Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Science News
24/7/365 Network Uptime
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Wildlife Decline Leads to Surge in Diseases
Wildlife Decline Leads to Surge in Diseases

 
April 30, 2014 12:23PM

    Bookmark and Share
Using the East African savanna ecosystem as their laboratory, scientists compared the effect of large wildlife presence on rodent populations and Bartonellosis, a group of bacterial pathogens. They concluded that declines in large wildlife can cause an increase in the risk for diseases that are spread between animals and humans.
 



Rodents have long been known as capable carriers of disease. In the Middle Ages, flea-carrying rats helped spread the Black Plague, and modern rodents continue to help piggybacking pathogens find human homes.

It would follow then that large wildlife -- which have a significant effect on the size of rodent populations -- would play a role in hindering or helping the spread of disease.

And that's exactly what ecologist Hillary Young, assistant professor at University of California Santa Barbara, found. When the numbers of large wild animals decreased, or disappeared, an increase in the risk of human disease via expanding rodent populations regularly followed.

Young and her research colleagues used the East African savanna ecosystem as their laboratory, comparing the effect of large wildlife presence on rodent populations and Bartonellosis, a group of bacterial pathogens.

"We were able to demonstrate that declines in large wildlife can cause an increase in the risk for diseases that are spread between animals and humans," Young explained. "This spike in disease risk results from explosions in the number of rodents that benefit from the removal of the larger animals."

The researchers found that when elephants, giraffe and zebra were kept out of large plots of land in Kenya, rodent populations doubled -- which in turn doubles the number of disease-carrying fleas.

"This same effect ... can occur almost anywhere there are large wildlife declines," Young said. "This phenomena that we call rodentation -- the proliferation of rodents triggered by large wildlife loss -- has been observed in sites around the world."

Downturns in wildlife numbers can cause rodent increases in a variety of ways, including by providing more access to food and better shelter. "The result is that we expect that the loss of large animals may lead to a general increase in human risk of rodent borne disease in a wide range of landscapes," Young said.

The research has considerable significance as modern coronaviruses like SARS and MERS continue to crop up, and as biodiversity continues to decline around the world.

Young's research was published this week in in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Online Edition.
 


© 2014 UPI Science News under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Science News
1.   Scientists Ponder Dogs and Jealousy
2.   HIV Creates Viral Reservoirs Soon
3.   Study: Smelling Passed Gas Helpful
4.   Scientists Crush Diamond with Laser
5.   Study: Friends Share DNA Similarities


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.