Tag Archives: avian influenza

Controlling the Spread of Diseases Among Humans, Other Animals and the Environment

New NSF-NIH-USDA-BBSRC grants fund research on how infectious diseases are transmitted

West Nile virus, Lyme disease and hantavirus are all infectious diseases spreading in animals and in people. Is human interaction with the environment somehow responsible for the increase in incidence of these diseases?

A joint National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) program is providing answers.

It supports efforts to understand the underlying ecological and biological mechanisms behind human-induced environmental changes and the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases. (more…)

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Climate Change Could Increase Levels of Avian Influenza in Wild Birds

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Rising sea levels, melting glaciers, more intense rainstorms and more frequent heat waves are among the planetary woes that may come to mind when climate change is mentioned. Now, two University of Michigan researchers say an increased risk of avian influenza transmission in wild birds can be added to the list.

Population ecologists Pejman Rohani and Victoria Brown used a mathematical model to explore the consequences of altered interactions between an important species of migratory shorebird and horseshoe crabs at Delaware Bay as a result of climate change. (more…)

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Discovery of Why Influenza B Virus Exclusively Infects Humans Opens Door for Drugs to Fight Seasonal Epidemics Caused by Virus

AUSTIN, Texas — The three-dimensional structure of a site on an influenza B virus protein that suppresses human defenses to infection has been determined by researchers at Rutgers University and The University of Texas at Austin.

The discovery could help scientists develop drugs to fight seasonal influenza epidemics caused by the common influenza B strain.

Their discovery also helps explain how influenza B is limited to humans, and why it cannot be as virulent as A strains that incorporate new genes from influenza viruses that infect other species. (more…)

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New Research Suggests Wild Birds May Play a Role in the Spread of Bird Flu

LAUREL, Md. — Wild migratory birds may indeed play a role in the spread of bird flu, also known as highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1. 

A study by the U.S. Geological Survey, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Chinese Academy of Sciences used satellites, outbreak data and genetics to uncover an unknown link in Tibet among wild birds, poultry and the movement of the often-deadly virus. (more…)

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