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Friday, February 26, 2016

Memo to Brazilian visitors to this site concerned about Zika

If you're in Brazil, urge you scientists to consider the possibility that Zika is really another flavivirus, Classical Swine Fever virus.

Read this description of Classical Swine Fever Virus (which is infecting pigs in areas of Brazil with the so-called Zika problem)

Molecular Characterization of Classical swine fever virus Involved in the Outbreak in Mizoram

 Does this sound like Zika?

 "Highest mortality in young animals was observed during the outbreaks. Percent mortality in pre-weaned and weaned piglets was 50% while 10% in pigs above 1 year of age. The disease showed a variable course and clinical symptoms. The affected animals exhibited clinical signs of inappetance, high fever and constipation followed by diarrhea and haemorrhagic patches in skin, characteristic signs of classical swine fever. There were rashes in the belly, medial aspects of thigh and on the base of ears. Necrotic lesions developed on skin in later stages. Affected pigs showed staggering gait. Pregnant sows either aborted or delivered stillborn fetuses. Agalactia was most common sequele of farrowed sows. On post-mortem examination, pathological changes recorded were button ulcer, extensive haemorrhage in intestine, mesenteric lymph nodes, pharyngeal lymph node, and in palatine tonsils. Kidneys and urinary bladder showed haemorrhagic spots."

With Zika cases growing rapidly in US, will anyone look at pigs as a possible reservoir????

How HHV-8, a virus found in 50% of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients, may be causing cancer

Prevalence in the cerebrospinal fluid of the following infectious agents in a cohort of 12 CFS subjects: human herpes virus-6 and 8; chlamydia species; mycoplasma species; EBV; CMV; and Coxsackievirus.

Levine, S. Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 2001, 9, 1/2, 41-51.

Abstract: Over the last decade a wide variety of infectious agents have been associated with the CFS as potential etiologies for this disorder. Many of these agents are neurotrophic and have been linked previously to other diseases involving the central nervous system (CNS). Human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6), especially the B variant, has been found in autopsy specimens of patients who suffered from MS. Because patients with CFS manifest a wide range of symptoms involving the CNS as shown by abnormalities on brain MRIs, SPECT scans of the brain and results of tilt table testing we sought to determine the prevalence of HHV-6, HHV-8, Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), mycoplasma species, chlamydia species, and Coxsackie virus in the spinal fluid of a group of 12 patients with CFS (CDC criteria '94).
We found evidence of HHV-6, HHV-8, chlamydia species, CMV and Coxsackie virus in 6/12 samples. Plasma tests were negative. It was surprising to obtain such a relatively high yield of infectious agents in cell free specimens of spinal fluid that had not been centrifuged. Future research in spinal fluid analysis, in addition to testing tissue samples by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and other direct viral isolation techniques will be important in characterizing subpopulations of CFS patients, especially those with involvement of the CNS.

Want to know more about HHV-8 and what animal might be its natural host? Read this:

High prevalence of antibodies to human herpesvirus 8 in relatives of patients with classic Kaposi's sarcoma from Sardinia.

Infection with human herpesvirus type 8 and Kaposi's sarcoma in Sardinia.


 Epidemiology of HHV8 in Sardinian emigrants

 Both ASFV and HHV-8 Interfere with apoptosis.

Are ASFV-infected Pigs the viral source of HHV-8 related Kaposi's Sarcoma in Sardinia? Is a ASFV-related Kaposi's Sarcoma epidemic possible in Russia where ASFV is spreading?

The world's highest incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma occurs in Sardinia (Reference) Is it possible that it is due to the fact that African Swine Fever Virus is endemic on the island? (Reference) One study suggests that the incidence of K.S. in northern Sardinia is highest in a countryside area where people have contact with animals. (Reference) Given the high prevalence of HHV-8,--the so-called K.S. herpes virus--in Sardinia (Reference) is it at all possible that HHV-8 may have been misclassified and actually is a human-adapted form of African Swine Fever Virus? (ASFV has been at least visually mistaken for another herpes virus, CMV, in the past.)

A number of experiments could be conducted to explore this hypothesis. In addition to a direct comparison of ASFV and HHV-8, pigs with African Swine Fever Virus could be tested for sequences of HHV-8. People with Kaposi's sarcoma could be tested for sequences of African Swine Fever, including new Asfaviridae sequences recently discovered. (Reference) 

A comparison of the K.S. lesions in humans and ASFV lesions in pigs might be in order.Given that African Swine Fever is currently spreading in Russia and is now threatening Europe and China, (Reference) it would be useful to know whether people who are exposed to pigs with ASFV are at increased risk for HHV-8, Kaposi's sarcoma and the other pathologies associated with HHV-8. A study in sub-Saharan Africa where ASFV is endemic and HHV-8 is also endemic (Reference) might be useful. And areas of Russia where ASFV is spreading could be monitored closely for any signs of an increase of K.S. or HHV-8 infection and HHV-8 related pathologies.HHV-8 is an emerging health problem. HHV-8-associated K.S. is a significant problem in AIDS patients. It may also be the key to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. HHV-8 has been found in the cerebrospinal fluid of 50% of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients. (Reference) HHV-8 has been linked to type 2 diabetes. (Reference) HHV-8 has been detected in B-cells in Castleman's disease and primary effusion lymphoma. (Reference).

If HHV-8 is a form of ASFV, it is possible that pigs might constitute a useful animal model for the study of possible treatments for K.S. and other pathologies associated with HHV-8 like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And if there is any relationship between ASFV and HHV-8, people may have to be warned to take special precautions around pigs in areas where there are ASFV outbreaks. And countries where undercooked pork is consumed (like Ukraine where salo is a staple) may need to alert the public to cook all pork products thoroughly during ASFV epidemics.


Is this a clue that Zika problems is caused by Classical Swine Fever Virus in Brazil's pigs?

Zika Virus Linked to Stillbirth

Brazil Develops Contingency Plan for Classical Swine Fever

 "The latest cases were reported in Brazil in August 2009, in Amapá, Pará and Rio Grande do Norte."

Abortion in Pigs

"Many agents that cause reproductive failure in sows produce a broad spectrum of sequelae, including abortions and weak neonates, as well as stillbirth, mummification, embryonic death, and infertility. Mummification is seen more frequently in swine than in many other species because of the large litter size. If only a few fetuses die, abortion rarely occurs; instead, mummies are delivered at term, along with live piglets or stillbirths. . . The major infectious causes of reproductive failure in pigs include porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, porcine parvovirus, pseudorabies virus, Japanese B encephalitis virus, classical swine fever virus, Leptospira spp, and Brucella suis  

Are Zika babies suffering from a congenital infection of a new or old strain of HHV-6.

Are pigs in the Zika areas of Brazil infected with a new or old strain of HHV-6?

Are scientists even aware that HHV-6 may also be a porcine infection? 

Is the Guillain-Barre problem also a hint that the underlying problem is HHV-6?

HHV-6 has been isolated from various tissues, cells, and fluid in association with the following conditions:
"Mechanical transmission by vehicles and equipment, as well as by personnel (notably veterinarians) travelling between pig farms, are also significant means of spread of CSF [Classical Swine Fever Virus, a flavivirus like Zika] within infected areas. The persistence of CSFV within herds for long periods has been observed. Infections of sows during pregnancy with low to moderately virulent strains of CSFV may lead to in utero infections of fetuses. These infections lead to litters born persistently infected with CSFV that are carriers of the virus and source for new infections. Persistently infected carrier pigs usually do not show clinical signs but constantly shed CSFV into the environment. Therefore, it is particularly important to consider CSFV infections while investigating herds presenting with unexplained reproductive failures that include clinical manifestations in piglets such as congenital tremor or congenital abnormalities."

Classical Swine Fever in Brazil: An Update - David Publishing
by TRP Freitas - ‎Cited by 1 - ‎Related articles
Aug 20, 2012 - Key words: Classical swine fever, CSF-outbreaks, Brazil. 1. Introduction ... economic losses to the swine industries and pig farmers for beyond ...

Are pigs in Recife, Brazil the real source of the Zika-related problem in Brazil?

World Cup Brazil 2014: Part 1 – Sao Paulo-Recife-Natal for USA vs. Ghana and Japan vs. Greece

Luckily I negotiated a price beforehand instead of going by the meter, as there was massive traffic. Recife, Brazil’s 5th largest city, with a population of about 5m in the metro area, has an amazing coast line, but the interior of the city is very poor.
I immediately could see why Brazilians had been protesting the world cup. There’s no highway that goes across the city. The roads are pocked with pot holes that are big enough to eat your car. There’s a decent homeless population living in the streets. And you can tell people are struggling to get by.
Because traffic was so bad, the taxi driver asked me if we could take an alternate route. I agreed and we went through neighborhoods instead of the main road. I saw feral pigs eating trash, kids wearing shorts and nothing else, dilapidated houses and people with just their basic needs being met."

 If the World Health Organization says that the reservoir of Zika Virus is "unknown," shouldn't scientists be checking the pigs in Brazil for antibodies to it?

Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever. It was subsequently identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
  • Genre: Flavivirus
  • Vector: Aedes mosquitoes (which usually bite during the morning and late afternoon/evening hours)
  • Reservoir: Unknown

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