Category: qbzbmmqyofmrhzhg Page 1 of 12

The Road to Bokomu—Releasing the Belle from Another ‘Prison’

first_imgWho can ever forget the notorious Belle Yella maximum security prison where for generations political prisoners and hardened criminals languished under inescapable isolation, hard labor and even torture, especially during the Tubman, Tolbert, Doe and Taylor administrations?That was until for the first time in history President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2010 built the road through the dense forest to Belle Yella in her extraordinary determination to spend Christmas there. Yes, she was the first President ever to reach Belle Yella by automobile convoy over a torturous terrain—a plethora of creeks, hills, swamps and rivers. That road is still a bit shaky, but perhaps Public Works Minister Gyude Moore will find the civil and structural engineers who will make the road sturdier and the trip to Belle Yella easier.The prison syndrome affected not only the people in Belle Yella, however. Last Friday the people of Bokomu District in Gbarpolu County told the President as much when she went there to break ground for the construction of a 48-kilometer road connecting Morlakwelleh in Gbarpolu’s Belle District toPallakwelleh in Bokomu District. Our Presidential Correspondent William Harmon quoted the Bokomu people revealing to the President they have to walk six hours, at times hauling loads, before gaining access to vehicles to Bopolu City, the county capital. “We have been for too long in a virtual prison,” Chief Flomo Nyangomo told President Sirleaf. “We would consider it a great achievement if you could liberate us as you did the people of Belle Yella,” he pleaded.Speaking through an interpreter, he told Ellen that she continued to exemplify her distinctiveness as a true leader of the people by doing things that bring relief to ordinary people. “We are in jail and this is the time for you to save us and we know you can do it,” he said, urging the President “to complete the road before you leave office because we do not know whether it would ever be done after your term expires.” The President assured the people that her government will complete the road. It would be indeed a great relief, for when completed, it will connect Morlakwelleh to Pallakwelleh in Bokomu District, a short distance. But without the road, people have to walk four and a half hours, without load, through the forests of Lofa-Belleh. With loads on their heads or backs the journey would take them a whole day or more. Should Ellen make good her promise to the people in Bokomu and Belle Districts, and if her engineers can make the road to Belle Yella sturdier, the Gbarpolu road developments would definitely be one of her distinctive legacies that Gbarpoluans and Lofans would never forget.The roads would enhance agricultural and trade developments and open the way for a tourism boom in the county, connecting the Gbarpolu and Lofa forests. We hope that Public Works Minister Moore and his team, encouraged by funding from the Ministry of Finance, would complete the road in the shortest possible time, and also make sturdier the road leading to Belle Yella. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

More industry stakeholders needed on GuySuCo Board – Unions

first_imgAs Government’s Cabinet members continue to settle its reported differences over nominees for the Board of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), one of the main stakeholders is calling for more industry insiders to sit on the decision-making body. According to a leaked supposedly secret Cabinet document, nine named nominees and two unnamed GuySuCo executives were identified for the Board to be chaired by Colvin- Heath-London, who also serves at head to the Special Purposes Unit (SPU) which manages both the operating and non-operating estates across the country.SPU Head and proposed GuySuCo Board Chairman Colvin Heath-LondonA senior Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) official on Sunday who had time to assess the names related that the Board should have included multiple persons with actual first-hand knowledge in the sugar industry. Guyana Times understands that former administrative manager within GuySuCo’s estates; Vishnu Panday was nominated by the union following the entity being called to a meeting with Government.“We would like to see more people who understand sugar Agriculture to be placed on the Board. Even from the last Board, it wasn’t so and from what it appears from this Board, it might not have enough people with that understanding but of course Panday is very knowledgeable but he is just one person,” the GAWU official told this publication.Guyana Times understands that the Board’s appointment is yet to be finalised as reports surfaced that some members of the Alliance for Change (AFC) arm of the coalition Government were not in favour of removing the last Chairman, Dr. Clive Thomas. Aside from the proposed Chairman and Panday, other names in the leaked secret document showed conservationist and aviation veteran Annette Arjoon, Komal Singh, Verna Adrian, Fritz McLean, Rosh Khan (Jr.), former Agriculture Ministry Permanent Secretary George Jervis and Arianne McLean.It was on March 1 that Guyana Times reported that Dr. Thomas was “booted” from his post in favour of Heath-London. The SPU falls under the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited’s (NICIL), which in itself falls under the Finance Ministry.NICIL’s gazette takeover on December 30, 2017, had indicated responsibility for the divested sugar estates. However, it was made clear that the takeover did not include any assets, lands or property for the Berbice estates of Albion and Blairmont and the Uitvlugt Estate on the West Coast of Demerara. However, Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder, who is an AFC member, announced that GuySuCo, was under NICIL, although it was not clear as to which legal stipulations guided such a move or if any was required.Dr. Clive Thomas served as Chairman, being appointed to the position in 2015, a few months after the new coalition Government took office. Heath-London was appointed head of the SPU back in October 2017, after a decision was made by the Government to process the selling of GuySuCo assets, including a number of estates. Reports suggested that acting CEO of GuySuCo, Paul Bhim has been given a reduced role at the sugar company as he reportedly no longer has financial responsibility for GuySuCo.last_img read more

GTT recognises children of employees who excelled at NGSA

first_imgGuyana Telephone Telegraph (GTT) on Thursday distributed bursary awards to eight students who were successful at the recently announced National Grade Six Assessment examinations.The children of GTT employees benefited from monetary contributions in recognition of their hard work and dedication and to assist with the upcomingThe awardees along with their parents and senior staff of the telephone companyschool year.Additionally, top performer Saskia Paddy, who is the daughter of Roydell Paddy from the Outside Plant, Maintenance, received for herself a Kindle Fire tablet while Naysa Farley, second place performer and daughter of Chevonne and Errol Farley, received an E-Reader.GTT will support these students each year once their overall grades remain above 65 per cent as the company continued to “do more” to lend to the future development of the nation’s children.GTT has also ensured the access to free Internet service for these students for their entire secondary school lives up to 6th Form.last_img read more

Appraisers eye property in downtown Newhall

first_imgOne tenant applauds redevelopment but says she wouldn’t have invested thousands of dollars improving her space had she known it could be lost so soon. “The permit alone was about $2,000 and it took us four or five months to go through the process for city permits – and that was only two years ago,” said Jennifer Bradley, who owns Paws for Fun, an animal day-care business, at 24515 Spruce. Bradley understands she will receive some relocation assistance from the city but moving isn’t that simple. “Our business is a tough one to relocate because not all landlords want dogs in their buildings and not all neighbors or businesses want dogs around,” she said. Two properties called “potentially historic” in the specific plan are being handled differently. Excluded from appraisal is a building owned by the American Legion Newhall-Saugus. Assessor’s records show it was built in 1941. The building occupied by Antique Flower Garden that once housed a jail is being appraised, but Price said the city plans to preserve it “one way or another.” City officials have said they would invoke eminent domain only as a last resort. Last year the city bought two properties on San Fernando Road: the Union 76 gas station property at Lyons, for about $840,000, and the Moore’s Submarine Sandwich property at Fifth Street, for $760,000. Blocks away, the first new single-family home proposed within the specific plan area is under review, however plans filed recently for the manufactured wood home do not yet meet the area’s strict architectural standards, Price said. The one-story home would sit on a vacant 6,250-square-foot lot on Arch Street, between Third and Fourth streets. (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The city says it would pay market rate for five buildings on Spruce, a cul-de-sac parallel to San Fernando Road, bracketed by Lyons Avenue and Eleventh Street. The appraisal is complete for 24519 Spruce, owned and occupied by White Light Chiropractic. “It’s always been our intention to remain in that location,” said White Light’s owner, who’s owned the building for more than two decades. “It’s our desire to retire there and hand off our practice to another physician and retain that property as rental income.” White Light has not heard from the city since the appraisal. Results from on-site inspections and market data comparisons should be made public by mid-June, said Barbara Stoll, the city’s acquisition specialist. NEWHALL – Appraisers are sizing up real estate in downtown Newhall that the city may want to snap up for redevelopment. Some of the properties eyed last week on Spruce Street are a stone’s throw from an old gas station the city bought and later demolished. The proximity of that site could boost the city’s efforts to buy land and jump-start redevelopment in the area. “We’re trying to consolidate a portion of the catalyst block for the planned library and other new uses,” said Chris Price, an assistant city engineer overseeing the redevelopment project. No large-scale projects have been submitted officially since the Santa Clarita City Council adopted the specific plan for downtown Newhall in December 2005. The plan cost $1 million and the city has budgeted $7 million for the first phase of improvements. last_img read more


first_imgA FORMER soldier with the 28th Infantry Battalion which worked throughout Donegal during the Troubles and served overseas with the UN has called for a proper memorial to the force in Donegal Town.Proud Kieron Ryan says he was delighted with an exhibition in Letterkenny which showed off the work of the soldiers.But now he says the Diamond in Donegal Town should have a memorial to all those who served in the battalion. He told “I served for 21 years with the 28th Inf Bn and enjoyed every single moment of my service and I can honestly say that it is by far the best unit within the Defence Forces.“Although the exhibition goes some of the way to educating the public about the Battalion and it’s history, I think there should be a memorial statue erected in honour of the 28Th Inf Bn in the Diamond in Donegal Town.Mr Ryan said such a move would allow people to pay their proper respects.He told us: “It should be placed in such a position that wreath laying ceremonies should be able to take place and that it is accessable to the public. “It is time that the sacrifices that we have made both in protecting the people of Donegal and the State, plus also honouring those from the Battalion who served as peacekeepers, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives in the service of peace.”The members of the 28th Infantry Battalion, past and present, were conferred with the Freedom of Donegal by Donegal County Council at a civic reception in their honour in Lifford in 2009.And two weeks ago the How We Remember exhibition at Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny was formally opened with a parade of 60 troops from the 28th Infantry Battalion from the town centre to the museum.The march was led by the battalion’s pipe band and reviewed by General Officer Commanding 4th Western Brigade General Gerry Hegarty.EX-SOLDIER WANTS MEMORIAL TO UNSUNG HEROES IN THE DIAMOND IN DONEGAL TOWN was last modified: March 16th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgMORE than 12,000 Donegal fans made their way to Dublin at the weekend for the quarter-final clash with Kildare.This was fan Ian McClay’s picture essay: FANS VIEW: PIX FROM DONEGAL’S VICTORY AT CROKE PARK was last modified: August 1st, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:pictures donegal v kildarelast_img read more

Bell Sweeps The Long Jump And Triple Jump At ISU Classic

first_imgAMES, Iowa – Bas Van Leersum continued his stellar debut season with the Drake track and field team by shattering the school record in the men’s 400 meters Saturday at the Iowa State Classic Saturday.Van Leersum clocked in at 47.53 to finish fourth in the talented field. That time easily shattered the 34-year-old school record of 47.6 set by Mike Jorgensen in 1982.”Bas took the lead at the break and finished strong,” said Drake head coach Natasha Kaiser-Brown. “He continues to always look effortless.”For the women’s team, Kayla Bell (Bolingbrook, Ill.) capped another strong weekend by winning the triple jump with a leap of 39-9.75. On Friday evening, she claimed the long jump crown with a mark of 19-0.75 to give her a sweep of the weekend’s horizontal jumps.”Kayla had another great meet,” Kaiser-Brown said. “She is still putting some things together with her training, but once again was able to turn in solid performances.”In the men’s jumps, Johnathan Osifuye (Woodbury, Minn.) was fifth in the triple jump on Saturday with a jump of 46-10 to lead a trio of Bulldogs in the top 10.Men’s sprinter Pierce Vincent (Fayetteville, Ga.) also turned in a solid weekend with a pair of top-10 performances in the 60 and 200 meters. On Friday, he was 10th in the 200 meters at 21.83 and also finished 10th in the 60 meters on Saturday with a time of 6.90.This weekend’s action also saw another school record as Emma Huston (Des Moines, Iowa) recorded the Bulldogs’ fastest ever indoor 5,000 meters at 16:17.30. Her performance bested the previous record, set in 2000, by more than 27 seconds. Reed Fischer (Minnetonka, Minn.) nearly claimed a school record as well in the men’s 3,000 meters with a time of 8:06.88, just 0.44 seconds off the record pace.The Bulldogs will have next weekend off from competition as they prepare for the MVC Indoor Championship, Feb. 26-28, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Iowa State ClassicAmes, Iowa • Feb. 12-13, 2016 Drake Individual Women’s Results200 Meters20. Rai Ahmed-Green, 25.35 400 Meters23. Rai Ahmed-Green, 57.1528. Virginia Hill, 57.8335. Kaylen Rettig, 59.64 800 Meters39. Meghan Kearney, 2:14.4645. Laura Gann, 2:15.2051. Danielle Griesbaum, 2:20.8453. Kayla Giuliano, 2:21.80 Mile42. Taylor Scholl, 5:03.0143. Cassie Aerts, 5:04.5747. Bailee Cofer, 5:06.87 5,000 Meters10. Emma Huston, 16:17.30  60-Meter Hurdles (Prelims)9. Mary Young, 8.5913. Destani Welch, 8.8725. Virginia Hill, 9.27 4×400-Meter Relay15. Gann, Rettig, Coombe, Kearney, 4:00.38 High Jump17. Jaclyn Aremka, 5-3 Long Jump1. Kayla Bell, 19-0.75 Triple Jump1. Kayla Bell, 39-7.75Iowa State ClassicAmes, Iowa • Feb. 12-13, 2016 Drake Individual Men’s Results 60 Meters10. Pierce Vincent, 6.9017. Aaron Chier, 7.0618. Demetrius Shelton, 7.0625. Kendall Owens, 7.16 200 Meters10. Pierce Vincent, 21.8317. Aaron Chier, 22.1121. Demetrius Shelton, 22.1729. Kendall Owens, 22.4936. Nihad Ejubovic, 23.52 400 Meters4. Bas Van Leersum, 47.5328. Hudson Priebe, 49.2042. Dominic Lombardi, 50.9544. Cory Erickson, 51.7845. Tyler Zak, 52.5446. Nihad Ejubovic, 52.72 800 Meters52. James Saxton, 1:54.3858. George Webb, 1:55.48 Mile70. Chris Kaminski, 4:26.2272. Ali Jandal, 4:33.98 3,000 Meters19. Reed Fischer, 8:06.8839. Rob McCann, 8:17.14 60-Meter Hurdles26. Dominic Lombardi, 8.63 High Jump12. Forest Moses, 6-4.7513. Ryan Cook, 6-4.75 Long Jump14. Johnathan Osifuye, 21-10.75 Triple Jump5. Johnathan Osifuye, 46-107. Sean Buczek, 44-6.258. Ethan Turner, 43-9 Weight Throw19. Michael Dolan 51-0.25  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Tottenham fans worried ahead of derby clash

first_imgEmbed from Getty ImagesMany Tottenham fans on Twitter fear the continuing absence of defender Toby Alderweireld could cost them at Chelsea on Saturday.The Belgian centre-back has been out for more than five weeks with a knee injury and boss Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed he will miss the trip to Stamford Bridge this weekend.With left-back Danny Rose suspended, some Spurs supporters, already licking their wounds from their team’s group-stage exit in the Champions League, are preparing themselves for the worst.I’d back us to get a result vs any side in the PL if our strongest team is available. Dreading Saturday without Rose & Alderweireld. #thfc— Sean (@Tottingham_Sean) November 23, 2016Thought Alderweireld’s injury was ‘not a big issue’?? Out since 15 Oct. And no sign of return. No Rose & no Toby vs CFC?? Christ. 🙈🙈🙈 #THFC— SpursAli (@SpursAli) November 23, 2016I’m more bothered about the state of our defence for Saturday rather than going out last night! #THFC— John Hall ™ (@JohnHall1985) November 23, 2016I dread to think what Chelsea will do to us Saturday, really believe we could be on the end of a thumping #COYS— James Aust (@JamesAust22) November 23, 2016I’ve been saying that since the City game we’ve been poor… I fully expect Chelsea to destroy us Saturday if we don’t up our game #COYS— Martin Lee Grant (@Mar10LG) November 22, 2016Meanwhile, other Tottenham fans have been critical of Pochettino’s team selection in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Monaco, accusing the manager of prioritising the Chelsea game over Champions League progression.Poch got it wrong in Dortmund last year, got it wrong again last night. Brace yourself for Chelsea away #THFC fans. It’s not gonna be pretty— CaryLad (@ATottenhamFan) November 23, 2016We let Chelsea get under our skin before they even played us. #disappointing #THFC— Joval Aubee (@JayAubee) November 23, 2016Poch resting players for Chelsea, complete idiot. Team selection was unforgivable – as was conceding 14secs after equalising #THFC #Spursy— Jonesy (@MJ_THFC) November 22, 2016What can Pochettino conjure up at the Bridge on Saturday evening. Down to pride, players must show that & passion, owe us one. #THFC #COYS— Alf Love (@alf_love47) November 23, 2016they need to smash chelsea to pieces to for this to be accepteable, not forgiven but acceptable. i doubt they will #THFC— Farj73 (@farj73) November 22, 2016 See also:Chelsea skipper Terry sidelined by new injury  Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x Drink This Before Bed, Watch Your Body Fat Melt Like Crazy x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Job Advice SA: online network uses Twitter to help job seekers

first_imgIf you’re looking for work, Job Advice SA is willing to guide you. All you have to do is contact them on social media for tips.The founders of Job Advise SA: Wesley Madziva, Vanessa Raath and Tim Barry. (Image: Job Advise SA Facebook)Melissa JavanThree individuals who wanted to connect recruiters and job seekers in an informal environment host a Twitter chat called #JobAdviceSA every Monday at 16:00 for an hour.The topics of this chat range from job hunting, to applying for jobs and going to interviews. The Job Advice SA team has also hosted chats on seasonal themes such as job seeker horror stories during October, the month in which Halloween falls.Vanessa Raath, Tim Barry and Wesley Madziva started Job Advice SA in June 2014, not having met in person. “We all chatted regularly via social media and realised that we shared a common goal – to help people find jobs,” Raath says.Other than Twitter, job seekers can also contact Job Advice SA on the Facebook page or Google+ account.See few Tweets from the chat on Monday, 20 February 2017:A personal tip that worked for me – if you’re looking for a job make it clear on your social media profiles! I used #HireTim #JobAdviceSA— Tim Barry (@TimJBarry) February 20, 2017Your public image. Your personal brand matters. It starts with how you treat people in real life. @greg_savage #JobAdviceSA— Wesley Madziva (@WeszMadz) February 21, 2017Never speak negatively about why you left your previous job #JobAdviceSA— Mason3m_ (@menzimason) February 20, 2017The beginningInitially they launched their Twitter chat as #JobRecChatSA. After they met in person at a human resources conference in Johannesburg in May 2016, they decided to change the Twitter chat’s name.It relaunched to #JobAdviceSA because they realised that more job seekers engaged in their weekly chats. “We found that there was more interest from job seekers as opposed to recruiters,” explains Raath.“There were far more people looking for advice as opposed to recruiters looking to join in the chat and give advice. The focus shifted slightly to help people looking for jobs and not in connecting job seekers with recruiters as we had done previously.“This was a good move and I know we have added great value to many job seekers,” she says. “We give good advice but then people must find their own jobs, using what we have taught them.”How the Twitter chat worksRaath says they choose a suitable theme and four questions to answer during the course of the chat. “(We) write and publish a framing post incorporating the questions and expanding on the theme, then promote the chat leading up to 16:00 on Monday.“We ask a new question every 15 minutes, starting at 16:00. One of us acts as the main host tweeting the questions from @JobAdviceSA,” she explains. “We answer the questions as well others on the topic or even other topics posed by participants during the hour slot, more often than not going on well past 17:00.”Most Mondays, #JobAdviceSA becomes a trending topic on Twitter.We did it Again! Thanks @WeszMadz @Van_Raath @TimJBarry and The #JobAdviceSA Community Members— JobAdviceSA (@JobAdviceSA) February 20, 2017The teamMadziva is a social media expert, consulting and speaking about the topic. His work experience also includes specialising in human resources (HR) and recruitment.Barry is a business development consultant. Barry’s work experience also includes speaking about employer branding, HR and recruitment technology, and social media marketing.Raath has had 10 years experience in the recruitment industry – both internal and external recruitment. She now specialises in information technology recruitment, mainly on the Microsoft platform.AdviceThe one thing you should never do is pay a recruiter to register with them, warns Raath. “You should not pay them if they find you a job.“The recruiter will have an agreement in place with the client (your new employer) who will pay them for securing you as the candidate’s services. Recruitment agencies who want to charge people for registering with them are scams.”Raath says that there are recruiters who look for work for people in specific industries or career paths. For example, she is a recruiter for seniors in the information technology industry. “If you are more senior it is best to find a recruiter who specialises in that industry – they will be more connected and will have a better variety of clients and opportunities.”According to Raath, it’s troubling that most job seekers do not put the required effort into the job hunt. “They must have an excellent, well presented curriculum vitae; make sure they prepare for their interviews and be constantly up-skilling themselves,” she says.“We also touch a lot on personal branding and how this is important to stand out from your peers. We give advice every week so people would need to join our chat to learn more – every week there are new things on how to improve (your brand).”Follow the #JobAdviceSA discussion:#JobAdviceSA Tweets Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Concerns heighten as USDA stockpiles vaccines

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture is creating a stockpile of avian influenza vaccines, but an expert suggests careful consideration of the strategy and cautions that the strain of the next outbreak is unknown.Wild birds are typically the source of the introduction of the virus to backyard and commercial poultry flocks, which makes it very difficult to know the strain and understand the nature of the incoming virus until after the outbreak has occurred in poultry populations, said Suresh Mittal, a professor of comparative pathobiology in Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.In 2015, 15 U.S. states had bird flu outbreaks at poultry farms, which led to the loss of more than 48 million birds and $3 billion in revenue, as well as a pricier Thanksgiving dinner. The virus can infect chickens, turkeys, ducks, pheasants, quail, geese and guinea fowl, as well as wild birds, according to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and testimony at a special hearing of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a second request on Nov. 20 for proposals from manufacturers as it works to create an emergency stockpile of avian influenza vaccines.Mittal said the USDA should carefully consider its vaccine selections and cautions that the virus can quickly change. While his research focuses on the creation of a vaccine that offers broad protection against multiple strains and mutations of the avian influenza virus, he is not working with a manufacturer or in a position to submit a proposal for the stockpile.“Protecting poultry from avian influenza is complicated and there is much to consider as the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service makes its decision about vaccine use,” Mittal said. “What works against the viruses infecting birds today may not work against the virus we face tomorrow, as it rapidly mutates to avoid attack from the immune system. Luck  — or a vaccine effective against a broad range of strains — is needed for an emergency stockpile to work when an outbreak hits.”Mittal and postdoctoral student Omar Amen performed a study of a 2010 avian influenza outbreak in vaccinated chickens at a large poultry farm in Egypt, where avian influenza is endemic and a vaccination policy is in place. They found the vaccine offered little protection. A paper detailing the study was published in the September issue of the journal Virus Research and is available online.At the time of the study a H5N1 virus was responsible for most infections in the country, and the majority of farms used an available vaccine for H5N2 that had experimentally been shown to provide protection against the identified H5N1 virus, Amen said.“The virus present at the farm we studied had mutated from the strain on which the vaccines were experimentally tested, greatly limiting the ability of the vaccine to protect the birds,” Amen said. “Between 2009 and 2011 there were many outbreaks in vaccinated flocks in Egypt, and this was a rare case where researchers were there at the time to investigate.”The research team originally intended to monitor the immunizations and measure the resulting increase in antibodies in the chickens’ immune systems, an indicator of how well a vaccine works. While there, Amen noticed that all of the chickens became sick and the study shifted to identify and characterize the virus and find out why the vaccine did not offer protection, he said.Researchers took 10 samples from different sheds containing thousands of birds within the farm. The team then isolated the virus from the samples and identified its genes. Results showed that all samples contained the same virus, an H5N1 virus with extensive mutations from the endemic H5N1 virus strain used to experimentally test the vaccine.The H and N nomenclature for avian influenza refers to two proteins on the surface of the virus, the hemagglutinin or “H” and the neuraminidase or “N.” The 16 H subtypes and 9 N subtypes could potentially produce 144 unique influenza viruses. In addition, within a specific H and N subtype, there are subgroups that are antigenically different from each other, Mittal said.The mutations to the virus that infected the chickens occurred in the hemagglutinin sites, which are the more important sites in terms of a protective antibody response, he said.“Where changes are in the virus defines how different the virus is,” Mittal said. “A vaccine primes the immune system to recognize and respond to a virus through exposure to certain proteins within that virus. Based on the mutations to this virus, the proteins would be different from those included in the vaccine and the immune system would not be primed and prepared to mount its defense. This case highlights how easily a vaccine thought to be effective can be rendered useless in the face of rapid mutations.”Mittal has created vaccines for past strains of bird flu and continues to collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Institutes of Health recently awarded $1.55 million to an avian influenza vaccine project Mittal leads.Mittal’s avian influenza vaccine work has been described in papers for The Lancet, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Molecular Therapy, PLOS ONE and Virus Research.last_img read more

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