In this issue:
Outlook from the outhouse
Replacing resistant with susceptible worms -link to Melissa George article (ParaBoss)
Poultry killed by ‘worm’? (+ lots of snake info)
Tapeworm in raw/undercooked fish
Appendicitis and worms in humans
You’ll never lamb alone (annual MLA-sponsored video)
Marriage of sugar and tobacco (Taubes)
Stolen (ported) phone number and ‘catastrophic’ identity fraud scam
Food hazards for dogs etc
Outlook from the Outhouse
Over the last 3 months, rainfall for much of NSW, certainly coastal and nearby regions and much of northern NSW, has been below average. For the same period – the last 12 months in fact – temperatures have been above average. But you know that.
None of this augurs well for sheep worms – or grass – but remember that L3 infective larvae on pasture are relatively resilient and don’t fall over at the drop of a hat, even though death rates increase as temps go up.
Eyeballing summary worm egg counting results for December from the Armidale lab (vhr.com.au) – mostly covering northern NSW, but also farther afield – average egg counts for sheep are lower than we expected (back in Spring), but there are still some ‘hotspots’, as always.
One mob of ewes at Armidale had an average egg count of 5700 eggs per gram, with one sheep having a count of 12,400. The one that took the cake was a mob at Narrabri where the counts (they were barber’s pole worm) ranged from 2500 up to almost 20, 000. Some of those sheep had very watery blood.
Why these hotspots? Well, I guess some people get lucky with storms. There might also be some management factors. A ‘biggy’ in most cause is lack of WormTesting: doing insufficient worm egg counting to get a handle on worm burdens, and drench efficacy. Yep, more often than not, unwittingly using effective drenches is one of the factors.
Replacement of resistant worms with susceptible worms—can we do it and is it sustainable?
This is an article by Melissa George, which has just appeared as a ParaBoss Feature Article.
Yet another reason to subscribe to ParaBoss news.
The article is very interesting , but does raise a number of issues and questions. Also, you have to consider biosecurity. For example, where do the larvae come from? Is there any chance they could, for example, be carrying Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, the causative agent of ovine Johnes disease?
Poultry death associated with a ‘worm’ (Tiger Snake)
Friend and former colleague, Dr Steven Hum, found a couple of his chooks dead. There was nothing remarkable at necropsy except for a baby tiger snake in the crop of one bird.
Steven quite plausibly theorised that the chooks thought the young snake was an earthworm or similar, went for it, both getting bitten in the course of events, with one, the ‘victor’, swallowing? the the baby snake.
Dr Rod Reece (veterinary pathologist/registered avian medicine specialist; EMAI) found it interesting that one bird managed to at least ingest the snake [into crop], noted that Tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus), which are oviviparous, are considered potentially poisonous at birth, and overall found the case intriguing. Rod also noted that brown snakes are more toxic than tiger snakes.
Some consider the brown snake to be the second most toxic snake in the world, after Australia’s inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus), aka western taipan, the small-scaled snake, or the fierce snake).
Many thanks to SH and RR for the story and further information.
isbister-gk-2006-snakebite-managment-australia-aust-prescriber (‘excuse typo: “management”)
Tapeworm in raw, under-cooked fish
‘US salmon may carry Japanese tapeworm, scientists say.’
So says an article (with nice pictures ) by CNN:
The Japanese tapeworm is Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense (Japanese broad tapeworm) which previously/commonly was believed to occur only in fish in Asia
CNN cites this paper:
Kuchta R, Oros M, Ferguson J, Scholz T. Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense tapeworm larvae in salmon from North America. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 Feb. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2302.161026 (Accessed 2017-01-12. Interesting, short article with great pics!)
‘Because Pacific salmon are frequently exported unfrozen, on ice, plerocercoids may survive transport and cause human infections in areas where they are not endemic, such as China, Europe, New Zealand, and middle and eastern United States (1).”
Back in the 1950s(?) when Europeans came out to work on the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Power Scheme, Diphyllobothrium latum was discovered, but I presume transmission didn’t happen. (M Murphy, pers comm)
Appendicitis and worms in humans
(Thanks Maxine M, for planting the idea…:-)
- Allen and Tsai, 2016. Unusual case of appendicitis. BMJ Case Report. http://casereports.bmj.com/content/2016/bcr-2016-214944.full?sid=97e8e9a9-53d6-4e0f-b45a-070839fbf964 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3668147/Teenager-s-appendicitis-infestation-WORMS-wriggling-inside-her.html Nice pics!); reporting on Allen and Tais, 2016. Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm).
- Aydin O, 2007.Incidental parasitic infestations in surgically removed appendices: a retrospective analysis. Diagn Pathol. 2007; 2: 16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1887519/ (Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm) and Taenia spp (taeniid taspeworm…eg ‘beef measles and pork measles’); “The …report describes a group of patients who had experienced a curable infectious disease, but unfortunately had undergone a surgery with potential complications”
- Panidis S and others, 2011. Acute appendicitis secondary to Enterobius vermicularis infection in a middle-aged man: a case report. Journal List J Med Case Reports v.5; 2011 PMC3245485. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3245485/ .
“Acute appendicitis due to Enterobius vermicularis is very rare, affecting mostly children. Whether pinworms cause inflammation of the appendix or just appendiceal colic has been a matter of controversy.” ..” 52 year old man…” “The finding of E. vermicularis in appendectomy pathological specimens is infrequent. Parasitic infections rarely cause acute appendicitis, especially in adults. One should keep in mind that the clinical signs of intestinal parasite infection may mimic acute appendicitis, although rare. A careful evaluation of symptoms such as pruritus ani, or eosinophilia on laboratory examination, could prevent unnecessary appendectomies.”
- Wani I and others, 2010.Appendiceal ascariasis in children Ann Saudi Med. 2010 Jan-Feb; 30(1): 63–66. doi: 10.4103/0256- 4947.59380 PMCID: PMC2850184 “RESULTS: We found 11 patients with appendiceal ascariasis. It was incidentally found that 8/11
(72.7%) patients had worms inside their vermiform appendix but not appendicitis, whereas the remaining three patients (27.2%) were found to have Ascaris-associated appendicitis. The characteristic finding in Ascaris-infested vermiform appendix was that the worm is positioned with its head at the base and its tail at the tip of the appendix.CONCLUSION: Migration of A lumbrocoides inside the vermiform appendix is an incidental finding and tends to pursue a silent course in most patients. Only rarely does the presence of Ascaris inside the vermiform appendix cause appendicitis”.
- Threadworms in the appendix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p08PVGKE0I8
Warning to young fathers: Do not suggest to your wife/partner, as I did, that sheep drench (wormer) would be a far, far cheaper option than the stuff from the chemist for treating the children when they had itchy bottoms/suspect pinworm. (Persisting in discussing) the potential savings might come at a cost. (Apart from legal issues.. etc..)
You’ll never lamb alone
Marriage of sugar and tobacco
This is the title of a chapter in Gary Taube’s new book, ‘The Case Against Sugar’.
(Here is just one review of the book:
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/01/the-sugar-wars/508751/ If you want a ‘soundbite’, this is The Atlantic’s take: “The Sugar Wars – Science can’t prove it and the industry denies it, but Gary Taubes is convinced that the sweet stuff kills”).
I didn’t realise there was a tie between sugar and tobacco.
According to Taubes, American blended cigarettes were a big factor in tobacco usage really taking off. The blends were, for example, of flue-dried tobacco and air dried tobacco.
In flue-dried tobacco, the sugar content increases markedly. Sugar causes the smoke to acidify, which means the smoke can be inhaled without discomfort. Smoke from air dried tobacco is alkaline, which causes the coughing reflex.
Most of the nicotine is absorbed from the lungs.
It’s a bit more complicated (you might have to read the book), but there is also a relationship between nicotine and sugar. Higher sugar levels tend to mean lower nicotine levels, but there are other factors….
Farmers producing air-dried tobacco, which has higher nicotine levels, discovered that if the leaves were soaked in sugar solution, they would take up the sugar, increasing their weight by up to 50%. And sugar was much cheaper than tobacco. The sugar improved the experience and meant the smoke could be inhaled without discomfort.
Anyway, the long and short of it is that Taubes, citing various sources, including from the 1950s (before the tobacco industry was under a serious cloud), says that sugar was an important part of the tobacco story. But read the book and make your own judgements.
As to ‘soft drinks’ (‘soda pop’), Dr Pepper, Coca-Cola and Pepsi were all launched, says Taubes, in the 1880s. Pemberton, the inventor of Coca Cola, was an Atlanta maker of patent medicines, and was addicted to morphine courtesy of injuries from the Civil War. The original recipe included a very popular French wine, Vin Mariani, Bordeaux wine infused with the leaves of the coca plant (cocaine), mixed this with kola nuts (another popular ingredient in patent medicines), with the carbonated water being dispensed from soda fountains. Pemberton removed the wine from the formula in 1885, as some counties in Georgia banned the sale of alcohol. That’s when he added sugar to disguise the bitterness of the kola and the coca leaves. (These soft drinks and fruit juices now are commonly ~ 10-12% sucrose, or equivalent (e.g. HFCS55 (high fructose corn syrup (~ 45% glucose/~55% fructose)).
Stolen phone number led to ‘catastrophic’ identity fraud scam
Food hazards for dogs and other animals