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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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HM The Queen opens new centre for elephant care

News Story 1
 HM The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, has officially unveiled ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s brand new Centre for Elephant Care.

Set amidst 30 acres of rolling paddocks, the custom-designed Centre for Elephant Care is the new home for the Zoo’s herd of nine Asian elephants.

The Centre will provide more than 700m² of indoor space and contains an array of elephant-friendly features, including dimming lights to mimic night-time and one metre-deep soft sand flooring.  

News Shorts
New manual to help producers use medicines responsibly

A new manual to help sheep and beef producers use medicines responsibly has been published by AHDB Beef & Lamb.

The Better Returns Programme manual, Using Medicines Correctly for Better Returns, outlines the key principles when using medicines on the farm.

It includes making sure the medicine and correct dose is used at the right time, and that it is stored and administered correctly. It also explains the importance of using antibiotics and anthelmintics responsibly to avoid the build up of resistance.