Viruses In Our Farms

Viruses In Our Farms

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viruses are everywhere; they are found in all living species, including farm animals. However, as long as the animals are healthy, their defense systems (immune systems) keep them under control. About 10, 000 years ago, humans learned to domesticate certain docile animal species, and to breed them for food and clothing. These farming practices worked reasonably well, except for the occasional outbreak of viral diseases such as foot and mouth disease, cattle plague (rinderpest), African swine fever, avian influenza, and salmon rhabdoviruses. However, since the advent of intensive industrial farming practices after World War Two, these and other animal virus diseases have become much more frequent, as a consequence of the stressful existence of the animals. In these conditions the animal defenses can no longer control the viruses, which then multiply and disseminate freely. Sophisticated gene sequencing techniques have shown recently that, each time one of these viruses multiply, they mutate to produce new strains. Sometimes these new virus strains are more pathogenic (disease inducing) than their predecessors, and can spread to new species, including wildlife. The international global trade in animals helps this process. Professor Hudson attempts to explain all this in language suitable for the general reader, with help from accompanying light-hearted anecdotes and illustrations. He also encourages us, faced with the prospect of ever increasing industrial farms, to reconsider how we really want to produce our food.a few micro-drops of a Herpesvirus (say) into a culture of sensitive animal cells, then the virus would multiply within the cells and kill them all within days. ... This simple test indicates a general feature of viruses; most of them do not survive well by themselves in the environment. ... they first need to get past the physical barriers presented by the tissues they encounter, such as skin, hide, hair, horns, etc, anbsp;...

Title:Viruses In Our Farms
Author:James B. Hudson
Publisher:FriesenPress - 2014-10-30


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