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Researchers trace origins of zoonoses to Neolithic period
From the earliest days of animal farming, conditions were created for goats to become reservoirs of Brucella Melitensis.

Study explores role of early animal domestication

The origins of zoonoses was a result of farming and can be traced back to the Neolithic period, according to new research.

The study, published in the Royal Society Open Science Journal, explored the role of early animal domestication in the origins of brucellosis.

It found that from the earliest days of animal farming, conditions were created for goats to become reservoirs of Brucella Melitensis, promoting the exposure of humans to a new pathogen.

Researchers say the finding supports the idea that the transition from food collection to production during the neolithic transition, while allowing for larger human population sizes, resulted in significant adverse effects on human health and wellbeing.

It also shows the importance of recognising the complexity of eco-systems, where it is often hard to obtain a holistic impression of the different types of impacts that a particular change in the system has, they add.

The study was conducted by the RVC, together with the City University of Hong Kong, and the University of Reading.

Dr Guillaume Fournié of the RVC commented: “It is generally accepted that the creation of large and dense animal populations has facilitated the emergence of infectious diseases in humans. However, the impact of changes in the demographic profiles of livestock populations on disease epidemiology requires further attention, as it may be a key factor in promoting disease transmission.”
 
Dr Robin Bendrey of the University of Reading added: “Such work can be used to target genetic research to those areas which are most likely to produce direct evidence for the presence of the pathogen in archaeological remains.”

Image (C) RVC.

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Newborn okapi named after Meghan Markle

News Story 1
 An endangered okapi recently born at London Zoo has been named Meghan - after Prince Harry’s fiancé Meghan Markle - in celebration of the upcoming royal wedding. Okapis are classed as endangered in the wild, having suffered ongoing declines since 1995. Zookeeper Gemma Metcalf said: “We’re very pleased with how mother and baby are doing. Oni is being very attentive, making sure she regularly licks her clean and keeping a watchful eye over Meghan as she sleeps.” Image © ZSL London Zoo  

News Shorts
Ten new cases of Alabama rot confirmed

Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists has confirmed 10 new cases of Alabama rot, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the UK to 122.

In a Facebook post, the referral centre said the cases were from County Durham, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, Sussex, West Somerset, Devon, and Powys.

Pet owners are urged to remain vigilant and seek advice from their vet if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions/sores.