A girl shares the entrance to her house with a family of chickens in Oyo State, Nigeria (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).
Researchers at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) argue in an opinion piece published yesterday on the Guardian‘s Poverty Matters Blog (11 February 2011) that the best way to reduce the threat of infectious diseases sweeping the world is to watch for their rise in animal populations. A remarkable 61% of all human pathogens, and 75% of new human pathogens, such as those causing bird flu and HIV/AIDS, are ‘zoonotic,’ that is, transmissible between people and animals.
‘Some of the most lethal bugs affecting humans originate in our domesticated animals,’ says Delia Grace, a veterinary and food safety scientist at ILRI. But, she warns, ‘there’s a dangerous disconnect between the agricultural and health sectors of most countries, with the former focused on increasing the production and profitability of crop…
View original post 279 more words