CAHFS Weekly Update: Midwest poultry convention; Babesia added to Red Cross list; Krill to the rescue?
Riikka Soininen, DVM


Poultry experts gather in Minneapolis

The 47th Midwest Poultry Federation Convention gathers more than 3,000 poultry experts, scientists, veterinarians and exhibitors from all sectors of the poultry industry in the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The Convention is filled with workshops, annual meetings, a student careers program and an exhibit hall with 260 exhibitors.

The Convention started yesterday with the North Central Avian Disease Conference with various marvelous presentations, including results from the UMN backyard poultry biosecurity and disease surveillance study.



Babesia added to the Red Cross list of screened pathogens

The FDA has approved a screening test for antibodies to Babesia microti from donated blood. This tick-borne protozoan parasite is the most common Babesia species in the U.S and can cause a life-threatening infection for some people.

The Red Cross started investigational testing for B. microti in selected endemic babesiosis areas already in 2012, and reports that unscreened blood in a highly endemic area is 9 times more likely to be infectious than screened blood.

Other zoonotic pathogens that the Red Cross tests donated blood for are Zika virus, Trypanosoma cruzi and West Nile virus.



Krills a solution to microplastics pollution?

Microplastics can be digested and fragmented to nanoplastics by Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), a planktonic crustacean, according to a study published in Nature Communications.

After five days in a plastic-free environment, no plastics were detected in the krills, suggesting that microplastics ingested by krills do not accumulate in the food chain.

However, the fragmented plastics can be ingested by other organisms and thus these results don’t provide a solution to the levels of plastics and microplastics polluting the oceans.


Midwest Poultry Federation

American Red Cross

Nature Communications