• Healthy results

    Healthy results

    Three out of five human diseases are transmitted by animals, while 40% of known livestock pathogens (around 200) can infect people. Much like with HIV, the Ebola virus may very well have started with the disease ‘jumping’ from a wild species.

    In an effort to understand where and how diseases could originate from animals, a study focusing on livestock as a major source of emerging zoonotic diseases is being conducted in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

    According to a Conversation Africa report, the Urban Zoo project – which is funded by the UK Medical Research Council and other British research councils – uses a landscape genetics approach to monitor how urban populations connect to livestock, studying the pathogens and their hosts from an ecological perspective by exploring E.coli as an exemplar. The study also involves mapping animal food source systems that bring food to city residents and monitors human relationships with livestock in the city itself.

    29 November 2016
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images