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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 8 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Sunday, January 16, 2022

SOME VIRUS FACTS AND QUESTIONS

 Already on September 19 of 2020, husband Pieter did write this and send it to our local Laurens Now Magazine.
Figure 1. (from page 419 in our book) Three different types of virus particles (see arrows) have been found in mushrooms, suffering from dieback (see arrows). This picture was taken by electron microscope, enlargement 80,000 x.
Photograph, TFDL—IPO, (Task Dataflow Language at the Institute for Phytopathological Research WUR, Wageningen University, The Netherlands).

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SOME VIRUS FACTS AND QUESTIONS

Together with my wife Mariette, I have spent almost my entire life in the mushroom world. We both have gained a very specialized knowledge and experience in that field, and because of that, we have done consulting work, training sessions and lecturing all over the globe.
We just have published our latest edition of the book 'modern mushroom growing 2020 harvesting', in which we have written down that scientific and practical knowledge, gained in our lifetime, on 448 pages, including over 200 color images.
To become an expert in the mushroom business, one has to study of course, what is going on in that special world of moulds, mushrooms and all kind of microorganisms, including viruses. You have to know that one of the most disastrous diseases in mushroom production is caused by a virus infection. Because of that, we know a little bit more about a virus than the average person. The COVID-19 virus is of course not the same as the virus causing the problem in the mushroom business, but there are enough identical characteristics, worthwhile for keeping in mind.
To avoid a virus problem on a mushroom farm, first we have to follow a very strict hygiene program; almost at a hospital level.
Secondly, we have to filter all incoming air for the growing rooms. Most modern mushroom farms have a sophisticated air handling system, controlling temperature, relative humidity, CO₂ concentration etc., including air filtration. By filtering the incoming air, we try to keep harmful organisms, like little insects, spores from competitor moulds and virus particles out of the growing rooms. And here comes the point. It is relatively easy to catch flies, butterflies, midges etc.; for that we are using a so–called pre–filter, more or less like a normal fly screen. Catching spores from competitor moulds and virus particles, however, is another story, because of the small size of those organisms. Such a filter, we call that an 'absolute' filter, has to catch particles, the size of three to five micron, with an airspeed through the filter of approximately 4 to 6 feet per second. The problem here is, that the virus particles are so minuscule, only 0.003 till 0.05 micron.
Figure 2. This figure gives a good insight in the size of virus particles, in comparison with other airborne particles, (Source Paul Stamets).

~

In the image you can see that the average virus particles are even smaller than substances in tobacco smoke, and also much smaller than bacteria and spores from moulds and mushrooms.
Therefore, a filter able to catch virus particles in the air would have to be so dense that hardly any air could pass under normal pressure and air speed.
But here comes some relief. A virus does not possess an independent metabolism; it can only 'grow' and multiply the metabolism of more developed cells. It cannot live that long on its own; it has to be attached to other living cells like bacteria, spores or even small droplets of human saliva. That's why we are advised to cover our face with a piece of fabric.
From the foregoing, you can figure out, that such a piece of fabric cannot catch virus particles; it can only catch particles attached to a bigger sized object, like bacteria, spores or a little droplet of moisture, coming out of your, or other person's mouth. Hopefully that piece of fabric fits tightly, so there are no 'leaks'. Some even are using a plastic shield. Does such a shield give you any protection; being open at several sides?
Another problem I see, is that if the mouth cover indeed has caught some virus, attached to whatever, what are you doing with that cover, coming back from e.g., shopping, putting it down somewhere and wearing it again?
Once a virus has invaded a host, it starts changing their metabolism in such a way that it multiplies the virus, instead of their own cells. As soon as a virus enters the host, a healthy host, immediately starts fighting off the intruder. By doing so, building an even stronger immune system. That is the reason that a little blood from a person who has overcome a virus attack, can help somebody, who is struggling, to fight the disease. Two things are important here; first, we are mentioning a 'healthy' host, with therefore a strong immune system.
Secondly, very important is the level of infection. A little infection to a healthy person is not a problem because that gives the immune system the time to build up the resistance. The problem is a high infection pressure upon an 'older' somewhat unhealthy individual, with a weak immune system. That gives the virus the opportunity to multiply, and so creating the problems, especially attacking the respiratory system.
Over the years, we have learned that a strong antagonism is often the key to fight off an invader; think e.g. about the penicillium mould, fighting infections 'extract penicillium'. 
I don't come up with conclusions; after reading these facts it is up to you, using common sense.
Because of politics there is already enough confusing information around.
We always have made our decisions, based on facts and by using common sense.

Pieter J. C. Vedder
September 19, 2020


Pieter mailed the file out on Saturday, September 19, 2020 but it never got published in Laurens Now Magazine...

Reading now Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s book, which we purchased on November 24, 2021 we decided to as yet publish the above.

On February 16, it also is available in Germany and in our opinion in a better print (on 900 pages instead of 480!) for easier reading. 
Already ranking very high in Germany!
Our book is of course not a bestseller ranking #1 but together with Paul Stamets (Figure 2, used here above) whom we mentioned in our book, we are listed under University Textbooks.

Both of us have no PAY MASTER, but we publish the truth, not anything unfounded in science. 

Related link:
modern mushroom growing 2020 harvesting | previous post by me about our publication

18 comments:

  1. Le foto non si vedono.Buona giornata.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cara Olga,
      Naturalmente, nessuno pubblica immagini di virus così dettagliate, 80.000 x ingrandite.
      Abbracci,
      Mariette

      Delete
  2. It is such a good thing that people like you and Pieter are so dedicated to science and have helped humankind by your knowledge and by sharing your talents and experience.

    Thank you to both of you. God bless always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Victor,
      Thank you and both of us know a little bit more about the spread of diseases and how the different strains of virus can affect living organisms, including human beings.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  3. Hello Mariette and Pieter, Sanitation indeed is important for both horticultural and human health. Many plants can get viruses, and it is very difficult to eradicate them, thus many farmers and gardeners insist on certified virus-free stock for certain plants, then have to maintain that vigilance by constant sanitation, burning old or infected plants, and eradicating wild species that might host a similar infection. As regards covid, Pieter's observations are most pertinent, especially the illustration of the size of the viruses and his comment how masks can still be effective since often viruses will attach to saliva droplets--who wants to breathe in strangers' saliva, anyways?
    --Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Jim,
      It is indeed an ongoing battle for all living creatures, including plants, animals and human beings.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  4. Se ve muy interesante las imágenes , a través del telescopio.

    Besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Querida Antónia,
      Esas máscaras solo pueden mantener fuera las partículas de virus adheridas a las gotas de saliva ...
      Abrazos,
      Mariette

      Delete
  5. Mariette, I was so impressed with Pieter's amazing paper - I printed it out and made Bob sit comfortably and read every word! We discussed it and agreed it was very interesting and taught us a lot. Also, Pieter's English is perfect, being his second language most likely, and a delight to read.
    Thank him for us - and thank you for sharing.
    Mary and Bob -

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Mary & Bob,
      Thank you and Pieter has been a lifelong excellent teacher, his classes got taught in Dutch, German and English. Furthermore he has written so many lectures for International Mushroom Science Congresses and for other publications in trade magazines. His book (translated into 8 languages) is called the 'Mushroom Bible' and it is all about understanding the microorganisms for creating the optimum environment for them to grow and multiply. That also gave us a lot of insight in virus. The first photo is in our book on page 419 and it gives you a good perspective of HOW tiny they are. Therefore, it is very difficult to catch those extreme tiny particles...
      Hugs,
      Pieter & Mariette

      Delete
  6. Really knowing mushrooms is a whole science. Pieter knows so much about the topic...
    xoxo
    Coisas de Feltro

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Christina,
      He sure does and especially about the diseases and how to avoid them. It is quite a science for being good at it for producing firm quality mushrooms.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  7. So well put together & I appreciate the analogy. That graphic is spot on. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Annette,
      Husband Pieter always has been able to explain things well and always based on true science and personal, long time experience. Hence the book shown in University Textbooks.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  8. Scritto interessante,grazie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cara Olga,
      Scritto con esperienza personale e con foto valide per il backup.
      Abbracci,
      Mariette

      Delete

Thanks for your visit and comment.

Mariette...

MARIETTE'S BACK TO BASICS © 2009. All rights reserved - Text and images may not be copied for distribution or sale.

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