February 18, 2013

Diversity Defeats Disease and more wildlife disease news stories


Diversity Defeats Disease

In a pond, more amphibian species mean decreased chances of disease spread.

The chance of a frog getting infected by a parasitic worm that causes limb deformities is less if it lives among a diverse array of pond mates that can also be infected, according to a study published today (February 13) in Nature. The report provides proof for the long-held theory that diversity drives down the spread of pathogens, and has implications beyond the pond, in human health and disease.

“This is the most complete study I’ve seen on biodiversity decreasing disease,” said Andrew Blaustein, a professor of zoology at Oregon State University, who was not involved in the study.

“The study is unusually comprehensive in combining field and lab and mesocosm—[controlled ecosystem]—studies,” agreed Rick Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, in Millbrook, New York, who also did not participate in the work. “It’s delightfully elegant in covering all the bases.”

The Scientist - www.the-scientist.com
13 Feb 2013
R Williams

Cited Journal Article
Pieter T. J. Johnson, et al. Biodiversity decreases disease through predictable changes in host community competence. Nature, 2013; 494 (7436): 230 DOI: 10.1038/nature11883

Fatal Bat Disease Found in Two Kentucky State Parks

White-nose syndrome map updated February 15, 2013.
Source: Fish and Wildlife Service
White Nose Syndrome has been found in two Kentucky state parks. State officials announced today that infected bats have turned up in caves at Carter Cave State Resort Park in Carter County and the Kingdom Come State Park Nature Preserve in Letcher County.

Now, the disease has been found in seven Kentucky counties: Bell, Edmonson, Breckenridge, Trigg, Carter, Letcher and Wayne counties.

From the Kentucky Department of Parks:
Bats with the disease were found recently at Carter Caves, near Olive Hill, in caves that are not open to the public. The three caves where bats with the disease were found are Bat, Saltpetre and Laurel Caves, which were closed in 2008 as part of the effort to stop the spread of the fungus causing the disease.

Carter Caves is home to about 40,000 Indiana bats, which are federally endangered. The majority of those are found within Bat Cave, which is also part of the Bat Cave State Nature Preserve…

A bat with the disease also was found in January at Line Fork Cave at Kingdom Come State Park during a routine cave survey. The cave is gated and not open to tourists. This cave is in Letcher County, located inside the 225-acre Kingdom Come State Park Nature Preserve and is home to the federally protected Indiana bat.

WFPL News - wfpl.org
15 Feb 2013
Location: View reported cases in Kentucky on Global Wildlife Disease News Map - Map It

Four New Positives Found in Trans Pecos CWD Surveillance

Disease not discovered outside Containment Zone

Nearly 300 tissue samples were collected from hunter harvested mule deer from the Trans Pecos ecoregion of far West Texas during the 2012-13 season for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing. Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory and National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) have confirmed CWD in four of those samples. All CWD-positive deer were harvested within the CWD Containment Zone.

Of 298 deer sampled during hunting season, 107 were harvested in the Containment Zone, 93 were harvested in the adjacent High Risk Zone, 25 were harvested in the Buffer Zone, and 73 deer were harvested outside of the CWD zones. Nineteen of the samples collected from the Containment Zone were from deer harvested in the Hueco Mountains.

“The good news is that CWD has not been detected in Texas outside of the Hueco Mountains of northern El Paso and Hudspeth counties,” said Mitch Lockwood, Big Game Program Director with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Including the two positives reported from TPWD’s strategic sampling effort last summer, and the three positives reported by New Mexico Game and Fish last year, CWD has been detected in 9 of 31 deer sampled in the Hueco Mountains.

Texas Parks and Wildlife News - www.tpwd.state.tx.us
11 Feb 2013
Location: Trans Pecos, Texas, USA - Map It 

Unglamorous vultures provide noble service to nature

Humans may not think much of a vulture’s appearance or its diet, but we owe a debt of gratitude to this common Ozarks bird.

Unless, that is, you’re someone who’s hoping for an increase in rabies. Or you want more cases of tularemia. Anyone for more canine distemper?

These are some of the wildlife diseases that are helped kept in check by the feeding habits of vultures. Vultures occasionally eat live prey, but the majority of their diet is carrion — “dead stuff.” It’s that food choice that causes many people to have a less-than-stellar opinion of these birds. While this may not seem like a glamorous diet, it’s a valuable one.

... One example is in India, where biologists think there’s a direct correlation between a decline in vultures in some parts of the country and an increased prevalence of rabies in those same areas.

News-Leader.com - www.news-leader.com
13 Feb 2013
F Skalicky

Citizen Scientists Make a Difference!
One Health News Corner
Huh?! That's Interesting!

No comments: