Bird Flu Alarm

Understanding Avian Influenza

Kimchi Effective in Fighting Bird Flu

The Korea Times ^ | 10-12-2005 17:29 | By Lee Hyo-sik

Posted on 10/17/2005 6:49:53 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s

A local animal feed manufacturer shipped a feed additive that may be effective in treating bird flu to Indonesia last week amid growing international concern over the spread of the virus.

"A veterinarian at an Indonesian zoo asked us to send our animal feed additive, which contains the bacteria leuconostoc citreum, a type of lactobacillus found in kimchi," said Lee Jong-Dae, president of Celltech International.

"We shipped some 800 kilograms of the additive last week."

Lee added that if it is proven effective in treating chickens, ducks and other birds infected with bird flu virus there, the company will sign formal export contracts with Indonesia and expand its export market into other Asian countries grappling with bird flu outbreaks.

"We are sure that the additive will work in treating fowls with the avian influenza as our tests have shown that local chickens that were fed the additive had a much stronger immune system against a wide array of viruses compared to ones that it was not given to," he said.

Seoul National University professor Kang Sa-ouk and his research team extracted leuconostoc citreum and eight other lactobacillus from kimchi.

Professor Kang and Celltech International launched a joint project to develop anti-virus and anti-bacteria animal feed additives by using kimchi lactobacillus.

The Korean government has been on high alert over a possible spread of the bird flu here as neighboring countries such as China, Russia and Mongolia have reported outbreaks of the disease during the past few weeks.

The government plans to issue an alert against the highly contagious avian influenza tomorrow, cautioning against the arrival of migratory birds.

It will also launch a special monitoring and quarantine campaign against the bird flu from November through February, particularly in migratory sanctuaries and areas near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

The bird flu, previously limited to Southeast Asia, was found among migratory birds in China, Russia and other northern Asian countries this summer.

International concern over bird flu outbreaks have increased with two cases reported in Romania and Turkey, an autumn destination for birds migrating from Asia.

Government officials are concerned that the virus could easily be transmitted to local wild birds and poultry by migratory birds from counties like Russia and Mongolia.

The possible outbreak of avian influenza is expected to deal a serious blow to local poultry farmers and exporters who are still recovering from the previous outbreaks.

Between December 2003 and March 2004, government officials were forced to destroy 5.3 million birds at 19 poultry farms around the country to prevent the virus from spreading.

The economic loss incurred was estimated to be around 1 trillion won ($970 million).

Understanding Avian Influenza