Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Domesticated animals provide vital link to emergence of new diseases

Date:
May 16, 2014
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Pets and other domesticated animals could provide new clues into the emergence of infections that can spread between animals and humans. The study showed that the number of parasites and pathogens shared by humans and animals is related to how long animals have been domesticated. The findings suggest that although wild animals may be important for the transmission of new diseases to humans, humanity's oldest companions -- livestock and pets such as cattle and dogs -- provide the vital link in the emergence of new diseases.

The study showed that the longer an animal had been domesticated, the more parasites and pathogens it shared with humans.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Liverpool

Research at the University of Liverpool suggests pets and other domesticated animals could provide new clues into the emergence of infections that can spread between animals and humans.

The study showed that the number of parasites and pathogens shared by humans and animals is related to how long animals have been domesticated.

The findings suggest that although wild animals may be important for the transmission of new diseases to humans, humanity's oldest companions -- livestock and pets such as cattle and dogs provide the vital link in the emergence of new diseases.

Using data sourced from existing studies and information collected together in the Liverpool ENHanCEd Infectious Diseases (EID2) database, the researchers cross-referenced all known cases of parasites and pathogens in domestic animals with the length of time they have been domesticated by man.

In dogs, which have been domesticated for over 17,000 years, there were 71 shared parasites and pathogens, and in the 11,000 year association between humans and cattle, 34 have accumulated.

Epidemiologist, Dr Marie McIntyre was part of the study team. She said: "We don't have enough knowledge of how new diseases get from wildlife into humans.

"This study shows that domesticated animals can play an important role in that process and that diseases have been shared in this way for thousands of years."

The research examined 'centrality', to determine which domestic animals are in the middle of a web of shared infections. These animals are most active in spreading disease to other domesticated species. This 'centrality' linked directly with the length of time since domestication.

The EID2 database used in the study was created by University researchers in the Institute of Infection and Global Health to bring a 'big data' approach to emerging diseases. It contains information from more than 60 million papers, pieces of electronic reference material and textbooks on the spread and emergence of pathogens around the world, and can be cross-referenced with data on climate change, which also affects the spread of some diseases.

Dr McIntyre said: "Using data in this way can help us address the major threat of new diseases and the spread of existing diseases caused by climate change.

"Vast amounts of research are being carried out in this field, yet it isn't easy to search or draw patterns from it. As with this research into domestic animals, a database can help by bringing huge amounts of evidence together in one place."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Domesticated animals provide vital link to emergence of new diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140516092301.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2014, May 16). Domesticated animals provide vital link to emergence of new diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140516092301.htm
University of Liverpool. "Domesticated animals provide vital link to emergence of new diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140516092301.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins