March 7, 2013

Deadly Fungus Detected in Southeast Asia's Amphibian Trade and other wildlife disease news stories


Avian Botulism Monitoring - 2012 Report for Emmet and Charlevoix Counties

Since 2007, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council has taken the lead to coordinate avian botulism monitoring in the Northern Lower Peninsula in an effort to better understand the underlying factors contributing to outbreaks.

In the fall of 2012, the Watershed Council continued working with the Emmet County Lakeshore association (ECLA) and community volunteers to monitor outbreaks of avian botulism along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Emmet and Charlevoix counties. This is a report of their findings.

Chemical exposure contributes to decline of wildlife population

Finless porpoises all over the world have been found to have perfluorooctane sulfonate
(PFOS, used in stain repellents, surface coating agents and fire-fighting foams) in their livers.
WILDLIFE species and populations are on the decline worldwide – and it is not just due to over-exploitation or loss of habitat. Chemical contamination is also at play here.

Long-term monitoring as well as laboratory studies have shown that chemicals known to interfere with the function of the human body’s endocrine system, do the same in wildlife.

The evidence shows that exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can affect behaviour, fecundity, growth and disease resistance in wildlife.

A recently released report, State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 2012, by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organisation warns of the health risks posed by EDCs, which can be found in a wide range of products, including many everyday items.

“Given our understanding of EDCs and their effects on the reproductive system, it is extremely likely that declines in the numbers of some wildlife populations (raptors, seals and snails) were because of the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals on these species,” says the report, developed by a global team of experts grouped under the Inter-Organisation Programme for the Sound Management of Chemical.

The Star -
05 Mar 2013

Deadly Fungus Detected in Southeast Asia's Amphibian Trade

A team of scientists led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the National University of Singapore (NUS), revealed in a new study, for the first time, the presence of the pathogenic chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibians sampled in Singapore. And the American bullfrog may be a central player in the spread of the disease.

The study appears in the current issue of the journal EcoHealth, and is the first to consider the role that Southeast Asia's commercial trade plays in the spread of amphibian pathogens.

Science Daily -
06 Mar 2013

Cited Journal Article
M Gilbert et al. 2013 Feb. Amphibian Pathogens in Southeast Asian Frog Trade. [Epub ahead of print]

Cicadas Kill Bacteria with Structures on Their Wings

Clanger or clear wing cicada (Psaltoda claripennis).
Image courtesy of Arthur Chapman/Flickr
Cicadas don’t use antibacterial wing sanitizer, so how do these insects keep their wings free of bacteria? Hint: it’s structural.

The wings of the Clanger cicada kill certain bacteria by ripping their cell membranes. A pattern of pillar-like nanostructures on the wings’ surface put pressure on the bacterial cell membrane, causing it to stretch and eventually tear.

In a study published in Biophysical Journal in February, researchers modeled this process for the first time. They say this is the first example of a species being able to kill bacteria with a physical structure alone.

Discover -
05 Mar 2013
B Draxler

One Health News Corner
It Ain't All Bad News
Huh?! That's Interesting!
Items Shared by Your Fellow Digest Readers

No comments: