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Assessing the feasability of fly based surveillance of wildlife infectious diseases

Fly-trapping researcher in Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire. Source: RKI

Most emerging infectious diseases are zoonoses and most zoonoses originate in wildlife. Monitoring potential pathogens circulating in wildlife represents a powerful approach to generate knowledge on future emerging infectious diseases. However, acquiring such information requires getting access to wildlife samples, which is often extremely challenging. In a study published in Scientific Reports, RKI researcher Fabian Leendertz and his team circumvent this problem by showing that blowflies randomly caught in a rainforest in Côte d'Ivoire contain DNA fragments of viruses infecting mammals (adenoviruses). If the detection rate was here relatively low, the authors suggest that fly-based detection of pathogens inducing high mortality in wildlife (such as the Ebola virus) is within reach.

Date: 30.11.2016

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