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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

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    Posted: February 06 2007 at 5:49pm

Volume 13, Number 2–February 2007  From history teaches us from 1918 to keep watch re all animal and disease , this is Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC mix with a child .from CDC

Letterhttp://www.cdc.gov/eid/content/13/2/348.htm

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Excretion by Child and Her Cat

Ulrich Busch,* Stefan Hörmansdorfer,* Stephan Schranner,† Ingrid Huber,* Karl-Heinz Bogner,* and Andreas Sing* Comments to Author
*Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority, Oberschleißheim, Germany; and †Veterinary Inspection Office, Landshut, Germany

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To the Editor: Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) can cause severe hemorrhagic colitis characterized by gastrointestinal symptoms and bloody diarrhea as well as hemolytic uremic syndrome (1). Cattle and small ruminants are the major natural reservoir of these foodborne pathogens (1,2). Human infections may also develop after direct contact with cows, goats, sheep, and deer (1). Although domestic dogs and cats are known as rare EHEC carriers (3,4), no human EHEC infections associated with pet contact have been reported. Here we report the first case of an EHEC strain infecting both a child and her domestic cat.

A 2-year-old girl with bloody diarrhea and vomiting subsequently tested positive for EHEC serotype O145:H–. The isolated strain harbored the pathogenicity-associated genes stx1, stx2, eae, and hly, as tested by PCR. An enterohemolytic phenotype was also present. After notification of the local health authority, a rigorous search for the possible source of the girl's infection was started. When asked for instances of animal contact, her parents mentioned the family cat, which the girl often handled. The cat is restricted to the house, has no contact with other animals, and is fed only canned catfood. The animal strictly uses a litter box, which is cleaned regularly by the parents. No gastrointestinal symptoms in the cat were recorded. Repeated stool samples from the cat grew a strain of EHEC O145:H– that showed the identical pathogenicity gene pattern as the girl's isolate. Moreover, a restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis proved the clonal identity of both strains. Because both the girl and the cat continuously excreted the EHEC strain, the cat was assumed to be a possible source of the girl's infection or reinfection. The cat's infection was treated with probiotics, but the child's EHEC positivity did not change. After 3 months, the girl spontaneously stopped excreting EHEC, while the cat's stool samples remained EHEC positive. The cat was then treated by peroral autovaccination with the heat-inactivated EHEC strain for 10 consecutive days and subsequently stopped shedding EHEC. In the Table, the clinical course and laboratory findings of both girl and cat are summarized.

To our knowledge, this case is the first documented of an EHEC strain's affecting both a human and a domestic cat. Both excreted EHEC for ≈3 months. Although the girl had vomiting and diarrhea, the cat was asymptomatic. Several possibilities regarding the infectious process can be noted. First, the girl might have contracted the disease from her asymptomatic pet. Although in a study on eae-positive E. coli strains, ≈6% of the investigated 62 cats tested positive, none of these cats was infected with EHEC serotype O145:H– (3); this finding indicates that in our case the cat might not have been the direct source for the girl's infection. Moreover, foodborne transmission to the cat seems unlikely because it was exclusively fed with canned food that was heated during preparation. Second, the cat might have been infected by the girl. Although the prevalence of EHEC serotype O145:H– is relatively low, it ranks among the 6 most often isolated non–O157 EHEC strains in human infections, accounting for 5%–7% of all non–O157 EHEC strains in prevalence studies in Finland (5), Germany (6), and the United States (2,7). A similar epidemiologic pattern for EHEC serotype O145:H– is seen in cattle (2,8). Taken together, the prevalence of EHEC serotype O145:H– in cats, humans, and cattle might indicate that the girl was probably more likely the infection source for the cat than vice versa. Third, a cycle of mutual infection and reinfection between the girl and her pet cat cannot be ruled out. Although the excretion rate for EHEC changes over time and EHEC can therefore remain undetected in stool samples while still present within the patient, the child tested EHEC negative for a short period. Despite all the precautions taken, the girl may have been reinfected by the cat.

This case illustrates several issues: 1) domestic animals such as cats (3), dogs (3,4), and rabbits (9) may serve as reservoirs for EHEC, irrespective of whether they are the primary or secondary source for these bacteria; 2) domestic cats as carriers may excrete EHEC for a prolonged period; 3) autovaccination may be effective for treating EHEC-infected animals; and 4) fondness for pets may be problematic: although EHEC O145:H– is among the 4 most often isolated EHEC serotypes associated with severe colitis or life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome (10), the girl's parents, after weighing the infectious risks against the psychological benefits for both their daughter and her feline companion, decided not to send the cat to an animal shelter until its EHEC infection disappeared.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2007 at 3:25am
US embassy warns citizens Indonesian cats may spread bird flu
The Associated Press
Published: February 7, 2007
Indonesia: The U.S. Embassy warned its citizens to avoid contact with stray cats in Indonesia, saying there had been confirmed reports the animals in the country were able to carry the deadly bird flu virus.

The unusual warning came at the end of a posting on the mission's Web site on Wednesday about the risk of the H5N1 virus in general in Indonesia, where the virus is endemic in chickens and has killed more humans than in other nation.

"There have been confirmed reports that wild and stray cats have been shown to carry H5N1. While there have been no documented cases of feline-to-human transmission of H5N1, it is important to avoid contact with wild and stray cats," it said.

The World Heath Organization was not immediately available to comment on the warning.

Last year South Korea slaughtered wild cats when trying to prevent the spread of a bird flu outbreak in poultry. At the time, the U.N.'s food and agriculture organization said the move was highly unusual and "not science based."The embassy said that cats which "reside mainly inside a residence" were not seen to be at risk of catching H5N1.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2007 at 4:08am
 
From FAO .
 
Avian influenza in cats should be closely monitored
So far no sustained virus transmission in cats or from cats to humans
8 February 2007, Rome - Cats can become infected with the highly lethal H5N1 avian influenza virus, but at present there is no scientific evidence to suggest that there has been sustained transmission of the virus in cats or from cats to humans, FAO said in a statement today.

As a precautionary measure, FAO recommended that in areas where the H5N1 virus has been found in poultry or wild birds, cats should be separated from infected birds until the danger has passed. On commercial poultry premises cats should even be kept indoors.

The agency advised against killing cats as a virus control option because there is nothing to suggest that cats are transmitting the virus in a sustained way. Removing cats could lead to a surge in rodents such as rats, which are an agricultural pest and often transmit diseases to humans.

Unconfirmed reports that H5N1 infection has been detected in a high prevalence in cats in Indonesia has caused some alarm. The scavenging cats were sampled in the vicinity of poultry markets in Java and Sumatra where outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza had recently occurred.

This is not the first time that cats have been infected as previous incidents in Thailand, Iraq, the Russian Federation, the European Union and Turkey show. Cats can become infected by feeding on sick domestic or wild birds; they can develop severe to fatal disease and excrete the virus from the respiratory and digestive tracts.

“This raises some concern not only because cats could act as intermediary hosts in the spread of the H5N1 virus between species but also because growth in cats might help the H5N1 virus to adapt into a more highly infectious strain that could spark an influenza pandemic,” said FAO Assistant Director-General Alexander Müller.

“Findings reported from Indonesia in January, however, suggest that around 80 percent of cats in outbreak areas have not been infected. This is rather encouraging because it indicates that cats are unlikely to constitute a reservoir of virus infection. Cats are more likely to be a dead-end host for the H5N1 virus,” said Peter Roeder, FAO Animal Health Officer.

FAO said that cats should be closely monitored for any H5N1 infection. “Any unusual mortality in cats should spark a suspicion of H5N1. Infection in cats could be an early warning signal for the virus. The observation of cats should therefore become part of surveillance systems in affected areas,” Roeder said.

FAO will start field studies in areas in Java where the H5N1 virus is prevalent and where cats have died to investigate their role in disease transmission. This research will be extended to other parts of Indonesia and elsewhere. “We also need experimental studies to better understand the biology of H5N1 infection in cats, including most importantly the duration of virus shedding by infected animals,” Roeder said.

FAO will collaborate with scientific institutions in affected countries and international research centres. http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2007/1000490/index.html

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2007 at 3:40pm

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/02/fda_wild_kitty.html

Salmonella found in wild kitty cat food . they are worried for handlers esp children also can get very ill from just handling poor puss food and puss when ill . Good site for cat owners for all general info for puss.here is part of post.

Cats and other pets consuming this food may become infected with Salmonella. People can also become infected with Salmonella if they handle or ingest the cat food, touch pets that consumed the food, or touch any surfaces that came into contact with the food or pets.

The specific products covered by this warning are Wild Kitty Raw All Natural, Frozen Cat Food ? Chicken with Clam Recipe, Net Wt. 3.5 oz (100g) and 1 lb in plastic containers. Some of these containers may be uncoded.

Salmonella can cause serious illnesses in small children, frail or elderly people, and people and pets with weakened immune systems. Other people and pets may suffer short-term symptoms, such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Long term complications can include arthritis.

The Wild Kitty Cat Food is sold nationwide

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