Do you work in the agricultural arena; in the farm field and exposed to plant diseases (bacteria fungi etc.? Do you handle biological pesticides, insecticides, fungicides etc? Are you exposed to biological control products in a research laboratory? Are you a crop duster or are exposed to bio-control products that fill the crop duster tanks?
If the answer is yes to any of the above, then please read on. You could be at risk of serious health hazards - which may lead to illness and/or diseases. These may not show up for years.
In the case of those in the direct line of fire, the laboratory employee is at paticular risk.
A 'then' college student (who wanted outside lab experience) had accepted a temporary position as an Assistant Researcher at the microbial research and development company Agraquest, Inc. in Davis California. Years later, he still continues to get sinus infections. Read; NON REPORTED Occupational Exposures & Illnesses Sustained From Employment At Agraquest, Inc. A Microbial Biotechnology Research & Development Company - Founder Pamela Gail Marrone
The state of California Department of Health was 'owner' of fungus Lagenidium giganteum, that was the "active ingredient" in the Assistant Researcher's project, Laginex.
See PAN Pesticides Database - Pesticide Products; Product Name: Lagenidium giganteum mycelium & oospores
After he realized the connections to Agraquest and his repeated infections, he filed for Worker's compensation on October 3, 2003. On October 24, 2003 the California Department of Health was no longer the owner of the fungus as it had been since 1991 (see link Product Name: Lagenidium giganteum mycelium & oospores)
Not only was Lagenidium deemed to be a new human oomycete in 2004 (Amy Grooters), but now, described on the CDC's website, the same project the Assistant Researcher worked on, Laginex is listed in the research paper, Lagenidium giganteum Pathogenicity in Mammals.
"The emergence of heat-tolerant strains of L. giganteum pathogenic to lower animals and humans is of environmental and public health concern."
"In 1995, the US Environmental Protection Agency registered L. giganteum under the trade name Laginex as a biocontrol agent (13) but later deregistered it at the request of the manufacturer (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ FR-2011-09-28/pdf/2011-24832.pdf)."
State of California
California Biotech company
California Strain of fungus
**L. giganteum is the SAME fungus that Laboratory Assistant Researcher's 'primary' project was when after only 5 months & 9 days on the job the biotech employee became violently ill with bloody pus draining from his nose. 3 days later the left half of his face and teeth were numb. Within 1 week of becoming violently ill; the injured/ill biotech employee was scheduled for what would become the 1st of 4 MAJOR sinus surgeries.
What followed? Breakdown of immune system & numerous bacteria and fungi medically identified in blood work, sinus & sputum cultures; ALL RELATED to occupational exposure from employer's patents, products and experiments.
Microorganisms, which are NATURALLY found, in plant disease, insect diseases and soils
CROSS-OVER to humans. Many are being (or have been) used in bio-control products on
agricultural crops, ornamentals and used for insect control. Some are also being as plant
growth stimulators and seed treatments.
Dr. Anne K. Vidaver gave a presentation; "Cross-infective microbes: from plants to
humans" during the 2006 "Microbial Biopesticides and Transgenic Insecticides -
Enhancing Regulatory Communication" workshop in Washington DC at the University of
California Center on Regulatory Communication in 2006, before representatives from
numerous Federal and State agencies and Universities. It is more than evident she was
desperately trying to get everyone to pay attention to the human health hazards of exposure
to plant pathogens but also that many of these plant pathogens are being used as biocontrol
products. Her talk SEEMS TO HAVE FALLEN ON DEAF EARS. Some of what she had to
say is listed below:
"Microorganisms that infect and cause disease in both plants and people are uncommon but increasing in frequency of isolation. These cross-infective microorganisms are more insidious than those simply transmitted to humans by contact or consumption of plants. Currently 22 bacterial taxa and 38 fungal taxa have been reported as causing ‘phytoses’. Several examples of bacterial and fungal diseases of plants and corresponding human disease will be presented. Questions that arise include accuracy of systematics analyses, role and similarity of virulence factors, genomic and pathogenicity islands and antimicrobial resistance. Newer biological techniques such as synthetic biology, illustrated by the construction of new viruses and DNA shuffling or intragenomic reconstruction, complicate oversight and regulatory action. Regulatory challenges among presumed equivalent taxa among plant and medical communities include definition and assessment of risk groups, permitting for interstate transport and differential perspective on the use and formulation of regulatory agency guidance documents. Assessment of alternatives for microbial pesticide niche markets will be presented. Potential interagency programs on cross-over pathogens will be discussed. The major challenge for agencies with regulatory responsibility for microbial biopesticides is the assessment and accuracy of taxa and scope of both natural and modified biological variations that may be used and their genomic stability. Management of cross-infective diseases of both plants and animals will require more interdisciplinary research and cooperative agency interactions."
Although NUMEROUS biocontrol agents are on the market presently (or were on the market and have since been cancelled) there remains the question as to how many agricultural workers and those employed in biotechnology research and development laboratories around the world have no idea just what they have been exposed to that have made them ill and/or sustained terrible diseases because of occupational exposure/s to the bacteria and fungi on the following list? This does not take into account the question as well as to how many family members have medical problems because their loved one carried home microscopic bacteria and fungi on their clothes, their shoes and anything that was brought home from the workplace environment?
In Humans / Animals & Cross-Infections from Plants, Soils and Insects you will find a
detailed list of the following bacteria and fungi that cross-infect humans). Many of these are
the "active ingredient" in bio-control products.
***The check mark '√ ' indicates the connection of the bacteria and fungi to bio-control products
8. BIOLOGICAL SAFETY - Principles and Practices; LABORATORY, GROWTH CHAMBER AND GREENHOUSE MICROBIAL SAFETY: PLANT PATHOGENS AND PLANT-ASSOCIATED MICROORGANISMS OF SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMAN HEALTH by ANNE K VIDAVER, SUE A. TOLIN, AND PATRICIA LAMBRECHT - 4th edition
16. US NUS National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health; J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2007;23(2 Suppl):50-7. Oomycetes: Lagenidium giganteum.; Kerwin JL.; Source Department of Biological Chemistry, School of Medicine University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.