June 10, 2013

Social Networks Could Help Prevent Disease Outbreaks in Endangered Chimpanzees and more wildlife disesae related news stories


More birds die as infection spreads

More birds have been dying of disease in Darwin. Another black kite was found sick at Shoal Bay dump in Leanyer last week and died shortly after. Department of Primary Industries spokesman Bill Whitington said the cause of death was most likely canker, a parasite not transferable to humans.

Mr Whitington said in October last year an autopsy was performed on a dead kite after dozens were reported in the NT News. "The bird died from a parasitic infection in the mouth and throat commonly known as canker and diagnosed in previous years as a periodic cause of death in kites," he said. "The most likely source was from eating carrion."

NT News
06 Jun 2013
C Bennett
Location: Darwin, Australia - Map It

Research restriction: a curveball for Great Lakes avian botulism [Part I]

... An answer for avian botulism might be a long time coming. The botulinum toxin and the bacteria, Clostridium, that produces it are difficult to research for a host of reasons, said Lafrancois. First, the Great Lakes are vast, providing a difficult backdrop for research. Wind, time, temperature, water and water currents are all elements researchers have to battle when testing for botulism, and when collecting birds that they suspect have died from botulism.

Second, botulism itself is difficult to research. The botulinum toxin – as well as the Clostridium bacteria – are both regulated by the Centers for Disease Control's National Select Agent Registry. The agency has determined it, as a "biological agent," to pose a "severe threat to both human and animal health," according to the registry website.

Researchers are only allowed half a milligram of the toxin – the most toxic substance known to science, say researchers – in their labs. A half a teaspoon contains 2,500 milligrams.

Petoskey News
05 Jun 2013
M Sherburne
Location: Great Lakes Region

Read Part II

Otters show disease could be in our rivers

For the first time scientists have shown that the disease Toxoplasmosis is widespread in animals found in the UK's water systems. If the disease is common in our rivers it could mean that humans are at a high risk of infection.

The researchers conducted post mortems on dead otters –mostly road-kills– found around England and Wales to assess whether any of the animals contained antibodies for the disease, which is caused by the parasite Toxoplasmosis Gondii. The scientists were surprised to find almost half of the otters examined had been exposed to the disease – a high rate of prevalence considering otters eat fish, which don't carry the parasite.

Planet Earth Online
06 Jun 2013
H Jarlett
Location: United Kingdom

Social Networks Could Help Prevent Disease Outbreaks in Endangered Chimpanzees

Many think of social networks in terms of Facebook friends and Twitter followers, but for recent University of Georgia doctoral graduate Julie Rushmore, social networks are tools in the fight against infectious diseases.

Rushmore, who completed her doctorate in the Odum School of Ecology in May, analyzed the social networks of wild chimpanzees to determine which individuals were most likely to contract and spread pathogens. Her findings, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology on June 5, could help wildlife managers target their efforts to prevent outbreaks and potentially help public health officials prevent disease in human populations as well.

Science Daily
05 Jun 2013

Cited Journal Article
J Rushmore et al. Social network analysis of wild chimpanzees provides insights for predicting infectious disease risk. Journal of Animal Ecology, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12088

Other Wildlife Health Related News
Environmental Impact on Wildlife Health
Chronic Wasting Disease
Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre - healthywildlife.com Blog [We love this site! Great articles!]
Huh? That's Interesting!

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