December 15, 2009


They discovered chytrid fungus in frogs from Panama [translated by Google]
Zero Hour -
14 Dec 2009
Area: Cerro Brewster Chagres National Park, Panama - Map It

Project Rescue and Conservation of Amphibians of Panama (PARC), announced that many of the frogs collected and were affected by the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), a disease which has devastated almost 100 species of frogs around the world.

The aim of the first issue of the project was to collect live specimens of frogs that are not contaminated by the chytrid fungus in Panama to reproduce in captivity.

The rescue mission, led by the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Roberto Ibanez of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, collected about 20 harlequin frog (Atelopus Limosa) and 20 tree frogs (Hyloscirtus colymba) at Cerro Brewster Chagres National Park in Panama.

Atrazine: As bad for wildlife as it is for weeds?

Environmental Health News -
14 Dec 2009
H Hamlin

The widely used herbicide atrazine may be responsible for a host of health problems seen in fresh water fish and amphibians, according to researchers who evaluated a group of published studies that examined the chemical's effects.

The weed-killer atrazine – in most cases – does not outright kill fish and amphibians in the wild, but it can routinely causes indirect health effects that can alter important life functions in the two groups.

A new assessment of previous studies finds that some of the effects were permanent and not seen until months after the animals encountered the chemical.

Koalas in Australia dying from AIDS, habitat loss
14 Dec 2009
A Coren
Area: Australia - Map It

On the operating table lies a sick koala. He's just been brought in by a driver who found the animal sitting in the middle of a busy road.

Veterinarian Claude Lacasse determines the koala has not been hit by a car but she immediately detects one serious problem facing many of the marsupials: Chlamydia, a disease which can lead to a very slow and painful death for koalas living in the wild.

Koalas generate almost US$1 billion for the Australian economy, thanks to tourists who come to see this national icon. But these cuddly creatures are under serious threat from infectious disease and habitat loss and some scientists believe they are facing extinction.

Upcoming Meeting: ISIRV International Symposium on Neglected Influenza Viruses
3-5 February 2010
Amelia Island, Florida, USA

[Excerpt from web site] The International Symposium on Neglected Influenza Viruses will examine a considerable body of swine and equine influenza data and also consider what roles, if any, canine influenza and marine mammal influenza might play in new epidemics and epizootics.

This symposium will explore surveillance data, experimental and observational research data, control strategies and policy, and the economic impact of these viruses of lower mammals that have generally received less surveillance and research efforts. This conference will summarize considerable novel influenza data, not previously presented at human or avian influenza scientific meetings.

Photo credit: National Geographic News
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Prevalence of West Nile Virus in Migratory Birds during Spring and Fall Migration
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2009 Dec;81(6):1151-8. [free full-text pdf available here]
RJ Dusek et al.

Experimental Infection of Cliff Swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) with Varying Doses of West Nile Virus
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2009 Dec;81(6):1159-64.
PT Oesterle et al.

Evolution of a transdisciplinary "One Medicine-One Health" approach to global health education at the University of California, Davis
Prev Vet Med. 2009 Dec 1;92(4):268-74. Epub 2009 Oct 12.
PA Conrad et al.
First data on Eurasian wild boar response to oral immunization with BCG and challenge with a Mycobacterium bovis field strain
Vaccine. 2009 Nov 12;27(48):6662-8. Epub 2009 Sep 9.
C Ballesteros et al.

Detection of Theileria parva antibodies in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in the livestock-wildlife interface areas of Zambia

Vet Parasitol. 2009 Dec 3;166(1-2):163-6. Epub 2009 Aug 14.
HM Munang'andu et al.