Technical report Nº 1 : Bacillus anthracis - Anthrax

Elimination of the carcasses of animals that have died from anthrax

Technique: CONTROLLED COVERING

Objective: The elimination of animals that have died from anthrax at the place of death. Prevention of the dispersal of B. anthracis spores capable of surviving in the atmosphere and of infecting new animals.

JUSTIFICATION:

  • To promote competition between the bacterial flora usually present in greater numbers in the rumen and intestines of cattle and the environment and B. anthracis , a pathogen which causes the death of animals by its septicaemic and toxic action.
  • To create a controlled environment in which the maximum daytime and minimum night temperatures have the effect of pasteurizing the pathogenic flora of B. anthracis in its vegetative state.
  • To inactivate the pathogenic bacterial flora of B. anthracis in its spore state by the action of 5 % formaldehyde.
  • To avert dispersal through the action of carrion eaters (foxes, armadillos, hawks and owls) of the pathogenic bacterial flora ( B. anthracis ) in its spore state by covering the carcass with a plastic sheet and spraying with 5% formaldehyde.
  • To promote destruction of organic matter by the action of bacterial enzymes (proteolytic, lipolytic, etc.) produced by the customary bacterial flora.

Material required:

  1. Protection for the field worker:
    • Disposable overalls
    • Rubber boots
    • Disposable gloves
    • Disposable mask
    • Goggles
    • Disposable bag for pathogenic waste
  2. The actual covering process
    • 5000 millilitre liquid pressure sprayer
    • Black 100-micron polyethylene sheet (Agropol), 6metres long by 3 metres wide
    • 1000 millilitres of 40 % formaldehyde
    • A container graduated in millilitres
    • A 5000 millilitre can of water
    • Shovel
  3. For the inactivation of the cover
    • 5000 c.c. of diesel fuel
    • Safety matches

Technique:

  1. Preparation of the CONTROLLED COVERING
    1. Fill out the "Epidemiological survey form". Remember to identify the livestock farm by its RENSPA (national health register of livestock producers) number. if possible, give latitude / longitude using GIS or give the name of the nearest railway station, place or village.
    2. Prepare the 5 % formaldehyde for spraying: pour 250 millilitres of 40 % formaldehyde into the sprayer, complete with water to 5000 millilitres, close, homogenize, pressurize.
    3. Spray the entire animal with the 5 % formaldehyde solution, taking care to soak the whole body surface, natural openings (nostrils / mouth and anus / vagina), concentrating on the latter on account of possible blood loss.
    4. Spread out the plastic sheet between two people alongside the carcass, unfold it, first of all over the animal's head and secure the edges of the sheet using earth taken from alongside it with the shovel until the hindquarters of the animal are reached.
    5. Periodically check the “controlled covering"; if there are signs of any tears in the plastic sheet, they may be covered by overlaying another piece of polyethylene. When applied in this manner, "controlled covering" must remain active for 240 / 260 days; this is sufficient to ensure the complete destruction of all the organic matter from the animal (only the bones should be left).
  2. Deactivation of the CONTROLLED COVERING
    After the controlled covering has been in place for 240 / 260 days and all the organic matter has been destroyed leaving only the bones, the material under cover is deactivated by burning all the bones and black polyethylene sheet that served as a cover.
    We suggest that every possible safety measure be taken before starting the fire. Light the fire on a windless day.
    1. Make three openings in the black polyethylene sheet: A) head, B) middle part and C) rear; pour diesel fuel into the openings (5 litres distributed between the three openings).
    2. Carefully set light to the openings. Thoroughly burn, several times if necessary, until no bones are left, scraping together the remains of the bones and adding more fuel until combustion is complete.
  3. Precautions
    Personnel carrying out the burning must take every necessary precaution to avoid contamination by B. anthracis , both when preparing and deactivating the controlled covering; possible paths of contamination are: through the skin "cutaneous anthrax" (use gloves), through inhalation "inhalation or pulmonary anthrax" (use a mask), through ingestion " gastrointestinal tract anthrax" (avoid using knives that will subsequently be used for eating).
  4. Important tips:
    1. Use: disposable gloves, disposable masks, eye protection, rubber boots
    2. When the job is over, disinfect the boots with 5% formaldehyde. Dispose of the gloves, masks and other items in a medical waste bag. Carefully wash your hands.
  5. Standard epidemiological form and photographs of the covering
    1. Epidemiological form (which may be downloaded and printed from your computer, (pdf file)
    2. Photograph 1: spraying the animal with 5 % formaldehyde.
    3. Photograph 2: placing the CONTROLLED COVERING.
    4. Photograph 3: deactivation after 240 – 260 days.
    5. Photograph 4: burning the CONTROLLED COVERING.


Epidemiological survey

Protocol: ........................................... Date:........................................................................

Farm: ........................................... Code: .................... RENSPA: ...................

Owner: .................................................. GIS longitude .......................... latitude ...........

Province: ................................... Division: .......................................... District:....................

Railway station.......................................... Place.......................................................



Medio ambiente

Period:

Wet:

Dry:

Pasture:

Stubble:

Pasture:

Natural field:

Height of grass:

> than 1 fist

1 fist

< than 1 fist

Stream:

NO

YES

Are there any foci upstream?

NO

YES

Are there any neighbouring foci?

NO

YES

Comments: ............................................................................................................................................



ANIMAL DYNAMICS

Have any new animals arrived?

NO:

YES:

Date:  

Were they immunized?

NO

YES

No information

Appearance of the disease after arrival:(days)  

Had anthrax previously been diagnosed and confirmed?

NO

YES

If so, was the outbreak on the same pasture?

NO

YES

In what year?

Comments: ......................................................................................................................................................................



INMUNIZATION

Immunization:

NO

YES

Brand:.............

Series:.............

Vaccinator:

Vet:

Owner:

Employee:

Period between most recent immunization and appearance of the disease: (days)

How many previous immunizations have there been?: (N°)

Number of immunizations during the year:

Comments: ...........................................................................................................................................................



CLINICAL OBSERVATIONS

Nº of animals on the pasture:

Nº of deaths:

Calves:

Adults:

Sudden death:

NO

YES

Scavenged by birds of prey:

NO

YES

Blood loss from natural openings:

NO

YES

Nostrils:

Mouth:

Anus:

Vagina:

Enlarged spleen:

Enlarged liver:

Blackish soft spleen:

Haematuria:

Mesenteric lymphadenitis:

Haemorrhagic enteritis:

Bronchopneumonia:



ELIMINATION OF CARCASSES

Burial:

Burning:

Quicklime added:

Wrapped in plastic:

No measures were taken:

Was the animal skinned?:     NO

YES

Was the carcass moved?:

NO

YES

Was it sprayed with 5 % formaldehyde?



EPIDEMIOLOGICAL ALERT

If the animal carcass has been handled (skinning-transport) please provide the following information on the workers concerned.

Name and surname:...........................................................................................................

Hospital attended.............................................................................................




Foto 1: spraying the animal with 5 % formaldehyde.

Foto 2: placing the CONTROLLED COVERING

Foto 3: deactivation after 240 – 260 days

Foto 4: burning the CONTROLLED COVERING