Finnish Food Authority


The Finnish Food Authority promotes, supervises and examines food safety and quality, animal health and welfare, plant health, and fertilisers, animal feed, plant protection products, soil conditioners, plant propagation material and raw materials used in agricultural and forestry production.

The Authority is responsible for the use of the assets of the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development in Finland, acts as the Finnish paying agency, and manages EU and national subsidies.

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Recent Submissions

  • Kontturi, Miia; Junni, Reijo; Kujala-Wirth, Minna; Malinen, Erja; Seuna, Eija; Pelkonen, Sinikka; Soveri, Timo; Simojoki, Heli (Elsevier, 2020)
    Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 2020: Vol. 68, 101375.
    Several Finnish dairy herds have suffered from outbreaks of interdigital phlegmon (IP). In these new types of outbreaks, morbidity was high and clinical signs severe, resulting in substantial economic losses for affected farms. In our study, we visited 18 free stall dairy herds experiencing an outbreak of IP and 3 control herds without a similar outbreak. From a total of 203 sampled cows, 60 suffered from acute stage IP. We demonstrated that acute phase response of bovine IP was evident and therefore an appropriate analgesic should be administered in the treatment of affected animals. The response was most apparent in herds with high morbidity in IP and with a bacterial infection comprising Fusobacterium necrophorum and Dichelobacter nodosus, indicating that combination of these two bacterial species affect the severity of the disease.
  • Aarnio, M.; Myllyniemi, A.-L.; Nykäsenoja, S.; Raatikainen, M.; Koivisto, P.; Tuominen, P.; Suomi, J.; Cheung, S.M.; Luostarinen, S.; Ervast, S.; Lehtoranta, S.; Rintamäki, H.; Grönroos, J. (Ruokavirasto, 2019)
    Tässä Ruokaviraston (ennen Elintarviketurvallisuusvirasto Evira), Luken ja SYKEn yhteisprojektissa tutkittiin mikrobilääkejäämien ja resistenttien suolistobakteerien kulkeutumista lääkityistä lypsylehmistä navettaympäristön kautta lantavarastoihin. Lisäksi arvioitiin niiden leviämistä lannan peltolevitysten välityksellä luonnon eliöihin sekä elintarviketuotantoketjussa. Projektissa tutkittiin myös anaerobisen mesofiilisen mädätyksen vaikutuksia lannassa oleviin mikrobilääkejäämiin ja resistentteihin suolistobakteereihin sekä toisaalta lannan mikrobilääkejäämien vaikutusta mädädysprosessin toimintaan. Lisäksi arvioitiin erilaisten lannan prosessointitapojen elinkaarisia ympäristövaikutuksia sekä vaikutuksia mikrobilääkejäämiin ja -resistenssiin. Resistentit ja moniresistentit suolistobakteerit kulkeutuivat lypsykarjatilalla lantavarastoihin, mutta ne eivät rikastuneet lantaketjussa. Lypsykarjan lietelannasta mitattiin hyvin pieniä pitoisuuksia mikrobilääkkeitä. Lääkittyjen eläinten sonnasta ja virtsasta taas mitattiin hoidon aikana hyvin korkeita pitoisuuksia mikrobilääkejäämiä, jolloin niistä muodostuvissa (kuivissa) lannoissa voi olla korkeita paikallisia pitoisuuksia mikrobilääkkeitä. Suomessa myös mikrobilääkkeillä lääkittyjen eläinten lannat levitetään pääosin käsittelemättöminä kasvinravinteiksi pelloille, jolloin lannan mukana voi levitä mikrobilääkejäämiä ja resistenttejä suolistobakteereita. Luonnon eliöt voivat altistua lannassa oleville mikrobilääkkeille ja resistenteille suolistobakteereille myös Suomen olosuhteissa. Lääkittyjen eläinten lantojen lannoitekäyttöä käsittelemättömänä tulisi arvioida kriittisesti. Mesofiilinen anaerobinen mädätys voi vähentää mikrobilääkejäämiä lannasta, mutta ei välttämättä hajota niitä. Se vähentää elävien suolistobakteerien määrää lannassa, mutta merkittävää vaikutusta resistenttien E. coli -bakteerien osuuteen ei havaittu. Erilaiset lannankäsittelytavat voivat kuitenkin soveltua – ravinteiden kierrätyksen ja energiantuoton lisäksi – mikrobilääkejäämien ja resistenssin torjumiseen, ja niitä tulisikin tässä tarkoituksessa tutkia tarkemmin Suomessa.
  • Vainio, E.; Bezos, D.; Bragança, H.; Cleary, M.; Fourie, G.; Georgieva, M.; Ghelardini, L.; Hannunen, S.; Ioos, R.; Martín-García, J.; Martínez-Álvarez, P.; Mullett, M.; Oszako, T.; Papazova-Anakieva, I.; Piškur, B.; Romeralo, C.; Sanz-Ros, A.; Steenkamp, E.; Tubby, K.; Wingfield, M.; Diez, J. (2019)
    Forests 2019: Vol. 10, No. 9, pp. 1 - 28
    Fusarium circinatum Nirenberg & O’Donnel is listed among the species recommended for regulation as quarantine pests in Europe. Over 60 Pinus species are susceptible to the pathogen and it also causes disease on Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) and species in genera such as Picea and Larix. The European Food Safety Authority considers the probability of new introductions—via contaminated seeds, wood material, soil and growing substrates, natural means and human activities—into the EU very likely. Due to early detection, constant surveillance and control measures, F. circinatum outbreaks have officially been eradicated in Italy and France. However, the global spread of F. circinatum suggests that the pathogen will continue to be encountered in new environments in the future. Therefore, continuous surveillance of reproductive material, nurseries and plantations, prompt control measures and realistic contingency plans will be important in Europe and elsewhere to limit disease spread and the “bridgehead effect”, where new introductions of a tree pathogen become increasingly likely as new environments are invaded, must be considered. Therefore, survey programs already implemented to limit the spread in Europe and that could be helpful for other EU countries are summarized in this review. These surveys include not only countries where pitch canker is present, such as Portugal and Spain, but also several other EU countries where F. circinatum is not present. Sampling protocols for seeds, seedlings, twigs, branches, shoots, soil samples, spore traps and insects from different studies are collated and compiled in this review. Likewise, methodology for morphological and molecular identification is herein presented. These include conventional PCR with a target-specific region located in the intergenic spacer region, as well as several real-time PCR protocols, with different levels of specificity and sensitivity. Finally, the global situation and future perspectives are addressed.
  • Suomi, J.; Tuominen, P.; Niinistö, S.; Virtanen, S.M.; Savela, K. (2019)
    AIMS Agriculture and Food 2019: Vol.4, No. 3, p. 778 - 793
    The exposure of Finnish 1-year-olds to cadmium, lead and inorganic arsenic via food and drinking water was determined. The food consumption data consisted of 3-day records from 1010 children aged 12 months, collected during 2002 to 2005 in Southwest Finland. One fifth of these children were still breastfed when the consumption data were collected and their exposure was assessed separately from the non-breastfed children. The heavy metal concentration data in foodstuffs were mainly analysis results from national authorities and they were mostly from the years 2005 to 2012. Dietary exposure assessment was performed probabilistically using the online program MCRA. With middle bound estimates, 89% of the non-breastfed and 56% of the breastfed children exceeded the tolerable weekly intake of cadmium. The benchmark dose (BMDL01) for neurological damage caused by lead was exceeded by 60% of the non-breastfed and by 50% of the breastfed children, while the lowest BMDL01 for cancer risk increase caused by inorganic arsenic was exceeded by 77% of the non-breastfed and by 61% of the breastfed children. The assessment did not include the unknown heavy metal exposure from breast milk. Heavy metal exposure differences between the boys and the girls were also assessed. Breastfed girls had significantly higher heavy metal exposure relative to their bodyweight than the breastfed boys, while in the non-breastfed group there were no differences by sex.
  • Selberg, S.; Blokhina, D.; Aatonen, M.; Koivisto, P.; Siltanen, A.; Mervaala, E.; Kankuri, E.; Karelson, M. (2019)
    Cell Reports 2019: March 26, pp. 3762 - 3771
    Chemical modifications of RNA provide an additional, epitranscriptomic, level of control over cellular functions. N-6-methylated adenosines (m6As) are found in several types of RNA, and their amounts are regulated by methyltransferases and demethylases. One of the most important enzymes catalyzing generation of m6A on mRNA is the trimer N-6-methyltransferase METTL3-14-WTAP complex. Its activity has been linked to such critical biological processes as cell differentiation, proliferation, and death. We used in silico-based discovery to identify small-molecule ligands that bind to METTL3-14-WTAP and determined experimentally their binding affinity and kinetics, as well as their effect on enzymatic function. We show that these ligands serve as activators of the METTL3-14-WTAP complex.
  • Picard, C.; Afonso, T.; Benko-Beloglavec, A.; Karadjova, O.; Matthews-Berry, S.; Paunovic, S.A.; Pietsch, M.; Reed, P.; van der Gaag, D.J.; Ward, M. (2019)
    Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment 2019: Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 36 - 45.
    Some pests may be present on plants for planting and cause an unacceptable economic impact on the intended use of these plants, even though they are already present in the area. By consequence, these pests may be regulated and then called ‘Regulated Non-Quarantine Pests’ (RNQPs) according to international standards. RNQPs, often not identified as such, are commonly regulated either together with quarantine pests in plant health regulations, or within programmes for the certification of plants for planting through specific requirements for pests and diseases that come in addition to non-phytosanitary requirements. In 2016, Union RNQPs have been introduced in the new EU plant health regulation which shall apply from December 2019. In this context, EPPO agreed to undertake a 2-year project on RNQPs, the EU Quality Pest Project. After having developed a methodology, data were collected through a rapid bibliography of scientific literature, questionnaire responses, exchanges on practical experience within six sector expert working groups, as well as a consultation of EPPO member countries, in order to perform a rapid evaluation of the RNQP status of about 1400 pest-host-intended use combinations. The resulting list of pests fulfilling the RNQP definition is presented in this paper, as well as the main issues discussed on thresholds and risk management measures.
  • Malkamäki, Sanna; Näreaho, Anu; Lavikainen, Antti; Oksanen, Antti; Sukura, Antti (2019)
    Berries and vegetables are potential transmission vehicles for eggs of pathogenic parasites, uch as Echinococcus spp. We developed a SYBR Green based semi-quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) method for detection of Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus canadensis DNA from berry samples. A set of primers based on the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (nad1) gene was designed and evaluated. To assess the efficacy of the assay, we spiked bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) with a known amount of E. multilocularis eggs. The detection limit for the assay using the NAD1_88 primer set was 4.37 10 5 ng/ml of E. multilocularis DNA. Under artificial contamination of berries, 50 E. multilocularis eggs were reliably detected in 250 g of bilberries. Analytical sensitivity of the assay was determined to be 100% with three eggs. As an application of the assay, 21 bilberry samples from Finnish market places and 21 bilberry samples from Estonia were examined. Previously described sieving and DNA extraction methods were used, and the samples were analyzed for E. multilocularis and E. canadensis DNA using semi-quantitative real-time PCR and a melting curve analysis of the amplified products. Echinococcus DNA was not detected in any of the commercial berry samples. This easy and fast method can be used for an efficient detection of E. multilocularis and E. canadensis in bilberries or other berries, and it is applicable also for fruits and vegetables.
  • Castro, H.; Jaakkonen, A.; Hakakorpi, A.; Hakkinen, M.; Isidro, J.; Korkeala, H.; Lindström, M.; Hallanvuo, S. (2019)
    Frontiers in Microbiology Vol. 14, No. 10, p. 1049.
    Packaged raw milk contaminated with Yersinia pseudotuberculosis mediated a large yersiniosis outbreak in southern Finland in 2014. The outbreak was traced back to a single dairy farm in southern Finland. Here we explore risk factors leading to the outbreak through epidemiologic investigation of the outbreak farm and through genomic and phenotypic characterization of the farm’s outbreak and non-outbreak associated Y. pseudotuberculosis strains. We show that the outbreak strain persisted on the farm throughout the 7-month study, whereas the non-outbreak strains occurred sporadically. Phylogenomic analysis illustrated that the outbreak strain was related to previously published genomes of wild animal isolates from Finland, implying that wild animals were a potential source of the outbreak strain to the farm. We observed allelic differences between the farm’s outbreak and non-outbreak strains in several genes associated with virulence, stress response and biofilm formation, and found that the outbreak strain formed biofilm in vitro and maintained better growth fitness during cold stress than the non-outbreak strains. Finally, we demonstrate the rapid growth of the outbreak strain in packaged raw milk during refrigerated storage. This study provides insight of the risk factors leading to the Y. pseudotuberculosis outbreak, highlights the importance of pest control to avoid the spread of pathogens from wild to domestic animals, and demonstrates that the cold chain is insufficient as the sole risk management strategy to control Y. pseudotuberculosis risk associated with raw drinking milk.
  • Abass, Khaled; Waits, Audrey; Emelyanova, Anastasia; Miettinen, Ilkka T.; Lavikainen, Antti; Rautio, Arja; Oksanen, Antti (Ruokavirasto, 2019)
    One Health takes a multidisciplinary approach to health risks and risk mitigation for humans, animals, plants and the environment, with the understanding that human health welfare is dependent on ecosystem health. The U.S. and Canada started the One Health project under the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) of the Arctic Council in 2015, Finland joined the project as a colead in 2017. This report is a summary of the Finnish activities and achievements in the One Arctic - One Health project during the Finnish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The main actions included the One Arctic - One Health conference in Oulu, establishment of the TremArctic network, and two published Systematic Review papers and two manuscripts. There were also joint sessions and presentations in scientific conferences, seminars and workshops, and joint meetings and collaboration with the other Arctic Council Working Groups, the University of the Arctic, other organisations, and scientific projects. The report concludes with some updated proposals for further work, based on previous works and reflecting progress over the past two years. The Finnish One Arctic - One Health team consisted of scientists from the University of Oulu, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), University of Helsinki and the Finnish Food Authority. This work was supported by the grant of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
  • Bjerregaard, .; Charalampidis, A.; Frøding, R.; Shetty, R.; Pastell, H.; Jacobsen, C.; Zhuang, S.; Pinelo, M.; Hansen, P.; Hobley, T. (2019)
    European Food Research and Technology Vol. 245, No. 3, pp. 545 - 558
    Very large amounts of brewer’s spent grains (BSG) are produced in the world which is usually considered as a waste, or animal feed, rather than food for humans. Here, we report, for the first time, a new process at pilot scale for the separation of brewer’s spent grain and trub to solid and liquid streams that can be used in foods. A new type of continuous rotary drum press was used to process hot BSG to produce a liquid filtrate and a filter cake stream. Analysis showed that of the starting mass of BSG (ca. 120 kg), the liquid filtrate composed 50% of the mass, and the filter cake fraction composed 50% of the mass. The dry weight (DW) content of the BSG increased from 23 to over 35%. This led to concentration of insoluble dietary fibre (from 38 to 54%) and phenolics in the filter cake (from 102 to 150 mg/100 g DW as gallic acid equivalents). No fractionation of soluble species such as proteins occurred. Centrifugation of the filtrate from the rotary drum press led to a clarified supernatant stream and a paste. Concentration of insoluble dietary fibre and phenolics occurred in the paste (from 5 to 14% of DW and 61 to 114 mg/100 g DW as gallic acid equivalents), whereas soluble fibre and protein did not selectively partition. Given that the unit operations used here are scaleable and approved for food production, an industrially feasible route now exists to process brewers spent grains to ingredients.
  • Rossow, Heidi; Joutsen, Suvi; Tuominen, Pirkko (Ruokavirasto, 2019)
    Ruokaviraston tutkimuksia 2/2019
    Koiran hankinta ulkomailta on yhä suositumpaa. Tuontimäärien kasvaessa on herännyt myös kysymys koirien mahdollisesti kantamista taudinaiheuttajista. Tässä riskinarvioinnissa kartoitetaan, aiheuttaako koirien tuominen Suomeen tautiriskiä ihmisille tai eläimille Suomessa. Tutkimuksessa on arvioitu erityisesti rabieksen ja myyräekinokokin maahantulon ja maassa leviämisen riskiä tuontikoirien kautta. Projektia varten tehtiin tutkimus, jossa maahan tulevista koirista otettiin laboratorionäytteitä. Näytteistä tutkittiin koirien rabiesrokotevasta-ainetasot, Brucella canis, Echinococcus multilocularis (myyräekinokokki) sekä ESBL:n ja MRSA:n kantajuus. Lisäksi koirien näytteitä on tutkittu seuraavien loisten varalta: Dirofilaria immitis, Dirofilaria repens ja Leishmania infantum (leishmanioosi). Tuontikoirista otetuista näytteistä saatujen tietojen ja julkaistun tieteellisen tutkimuksen lisäksi perustamme arviomme asiantuntijahaastatteluihin. Tutkimuksessa todettiin puutteita koirien rabiesrokotevasta-ainetasoissa. Lisäksi ESBL-kantajuus oli yleistä tietyistä maista tuoduilla koirilla. Koiran alkuperämaa ja olosuhteet, joista koira on lähtöisin, vaikuttavat tautiriskiin.
  • Pasonen, P.; Ranta, J.; Tapanainen, H.; Valsta, L.; Tuominen, P. (2019)
    International Journal of Food Microbiology 2019: Vol. 304, pp. 97 - 105
    Listeria monocytogenes causes severe consequences especially for persons belonging to risk groups. Finland is among the countries with highest number of listeriosis cases in the European Union. Although most reported cases appear to be sporadic and the maximum bacterial concentration of 100 cfu/g is not usually exceeded at retail, cold smoked and salt-cured fish products have been noted as those products with great risk especially for the elderly. In order to investigate the listeriosis risk more carefully, an exposure assessment was developed, and laboratory results for cold smoked and salt-cured salmon products were exploited. L. monocytogenes exposure was modeled for consumers in two age groups, the elderly population as a risk group and the working-age population as a reference. Incidence was assessed by estimating bacterial growth in the food products at three temperatures. Bayesian estimation of the risk was based on bacterial occurrence and product consumption data and epidemiological population data. The model builds on a two-state Markov chain describing repeated consumption on consecutive days. The cumulative exposure is probabilistically governed by the daily decreasing likelihood of continued consumption and the increasing bacterial concentrations due to growth. The population risk was then predicted with a Poisson distribution accounting for the daily probabilities of purchasing a contaminated product and the cumulative total probability of infection from its use. According to the model presented in this article, elderly Finns are at a greater risk of acquiring listeriosis than healthy adults. The risk for the elderly does not fully diminish even if the products have been stored at the recommended temperature (between 0 and 3 °C). It can be concluded that the stage after retail, i.e. food handling and storage by consumer or professional kitchens, is essential to protection against listeriosis. The estimation model provides means for assessing the joint impacts of these effects.
  • Kaila, M.; Marjoniemi, I.; Nokireki, T. (2019)
    Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2019: Vol. 61, No. 15
    Seventy-two canine serum samples were analyzed for post-vaccination serum titers of rabies antibodies. The samples were divided into two groups: Group 1 dogs (n = 36) were imported dogs from the Russian Federation (n = 31) or Romania (n = 5), with a mean serum antibody titer value of 1.54 IU/mL. Group 2 dogs (n = 36) were Finnish dogs vaccinated in Finland, with a mean titer of 4.19 IU/mL. Altogether, 14 (39%) dogs (CI 95% 23–56) were without detectable antibodies (≤ 0.1 IU/mL) in Group 1, whereas in Group 2, all dogs had an antibody titer greater than 0.1 IU/mL. A statistically significant difference was observed between these groups when comparing the proportions of dogs with antibody levels less than or exceeding 0.5 IU/mL. In Group 1, 19 out of the 36 dogs (CI 95% 36–70) had serum titer values < 0.5 IU/mL, while in Group 2, only 2 dogs had serum titer values < 0.5 IU/mL. Despite the small sample size, this raises concern over the imported dogs having insufficient antibody levels required for international travel and implies that these dogs had perhaps not been vaccinated, even though they had documentation of vaccination upon arrival.
  • Jaakkonen, A.; Castro, H.; Hallanvuo, S.; Ranta, J.; Rossi, M.; Isidro, J.; Lindström, M.; Hakkinen, M. (2019)
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2019: Vol. 85, No. 7
    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Campylobacter jejuni are notable health hazards associated with the consumption of raw milk. These bacteria may colonize the intestines of asymptomatic cattle and enter bulk tank milk via fecal contamination during milking. We studied the frequency of STEC O157:H7 and C. jejuni contamination in tank milk (n = 785) and the in-line milk filters of milking machines (n = 631) versus the frequency of isolation from cattle feces (n = 257) on three Finnish dairy farms for 1 year. Despite simultaneous isolation of STEC O157:H7 (17%) or C. jejuni (53%) from cattle, these bacteria were rarely isolated from milk filters (2% or <1%, respectively) and milk (0%). As revealed by phylogenomics, one STEC O157:H7 strain at a time was detected on each farm and persisted for ≤12 months despite rigorous hygienic measures. C. jejuni strains of a generalist sequence type (ST-883 and ST-1080) persisted in the herds for ≥11 months, and several other C. jejuni types were detected sporadically. The stx gene carried by STEC was detected more frequently from milk filters (37%) than from milk (7%), suggesting that milk filters are more suitable sampling targets for monitoring than milk. A questionnaire of on-farm practices suggested lower stx contamination of milk when major cleansing in the barn, culling, or pasturing of dairy cows was applied, while a higher average outdoor temperature was associated with higher stx contamination. Because pathogen contamination occurred despite good hygiene and because pathogen detection from milk and milk filters proved challenging, we recommend heat treatment for raw milk before consumption.
  • Alisauskaite, N.; Cizinauskas, S.; Jeserevics, J.; Rakauskas, M.; Cherubini, G.; Anttila, M.; Steffen, F. (2019)
    Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine Vol. 33, No. 3
    Background There is a successful outcome after surgical management of spinal arachnoid diverticula (SAD) in up to 82% of cases. Hypothesis/Objectives We hypothesized that Pugs have favorable short‐term and poor long‐term prognosis after surgical treatment of thoracolumbar SAD. The aim of the present investigation was to describe clinical findings, short‐ and long‐term outcomes, and follow‐up magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in Pugs with thoracolumbar SAD. Animals Twenty‐five client owned Pugs with 12‐month follow‐up information after surgical treatment of thoracolumbar SAD. Methods Multicenter retrospective case series. All medical records were searched for Pugs diagnosed with SAD. Data regarding signalment, history, surgical procedure, outcome, histopathology, and follow‐up MRI results were extracted. Results Mean age at presentation was 7.32 (range 2‐11) years, 80% were males. Short‐term outcome was available in 25 dogs, and improvement was confirmed in 80% of dogs. Long‐term outcome was available in 21 dogs, and deterioration was confirmed in 86% of cases, with late‐onset recurrence of clinical signs after initial postsurgical improvement affecting 85% of Pugs. A moderate correlation (r = 0.50) was found between duration of clinical signs and outcome. In 8 dogs with deteriorating clinical signs, follow‐up MRI revealed regrowth of the SAD in 2 cases, new SAD formation in 2 cases, and intramedullary T2W hyperintensity/syringomyelia in 6 cases. Conclusions and Clinical Importance This study suggests that Pugs with thoracolumbar SAD do not have a favorable long‐term prognosis after surgical treatment for reasons yet to be determined.
  • Wisselink, H.; Wisselink, H.; Smid, B.; Plater, J.; Ridley, A.; Andersson, A.-M.; Aspán, M.; Pohjanvirta, T.; Vähänikkilä, N.; Larsen, H.; Høgberg, J.; Colin, A.; Tardy, F. (2019)
    BMC Veterinary Research 2019: Vol. 15, No. 86.
    Background Several species-specific PCR assays, based on a variety of target genes are currently used in the diagnosis of Mycoplasma bovis infections in cattle herds with respiratory diseases and/or mastitis. With this diversity of methods, and the development of new methods and formats, regular performance comparisons are required to ascertain diagnostic quality. The present study compares PCR methods that are currently used in six national veterinary institutes across Europe. Three different sample panels were compiled and analysed to assess the analytical specificity, analytical sensitivity and comparability of the different PCR methods. The results were also compared, when appropriate, to those obtained through isolation by culture. The sensitivity and comparability panels were composed of samples from bronchoalveolar fluids of veal calves, artificially contaminated or naturally infected, and hence the comparison of the different methods included the whole workflow from DNA extraction to PCR analysis. Results The participating laboratories used i) five different DNA extraction methods, ii) seven different real-time and/or end-point PCRs targeting four different genes and iii) six different real-time PCR platforms. Only one commercial kit was assessed; all other PCR assays were in-house tests adapted from published methods. The analytical specificity of the different PCR methods was comparable except for one laboratory where Mycoplasma agalactiae was tested positive. Frequently, weak-positive results with Ct values between 37 and 40 were obtained for non-target Mycoplasma strains. The limit of detection (LOD) varied from 10 to 103 CFU/ml to 103 and 106 CFU/ml for the real-time and end-point assays, respectively. Cultures were also shown to detect concentrations down to 102 CFU/ml. Although Ct values showed considerable variation with naturally infected samples, both between laboratories and tests, the final result interpretation of the samples (positive versus negative) was essentially the same between the different laboratories. Conclusion With a few exceptions, all methods used routinely in the participating laboratories showed comparable performance, which assures the quality of diagnosis, despite the multiplicity of the methods.
  • Mikkelä, A.; Ranta, J.; Tuominen, P. (2019)
    Risk Analysis 2019
    Several statistical models for salmonella source attribution have been presented in the literature. However, these models have often been found to be sensitive to the model parameterization, as well as the specifics of the data set used. The Bayesian salmonella source attribution model presented here was developed to be generally applicable with small and sparse annual data sets obtained over several years. The full Bayesian model was modularized into three parts (an exposure model, a subtype distribution model, and an epidemiological model) in order to separately estimate unknown parameters in each module. The proposed model takes advantage of the consumption and overall salmonella prevalence of the studied sources, as well as bacteria typing results from adjacent years. The latter were used for a smoothed estimation of the annual relative proportions of different salmonella subtypes in each of the sources. The source‐specific effects and the salmonella subtype‐specific effects were included in the epidemiological model to describe the differences between sources and between subtypes in their ability to infect humans. The estimation of these parameters was based on data from multiple years. Finally, the model combines the total evidence from different modules to proportion human salmonellosis cases according to their sources. The model was applied to allocate reported human salmonellosis cases from the years 2008 to 2015 to eight food sources.
  • Kontturi, M.; Junn, R.; Simojoki, H.; Malinen, E.; Seuna, E.; Klitgaard, K.; Kujala-Wirth, M.; Soveri, T.; Pelkonen, S. (2019)
    BMC Veterinary Research 2019: Vol. 15, No. 44
    Background: Severe outbreaks of bovine interdigital phlegmon (IP) have occurred recently in several free stall dairy herds in Finland. We studied the aetiology of IP in such herds, and the association of bacterial species with the various stages of IP and herds of various morbidity of IP. Nineteen free stall dairy herds with IP outbreaks and three control herds were visited and bacteriological samples collected from cows suffering from IP (n = 106), other hoof diseases (n = 58), and control cows (n = 64). The herds were divided into high morbidity (morbidity ≥50%) and moderate morbidity groups (9–33%) based on morbidity during the first two months of the outbreak. Results: F. necrophorum subspecies necrophorum was clearly associated with IP in general, and T. pyogenes was associated with the healing stage of IP. Six other major hoof pathogens were detected; Dichelobacter nodosus, Porphyromonas levii, Prevotella melaninogenica, Treponema spp. and Trueperella pyogenes. Most of the samples of acute IP (66.7%) harboured both F. necrophorum and D. nodosus. We found differences between moderate morbidity and high morbidity herds. D. nodosus was more common in IP lesion in high than in moderate morbidity herds. Conclusions: Our result confirms that F. necrophorum subspecies necrophorum is the main pathogen in IP, but also T. pyogenes is associated with the healing stage of IP. Our results suggest that D. nodosus may play a role in the severity of the outbreak of IP, but further research is needed to establish other bacteriological factors behind these severe outbreaks.
  • Hirvonen, Tero; Kynkäänniemi, Emma; Salmenhaara, Maija; Uusitalo, Liisa; Isoniemi, Merja; Suomi, Johanna; Tuominen, Pirkko (Ruokavirasto, 2019)
    Ruokaviraston tutkimuksia 1/2019
    Riskiprofiili perustuu EU-rahoitteisessa PlantLibra-projektissa kerättyn kyselyaineiston Suomea koskevaan osuuteen sekä kirjallisuudesta saatuun tietoon kasviravintolisien koostumuksesta ja niiden sisältämien yhdisteiden toksisuudesta sekä ominaisiin aineisiin mahdollisesti liittyvistä farmakokineettisistä yhteisvaikutuksista lääkeaineiden kanssa. Tarkastelltuihin ominaisiin aineisiin ei liittynyt merkittävää suoraa toksisuutta käytetyillä annoksilla. Sen sijaan moniin ominaisiin aineisiin (erityisesti inkivääri, peltokorte) liittyy merkittävä yhteisvaikutusten potentiaali, etenkin CYP3A4:n välityksellä metaboloituviin lääkeaineisiin. Koska CYP3A4:n kautta metaboloituvia lääkkeitä käytetään paljon, yhteisvaikutusten riski korostuu. Erityistä huolta liittyy varfariiniin (metaboloituu CYP2C9 ja osittain CYP3A4:n kautta), sillä sen terapeuttinen ikkuna on kapea (pitoisuudet veressä voivat helposti olla liian pieniä tai suuria). On kuitenkin huomattava, että vahvaa näyttöä farmakokineettisistä yhteisvaikutuksista on vähän, sillä käytettävissä on lähinnä in vitro -tutkimuksia kasviravintolisien sisältämien ominaisten aineiden ja lääkeaineiden välillä. Lisäksi on huomattava, että useat kasviravintolisät sisälsivät useasta kasvista peräisin olevia ominaisia aineita ja että kasviravintolsien käyttäjät käyttivät usein useita valmisteita yhdessä lääkkeiden kanssa.
  • Isomursu, M.; Koivusaari, J.; Stjernberg, T.; Venäläinen, E.-R.; Hirvelä-Koski, V. (Springer, 2018)
    The white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) suffered a severe population decline due to environmental pollutants in the Baltic Sea area ca. 50 years ago but has since been recovering. The main threats for the white-tailed eagle in Finland are now often related to human activities. We examined the human impact on the white-tailed eagle by determining mortality factors of 123 carcasses collected during 2000-2014. Routine necropsy with chemical analyses for lead and mercury were done on all carcasses. We found human-related factors accounting for 60% of the causes of death. The most important of these was lead poisoning (31% of all cases) followed by human-related accidents (e.g. electric power lines and traffic) (24%). The temporal and regional patterns of occurrence of lead poisonings suggested spent lead ammunition as the source. Lead shot was found in the gizzards of some lead-poisoned birds. Scavenging behaviour exposes the white-tailed eagle to lead from spent ammunition.

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