Tiny, Deadly Bug

first_imgThe mortality rate depends on the general immune status of theaffected horses and the virulence of the organism. The rate ishighest among older horses from piroplasmosis-free areas. Infected horses become anemic and suffer fever, weight loss,jaundice and, in some cases, death. “Now that a final decision has been made, we must focus all ofour energy on the proper implementation of the safeguardsoutlined in the 20-point proposal,” Irvin said. “Piroplasmosis is a tick-borne disease that causes anemia,” saidGary Heusner, a University of Georgia Extension Service animalscientist. Of the two types of piroplasmosis, only B. caballi is easilytreated. Treatments include a type of chemotherapy. The FEI agreed to follow strict conditions outlined in a 20-pointproposal allowing piroplasmosis-positive horses into Georgia forthe Games. It took months of negotiations to clear the road to the 1996Olympic equestrian events in Conyers, Ga. And all that debate was over an organism too tiny to see thatcarries a big name — equine piroplasmosis (Babesiosis) — and aneven bigger “stick.” “The organism hasn’t been endemic in Georgia,” he said, “andthat’s the problem with allowing infected horses in.” “It’s such a big deal because we are a nonendemic area and themortality rate is higher among horses in nonendemic areas,”Heusner said. “Horses in the U.S. are at greater risk of death ifhorses that test positive are allowed into the country.” As the rules stand, all horses entering the United States musttest negative to piroplasmosis, including U.S.-origin horsesexported temporarily for competition. To clear the final hurdle, the Georgia Department of Agriculturereached agreement with the Federation Equestre Internationale(FEI), the governing body of international equestriancompetition. “There is one infected horse in Georgia,” Heusner said. “He isunder strict quarantine.” “Piroplasmosis attacks the red blood cells of the host,” Heusnersaid. Piroplasmosis’ incubation period is 12 to 30 days for the B.caballi strain and 12 to 15 days for B. equi. Making matters more complicated, the type of tick that transmitspiroplasmosis is found in Georgia and is in the feeding seasonduring the months of the Olympics. The parasite travels through the gut of ticks into the organs,especially the ovaries, where it multiplies and infects thetick’s eggs. The larvae hatch and penetrate the salivary glands, from whichthey are inoculated into horses. Piroplasmosis was first clinically diagnosed from an importedhorse from Cuba, in 1961. The parasite was first spotted in theUnited States in 1965 in Florida. “This issue has been a topic of debate and intensive study forover three years when piroplasmosis first became a concern,” saidGeorgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin, “and I feel thatmore than ample time has been dedicated to the decision onwhether or not the positive horses will be allowed to enter thestate.” The 20-point proposal put forth by the Department of Agriculturelimits the number of positive horses that will be allowed toenter the state; eliminates positive horses from three-dayevents; and restricts the movement of positive horses once theyenter the state. Piroplasmosis is endemic in Southern Europe, southern Russia,Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Central and South America. TheUnited States, the Netherlands, Ireland, Great Britain andAustralia remain free of the parasite. “It has been and will continue to be my top priority throughoutthis debate to protect Georgia’s and America’s horse industry,”he said, “and I feel confident that these measures will do justthat.”last_img read more

VaxGen sells anthrax vaccine to rival firm

first_img Dec 3, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Newspaper says lobbying helped sink anthrax vaccine” Last September, Emergent won an HHS contract worth up to $448 million to supply 18.75 million doses of BioThrax to HHS for the national stockpile. The company said its acquisition of the VaxGen vaccine will have no effect on the existing contract. The Los Angeles Times reported last December that a lobbying campaign by Emergent had been a factor in the HHS decision to cancel the VaxGen contract. Emergent has a second-generation anthrax vaccine candidate of its own, called rPA 102. Like VaxGen’s vaccine, its active ingredient is a recombinant form of protective antigen (rPA), an anthrax protein. VaxGen’s contract was the first awarded under Project BioShield, a $5.6 billion program to procure medical defenses against the effects of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons. The aim of the contract was to provide a vaccine that requires fewer doses than the existing vaccine and has minimal side effects. May 5 VaxGen news release In a news release announcing the sale, VaxGen President James P. Panek said, “In Emergent, we believe we have identified a partner whose expertise in the field and track record in contracting with government agencies maximizes the chances of returns for our shareholders.” Apr 8 CIDRAP News story “DoD funds development of anthrax vaccine patch Emergent is unlikely to be the only company bidding for the new HHS anthrax vaccine contract. Last month, PharmAthene, an Annapolis, Md., company, announced it had acquired the biodefense business of the British firm Avecia, including the rights to an rPA anthrax vaccine that has gone through phase 2 clinical trials. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded VaxGen an $877 million contract in 2004 to produce 75 million doses of its second-generation anthrax vaccine for the Strategic National Stockpile. But HHS canceled the contract in December 2006, after problems with the vaccine’s stability caused the company to miss a deadline for starting a clinical trial. VaxGen, of South San Francisco, Calif., said it sold the vaccine and related technology to Emergent, based in Rockville, Md., for $2 million. Emergent may be required to pay up to an additional $8 million in milestone payments, plus a percentage of any future sales revenues. ” Emergent, in a release announcing its purchase, said the VaxGen vaccine’s stability has been improved and that a phase 2 clinical trial has been completed. The vaccine could be a leading candidate for a new HHS contract to supply anthrax vaccine for the national stockpile, the company said. The firm said plans call for making the vaccine at Emergent’s new facility in Lansing, Mich. HHS issued a request in February for proposals to provide 25 million doses of anthrax rPA vaccine, according to previous reports. See also: May 5 Emergent news releasehttp://investors.emergentbiosolutions.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=202582&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1139336 A May 5 report in the Washington Post said Emergent’s rPA 102 anthrax vaccine isn’t as far along in development as the VaxGen product. Facing a deadline to submit a proposal to HHS by the end of this month, Emergent decided to bet on the VaxGen vaccine, the story said. Dec 20, 2006, CIDRAP News story “HHS cancels VaxGen anthrax vaccine contract” May 7, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – VaxGen Inc. announced this week the sale of its experimental anthrax vaccine—which the US government pulled the plug on in 2006—to Emergent BioSolutions, maker of the only US-licensed anthrax vaccine. VaxGen spent more than $175 million to develop the vaccine, the Post reported. The story said the company laid off three quarters of its remaining 22 employees last month. Emergent produces BioThrax—also known as Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed—the licensed anthrax vaccine, developed in the 1950s. The product, which is required for US military personnel serving in high-risk areas such as the Middle East, is given in six doses over 18 months, followed by an annual booster. A number of service members have complained of serious side effects from the vaccine, and it was the subject of a long court battle after some sued to stop the program.last_img read more

Hazard’s Strike Ends Liverpool Perfect Season as Arsenal, Spurs Win

first_imgAt Anfield, it was Belgium international Hazard who was introduced as a substitute in the second half and although he was quiet for much of it, burst into action by beating Alberto Moreno and smashing a finish into the far corner.The Blues had been the better side in the first half with striker Alvaro Morata somehow striking a shot across the goalline and the Spaniard also nodded a free header over the crossbar.Premier League leaders Liverpool, who had won all seven games this season, took the lead through Daniel Sturridge’s well-executed hooked finish, just minutes after the England international missed a completely open net.Chelsea levelled the contest through Emerson Palmieri’s close-range finish which needed intervention from the video assistant referee (VAR) to check for offside before being awarded.Liverpool will be looking for revenge when the two sides meet again in the league on Saturday (kick-off 17:30 BST), while the fourth-round draw takes place on the same day.At MK Stadium in Milton Keynes, England international, Dele Alli recused Tottenham Hotspur WOTH a late equaliser after Nigeria’ Issac Success had put Watford in front but Erik Lamela for Spurs and Emmanuel Capoue scored late in the match for the match to go into penalty shoot out which the top English Premiership side won 4-2.Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga saved twice in the shootout before Alli scored the winner.Success and Will Hughes scored for Watford in the shootout but Gazzaniga denied Capoue and Domingos Quina.Son Heung-min, Lamela and Fernando Llorente converted Tottenham’s opening three penalties before Alli, who began his career at MK Dons, slotted past Gomes.Although Tottenham were the ‘home’ side, the game was played at Stadium:MK in Buckinghamshire because of delays in the construction of their new stadium.They had originally expected to move into the 62,000-seater ground by 15 September, but the work has overrun, with no known date for its completion.Tottenham played their first two home Premier League games of the season at Wembley, but that was unavailable for this tie after staging Saturday’s world heavyweight title boxing match between Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin.That meant the four-time League Cup winners played a home match more than 50 miles away from their new stadium.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram CARABAO CUPEden Hazard scored a stunning late winner as Chelsea came from behind to end Liverpool’s perfect start to the season and their hopes of winning the Carabao Cup.Aside Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs also sailed through into the next round but West Ham United secured the biggest win of the night with a 8-0 win over Macclesfield Town.last_img read more