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Research sheds new light on how diseases jump across species
Date:10/25/2007

rrent conservation policies include vaccination of wild animal populations, but this is not appropriate for logistical or biological reasons for most species. Alternative strategies include vaccination of neighbouring domestic and feral dog populations, which prevents CDV circulating in dogs and therefore limits transmission to wildlife. Culling the surrounding domestic reservoir species, such as dogs, is also an option, but this is more controversial because its efficacy can be questionable and because of the impact this can have on support from local communities for wider conservation efforts.

The spread and incidences of CDV epidemics are increasing, due to globalisation and the rise in the domestic and feral dog populations associated with growing human populations, especially where these impinge on previously undisturbed habitats.

CDV in wild carnivore populations is usually fatal says McCarthy. So as well as the possibility of developing new therapies, the techniques used in this research offer a way of predicting when local virus isolates may become capable of causing a full blown epidemic in species of conservation concern.

The research could have similar implications for developing new therapies for pathogenic diseases that have successfully crossed species to humans. Additionally, the team believes that the phenomenon may be involved in the emergence of many new, previously species-specific diseases that have been able to infect new host species, such as SARS, Hendra and Nipah Virus.


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Contact: Jo Kelly
jokelly@campuspr.co.uk
44-011-325-89880
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert

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