ANSC 100

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ANSC 100
2012-10-23 13:53:29
Animals Sentinels

Last section before midterms
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  1. Sentinels
    Organisms whose known characteristics can be measured to access the extent of environmental implications... and to provide early warning of thse implications.
  2. Examples of animals as sentinels
    • Lyme disease in North America (fleas)
    • Minamata disease (dancing cats)
    • Canaries in the mines
  3. Lyme Disease
    • Borrelia burgdorderi
    • Vector is Ixodes ticks (not common in AB)
    • Primary hosts: mice, squirrels, other mammals, small birds, ... Migratory birds?
    • TIck infected by biting rodent, then later bites larger animal...
    • Pathogen transmitted when tick's mouthparts are attached for 18-24 hours
    • Spread from eastern US, not yet thought to be endemic in AB,
    • Surveillance program in AB since 2007--> submit ticks to vets--> ab ag parasitology
    • Several ticks submitted in AB in 2011 and 2012 were infected
  4. Symptoms 4 Lyme disease
    • Humans: fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, arthritis
    • Bulls-eye rash
    • Dogs: fever, lethargy, shifting arthritis
    • Diagnosis: blood testing (for antibodies)
    • Treatment: antibiotics¬†
  5. Minamata Disease
    • In 1965, first patient suffering from nervous symptoms
    • Patients were men and women, but not children, later children were born with it...
    • First clue was cats are behaving in similar ways... (cat dancing disease)¬†
    • Staple food of residents and pets was seafood, thus fish- shellfish mediate food poisioning was first to become suspect
    • Ending the contamination, cleanup and compensation of victims took many years
  6. Human Population Growth:
    Its effects on Sentinels
    • Loss or modification of habitat
    • Predation (ecological changes affecting predators or prey)
    • Introduction of non-native species
    • Air and water quality impacts
    • Climate changes
  7. Water Quality & Quantity Effects
    • Herbicides
    • Pesticides
    • Heavy Metals
    • Other materials in run-off
    • Decreased pH & increased salinity
    • Lowering of water table
    • Loss of freshwater spring flows
  8. Air Quality Effects
    • Greenhouse gas production
    • Volatile organic compounds
    • Aerosolized pesticides & other chemicals
    • Particulate matter and silt/sedimentation
  9. Need to bridge the gap
    Between ecologists and medicine
  10. Complementary Approach: Naturally Occuring Disease in Animal Populations
    • Companion Animals
    • Livestock
    • Wildlife
  11. Descriptive epidemiology
    Characterize the frequency and patterns of disease in animal populations and identify possible associations with environmental exposures
  12. Analytic epidemiology
    Test hypotheses of environmental exposure-disease relationships in animals using controlled-observational methods
  13. In situ studies
    • Placement of sentinel animals were environmental contamination is suspected
    • Monitor the animals to assess health effecs.
  14. Ideal animal sentinel
    Is exposed to chemical contaminants in habitats share with humans, or is comparable
  15. Optimize sentinels
    • Animals can serve as valuable sentinels for hazards in the home, ONLY if they are recognized and reported in timely matter...
    • This system requires cooperation between human and vet. health specialists