Browsing by Subject "SPORES"

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  • Friman, Mari; Kakko, Leila; Constantin, Camelia; Simojoki, Heli; Andersson, Maria A.; Nagy, Szabolcs; Salonen, Heidi; Andersson, Magnus (2019)
    Bacillus anthracis infecting cattle is usually identified based on the typical symptom: sudden death. Bacillus anthracis causing atypical symptoms may remain undiagnosed and represent a potential occupational health hazard for, that is veterinarians and producers, butchers and tanners. In the year 2004, one case of sudden death in a dairy farm in southern Finland was diagnosed as bovine anthrax. Four years later 2008, an atypical case of anthrax was diagnosed in the same holding. The bull was taken to the Production Animal Hospital of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki because of fever, loss of appetite and a symmetrically swollen scrotal sac. Penicillin treatment cured the fever but not the swollen scrotum. Before the intended therapeutic castration, a punctuate consisting of 10 ml fluid collected into a syringe from the scrotal sac was cultivated on blood agar at 37 degrees C. After 24 hr, an almost pure culture of a completely non-hemolytic Bacillus cereus-like bacteria was obtained. The strain was identified as B. anthracis using Ba-specific primers by the Finnish Food Safety Authority (RUOKAVIRASTO). After the diagnosis, the bull was euthanized and destroyed, the personnel were treated with prophylactic antibiotics and the clinic was disinfected. In this particular case, treatment with water, Virkon S and lime seemed to be effective to eliminate endospores and vegetative cells since no relapses of anthrax have occurred in 10 years. This case is the last reported anthrax case in Finland.
  • Rodriguez, C.; Taminiau, B.; Bouchafa, L.; Romijn, S.; Rajamaki, M. M.; Van Broeck, J.; Delmee, M.; Clercx, C.; Daube, G. (2019)
    Zoonotic transmission of Clostridium difficile has been largely hypothesised to occur after direct or indirect contact with contaminated animal faeces. Recent studies have reported the presence of the bacterium in the natural environment, including in soils and rivers. If C. difficile spores are scattered in the environment, they can easily enter the respiratory tract of dogs, and therefore, dog nasal discharge could be a direct route of transmission not previously investigated. This study reports for the first time the presence of C. difficile in the respiratory tracts of dogs. The bacterium was isolated from 6 (17.1%) out of 35 nasal samples, with a total of 4 positive dogs (19%). C. difficile was recovered from both proximal and distal nasal cavities. All isolates were toxigenic and belonged to PCR- ribotype 014, which is one of the most predominant types in animals and in community- acquired C. difficile infections in recent years. The findings of this study demonstrate that the nasal cavity of dogs is contaminated with toxigenic C. difficile, and therefore, its secretions could be considered as a new route by which bacteria are spread and transmitted.
  • Pernu, Noora; Keto-Timonen, Riikka; Lindström, Miia; Korkeala, Hannu (2020)
    Clostridium botulinum is a significant food safety concern due to its ability to produce highly potent neurotoxin and resistant endospores. Vegetarian sausages have become a popular source of plant protein and alternative for meat products. While vegetarian sausages have not been linked to botulism, numerous outbreaks due to preserved vegetables suggest a frequent occurrence of C. botulinum spores in the raw material. The product formulation of vegetarian sausages involves limited NaCl and preservatives, and shelf-lives may be several months. The safety of vegetarian sausages thus relies mainly on heat treatment and chilled storage. The main food safety concern is C. botulinum Group II that can grow and produce toxin at refrigeration temperatures. Here we show a high overall prevalence (32%) of C. botulinum in 74 samples of vegetarian sausages from seven producers. Both Groups I and II strains and genes for neurotoxin types A, B, E and F were detected in the products. The highest cell counts (1200 spores/kg) were observed for C. botulinum Group II in products with remaining shelf-lives of 6 months at the time of purchase. We conclude that vacuum-packaged vegetarian sausage products frequently contain C. botulinum spores and may possess a high risk of C. botulinum growth and toxin production. Chilled storage below 3°C and thorough reheating before consumption are warranted.
  • Hugg, Timo T.; Tuokila, Mirkka; Korkonen, Sanna; Weckström, Jan; Jaakkola, Maritta S.; Jaakkola, Jouni J. K. (2020)
    Introduction It is important to study potential differences in pollen concentrations between sampling heights because of diverse outdoor and indoor activity of humans (exposure) at different height levels in urban environments. Previous studies have investigated the effect of height on pollen concentrations based on just one or a few sampling points. We studied the effect of sampling height on grass pollen concentrations in several urban environments with different levels of urbanity. Methods This study was conducted in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Finland, in 2013 during the pollen season of grasses. Pollen grains were monitored in eight different points in the morning and afternoon. Rotorod-type samplers were attached on sampling poles at the heights of 1.5 meters and 4 meters. Results Grass pollen concentrations were on average higher at the height of 1.5 meters (Helsinki mean 5.24 grains / m3; Espoo mean 75.71 grains / m3) compared to the height of 4 meters (Helsinki mean 3.84 grains / m3; Espoo mean 37.42 grains / m3) with a difference of 1.40 grains / m3 (95% CI -0.21 to 3.01) in Helsinki, and 38.29 grains / m3 (7.52 to 69.07) in Espoo, although not always statistically significant. This was detected both in the morning and in the afternoon. However, in the most urban sites the levels were lower at 1.5 meters compared to 4 meters, whereas in the least urban sites the concentrations were higher at 1.5 meters. In linear regression models with interaction terms, the modifying effect of urbanity on concentration-height relation was statistically significant in both cities. The effect of urbanity on pollen concentrations at both heights was stronger in less urban Espoo. Conclusions The present study provides evidence that height affects the abundance and distribution of grass pollen in urban environments, but this effect depends on the level of urbanity.