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Happy Earth Day

23 Apr 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest is so pleased we were able to partner with all of these great companies and help our client EMD Serono @emdserono achieve WELL Gold 2018 in their Sagamore Building. This is the first in North America for a new and existing building and only second in the World! EMD Serono makes us a better company! We cannot thank Mr. Jeff Hyman enough for his humane, forward thinking mind that improves environmental and public health in everything he touches!







Happy Earth Day!

Of Mice and Disease: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Discovered in NYC Mice

20 Apr 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger


A STUDY OF MICE COLLECTED FROM APARTMENT BUILDINGS REVEALS THEY CARRY SEVERAL DISEASE-CAUSING PATHOGENS, SOME OF WHICH MAY BE RESISTANT TO TREATMENTS

A study by scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health finds New York City house mice carry bacteria responsible for mild to life-threatening gastroenteritis in people, and some of these bacteria may be resistant to antibiotics. Findings appear in the journal mBio.

The researchers collected 416 mice from residential buildings at seven sites across New York City over a period of one year. A genetic analysis of their droppings revealed that the mice carry several gastrointestinal disease-causing bacteria, including C. difficile, E. coli, Shigella, as well as Salmonella, a leading cause of bacterial food poisoning in the U.S. with 1.4 million reported cases annually along with 15,000 hospitalizations and 400 deaths. They also found evidence of genes mediating antimicrobial resistance to several common antibiotics.

“From tiny studios to penthouse suites, New York City apartments are continually invaded by house mice,” says lead author Simon H. Williams, BSc, a research scientist at CII. “Our study raises the possibility that serious infections—including those resistant to antibiotics—may be passed from these mice to humans, although further research is needed to understand how often this happens, if at all.”

According to the researchers, it is well known that salmonella infections can be the result of food contaminated with animal waste—including mouse feces. C. difficile infections, while mostly acquired in healthcare settings, could also be spread in the community by the mice that harbor the pathogens.

A second study, also published in mBio, provides a detailed look at viruses present in the mice droppings. The researchers found 36 viruses, including six new viruses, none of which are known to infect humans. However, they identified genetic sequences matching viruses that infect dogs, chickens, and pigs, suggesting the possibility that some of the viruses had crossed over from other species. Mice from the Chelsea neighborhood, heavier than mice from other sites, also carried more viruses.

A previous study of rats in New York by investigators at CII found several of the same pathogens, including E. coli, Salmonella, and C. difficile.

“New Yorkers tend to focus on rats because they are larger and we see them scurrying around in streets or subways; however, from a public health vantage point, mice are more worrisome because they live indoors and are more likely to contaminate our environment, even if we don’t see them,” says senior author W. Ian Lipkin, MD, senior author of both papers, John Snow Professor of Epidemiology, and director of CII.

Additional co-authors of the bacteria paper include Xiaoyu Che, Cheng Guo, Bohyun Lee, and Dorothy Muller at CII; Ashley Paulick at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Anne-Catrin Uhlemann and Franklin D. Lowy; and Robert M. Corrigan of RMC Pest Management Consulting. Additional co-authors of the virus paper include Xiaoyu Che, Joel A. Garcia, Bohyun Lee, Dorothy Muller, and Komal Jain at CII; John D. Klena and Stuart Nichol at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Werner Ulrich, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun ́, Poland; and Robert M. Corrigan, RMC Pest Management Consulting.

Both studies were supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (U19AI109761: Center for Research in Diagnostics and Discovery) and from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

To get rid of mice safely and prevent rat and mice infestation, contact EHS Pest.

Source: columbia.edu

Rats and the Diseases They Carry

19 Apr 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest Rodent Expert

This 2014 study reminds us how serious rat can be to public health.

Pest Exclusion to correct structural flaws and landscape exclusion prevent burrowing in soft soil is the only proven long term solution for rat, mouse, insect and nuisance wildlife problems.

Pest proof your living environment and improve your life.

In the first study to look at would-be diseases carried by New York City rats, scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health identified bacterial pathogens, including E. coli, Salmonella, and C. difficile, that cause mild to life-threatening gastroenteritis in people; Seoul hantavirus, which causes Ebola-like hemorrhagic fever and kidney failure in humans. Results appear in the journal mBio.

The researchers trapped 133 Norway rats at 5 sites in New York City, focusing on rats trapped inside residential buildings. In the lab, targeted molecular assays confirmed the presence of 15 of the 20 bacterial and protozoan pathogens they looked for and one virus: Seoul hantavirus was present in eight rats. It is the first time the virus has been documented in New York City, and genetic clues suggest that it may be a recent arrival. Human infection has been associated with multiple cases of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, and chronic renal disease in Maryland and Los Angeles.

It is unknown how often humans become sick from rats and what viruses cross over, but according to first author Cadhla Firth, PhD, transmission could happen in any number of ways. Rats leave behind quantities of the pathogens in saliva, urine, or feces that people or their pets come in contact with.

“New Yorkers are constantly exposed to rats and the pathogens they carry, perhaps more than any other animal,” explains Dr. Firth, who conducted the study as a research scientist at Columbia’s Center for Infection and Immunity. “Despite this, we know very little about the impact they have on human health.”

Animal Model for Hepatitis C

High throughput screening methods developed by the Center for Infection and Immunity employed to test for the presence of known and unknown microbes identified 18 novel viruses, including two rat hepaciviruses dubbed NrHV-1 and NrHV-2. Although these are not the closest relatives to human hepatitis C discovered, the identification of these viruses in a species commonly used in medical research is extremely important, the researchers say. Notably, the two viruses replicate naturally in the animal’s liver, which suggests that their lifecycle is similar to human hepatitis C virus.

“With the loss of the chimpanzee model for hepatitis C, the availability of an animal model that has fidelity to the human model is extremely important to efforts to develop drugs and vaccines,” says senior author W. Ian Lipkin, MD, John Snow Professor of Epidemiology and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia’s Mailman School, who has discovered more than 600 viruses over the course of his career.

An estimated 3.2 million Americans and 130-150 million people worldwide have a chronic hepatitis C virus infection, which can lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis.

Rats as Sentinels for Human Disease

The study developed out of conversations between Dr. Lipkin and the late Joshua Lederberg, a molecular biologist and Nobel laureate. The two scientists wanted to study rats in New York City to have a point of comparison in case a pathogen crossed over and caused a human outbreak. “It started as a biodefense initiative,” says Dr. Lipkin. “If we are to pick up something that is a novel threat to public health, we have to know the baseline microflora.”

Dr. Lipkin continues: “Rats are sentinels for human disease. They’re all over the city; uptown, downtown, underground. Everywhere they go, they collect microbes and amplify them. And because these animals live close to people, there is ample opportunity for exchange.”

Continual monitoring of the rat population is needed along with studies in people to understand how the animals and the microbes they carry make us sick, Dr. Lipkin notes. With modern disease surveillance methods, a repeat of the rat-borne Black Death, which killed as much as 60 percent of the population of 14th Century Europe, or a similar outbreak need not happen.

Dr. Firth is currently a research scientist at CSIRO in Geelong, Australia. Co-authors include Meera Bhat, Simon H. Williams, Juliette M. Conte, James Ng, Joel Garcia, Nishit P. Bhuva, Bohyun Lee, Xiaoyu Che, and Phenix-Lan Quan at the Center for Infection and Immunity; Matthew A. Firth at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Matthew J. Frye at Cornell University; and Peter Simmonds at the University of Edinburgh.

About Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health

Founded in 1922, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health pursues an agenda of research, education, and service to address the critical and complex public health issues affecting New Yorkers, the nation and the world. The Mailman School is the third largest recipient of NIH grants among schools of public health. Its over 450 multi-disciplinary faculty members work in more than 100 countries around the world, addressing such issues as preventing infectious and chronic diseases, environmental health, maternal and child health, health policy, climate change & health, and public health preparedness. It is a leader in public health education with over 1,300 graduate students from more than 40 nations pursuing a variety of master’s and doctoral degree programs. The Mailman School is also home to numerous world-renowned research centers including ICAP (formerly the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs) and the Center for Infection and Immunity. For more information, please visit www.mailman.columbia.edu.

To get rid of rats safely, contact EHS Pest

Mice 'eavesdrop' on rats' tear signal

03 Apr 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest in MA, RI

Tears might not seem to have an odor. But studies have shown that proteins in tears do act as pheromonal cues. For example, the tear glands of male mice produce a protein that makes females more receptive to sex. Now researchers reporting in Current Biology on March 29 have found that rat tears contain proteins with similar functions. The new study also shows that mice pick up on the rats' tear proteins, too. The chemical cue appears to tip the mice off to the fact that predators (i.e., rats) are around.

The findings provide the first example of "olfactory eavesdropping" in the predator-prey communications of mammals, the researchers say.

Researchers led by Kazushige Touhara at the University of Tokyo, Japan, had earlier described a pheromone protein in mouse tears that they call ESP1. In the new study, they hypothesized that proteins secreted in the tear fluid of a predator (rats) might trigger behavioral changes in their prey (mice).

First, they identified a novel compound in rats' tear fluid, which they call cystatin-related protein 1 (CRP1). The protein, produced by male rats, activates receptors in the vomeronasal organ of female rats, prompting them to stop. As the researchers suspected, the protein also activates receptors in the vomeronasal organs of mice.

When mice detect rat CRP1, they report, it activates a defensive circuit in the rodents' brains. As a result, the mice stop moving around as their body temperature and heart rate drop.

Touhara's team found that multiple receptors in the mouse vomeronasal organ detect the rat protein. When the researchers genetically modified mice to block expression of one of those receptors, the animals stopped responding to rat CRP1.

"Our study shows that rat CRP1 is a putative sex pheromone in rats and that mice eavesdrop the rat pheromone as a predator signal," Touhara says.

Touhara says that rat CRP1 is a member of the cystatin superfamily, a group best known for its role in inhibiting enzymes that degrade proteins. That a member of this superfamily would serve as a chemical signal comes as a surprise.

The researchers say that future studies will explore how rat-derived vomeronasal signals are encoded to produce distinct behaviors in the mice. The discovery also opens a new avenue to explore the evolution of predator-prey communications.

This work was supported by the JST ERATO Touhara Chemosensory Signal and the JSPS.

To learn more about mice and their behavior, contact EHS Pest.

Source: sciencedaily.com

Bed Bugs in Kansas City Airport

02 Apr 2018

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest Ma, RI

Bed bugs have been discovered in a sitting area at Kansas City International Airport.

According to reports, airport staff found a live infestation of bed bugs on an upholstered chair in the Missouri airport. The chair was reportedly near several restaurants in Terminal B.

The mezzanine area in the terminal was temporarily closed for cleaning.

Kathleen Hefner, a spokeswoman for KCI, said bed bugs were not found in any other area of the airport, The Kansas City Star reported.

"The mezzanine area in Terminal B is closed briefly out of an abundance of caution to clean for bed bugs found (in a chair) by staff," Hefner said.

"This is not a food-related issue," she added. "The restaurants just happened to be adjacent to the seating in the area."

The mezzanine area has since reopened, following the bed bug treatment.

Looking for an effective and safe bedbug treatment, contact EHS Pest.

Source: fox news


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