in U.S.

animal production is for "growth promotion," and that 90% is for "therapeutic use," and almost all

U.S. antibiotics used in animal production are available over-the-counter. This differentiation is

important, as a phase-out of antibiotics used for “growth promotion” as defined in the U.S. would

likely result in a much smaller reduction (10%) than the phase-out of “growth promotion” in

Denmark (54%), given that Denmark’s numbers include some antibiotics administered routinely

for disease prevention or therapy. The Workgroup identified a need to establish national

surveillance programs to track the transmission of antimicrobial resistant organisms

from livestock to humans and to identify ecological reservoirs and impacts.


Fingerprinting of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a necessary component and will allow

characterization of changes in resistance profiles over time.

The Workgroup on Community Health and Socioeconomic Issues Surrounding CAFOs

considered the impacts of industrialization of livestock production on rural communities

in terms of economics, social capital and quality of life (Donham et al. 2006). They

recommended comprehensive community health studies comparing physical, mental

and social health outcomes, and economic conditions in comparable communities with

and without large livestock operations. This Workgroup noted that much of the research

funding for agriculture is directed toward non-sustainable production and recommended

that funds be reoriented to sustainable systems. The Workgroup concurred that there is

sufficient information on the hazards of CAFOs to communities that a more measured

approach to siting and permitting of facilities and waste management is needed and that

permits should consider watershed level animal density and dispersion of airshed

emissions. Permitting decisions should also include greater involvement of communities

through public hearings and open meetings. The Workgroup suggested that permits for

manure storage reservoirs should require bonding in order to ensure that spills will be

cleaned up and manure lagoons will be decommissioned rather than abandoned,

should the producer become insolvent.

There was general agreement among all workgroups that the industrialization of

livestock production over the past three decades has not been accompanied by

commensurate modernization of regulations to protect the health of the public, or


natural, public-trust resources, particularly in the U.S. While the European Union has

made greater strides, there is room for further improvements in the control of air and

water pollutants from CAFOs in Europe as well as the U.S. Expansion of large CAFOs

into Central and Eastern Europe and South America is occurring without attention to

lessons learned from health and environmental problems in the U.S. and Western

Europe. Major concerns exist over the role of intensive livestock production in influenza

outbreaks and the emergence of antibiotic resistant organisms. Recent attention to

these risks among the scientific community, the public and governments is encouraging.


Iowa State University and the University of Iowa Study Group. 2002. Iowa Concentrated

Animal Feeding Operations Air Quality Study, University of Iowa, pp. 1-221. Available: [accessed 10 October 2005]

Otto D, Lawrence J. 2000. The Iowa Pork Industry 2000: Trends and Economic

Importance, ISU Economics Working Paper. Available: [accessed 10 October 2005]

Heederik D, Sigsgaard T, Thorne PS, Kline JN, Avery R, Chrischilles EA, et al. 2006.

Health Effects of Airborne Exposures from CAFOs, Environ Health Perspect, this issue .


Bunton B, O’Shaughnessy P, Fitzsimmons S, Gering J Hoff S, Lyngbye M, et al. 2006.

Modeling and Monitoring of Emissions from CAFOs, Environ Health Perspect, this


Burkholder J, Libra B, Weyer P, Heathcote S, Kolpin D, Thorne PS, et al. 2006. Impacts

of CAFOs on Water Quality, Environ Health Perspect, this issue.

Gilchrist M, Greko C, Thorne PS, Wallinga D, Riley D, Beran G. 2006. The Potential

Role of CAFOs in Infectious Disease Epidemics and Antibiotic Resistance, Environ

Health Perspect, this issue


Donham K, Wing S, Osterberg D, Flora J, Hodne C, Lewis L, et al. 2006. Community

Health and Socioeconomic Issues Surrounding CAFOs, Environ Health Perspect, this


Health Effects of Airborne Exposures from

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

Dick Heederik, Torben Sigsgaard, Peter S. Thorne, Joel N.

Kline, Rachel Avery, Jacob Bønløkke, Elizabeth A.

Chrischilles, James A. Dosman, Caroline Duchaine, Steven

R. Kirkhorn, Katarina Kulhankova and James A. Merchant

doi:10.1289/ehp.8835 (available at

Online 14 November 2006

Health Effects of Airborne Exposures from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

Workgroup Report: “Environmental Health Impacts of CAFOs: Anticipating Hazards –

Searching for Solutions.” March 29-31, 2004, Iowa City, Iowa


Dick Heederik, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands (Co-Chair)

Torben Sigsgaard, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark (Co-Chair)

Peter S. Thorne, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

Joel N. Kline, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

Rachel Avery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Jacob Bønløkke, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark

Elizabeth A. Chrischilles, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

James A. Dosman, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Caroline Duchaine, Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Steven R. Kirkhorn, National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield, WI, USA

Katarina Kulhankova, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

James A. Merchant, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa,


Toxic gases, vapors and particles are emitted from Concentrated Animal Feeding

Operations (CAFOs) into the general environment. These include ammonia, hydrogen

sulfide, carbon dioxide, malodorous vapors and particles contaminated with a wide range of

microorganisms. Little is known about the health risks of exposure to these agents for people

living in the surrounding areas. Malodor is one of the predominant concenrs and indications

exist that psycho-physiological changes may occur as a result of exposure to malodorous

compounds. There is a paucity of data regarding community health effects related to low

level gas and particulate emissions. Most information comes from studies among workers in

these installations. Research over the last decades has shown that microbial exposures, and

especially endotoxin exposure, are related to deleterious respiratory health effects, of which

cross-shift lung function decline, and accelerated decline over time are the most pronounced

effects. Studies in naïve subjects and workers have shown respiratory inflammatory

responses related to the microbial load. The working group concluded that there is a great

need to evaluate health effects due to exposures that originate from CAFOs and are emitted

into the general environment. Research should not only focus on nuisance and odors but

also on potential health effects from microbial exposures focusing on susceptible subgroups,

especially asthmatic children and the elderly, since these exposures have been shown to be

related to respiratory health effects among workers in CAFOs.


Community Health and Socioeconomic Issues

Surrounding CAFOs

Kelley J. Donham, Steven Wing, David Osterberg, Jan L.

Flora, Carol Hodne, Kendall M. Thu and Peter S. Thorne

doi:10.1289/ehp.8836 (available at

Online 14 November 2006


A consensus of the Workgroup on Community and Socioeconomic Issues was that “Improving

and sustaining healthy rural communities depends on integrating socioeconomic development

and environmental protection.” The workgroup agreed that the World Health Organization’s

definition of health, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely

the absence of disease or infirmity,” applies to rural communities. These principles are

embodied in the following main points agreed upon by this workgroup. Healthy rural

communities ensure: a) the physical and mental health of individuals; b) financial security for

individuals and the greater community; c) social well being; d) social and environmental justice,

and; e) political equity and access. This workgroup evaluated impacts of the proliferation of

CAFOs on sustaining the health of rural communities. Recommended policy changes include a

more stringent permitting process for CAFOs, considering bonding for manure storage basins,

limitations on animal density per watershed, enhanced local control, and mandated

environmental impact statements.


The Potential Role of CAFOs in Infectious

Disease Epidemics and Antibiotic Resistance

Mary J. Gilchrist, Christina Greko, David B. Wallinga,

George W. Beran, David G. Riley and Peter S. Thorne

doi:10.1289/ehp.8837 (available at

Online 14 November 2006


The industrialization of livestock production and the widespread use of non-therapeutic

antimicrobial growth promotants has intensified the risk for the emergence of new, more

virulent, or more resistant microorganisms. These have reduced the effectiveness of several

classes of antibiotics for treating infections in humans and livestock. Recent outbreaks of

virulent strains of influenza have arisen from swine and poultry raised in close proximity. This

Working Group considered the state of the science around these issues and concurred with the

World Health Organization call for a phasing-out of the use of antimicrobial growth promotants

for livestock and fish production. We also agree that all therapeutic antimicrobial agents should

be available by prescription only for both human and veterinary use. Concern about the risk of

an influenza pandemic leads us to recommend that regulations be promulgated to restrict the

co-location of swine and poultry CAFOs on the same site and to set appropriate separation



Monitoring and Modeling of Emissions from

CAFOs: Overview of Methods

Bryan Bunton, Patrick O’Shaughnessy, Sean Fitzsimmons,

John Gering, Stephen Hoff, Merete Lyngbye, Peter S.

Thorne, Jeffrey Wasson and Mark Werner

doi:10.1289/ehp.8838 (available at

Online 14 November 2006


This workgroup report is the outgrowth of a conference entitled, “Environmental Health Impacts

of CAFOs: Anticipating Hazards – Searching for Solutions,” held March 29-31, 2004 in Iowa

City, Iowa.

Accurate monitors are required to determine ambient concentration levels of contaminants

emanating from Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), and accurate models are

required to indicate the spatial variability of concentrations over regions affected by CAFOs. A

thorough understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of concentration levels could then

be associated with locations of healthy individuals or subjects with respiratory ailments to

statistically link the presence of CAFOs to the prevalence of ill health effects in local

populations. This workgroup report covers a description of the instrumentation currently

available for assessing contaminant concentration levels in the vicinity of CAFOs and reviews

plume dispersion models that may be utilized to estimate concentration levels spatially.

Recommendations for further research with respect to ambient air monitoring include accurately

determining long-term average concentrations for a region under the influence of CAFO

emissions using a combination of instruments based on accuracy, cost, and sampling duration.

In addition, development of instruments capable of accurately quantifying adsorbed gases and

volatile organic compounds is needed. Further research with respect to plume dispersion

models includes identifying and validating the most applicable model for use in predicting

downwind concentrations from CAFOs. Additional data are needed to obtain reliable emission

rates from CAFOs.


Impacts of Waste from Concentrated Animal

Feeding Operations (CAFOs) on Water Quality

JoAnn Burkholder, Bob Libra, Peter Weyer, Susan

Heathcote, Dana Kolpin, Peter S. Thorne and

Michael Wichman

doi:10.1289/ehp.8839 (available at

Online 14 November 2006


Waste from agricultural livestock operations has been a long-standing concern with respect to

contamination of water resources, particularly in terms of nutrient pollution. However, the recent

growth of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) presents a greater risk to water

quality due to both the increased volume of waste and to contaminants that may be present

(e.g. antibiotics and other veterinary drugs) that may have both environmental and public health

importance. Based on available data, generally accepted livestock waste management practices

do not adequately or effectively protect water resources from contamination with excessive

nutrients, microbial pathogens, and pharmaceuticals present in the waste. Impacts on surface

water sources and wildlife have been documented in many agricultural areas in the United

States. Potential impacts on human and environmental health from long-term inadvertent

exposure to water contaminated with pharmaceuticals and other compounds are a growing

public concern. The workgroup identified needs for rigorous ecosystem monitoring in the

vicinity of CAFOs, and for improved characterization of major toxicants affecting the

environment and human health. Lastly, there is a need to promote and enforce best practices

to minimize inputs of nutrients and toxicants from CAFOs into freshwater and marine



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.

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 ;

3:30 Transmission of the Italian Atypical BSE (BASE) in Humanized Mouse Models
Qingzhong Kong, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Pathology, Case Western Reserve University
Bovine Amyloid Spongiform Encephalopathy (BASE) is an atypical BSE strain discovered recently in Italy, and similar or different atypical BSE cases were also reported in other countries. The infectivity and phenotypes of these atypical BSE strains in humans are unknown. In collaboration with Pierluigi Gambetti, as well as Maria Caramelli and her co-workers, we have inoculated transgenic mice expressing human prion protein with brain homogenates from BASE or BSE infected cattle. Our data shows that about half of the BASE-inoculated mice became infected with an average incubation time of about 19 months; in contrast, none of the BSE-inoculated mice appear to be infected after more than 2 years. These results indicate that BASE is transmissible to humans and suggest that BASE is more virulent than classical BSE in humans.

1997 TO 2006. SPORADIC CJD CASES TRIPLED, with phenotype
of 'UNKNOWN' strain growing. ...

There is a growing number of human CJD cases, and they were presented last week in San Francisco by Luigi Gambatti(?) from his CJD surveillance collection.

He estimates that it may be up to 14 or 15 persons which display selectively SPRPSC and practically no detected RPRPSC proteins.

[Docket No. FSIS-2006-0011] FSIS Harvard Risk Assessment of Bovine
Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Singeltary submission


Research Project: Study of Atypical Bse

Location: Virus and Prion Diseases of Livestock

Project Number: 3625-32000-073-07

Project Type: Specific C/A

Start Date: Sep 15, 2004

End Date: Sep 14, 2007


The objective of this cooperative research project with Dr. Maria Caramelli from the Italian BSE Reference Laboratory in Turin, Italy, is to

conduct comparative studies with the U.S. bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) isolate and the atypical BSE isolates identified in Italy.

The studies will cover the following areas: 1. Evaluation of present diagnostics tools used in the U.S. for the detection of atypical BSE cases. 2.

Molecular comparison of the U.S. BSE isolate and other typical BSE isolates with atypical BSE cases. 3. Studies on transmissibility and tissue

distribution of atypical BSE isolates in cattle and other species.


This project will be done as a Specific Cooperative Agreement with the Italian BSE Reference Laboratory, Istituto

Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, in Turin, Italy. It is essential for the U.S. BSE surveillance program to

analyze the effectiveness of the U.S diagnostic tools for detection of atypical cases of BSE. Molecular comparisons of

the U.S. BSE isolate with atypical BSE isolates will provide further characterization of the U.S. BSE isolate.

Transmission studies are already underway using brain homogenates from atypical BSE cases into mice, cattle and

sheep. It will be critical to see whether the atypical BSE isolates behave similarly to typical BSE isolates in terms of

transmissibility and disease pathogenesis. If transmission occurs, tissue distribution comparisons will be made between

cattle infected with the atypical BSE isolate and the U.S. BSE isolate. Differences in tissue distribution could require

new regulations regarding specific risk material (SRM) removal.

Page 5 of 98



[Docket No. 03-025IFA] FSIS Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk
Materials for Human Food and Requirement for the Disposition of
Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle



Full Text

Diagnosis and Reporting of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Singeltary, Sr et al. JAMA.2001; 285: 733-734.


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