Investigating zoonotic viruses in illegally imported wildlife products (bushmeat)
Nearly 75% of emerging infectious diseases in humans are of zoonotic origin, the majority of which originate in wildlife. Therefore infectious diseases acquired from contact with wildlife, such as occurs via the wildlife trade, are increasingly of concern to global public health. The United States is the worldâ€™s largest importer of wildlife and wildlife products, yet minimal pathogen surveillance has precluded assessment of the health risks posed by this practice. Given that the most products enter the US through major airports such as JFK, we are looking for zoonotic viruses in wild animal products illegally imported into US in an effort to prevent the transmission of infectious agents.
Nearly 75% of emerging infectious diseases in humans are of zoonotic origin, the majority of which originate in wildlife. PREDICT, a project of USAID's Emerging Pandemic Threats Program, is a global initiative that seeks to discover viruses in wildlife from more than 20 countries around the world before they emerge in the human population. Working with partners from UC Davis, EcoHealth Alliance, Metabiota, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Smithsonian Institute, PREDICT is developing an early warning system for pandemic preparedness and prevention by gaining of knowledge of what viruses exist in wildlife, and by building One Health capacity around the world.
Conservation of the Endangered Thick-Billed Parrot
Thick-billed parrots (TBP) are an endangered species of high conservation concern. Both captive and wild populations have suffered significant population declines in recent times, and while the exact causes and processes of decline are still unclear (particularly in wild populations), habitat loss, nutrition and disease are all believed to be significant drivers. In this study we focus on conservation health, with two main objectives. First, we are investigating the extent to which disease-causing agents affect both wild and captive populations. These investigations of morbidity and mortality include attempts to identify candidate aetiologies and any associated efforts to demonstrate causation. Second