Navigation Links
Researchers examine consequences of non-intervention for infectious disease in African great apes
Date:2/6/2012

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) Infectious disease has joined poaching and habitat loss as a major threat to the survival of African great apes as they have become restricted to ever-smaller populations. Despite the work of dedicated conservationists, efforts to save our closest living relatives from ecological extinction are largely failing, and new scientific approaches are necessary to analyze major threats and find innovative solutions.

In response to this crisis, researchers at UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) have conducted a pioneering study that illustrates how severely disease threatens the long-term survival of wild gorillas and chimpanzees. It also explores the status of potential interventions that may help ensure their continued existence. The article, "Consequences of Non-Intervention for Infectious Disease in African Great Apes," was recently published in the online journal PLoS ONE. The study indicates that mortality rates comparable to those recently reported for disease outbreaks in wild populations are not sustainable.

Sadie Ryan, the lead author, is assistant professor of ecology at SUNY-ESF in Syracuse, N.Y.; and Walsh is a quantitative ecologist at the University of Cambridge, England.

Modeling demonstrated that recovery times to current population levels from a single disease outbreak, under very optimistic rates of recovery, would range from five years for a flu-like outbreak, to 131 years for an Ebola virus outbreak that killed 96 percent of the population, according to the study. Population resilience is central to assessing disease threat because gorillas and chimpanzees reproduce more slowly than virtually any other animal on earth, including humans.

"These disease mortality rates are particularly troubling, given the rising pathogen risk due to increasing human contact with wild apes, associated with their habituation for tourism, poaching, and the increase in population pressure around protected areas," said Ryan. "These small populations of great apes are the last vestiges of our closest relatives, so there is a huge emotional response when it comes to the question of intervention. Should we or can we wait, or should we use proactive intervention by vaccinating ahead of time?"

Both "naturally" occurring pathogens, such as Ebola and Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), and respiratory pathogens transmitted from humans, such as the common cold and flu viruses, have been confirmed as important sources of mortality in wild gorillas and chimpanzees, and the rate of pathogen spillover from humans to African apes is known to be increasing. Although awareness of the threat has spread throughout the scientific community, interventions such as vaccination and treatment remain very controversial, the researchers noted.

Because of the scarcity of diagnostic data on exactly which pathogens infect apes and at what rates, Ryan and Walsh found it difficult to rigorously quantify how increased tourism would translate into increased disease pressure on ape populations. As a result, they assessed and compared potential future disease spillover risk in terms of vaccination rates among humans that may come into contact with wild apes, and the availability of vaccines against potentially threatening diseases with non-interventionist responses, such as limiting tourist access to the primates, community health programs, increased vigilance, and reactive veterinary intervention.

Based on their findings, Ryan and Walsh suggest that the great ape conservation community "pursue and promote treatment and vaccination as weapons in the arsenal for fighting the decline of African apes." They recommend that field studies on safe and efficient methods for delivering treatments and vaccines orally be conducted, along with evaluating the cost-effectiveness of all ape conservation strategies.

"We looked at the rates of vaccination in human populations both in host countries and potential tourists, and at the potential vaccines in development that could be used for great apes," Ryan said. "But we need to do more research when outbreaks occur by mobilizing the entire research community in order to better understand what is going on."


'/>"/>

Contact: George Foulsham
george.foulsham@ia.ucsb.edu
805-893-3071
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
2. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
3. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
4. Researchers Who Discovered First Genes for Stuttering will Present Findings to the National Stuttering Association
5. Researchers create drug to keep tumor growth switched off
6. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
7. GUMC researchers say flower power may reduce resistance to breast cancer drug tamoxifen
8. Clemson researchers develop hands-free texting application
9. Researchers find biomarkers in saliva for detection of early-stage pancreatic cancer
10. Researchers chart genomic map spanning over 2 dozen cancers
11. Researchers discover second protective role for tumor-suppressor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researchers examine consequences of non-intervention for infectious disease in African great apes
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... In the United States alone, up to 36% ... other types of metastatic brain tumors(3). Though most meningiomas are benign, metastatic brain tumors ... finding more effective treatment options, the San Diego Gamma Knife Center offers ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 29, 2017 , ... Full Contact ... founder of Pet Protect Law that assists dog owners in creating legally-enforceable ... new owners in taking the natural next step to protect their new companion. Says ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , ... March 30, 2017 , ... CHARM CITY RUN ... Run has announced that Mercy Medical Center will serve as the official title sponsor ... region. On Sunday, June 25, 2017, thousands of women will walk or run the ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... Petersburg, FL (PRWEB) , ... March 30, 2017 , ... ... called the "Spice of Life" or "Wonder Spice", it has been used for thousands ... use in the East," says Heshelow, author of " Turmeric: How to Use it ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... 29, 2017 , ... Wells Pharmacy Network, a proud A4M ... upcoming World Congress, in Hollywood Florida April 6-8, 2017. , Ben David, CEO ... leader in the training of physicians, scientists, and members of the public on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... N.J. , March 29, 2017  Glenmark ... results for GSP 301, an investigational fixed-dose combination ... (665 mcg) administered twice-daily as a nasal spray ... rhinitis. These results are from a recently completed ... of GSP 301 combination therapy versus mometasone, olopatadine ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... -- Maxor National Pharmacy Services, LLC ("Maxor"), a leading pharmacy ... Leah Bailey as General Counsel.  Bailey will serve as ... With more than 13 years of experience in ... health care, Bailey joins the Maxor team coming from ... the PBM, Specialty, and Mail Order business areas on ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... PALO ALTO, Calif. , March 29, 2017 ... that it will report results for the second quarter of ... Wednesday, April 26, 2017.  The news release will be followed ... p.m. PT.  The news release and a link to the ... at: www.varian.com/investor .  To access the teleconference call and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: