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News Release

CountryDateRelease Date


United States


24 Jul 2002

Immediate

CDC Dispatch -- German researchers warn HIV-positive individuals that inadequately pasteurized milk could cause Crohn's

Weakened immune system could allow Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis to infect patient, researchers say

In a July dispatch, the Centers for Disease Control published a report entitled Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Infection in a Patient with HIV, Germany by Researchers Elvira Richter and Sabine Rüsch-Gerdes of the National Reference Center for Mycobacteria, Borstel, Germany, and Johannes Wessling, Norbert Lügering, Wolfram Domschke of the University of Münster, Münster, Germany.

AIDS patient exhibits Crohn's symptoms

The patient had a significant AIDS indicator -- evidence of an opportunistic infection by a Mycobacterium species. The patient had developed profuse diarrhea, high fever, and rapid weight loss. Microbiologic analysis of blood, feces, and biopsies revealed that the patient was infected with what was proven to be Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) both by culture and by PCR test using the IS900 sequence.

Pasteurized dairy products -- the source of infection?

The researchers noted that there is a high dairy cattle herd prevalence of MAP in Europe (7% to 55%) and in the United States (approximately 40% in large herds). They warned, "Thus, consumption of inadequately pasteurized dairy products may be a possible risk for infection, especially for immunocompromised patients."

PARA's director agrees

Karen Meyer, co-executive director of PARA (Paratuberculosis Awareness & Research Association) commented, "These researchers are warning HIV-positive patients not to drink inadequately pasteurized milk. Apparently the CDC agrees, otherwise, why would they have posted this study on their website? The obvious question that HIV patients should ask: 'What is inadequate pasteurization?' According to studies in the UK, particularly a recently published study by Dr. Irene Grant, MAP survives pasteurization. Therefore, 'inadequate pasteurization' is a term that applies to the standard used in the U.S. In light of all of this, we agree with the German researchers' recommendation for HIV patients to avoid 'inadequately pasteurized' milk. It is the prudent thing to do. Moreover, we must then ask the question: 'Who else might have compromised or undeveloped immune systems?' How about babies and children? Shouldn't the CDC be issuing warnings concerning them as well? Shouldn't we be keeping inadequately pasteurized dairy products out of their diets?"

References

CDC dispatch Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Infection in a Patient with HIV, Germany


For further information contact

ContactKaren Meyer and Cheryl Miller
Co-Executive Directors, Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc.
E-mailKaren --or-- Cheryl

Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc.

is a non-profit organization of Crohn's disease patients, their families and friends who are dedicated to the following goals:
  1. To raise awareness of the zoonotic (disease-causing) potential of the bacterium, MAP, in the national community of sufferers of Crohn's disease, in medical, veterinary and food science research communities, in governmental agencies and in the public in general
  2. To urge governmental agencies to directly address control and eventual eradication of MAP from the human environment, particularly from foods of animal origin
  3. To urge governmental and medical research agencies to make funding available for research which will determine the role played by MAP in causing Crohn's disease

Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc.
Box 16219
Temple Terrace, FL 33687-6219
Website http://www.crohns.org/


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