Research news

It is well understood that Echinococcus spp., a type of zoonotic parasitic tapeworm, spills over into humans through contaminated soil or water—and through their pets. But unlike humans, dogs are asymptomatic when infected with echinococcus, which makes it difficult to detect before a human is infected.

Although studies in Europe and Asia have explored the role of rodent pests in zoonotic disease outbreaks, comparatively little research has investigated the rodent-agricultural interface in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control calls antibiotic (or antimicrobial) resistance “one of the biggest public health challenges of our time,” responsible for 2.5 million infections and more than 35,000 human deaths in the U.S. each year.

Recent studies have shown something called epiphyseal cartilage necrosis—lesions caused by lack of blood flow to joints—is the radiographically invisible precursor to juvenile osteochondritis dissecans.

The challenge arises from the unpredictability of swine influenza infections becoming zoonotic and, in some instances, turning into a human pandemic like the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak.