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News Release

CountryDateRelease Date


United States


July 24, 2002

Immediate

CDC Sounds alarm for HIV patients

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis implicated as cause of Crohn's symptoms in HIV-positive man

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Cheryl Miller, Co-executive Director of Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc (PARA) presented powerful testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, asking for earmarked funding for Crohn's disease research.

Addressing the subcommittee on March 13, 2001, Mrs. Miller, mother of a Crohn's patient, outlined the nature of the disease, the encouraging research that has increased understanding of a possible cause, and the efforts of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to promote further research efforts.

In her testimony, Miller pointed out the failure of conventional medical wisdom to find a root cause of Crohn's disease. "Research efforts in Crohn's disease have almost single-mindedly centered on intensive study of the 'immune system,'" said Mrs. Miller. "Sadly, to date, all of this research has yielded little to nothing of benefit to Crohn's patients."

Her testimony emphasized the "good news" that "an increasingly compelling body of evidence implicates an infectious cause -- a bacterium, known as Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, or MAP."

She pointed to the National Institutes of Health's historic action -- its National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) published an agenda in 1999 that called for research into an infectious cause of Crohn's disease -- and to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)'s Working Document "Potential Infectious Causes of Crohn's Disease" that speaks of the need to identify risk factors for human infection.

"If a disease has an infectious cause, there is a source of infection," Miller testified. She outlined the similarities betweeen MAP infection in cattle and Crohn's disease in humans. Since MAP is excreted in cow's milk and pasteurization likely allows some organisms to survive, she cautioned that "Every day in this nation babies are fed large quantities of milk -- milk which may one day be proven to contain live MAP capable of causing Crohn's disease in humans."

Miller concluded her testimony with four requests of the Subcommittee:

  • Request that a formal "Crohn's Disease Program" be developed and implemented at NIAID, and allocate $300 million in new funds to NIAID to complete its historic and urgent new research agenda targeting an infectious cause of Crohn's disease

  • Request that a formal "Crohn's Disease Program" be developed and implemented within CDC, and allocate $200 million in new funds to CDC to complete its agenda to identify risk factors for human infection with MAP

  • Request that Crohn's disease be identified as an Emerging Infectious Disease, and that it be treated with the utmost urgency

  • If possible, encourage those Congressional Committees cognizant of food safety to immediately begin addressing the food safety issues associated with MAP in retail food supplies in the U.S.

References

Full text of Cheryl Miller's testimony

PARA's request for earmarked funding for Crohn's disease research

NIAID Report: "Crohn's disease:- Is there a microbial etiology? Recommendations for a research agenda."

CDC Working Document: "Potential Infectious Causes of Crohn's Disease"


For further information contact

ContactKaren Meyer and Cheryl Miller
Co-Executive Directors, Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc.
E-mailKaren --or-- Cheryl

Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc.

is a non-profit organization of Crohn's disease patients, their families and friends who are dedicated to the following goals:
  1. To raise awareness of the zoonotic (disease-causing) potential of the bacterium, MAP, in the national community of sufferers of Crohn's disease, in medical, veterinary and food science research communities, in governmental agencies and in the public in general
  2. To urge governmental agencies to directly address control and eventual eradication of MAP from the human environment, particularly from foods of animal origin
  3. To urge governmental and medical research agencies to make funding available for research which will determine the role played by MAP in causing Crohn's disease

Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc.
Box 16219
Temple Terrace, FL 33687-6219
Website http://www.crohns.org/


Source: http://www.crohns.org/media/pr010313.htm   Contact PARA: http://www.crohns.org/contact.htm
Paratuberculosis Awareness & Research Association