One Health News - One Health Commission

One Health News

View articles of interest about One Health topics gathered from media around the world here. Send One Health related news to: ohc@onehealthcommission.org

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December 2015

Dec 23
December 23
Toxic chemicals from gold mining destroys environment

Illegal mining has become a social and environmental issue for certain communities in Vietnam.  Much of these illegal operations introduce toxic chemicals into the environment, impacting the health of communities nearby.  These operations are estimated to involve 200 illegal miners each day in the mountains across Vietnam.  

Dec 22
December 22
WHO Sets Priority for Emerging Diseases Research

"The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued an initial list of diseases needing urgent research attention to prevent severe outbreaks. This list, which includes Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, Ebola and Marburg virus diseases, Lassa fever, Middle East respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus diseases, Nipah, and Rift Valley fever, is expected to be a key element in the WHO Research and Development (R&D) Blueprint for infectious diseases with epidemic potential currently under development for presentation in May 2016 at the 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland."

Dec 22
December 22
Dogs 'Catch' Emotions From People

Excerpt: "Dogs often copy the facial expressions of others, according to a new study that suggests dogs, like humans and other primates, show a phenomenon known as "emotional contagion.  Emotional contagion, which is a basic building block of empathy, is when an individual instantaneously shares the same emotional state of another. Its existence was never fully proven in dogs until now." 

Dec 21
December 21
A new way to cut back on health costs? Get a dog

Excerpt: "You can forget how much you spent on your beloved pet this year. A new economic analysis from George Mason University researchers suggests you should be thanking your furry companion for improving your health — and for cutting back on health care costs."

Dec 21
December 21
By cutting down forests, humans may be giving themselves malaria

A new research study is currently linking the deforestation of trees in Malaysia with the spread of malaria.  A version of the disease, previously found only in monkeys, is becoming more transmissible by environmental disturbances, reported by the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. 

Dec 21
December 21
Wild bees on the decline in key US agricultural ecosystems – study

Excerpt: "Wild bees, crucial pollinators for many crops, are on the decline in some of the main agricultural regions of the United States, according to scientists who produced the first national map of bee populations and identified numerous trouble spots.

The researchers on Monday cited 139 counties as especially worrisome, with wild bee numbers decreasing while farmland for crops dependent on such pollinators is increasing. "

Dec 8
December 8
The ethics of climate change: what we owe people – and the rest of the planet

Ethics is a particularly relevant if underreported topic of conversation at the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris. While technical disputes grab the lion’s share of attention, we should not forget the moral reasons we must address global warming – because of the substantial harm it does and will do to the human and nonhuman world.

Dec 8
December 8
Lab staple agar hit by seaweed shortage

Exceprt: "Microbiology’s most important reagent is in short supply, with potential consequences for research, public health and clinical labs around the world.

Agar — the seaweed-derived, gelatinous substance that biologists use to culture microbes — is experiencing a global downturn, marine biologists, agar producers and industry analysts toldNature. “There’s not enough seaweed for everyone, so basically we are now reducing our production,” says Pedro Sanchez, deputy managing director of Industrias Roko in Polígono de Silvota, Spain, which processes seaweed to make some 40% of the world’s agar.

The shortage can be traced to newly enforced trade restrictions on the seaweed, arising from environmental concerns that the algae are being overharvested. It is unclear how deeply the dearth will hit researchers, but it has already pushed wholesale prices of agar to an all-time high of around US$35–45 per kilogram — nearly triple the price before scarcities began. Individual researchers, who buy packaged agar from lab-supply companies, can pay many times this amount."

Dec 7
December 7
Dirty Yamuna water harbours drug-resistant bacteria

Excerpt: "The Yamuna river is harbouring a high number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which can have serious ecological and public health implications, a recent study published in the latest issue of International Journal of Bio Assays has revealed. 

Strengthening the global concern that the development of resistance for antibiotics in bacteria will make the use of these antibiotics ineffective in humans, the study has reported that all the isolated E. coli strains in the Yamuna were found to be resistant to most of the tested antibiotics. 

This may be explained by high and uncontrolled use of these antibiotics in humans and animals apart from pollution from pharmaceutical companies as well as heavy metals or biocides."

Original article: 

Bhardwaj R, Gupta A, Garg JK: Prevalence of multidrug resistance in Escherichia coli strains isolated from river Yamuna, Delhi stretch.
International J Bioassays, 2015; 4(11): 4492-8; available at <http://www.ijbio.com/index.php/ijb/article/view/828/pdf>

Dec 7
December 7
Hawaii’s Dengue Fever Outbreak Grows

"The Asian Tiger mosquito is contributing to the spread of the dengue fever outbreak in Hawaii.  The number of cases of dengue fever in Hawaii has risen to 139, prompting health authorities this week to warn residents and travelers to the popular winter vacation destination to take precautions to avoid contracting the virus."

Dec 3
December 3
This Is the Scariest Superbug Yet

Excerpt: "In mid-November, a group of Chinese and UK researchers published a paper in The Lancet delivering some sobering news: They had found a strain of E. coli in Chinese pigs that had evolved to withstand colistin, a potent antibiotic widely considered to be a last resort against a variety of pathogens that can resist antibiotics. Worse, the gene that allowed the E. coli to shrug off colistin easily jumps among bacterial species, and is thus "likely to spread rapidly into key human pathogens"—think fun stuff like salmonella and Klebsiella. The cherry on top: The authors warn that these colistin-defying nasties are "likely" to go global."

 

November 2015

Nov 30
November 30
Seabirds Are Dumping Pollution-Laden Poop Back on Land

"Chemicals we've poured into the ocean are coming back to sting us thanks to seabirds defecating in their onshore colonies.  New research is finding that these and other birds are bringing ocean pollution back onto land; the birds eat contaminated fish and poop out the chemicals." 

 

Nov 29
November 29
Children with pets have less stress

"A pet dog may protect your child from childhood anxiety, according to research published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

Link to original CDC article: Pet Dogs and Children’s Health: Opportunities for Chronic Disease Prevention?

Nov 28
November 28
Vets and doctors pledge to cooperate on One Health

Excerpt: "A MEMORANDUM of understanding between the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) and the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) was renewed on November 16 with the aim of strengthening cooperation between doctors and veterinarians in Europe.

The memorandum of understanding sets out an interprofessional cooperation framework for both disciplines to act together in recognition of the One Health concept. One key area of collaboration is antimicrobial resistance. Katrín Fjeldsted, president of the CPME, said: ‘It is only by working together that we will win against antimicrobial resistance. The CPME-FVE memorandum of understanding, by identifying joint actions to be undertaken in this field, is part of this collaborative exercise.’

In addition to action on antimicrobial resistance, the FVE and CPME also agreed to closer cooperation on issues relating to professional regulation, as well as to ensuring awareness across both disciplines in other policy areas, such as the ongoing negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership."

Vets and doctors pledge to cooperate on One Health. Veterinary Record. 2015;177(21):533.2-533. doi:10.1136/vr.h6368.

Nov 23
November 23
A Tick that Feeds on Birds May Increase the Range of Lyme Disease

Excerpt: "If you have lived in the northeastern United States any time in the last 25 years or so, you have almost certainly heard of Lyme disease. You may have scrutinized odd-looking insect bites, wondering if they are developing the disease’s tell-tale “bulls-eye” rash. And you may have become skilled at distinguishing blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis), which can transmit the pathogen, from American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis), which cannot.

But, blacklegged ticks aren’t the only tick species that plays a role in the Lyme disease story. Researchers at Old Dominion University in Virginia are focusing on another tick, Ixodes affinis, that can also serve as a vector for Lyme disease. But don’t look for this tick on your pant legs; I. affinis doesn’t bite humans."

Nov 20
November 20
America’s War on the Kissing Bug

Excerpt: If Thomas Cropper, a public-health veterinarian at Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas, thought about Chagas disease at all, he thought about it as a Central and South American problem. Named after the Brazilian physician who described it, in 1909, Chagas is a classic—one might say egregious—example of a neglected tropical disease. It is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is delivered to its host by kissing bugs, known formally as triatomines. The bugs are bloodsuckers—their nickname comes from their penchant for biting near the eyes or mouth—and they can swell to the size of grapes as they feed, causing them to defecate and leave the parasite behind to make its way into the host’s bloodstream. A gross and not particularly efficient mode of transmission, it’s still good enough to have kept Chagas going since pre-Columbian times. According to the World Health Organization’s shifting estimates, between six and seven million people in Latin America are currently infected. If you’re infected but don’t have symptoms, you’re likely to find out only after donating blood. If you do have symptoms, you’re probably in trouble. About a third of Chagas patients develop a chronic form that leads to heart damage and failure.

Nov 20
November 20
NOAA: Parasite common in cats killed monk seal

"HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Scientists now know what caused the death of a Hawaiian monk seal found near the Ala Wai Boat Harbor last week: toxoplasma gondii, a parasite commonly associated with cats.

"It's something that is shed into the environment from cats and their feces," said Michelle Barbieri, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Division. "It's washed mauka to makai in the environment."

The parasite lives in the muscle tissue of its host animals, which are rodents and small birds. When consumed by cats, the parasite reproduces in the digestive tract and is released into the environment through the cat's defecation."

Nov 19
November 19
Antibiotic resistance: World on cusp of 'post-antibiotic era'

Excerpt: "The world is on the cusp of a "post-antibiotic era", scientists have warned after finding bacteria resistant to drugs used when all other treatments have failed.  They identified bacteria able to shrug off the drug of last resort - colistin - in patients and livestock in China. They said that resistance would spread around the world and raised the spectre of untreatable infections."

Nov 18
November 18
WHO Launches Framework for Building Climate Resilient Health Systems

"With increasing evidence of health risks associated with climate change, the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a publication, titled ‘Operational framework for building climate resilient health systems.' The framework, geared towards public health professionals and health managers, is also meant to support decision-makers and development agencies working in the areas of nutrition, water and sanitation, and emergency management, public health, health system strengthening and climate change adaptation.
read more: http://climate-l.iisd.org/news/who-launches-framework-for-building-climate-resilient-health-systems/

Read full PDF: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/189951/1/9789241565073_eng.pdf

Nov 17
November 17
World Health Organization Calls for Health Professionals to Take Action in Addressing Climate Change

The World Health Organization (WHO) directs and coordinates international health within the United Nations’ system. It makes sense, then, that the worldwide organization has created a "call to action" for health professionals to address the threats from climate change, particularly as we approach the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP) this December. The health effects of climate change and the potential health co-benefits associated with clean energy options are reason enough for health professionals to engage on this topic. As a health sector, we also need to minimize the environmental impacts of our own health systems. This is why WHO is calling on the global health community "to add its voice to the call for a strong and effective climate agreement, that will save lives, both now and in the future." Please take a moment to read the call to action, sign it and pass it on.

Nov 16
November 16
More than 120 Partners Join CDC to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

Excerpt: "The President has proclaimed Nov. 16-22 “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week.”    Get Smart Week builds on the momentum generated at the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship, where more than 150 organizations pledged to improve antibiotic use and slow the spread of antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance – the rise of deadly germs no longer stopped by the drugs that once controlled them – threatens to take us back to the days when minor infections commonly killed.

CDC estimates that each year two million Americans get an infection with an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Every year 23,000 of those patients die. CDC has made combating antibiotic resistance a top priority and is partnering with public institutions and private industry to overcome this challenge. It is critical to use these life-saving drugs when truly necessary, such as when treating patients with sepsis, while also using the right drug at the right dose and duration to  protect the effectiveness of antibiotics."

Nov 16
November 16
USDA Embraces One Health Approach for Solving Problems Associated with Antimicrobial Resistance

This week is World Antibiotic Awareness Week and USDA remains focused on prolonging the usefulness of a very precious resource—antibiotics. 

Nov 13
November 13
Presidential Proclamation -- Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, 2015

The discovery of antibiotics marked an important medical moment in history, and for decades, antibiotics have served as crucial components of our fight against bacterial infectious diseases. Saving millions of lives around the world each year, antibiotics provide an effective method for treating patients and help us combat many diseases that were at one time considered fatal. However, their overuse and misuse has created bacteria with increased levels of antibiotic resistance, posing significant challenges to countering infectious disease. 

Nov 10
November 10
New life for pig-to-human transplants

New technologies, thanks to improved immunosuppressant drugs and advances in genome-editing technologies, are allowing scientists to edit certain species' genes and have more successful pig-to-primate transplants. "Some researchers now expect to see human trials with solid organs such as kidneys from genetically modified pigs within the next few years. "

Nov 9
November 9
Deadly bacteria can kill your dog, lurks in Southwest Florida waterways

CAPE CORAL, FLA.- A deadly bacteria lurking in canals, lakes, and standing water, here in Southwest Florida, could attack your dog with little warning, and your dog could then transfer that disease to you.

It's called leptospirosis and it's spread through wildlife, like raccoons or rats, urinate into local waterways. Their contaminated urine contains bacteria can spread and grow in the water, or even in your backyard, according to Dr. Justin Kerr with Kindness Animal Hospital. 

Nov 9
November 9
Most poultry farms hit by bird-flu now cleared to restock flocks

Excerpt: "Most commercial chicken and turkey farms that were infected by avian influenza earlier this year in 15 states have now been cleared to restock their flocks, USDA officials said on Friday. They also said scientists are continuing to keep a close eye on migrating waterfowl this fall, testing thousands of the wild birds to see if the virus is present."

Nov 7
November 7
Relationship Matters: How pets enrich our lives

Excerpt: "Most people react positively to endearing pets. Cats and dogs, the most popular family pets, enchant both young and old members of the family and even endear themselves to some strangers they encounter. Aside from the intermittent delight of admiration and pleasure for both humans and animals, does this temporary or permanent connection enhance humans’ well-being?

The joys of pet ownership are many and span the gamut of physical and psychological enhancements to both pets and their owners. The unique bond of love and interdependence that is cultivated between humans and their animals often includes dutiful caring, unique loyalty and a sense of belonging and safety that is mutually rewarding. The intense protectiveness, love and devotion deeply reward both species.

In addition, research indicates humans gain health benefits rarely equaled in other relationships."

Nov 5
November 5
How Vietnam Mastered Infectious Disease Control

Excerpt: "Southeast Asia is recognized as a hotspot for new viruses—it’s where virus hunters go to figure out what to put in next year’s flu vaccines. O’Leary says that Vietnam’s large population of domestic ducks, chickens, and pigs makes the country particularly vulnerable. “There’s a lot of potential contact with human populations,” he says. And then there’s the continued impact of human activity on forests. “The forests have been extensively logged, and so the opportunities for wildlife, for instance, to come into contact with domestic animals and into contact with humans are great,” he says.

Public health leaders in Vietnam are well aware that the country is a breeding ground for new diseases. And they’re sold on One Health, both for Vietnam itself and for global health security. “Diseases used to be enclosed in certain regions or countries,” says Dr. Tran Dac Phu, head of the Ministry of Health’s Preventive Health Department. “Now globalization has made them easier to spread.” In 2003, Vietnam was the second country to report a case of SARS, a disease that whipped up waves of panic as it threatened to spread around the world. It was also the first country to contain the outbreak."

Nov 1
November 1
One Health New Medical Concept Association created in Romania

The members of ”One Health New Medical Concept” Association are highly qualified specialists in different domains of activity, who work together under the newly established association colours, ”One Health New Medical Concept” - Romania, permanently bringing their product launches to new heights. The aim of their activity resides in the achievement, as a national premiere, of the ”one health” which comprises the globalization of the notions of human, animal and environmental health.

 

October 2015

Oct 29
October 29
Minnesota loons remain under close watch in their migration to Gulf of Mexico

"Minnesota’s loons have begun to migrate south, and as they do scientists and citizens are tracking migration routes and wintering locations with pinpoint precision.

New satellite telemetry research has surprisingly shown that three Minnesota loons have spent much of the past year in the Atlantic Ocean near or north of Nova Scotia. In addition, some birds even tell wildlife biologists how deep and often they dive, which is up to 150 feet deep in the south end of Lake Michigan.

Deeper still — and worrisome — is what researchers are learning about the effects of the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 on some of the loons that spend winter in the Gulf of Mexico."

Oct 27
October 27
Anthrax case confirmed on farm in Westbury, Wiltshire

"A case of anthrax has been confirmed in a cow on a farm in Wiltshire, Public Health England has said.

This case was "rapidly detected" after the death of the animal in Westbury last week. The cow has been incinerated and movement restrictions are in place.

Public Health England said any risk of infection to those who were in close contact with the animal was "very low".

Anthrax is a bacterial disease which primarily affects grazing animals, although all mammals are susceptible."

Oct 21
October 21
Migratory Songbirds Transport New Ticks & Pathogens Across the Gulf

Excerpt: "An invasion of 19 million ticks. It might sound like the plot of a horror movie, but it’s real, and it happens every spring as migratory songbirds transport ticks — and the pathogens they carry — into the United States.

As covered previously on Cool Green Science, researchers from The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) and Texas A&M University are trying to figure out just how many ticks and tick-borne pathogens neotropical songbirds are transporting from Central and South America during their annual migration.

And now they have an answer. Their results, recently published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, reveal that neotropical songbirds are transporting an estimate of more than 19 million non-native ticks species into the country each year."

Oct 19
October 19
Harvard Says, Get a Dog! Its New Report Details the Many Ways Having a Dog Make Us Healthy

Multiple studies show that the activity a dog needs to thrive — fresh air, regular walks, and consistent connection — improves the vitality of BOTH the dog and the human.

Oct 14
October 14
ODNI Releases Global Food Security Assessment

"The overall risk of food insecurity in many countries of strategic importance to the United States will increase during the next 10 years because of production, transport and market disruptions to local food availability, lower purchasing power and counterproductive government policies, according to an assessment released today by the U.S. intelligence community.

The inter-agency assessment, “Global Food Security,” was prepared under the leadership of the National Intelligence Council’s Strategic Futures Group within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and drafted principally by the CIA."

Oct 9
October 9
New Director Appointed for Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's ONE HEALTH OFFICE (USA)

Captain Casey Barton Behravesh MS, DVM, DrPH, DACVPM, a veterinarian, is the new Director for the CDC One Health Office (http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dhcpp/one_health/). She is a Captain in the United States Public Health Service. Dr. Barton Behravesh is an advocate of using an interdisciplinary One Health approach involving human, animal, and environmental health to address emerging

Oct 7
October 7
'Bad Bugs' Focus of 2015 IDWeek: Ebola, dengue, chikungunya, and a host of others under scrutiny at joint meeting

Smith M. 'Bad Bugs' Focus of 2015 IDWeek. Medpagetodaycom. 2015. Available at: http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/IDWeek/53946?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2015-10-08&eun=g722750d0r. Accessed October 22, 2015.

 

September 2015

Sep 22
September 22
New Students for One Health Club forms at University of Georgia

The UGA One Health Club is a University wide student run/student founded organization that facilitates open discussion and collaboration among various disciplines studied at the University of Georgia such as ecology, veterinary medicine, public health, human medicine, microbiology, pharmacy, law, sociology, economics and more! Members include graduate, undergraduate, and professional students from any field. The Mission:

 

  1. Increase education and awareness of One Health activities and principles in the student population at the University of Georgia through monthly lectures, clinical experiences, wet labs and field trips.
  2. Engage local and global communities through outreach, service projects, and education.
  3. Start conversations and relationships among undergraduate, professional, and graduate students of any discipline through club meetings, social events and an annual student research symposium.

Website: www.ugaonehealth.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/UGAOHC

Email: ugaonehealthclub@gmail.com

Sep 18
September 18
World Veterinary Association holds summit on the theme "One Health – concrete actions in the field of Animal Health"

3rd WVA SUMMIT

On 15 September 2015, the WVA held [sic] its 3rd Summit with high-level support of FAO, OIE and WHO on the theme of “One Health – concrete actions in the field of Animal Health”.

The organisations representatives delivered presentations on private-public partnership experiences in the field of Animal Health. During the Summit,  a panel discussions moderated by Dr Bonnie Buntain took place where the organisations representatives exchanged vies and replied to questions from the audience on different One Health issues.    

Sep 17
September 17
Global Impact of Tropical Disease Leptospirosis Underestimated: Study

Excerpt:

More than 1 million people contract a tropical disease known as leptospirosis each year, resulting in nearly 59,000 deaths, a new study shows.

That worldwide estimate of the impact of the illness, which typically affects underdeveloped areas in Latin America, Africa, Asia and island nations, is far greater than previously thought, the Yale School of Public Health researchers noted.

"The study identified an important health burden caused by this life-threatening disease, which has been long neglected because it occurs in the poorest segments of the world's population," study leader Albert Ko, chair of the department of epidemiology of microbial disease at Yale, said in a news release from the New Haven, Conn.-based university.

"At present, there are no effective control measures for leptospirosis. The study provides national and international decision makers with the evidence to invest in initiatives aimed at preventing the disease, such as development of new vaccines," Ko added.

Spirochetal bacteria, which is found in the urine of rats and other mammals, causes leptospirosis. The germ can survive in soil and water, infecting people through cuts and scrapes on the skin. In developing countries, leptospirosis can lead to bleeding in the lungs and kidney failure.

Sep 17
September 17
Asthmatic sea otter learns to use inhaler

Excerpt:

While an otter having asthma may seem novel, Mischka's diagnosis has a connection to human health, according to Peter Rabinowitz, a professor at the University of Washington in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.

"More and more there starts to be this concept of what we're calling "One Health," which really is that there's a connection between health of people and the health other species," said Dr. Peter Rabinowitz. "Sometimes those species can tell us there is a problem in the environment that could be important for human health as well."

Sep 16
September 16
Deadly Heartland Virus Is Much More Common Than Scientists Thought

"It's called the Heartland virus disease. Since it was first detected in 2009, there have been only nine reported cases in the Midwest, including two deaths.

So scientists thought the Heartland virus was limited to a small region.

That assumption was wrong.

A team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now found signs that Heartland virus is circulating in deer, raccoons, coyotes and moose in 13 states — from Texas to North Carolina and Florida to Maine."

Sep 15
September 15
Why Animal Health Matters [A One Health perspective]

Dr. Laura H. Kahn, Physician and Research Scholar at the program of Science and Global Security at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public at International Affairs at Princeton University discuss the concept of one health.

Sep 15
September 15
Establishment of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announce the appointment of nationally recognized experts to the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (the Advisory Council). 

Sep 11
September 11
Dengue Hemorrhagic Shock Protein Identified

Excerpt:

"If you’ve made it to the end of the summer with no mosquito bites, consider yourself lucky. There are many places in the world where these vexatious insects carry debilitating diseases that can not only adversely affect individuals, but also severely cripple local economies—making it even more difficult to care for the stricken. Affecting up to 400 million people per year, dengue virus (DENV) is one such infectious commuter within these mosquitos, for which there is currently no vaccine or targeted therapies. However, efforts have been made over the past several years to introduce genetically modified mosquitos, in an attempt to control the disease-carrying mosquito population.  

Now, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have identified what they believe is the key protein responsible for the fluid loss and subsequent shock that are the hallmarks of severe—and potentially fatal—DENV infections. Known as nonstructural protein 1 (NS1), the scientists observed that it is the only one of the 10 viral proteins secreted by DENV infected cells to circulate freely throughout the bloodstream."

Sep 10
September 10
Furry pets ‘enrich’ gut bacteria of infants at risk for allergies

In a small, preliminary study, infants in households with furry pets were found to share some of the animals’ gut bacteria - possibly explaining why early animal exposure may protect against some allergies, researchers say.

Sep 9
September 9
AVMA supports U.S. surgeon general's call to action on walking and walkable communities

The American Veterinary Medical Association today joins U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and his office in their efforts to promote walking and walkable communities as a way to engage more people in the benefits of regular exercise and enhance human health.

Sep 4
September 4
Why infectious disease research needs community ecology

BACKGROUND: Despite ongoing advances in biomedicine, infectious diseases remain a major threat to human health, economic sustainability, and wildlife conservation. This is in part a result of the challenges of controlling widespread or persistent infections that involve multiple hosts, vectors, and parasite species. Moreover, many contemporary disease threats involve interactions that manifest across nested scales of biological organization, from disease progression at the within-host level to emergence and spread at the regional level. For many such infections, complete eradication is unlikely to be successful, but a broader understanding of the community in which host-parasite interactions are embedded will facilitate more effective management. Recent advances in community ecology, including findings from traits-based approaches and metacommunity theory, offer the tools and concepts to address the complexities arising from multispecies, multiscale disease threats.

Sep 1
September 1
Animal Pragmatism (University of Miami Magazine)

For the past dozen summers, veterinary pathologist Gregory Bossart and a team of researchers have made a series of what could be called house calls to Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, where more than 200 of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins who frolic there have perished in three mass die-offs since 2002. In steamy, unpredictable July weather, the scientists wade into the water, taking blood and other biological samples and measuring the respiration and heart rates of the friendly mammals. Then the researchers quickly release them back into the estuary, which stretches from Palm Beach to Volusia counties, until their next annual physical. Like many humans, dolphins tend to stay close to where they grow up. Also like many humans, these dolphins are susceptible to emerging viral, neoplastic, and other diseases, which Bossart and his colleagues have linked to possible environmental degradation, including high levels of mercury. As it happens, the mercury is also affecting fishermen who have long worked in the region.

 

August 2015

Aug 24
August 24
Could Fido Fetch A Cure? Clinical trials involving dogs may help cancer researchers develop treatments for human beings

Excerpt from the article:

"Cancer is not merely a human problem. This revelation quickly dawns at a public presentation about comparative oncology. “In the first five or 10 minutes of my presentation,” says North Carolina State University genomics researcher Matthew Breen, “somebody will always raise their hand and say, ‘I’m sorry, but you’re saying that dogs get cancer?’ ”

Indeed they do. Any organism that is multicellular and grows by cell division can have that process spin out of control. And for reasons genetics researchers are just beginning to pin down, some organisms are more likely to develop cancer than others. Dogs are one of them.

After years of inbreeding, certain kinds of dogs develop specific cancers with startling frequency. For instance, golden retrievers—one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S.—are particularly prone to hemangiosarcomas, a highly invasive cancer of the blood vessels that kills about two in 10 goldens. Likewise, Scottish terriers have an 18- to 20-fold increased risk of developing a certain form of bladder cancer.

Although heartbreaking for owners, the phenomena help researchers such as Breen understand how genetics figure into the development of cancer. And the more genes researchers identify as playing a role in cancer, the more clues they will have to help them find promising drug targets."

Aug 1
August 1
A die-off of newborn lambs in Australia leads to the discovery of a new toxin and clues to a devastating liver disease in children

Lamb die-off in Australia, caused by biliary atresia, or damage bile ducts, has been linked to toxic diet changes brought on by weather variations.  These environment influences are being explored for the presence of biliary atresia in humans.

Aug 1
August 1
Ohio State University establishes Dr. Lonnie King One Health Endowed Scholarship

In celebration of Dr Lonnie King's meaningful accomplishments and tireless commitment to the veterinary profession, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is establishing the Dr. Lonnie King One Health Endowed Scholarship. Donate by phone at 614-688-8433 or online at: https://vet.osu.edu/deanking

 

July 2015

Jul 27
July 27
One Health Afghanistan: Characterization of Zoonoses Conference

A conference titled “One Health Afghanistan: Characterization of Zoonoses” was held at Resolute Support, Kabul, Afghanistan on July 27 - 28, 2015. Supported by Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S.  Biosecurity Engagement Program (BEP), which both provide ongoing support for training and biosecurity safety issues for the Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), this conference was created to provide a venue for stakeholders in the animal and public health sectors to discuss, describe, and raise awareness of the impact that zoonoses have on communities, provinces, and the country. Speakers were selected based on expertise and knowledge of a given disease or disease situation. The two day conference consisted of panel discussions and poster presentations targeting priority zoonosis: brucellosis, rabies, Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, and influenza. The panels were arranged such that both public and animal health experts had the opportunity to discuss the disease situation in Afghanistan with emphasis on recent outbreaks, disease distributions, reservoirs, and methods of transmission. In addition, experts were asked to provide a summary of diagnostic tests, control strategies employed, and outreach programs currently available in Afghanistan. Each panel closed with a discussion on communication efforts between public and animal health.

Jul 23
July 23
Mowing Grass in Water-Detention Basins Increases Mosquito Populations

Mowing grass and weeds is a useful way of managing some pests. For example, clearing yards and fields is one way of managing ticks without using insecticides because mowing discourages rodents — on which some ticks feed on.

However, for other situations it may have the opposite effect. A study of the West Nile virus risk associated with water-detention basins in Central Illinois took an unexpected turn when land managers started mowing the basins. The mowing of wetland plants in basins that failed to drain properly led to a boom in populations of the northern house mosquito (Culex pipiens), which can carry and transmit the deadly virus, researchers report. A paper describing their findings was published in the journal Ecological Applications.

Jul 22
July 22
Kenya: Anthrax outbreak kills more than 100 animals at Lake Nakuru National Park

Agriculture officials in Nakuru County, Kenya are investigating an anthrax outbreak that has killed scores of animals at Lake Nakuru National Park. For more news on recent outbreaks, visit Outbreak News Today

Jul 13
July 13
Extraordinary One Health Leader Awarded Gold Headed Cane (USA): an internationally recognized physician virologist and vaccine developer

Dr. Thomas P. Monath [MD, FACP, FASTMH] received the prestigious American Veterinary Epidemiology Society (AVES) Gold Headed Cane Award at the July 10-14, 2015 annual American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) convention in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) on July 13 at a breakfast ceremony.   The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 86,500 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine. 

 

An internationally renowned physician virologist and dexterous vaccinologist pioneer, Dr. Monath was a co-founder of the *One Health Initiative Autonomous pro bono Team (OHI team); the originator and sponsor of the highly successful One Health Initiative website www.onehealthinitiative.com; and a former member of the landmark AVMA’s One Health Initiative Task Force (OHITF) and its current successor, the One Health Commission www.onehealthcommission.org.

Jul 13
July 13
Extraordinary One Health Leader Awarded Gold Headed Cane (USA): an internationally recognized physician virologist and vaccine developer

Dr. Thomas P. Monath [MD, FACP, FASTMH] received the prestigious American Veterinary Epidemiology Society (AVES) Gold Headed Cane Award at the July 10-14, 2015 annual American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) convention in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) on July 13 at a breakfast ceremony.   The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 86,500 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.

Jul 12
July 12
Dolphins are Looking Healthier in Volusia, Brevard section of Indian River Lagoon

Things may be looking up for bottlenose dolphins in the northern end of the Indian River Lagoon.

A team of experienced researchers who just concluded a two-week long health assessment of bottlenose dolphins in southern Volusia and northern Brevard counties say the results and related scientific analysis will take months, but their initial, anecdotal observations found positive signs.

"On the whole, the animals we looked at appeared to be in pretty good shape," said Greg Bossart, chief veterinary officer and senior vice president at Georgia Aquarium.

Jul 2
July 2
OIE Press release: Public health, animal health and security sector must speak with one voice on the need to strengthen health

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) hosted the first Global Conference on Biological Threat Reduction in Paris, 30 June – 2 July 2015. For the purposes of the Conference, ‘Biological Threats’ or ‘Biothreats’ are threats that result from or are exacerbated by infectious diseases of animals (including zoonoses) which may arise from natural or manmade disasters, laboratory accidents or from the deliberate manipulation or release of pathogens. The Conference, which was held in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), brought together world leading scientists, educators, and key decision makers from international organisations and national governments. The participants who represented the public health, animal health, ecosytem health, and security sectors came from more than 90 countries.

 

June 2015

Jun 23
June 23
FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces Actions to Protect Communities from the Health Impacts of Climate Change at White House Summit

"President Obama is committed to combating the impacts of climate change and protecting the health of future generations. We know climate change is not a distant threat, we are already seeing impacts in communities across the country.  In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting these individuals and many other vulnerable populations at greater risk of landing in the hospital.  Certain people and communities are especially vulnerable, including children, the elderly, the sick, the poor, and some communities of color. Rising temperatures can lead to more smog, longer allergy seasons, and an increased incidence of extreme-weather-related injuries."

Jun 15
June 15
National Academies of Practice Letter to the President

"I write in support of the sentiments shared by seven U.S. Senators in a February 12, 2015 letter and the May 21, 2015 letter from the American Public Health Association to you advocating for a multidisciplinary “One Health” approach to pandemic prevention. This approach considers the integral connections between human, animal and environmental health to more effectively address the current and future disease threat within the United States and globally."

Jun 10
June 10
Why The Human Side Lags Behind in One Health

Pioneers of the One Health movement to blend human, veterinary and environmental health are gaining respect, epidemic by epidemic, but capturing the attention of the human health care establishment remains a challenge.

“You have to take the long view,” acknowledged Laura H. Kahn, MD, MPH, of the One Health Initiative team. “It took people over a century to realize the significance of basic sanitation, and lots of countries don’t even have that.”

Jun 10
June 10
USAID fosters One Health Disease Surveillance and strengthens Uzbek Food Safety Systems

"On May 27-28, USAID and its program partner, the World Health Organization (WHO), held a workshop for representatives from the Ministries of Health (MOH) and Agriculture (MAWR), along with the newly established United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, to discuss a food safety systems survey in Uzbekistan. Survey results revealed that anti-microbial resistance (AMR) detected from the two most common foodborne pathogens, Salmonella and Campylobacter, is linked to the improper use of antibiotics in Uzbekistan's poultry industry."

Jun 3
June 3
Play your Part in the Fight against Rabies - Access new tools from the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC)

"This is an exciting partnership, aligning the small companion animal veterinary community with the major international organizations spearheading global rabies control programs.  More news of our joint plans to follow soon!

GARC offers free online education programs including the Rabies Educator Certificate (REC) aimed at anyone working in communities where rabies is prevalent.   If you work in rabies control, do check it out!"

Jun 2
June 2
The White House Hosts a Forum on Combating Antibiotic Resistance

The White House hosted a forum on combating drug-resistant bacteria and enhancing good antibiotic stewardship.

 

May 2015

May 29
May 29
The Eyes Have it....

While I was scanning the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) last month, these photographs “caught my eye” (pun intended). But they reminded me of an important zoonotic disease. Do you know what it is ?

From NEJM (Apr 16, 2015): “A 33-year-old man who was a pig farmer presented with sudden blurred vision, pain, redness, and photophobia in both eyes. He had a 10-day history of persistent fever (temperature, 39.4 C°), malaise, and myalgia. Ophthalmologic examination revealed bilateral iridocyclitis (anterior uveitis). Laboratory testing revealed a γ-glutamyltransferase level of 129 U per liter (normal value), and a white-cell count of 11,700 per cubic millimeter (normal range, 4400 to 11,300). Clinical and laboratory findings suggested a diagnosis of leptospirosis. Serologic tests revealed IgM and IgG antibodies against Leptospira interrogans serovar serjoe.”

May 29
May 29
This spring (2015) the Center for One Health Research was excited to offer the first course about One Health at the University of Washington. Introduction to One Health Course (ENV H 490/590 C)

This spring (2015) the Center for One Health Research was excited to offer the first course about One Health at the University of Washington. Introduction to One Health Course (ENV H 490/590 C), a course for both undergraduate and graduate students, consisted of learning modules focusing on Introduction to One Health, Zoonoses, Animals as Sentinels for Environmental Health Hazards, The Human-Animal Bond, and Human-Animal Medicine. Group interdisciplinary problem solving sessions which stressed integrated human-animal-environment assessments and interventions for emerging health problems were a key part of the course structure. Students also participated in  field trips to the Seattle Aquarium, the Woodland Park Zoo and a class visit from Drama, the miniature horse therapy animal., and an online educational exchange session with students at the Washington State University Allen School for Global Animal Health.

The One Health course director was  Peter M. Rabinowitz, MD MPH,  associate professor in the UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Science and the Department of Global Health and director of the UW Center for One Health Research. Veterinarian Dr. Heather Fowler VMD MPH, a veterinarian with clinical and public health experience who is a Ph.D. candidate in occupational and environmental hygiene at the UW School of Public Health, also assisted in teaching the course.

May 26
May 26
One Health Interprofessional Education Working Group Calls for Case Studies

The recent Ebola outbreak, growing antimicrobial resistance, and a spectrum of emerging and re-emerging diseases have brought new urgency to interprofessional work that focuses on the important connections between human, animal, and ecosystem health. The One Health Interprofessional Working Group, co-chaired by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and the Association of Prevention, Teaching, and Research, has issued a call for proposals for case studies to be used in health professions degree programs in three topic areas—microbiologic influences on health and disease, environmental health, and human-animal interactions. Proposals must be submitted by June 12.

May 22
May 22
Hong Kong health partnership agreed

The University has concluded an agreement with the Hong Kong Government. The Memorandum of Understanding focuses on researchers from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the Roslin Institute, and will encourage more exchange programmes and increased knowledge transfer with animal health professionals in Hong Kong. The signing took place at a two-day workshop at the Hong Kong Science Museum. A wide range of topics were discussed, with an overarching theme of One Health - the concept that human and animal medicine are inextricably linked, with research outcomes which are applicable to more than one species.

May 13
May 13
Bacteria making meds in wastewater outflows

By Brian Bienkowski

Environmental Health News

Wastewater treatment plants not only struggle removing pharmaceuticals, it seems some drugs actually increase after treatment.

When researchers tested wastewater before and after treatment at a Milwaukee-area treatment plant, they found that two drugs — the anti-epileptic carbamazepine and antibiotic ofloxacin — came out at higher concentrations than they went in. The study suggests the microbes that clean our water may also piece some pharmaceuticals back together.

May 13
May 13
European Space Agency backs work mapping Scottish tick hotspots

The European Space Agency (ESA) has given financial backing to a Scottish project to test a new app mapping tick hotspots.

Blood-sucking ticks have been linked to a rise in Lyme disease in humans in the past 10 years, according to NHS Highland.

Untreated tick bites can result in neurological problems and joint pain months or years later.

ESA has awarded the mapping effort a grant of almost £180,000.

NHS Highland, the University of the Highlands and Islands and Scotland's Rural College are involved in the project which will test the new LymeMap app.

People out walking or cycling will be encouraged to use the app to upload information about where they find ticks.

Using GPS technology, the application will also gather details such as the height, temperature and vegetation cover of the location where a person uploads their information.

A one-year study will test the technical and commercial feasibility of LymeMap.

May 12
May 12
Fish and other animals produce their own sunscreen: Copied for potential use in humans

Scientists from Oregon State University have discovered that fish can produce their own sunscreen. They have copied the method used by fish for potential use in humans.

Journal References:

  1. Taifo Mahmud et al. De novo synthesis of a sunscreen compound in vertebrates. eLife, May 2015 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.05919
  2. Carolyn A. Brotherton and Emily P. Balskus. Shedding light on sunscreen biosynthesis in zebrafish. eLife, May 2015 DOI:10.7554/eLife.07961
May 11
May 11
Health of humans and livestock linked in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11 (UPI) -- There is a plethora of anecdotal evidence that the health of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa is closely linked to the health of their livestock. Now there is quantitative evidence too.

Researchers at Washington State University's Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health recently tracked the health of some 1,500 households and their farm animals in rural Kenya. Their findings showed a strong link between illnesses in the house and in the animal pens.

May 9
May 9
One Health: a concept led by Africa, with global benefits

"One Health evolved from the recognition that an interdisciplinary approach is required to understand complex health problems, and that the health of humans and animals are inextricably linked. Through closer cooperation between the human, veterinary and environmental health sectors, added value, in terms of health metrics, cost savings and environmental services is achievable."

Kamani, T., Kazwala, R., Mfinanga, S., Haydon, D., Keyyu, J., Lankester, F., & Buza, J. (2015). One Health: a concept led by Africa, with global benefits:. Veterinary Record, 176(19), 496-497. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/vr.h2461

 

April 2015

Apr 30
April 30
Colorado dog was key to U.S. plague outbreak

"A Colorado dog last year caused the largest outbreak of pneumonic plague -- also called the Black Death -- in the United States since 1924, scientists reported Thursday.

Four people, including the dog's owner, ended up contracting the rare and potentially deadly infection, Colorado public health officials reported. Their findings were published in the May 1 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report."

Link to original study from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) MMWR, May 1, 2015. 64(16);429-434. Outbreak of Human Pneumonic Plague with Dog-to-Human and Possible Human-to-Human Transmission — Colorado, June–July 2014.

Apr 27
April 27
USGCRP Climate & Health Assessment open for public comment until June 8, 2015.

"Climate change threatens human health and well-being in many ways. The draft report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment (available to download below), was developed by USGCRP’s Interagency Group on Climate Change and Human Health as part of the sustained National Climate Assessment and as called for under the President’s Climate Action Plan. This assessment report is intended to present a comprehensive, evidence-based, and, where possible, quantitative estimation of observed and projected public health impacts related to climate change in the United States. Once finalized (expected early 2016), the report will provide needed context for understanding Americans’ changing health risks."

Apr 25
April 25
SIAARTI Study Group in Animal Anesthesia (Naples, Italy) Issues Strong One Health Endorsement Message: Recommends Applying Comparative Medicine One Health Approach to human and animal anesthesiology

The One Health philosophy encompasses a combination of disciplines joined by the concept that our ecosystem relies on the welfare of animals and plants. By banning an anthropocentric approach, the One Health initiative www.onehealthinitiative.com aligns human medicine, veterinary medicine and agronomics, fostering cooperation with other scientific endeavors, from economics to engineering including the humanities, to achieve global sustainability. Further, the One Health, One Medicine, One Anesthesia paradigm fully embodies the One Health Initiative by promoting an interdisciplinary cooperation between human and veterinary anesthetists.

Apr 24
April 24
2 dogs from Texas sniff out snails in Ecuador's Galapagos

"When Darwin the Labrador retriever crashed out of a service dog program for people, conservationists found him a very different sort of job: sniffing out giant African land snails that are threatening crops on the most visited of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands."

Apr 22
April 22
Bees may become addicted to nicotine-like pesticides, study finds

Bees may become addicted to nicotine-like pesticides in the same way humans get hooked on cigarettes, according to a new study, which was released as a landmark field trial provided further evidence that such neonicotinoids harm bee populations.

In a study published in the journal Nature, scientists from Newcastle Univeristy showed that bees have a preference for sugar solutions that are laced with the pesticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, possibly indicating they can become hooked on the chemicals.

Also published in Nature on Wednesday was a study that has been endorsed as the most conclusive evidence yet that the group of pesticides, neonicotinoids, harm wild bee populations, which include bumblebees and solitary bees.

Apr 16
April 16
Health of animals and people is inextricably linked

Medical, veterinary and ecology students are coming to the St. Louis Zoo on Saturday, April 18, to talk about health with the thousands of visitors who typically come to see the animals on a Saturday in spring.

With about 15 zoo staff members, these young scientists from around the world will stand before lemurs, orangutans, hellbenders and a range of other creatures to tell everyone from young to old about a concept that extends back to ancient times, now expressed in a single phrase: One Health.

Apr 16
April 16
Health of animals and people is inextricably linked

Medical, veterinary and ecology students are coming to the St. Louis Zoo on Saturday, April 18, to talk about health with the thousands of visitors who typically come to see the animals on a Saturday in spring.

With about 15 zoo staff members, these young scientists from around the world will stand before lemurs, orangutans, hellbenders and a range of other creatures to tell everyone from young to old about a concept that extends back to ancient times, now expressed in a single phrase: One Health.

Apr 7
April 7
Mycetoma: The Untold Global Health Story of 2015

After reviewing more than 170 entries for the 2015 Untold Global Health Stories Contest, Global Health NOW from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health have selected the chronic inflammatory disease mycetoma as the Untold Story of 2015.

Apr 7
April 7
Johns Hopkins begins using high-tech equipment on pets

For the past few months, veterinarians from outside practices have been able to get advanced diagnostic scans and therapies for their animal patients — mainly dogs and cats, but also birds and other more exotic creatures — at the renowned medical school for humans. 
With the Center for Image-Guided Animal Therapy, [Johns] Hopkins joins the ranks of veterinary schools, specialty veterinary clinics and even stand-alone imaging facilities that offer such high-tech services to pets.

Apr 1
April 1
American Academy of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Hosts One Health Luncheon at Global Health Meeting

It was standing room only when almost 50 guests showed up for the Global Environmental Health/One Health Interest Group luncheon sponsored by the AAVMC at the 2015 conference of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) in Boston.

 

March 2015

Mar 30
March 30
Anglo-Saxon Remedy kills hospital superbug MRSA

"The medieval medics might have been on to something. A modern-day recreation of this remedy seems to alleviate infections caused by the bacteria that are usually responsible for styes. The work might ultimately help create drugs for hard-to-treat skin infections."

Mar 27
March 27
White House Plan to Combat and Prevent Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Summary: The Administration is releasing the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (NAP). The NAP outlines a whole-of-government approach over the next five years targeted at addressing the threat of drug-resistant bacteria.

Mar 25
March 25
Novel avian influenza virus strain (H7N9) raise red flags

"The most worrisome of the avian flu viruses to emerge in recent years is looking even more menacing. Since it first began killing people in eastern China 2 years ago, the H7N9 virus has infected poultry throughout the country and could be poised to spill into Central Asia. Worse, strains of H7N9 are promiscuously swapping DNA with other avian viruses in circulation, report virologist Yi Guan of the University of Hong Kong and colleagues this week in Nature. That could increase the chance that a pandemic strain will emerge."

Mar 23
March 23
White House should encourage “One Health” integration at domestic, global levels

"Although the concept of “One Health” is increasingly accepted around the world as the interface between human, animal and environmental health, the agencies responsible for monitoring and preventing zoonotic disease outbreaks have yet to fully integrate, exposing gaps in the government’s response. Now, several senators and the AVMA are calling on the White House to look into how to better integrate the agencies responsible for One Health initiatives within the domestic and international arena."

Mar 18
March 18
Radical reframe: The surprising talks in Session 6 of TED2015

“We need a different view of the world,” says Chris Anderson, the host of Session 6: Radical Reframe, on the Wednesday morning of TED2015. Enjoy these recaps of the speaker in this session, who might just flip your thinking on things you thought you knew — from antibiotics to papayas."

Mar 13
March 13
In the Pastures of Colombia, Cows, Crops and Timber Coexist

"Over the last two decades, cattle rancher Carlos Hernando Molina has replaced 220 acres of open pastureland with trees, shrubs, and bushy vegetation. But he hasn’t eliminated the cows. Today, his land in southwestern Colombia more closely resembles a perennial nursery at a garden center than a grazing area. Native, high-value timber like mahogany and samanea grow close together along the perimeter of the pasture. The trees are strung with electric wire and act as live fences. In the middle of the pen grow leucaena trees, a protein-packed forage tree, and beneath the leucaena are three types of tropical grasses and groundcover such as peanuts."

Mar 9
March 9
World Veterinary Association President Reiterates Strong Endorsement of One Health Concept

The WVA has practiced support of the One World-One Health concept in principle since its inception in 1863 even though the name applied to One Health may have changed over the years.

Mar 1
March 1
Methodological Innovations in Public Health Education: Transdisciplinary Problem Solving

The argument for improving public health education through case studies and blending disciplines has been made for the past decade, setting the stage for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary education that will build workforce capacity in science and practice to solve complex public health problems.

 

February 2015

Feb 28
February 28
Newborn horses give clues to autism

Just a few hours after its birth, the long-legged brown foal stands in its stall, appearing on first glance to be sound, sturdy and healthy. But something is very wrong with this newborn horse.

The foal seems detached, stumbles towards people and doesn’t seem to recognize its mother or have any interest in nursing. It even tries to climb into the corner feeder.

The bizarre symptoms are characteristic of a syndrome that has puzzled horse owners and veterinarians for a century. But recently, UC Davis researchers have discovered a surprising clue to the syndrome and intriguing similarities to childhood autism in humans.

Feb 16
February 16
One Health Letter Endorsement sent to U.S. President (The White House) from 7 United States Senators

Seven US Senators send a letter to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, endorsing the One Health approach

http://www.onehealthinitiative.com/publications/15%202%2012%20Letter%20to%20POTUS%20-%20One%20Health.pdf

Feb 13
February 13
Validated predictive modelling of the environmental resistome

Abstract

Multi-drug-resistant bacteria pose a significant threat to public health. The role of the environment in the overall rise in antibiotic-resistant infections and risk to humans is largely unknown. This study aimed to evaluate drivers of antibiotic-resistance levels across the River Thames catchment, model key biotic, spatial and chemical variables and produce predictive models for future risk assessment. Sediment samples from 13 sites across the River Thames basin were taken at four time points across 2011 and 2012. Samples were analysed for class 1 integron prevalence and enumeration of third-generation cephalosporin-resistant bacteria. Class 1 integron prevalence was validated as a molecular marker of antibiotic resistance; levels of resistance showed significant geospatial and temporal variation. The main explanatory variables of resistance levels at each sample site were the number, proximity, size and type of surrounding wastewater-treatment plants. Model 1 revealed treatment plants accounted for 49.5% of the variance in resistance levels. Other contributing factors were extent of different surrounding land cover types (for example, Neutral Grassland), temporal patterns and prior rainfall; when modelling all variables the resulting model (Model 2) could explain 82.9% of variations in resistance levels in the whole catchment. Chemical analyses correlated with key indicators of treatment plant effluent and a model (Model 3) was generated based on water quality parameters (contaminant and macro- and micro-nutrient levels). Model 2 was beta tested on independent sites and explained over 78% of the variation in integron prevalence showing a significant predictive ability. We believe all models in this study are highly useful tools for informing and prioritising mitigation strategies to reduce the environmental resistome.

 

January 2015

Jan 17
January 17
Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and Free-Roaming Cats (Felis catus) Across a Suburban to Urban Gradient in Northeastern Ohio

Abstract

Felids serve as the definitive host of Toxoplasma gondii contaminating environments with oocysts. White-tailed deer (WTD; Odocoileus virginianus) are used as sentinel species for contaminated environments as well as a potential source for human foodborne infection with T. gondii. Here we determine the seroprevalence of T. gondii in a WTD and felid population, and examine those risk factors that increase exposure to the parasite. Serum samples from 444 WTD and 200 free-roaming cats (Felis catus) from urban and suburban reservations were tested for T. gondii antibodies using the modified agglutination test (MAT, cut-off 1:25). Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 261 (58.8%) of 444 WTD, with 164 (66.1%) of 248 from urban and 97 (49.5%) of 196 from suburban regions. Significant risk factors for seroprevalence included increasing age (P < 0.0001), reservation type (P < 0.0001), and household densities within reservation (P < 0.0001). Antibodies to T. gondiiwere found in 103 (51.5%) of 200 cats, with seroprevalences of 79 (51%) of 155 and 24 (53.3%) of 45 from areas surrounding urban and suburban reservations, respectively. Seroprevalence did not differ by age, gender, or reservation among the cats’ sample. Results indicate WTD are exposed by horizontal transmission, and this occurs more frequently in urban environments. The difference between urban and suburban cat densities is the most likely the reason for an increased seroprevalence in urban WTD. These data have public health implications for individuals living near or visiting urban areas where outdoor cats are abundant as well as those individuals who may consume WTD venison.
Link to article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10393-014-0975-2

Jan 16
January 16
Essential Oils Might Be the New Antibiotics

Essential oils often evoke thoughts of scented candles and day spas, but their benefits beyond relaxation are less well-known. Essential oils are ultimately just plant extracts—and those are used in countless cleaning and personal-careproducts, and are the main ingredient in some pest-control products and some over-the-counter medications, like Vick's VapoRub and some lice sprays. They’re used in the food industry because of their preservative potency against food-borne pathogens—thanks to their antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Various oils have also been shown to effectively treat a wide range of common health issues such as nausea and migraines, and a rapidly growing body of research is finding that they are powerful enough to kill human cancer cells of the breast, colon, mouth, skin, and more.

Jan 15
January 15
Essential Oils Might Be the New Antibiotics

"Faced with increasingly drug-resistant bacteria, scientists and farmers are now looking to plant extracts to keep people and animals healthy."

Jan 15
January 15
One Medicine One Science and policy

"Today, Humans, Animals, and the environment are remarkably interconnected and interdependent at a global level through international commerce and movement. Thus, we have access to safe and nutritious food that fuels health, medicines and vaccines that protect us and our animals, and natural resources that support good living standards. However, conflicts arise as exponentially growing populations require more food, demand better living standards, and act to preserve the environment. How do we simultaneously produce more food, reduce disease, afford equitable living standards, and create an environment fit for humans, our animals, and wildlife? Science has played a critical role in finding solutions to many of these challenges, but difficult conflicts continue to emerge. For example, strategies that promote efficient production of food—such as concentrated farming systems, mono-culture cropping, and chemical inputs of fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides—have unintended consequences that threaten human, animal, and environmental health (1). A more integrated, holistic problem-solving approach informed by science is needed for development of public policies that address these complex problems."

REFERENCES

1. R. S. DeFries, J. A. Foley, G. P. Asner, Front. Ecol. Environ. 2, 249 (2004).

2. D. A. Travis et al., Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1334, 26 (2014).

3. Golden Rice Project (www.goldenrice.org).

4. C. Larson, Science 343, 1415 (2014).

Jan 14
January 14
Scotland’s gray seals harbor common human pathogen

Evidence of land-sea transfer of the zoonotic pathogen Campylobacter to a wildlife marine sentinel species.

Abstract: Environmental pollution often accompanies the expansion and urbanization of human populations where sewage and wastewaters commonly have an impact on the marine environments. Here, we explored the potential for faecal bacterial pathogens, of anthropic origin, to spread to marine wildlife in coastal areas. The common zoonotic bacterium Campylobacter was isolated from grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), an important sentinel species for environmental pollution, and compared to isolates from wild birds, agricultural sources and clinical samples to characterize possible transmission routes. Campylobacter jejuni was present in half of all grey seal pups sampled (24/50 dead and 46/90 live pups) in the breeding colony on the Isle of May (Scotland), where it was frequently associated with histological evidence of disease. Returning yearling animals (19/19) were negative for C. jejuni suggesting clearance of infection while away from the localized colony infection source. The genomes of 90 isolates from seals were sequenced and characterized using a whole-genome multilocus sequence typing (MLST) approach and compared to 192 published genomes from multiple sources using population genetic approaches and a probabilistic genetic attribution model to infer the source of infection from MLST data. The strong genotype-host association has enabled the application of source attribution models in epidemiological studies of human campylobacteriosis, and here assignment analyses consistently grouped seal isolates with those from human clinical samples. These findings are consistent with either a common infection source or direct transmission of human campylobacter to grey seals, raising concerns about the spread of human pathogens to wildlife marine sentinel species in coastal areas.

Link to article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mec.13001/abstract

 

 
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