After working for some five years at the veterinary school, primarily in the small animal clinic, she has for the last four years been employed as a Research Fellow at the Section of Arctic veterinary Medicine, The Norwegian School of Veterinary Science in Tromsø.
The cat is the main host for Toxoplasma and spreads the infection in its droppings. Previous research has shown that isolated island groups without cats are in reality free of the parasite. Man can also be infected by eating meat from infected animals, and it can be transmitted to the embryo and deform it if the mother is infected while pregnant.
In her doctoral thesis, Kristin Wear Prestrud studied the distribution of the parasite in different animal species on Svalbard, and looked at the relationships with Toxoplasma strains in other parts of the world. Antibodies to Toxoplasma were found in the blood of the Arctic fox, polar bear, walrus, Svalbard reindeer, the sibling vole and several avian species.
Forty-three percent of the Arctic foxes sampled bore antibodies to the parasite. The incidence in polar bears was also high, and in walrus somewhat lower. Of avian species, the barnacle goose was the most common at 7% positive. The high incidence in Arctic foxes and polar bears was unexpected, because cats are forbidden on Svalbard and the only cats on the archipelago are some illegal ones at Barentsburg.
Kristin Wear Prestrud showed in her doctoral thesis that migratory birds are a probable source of infection for the parasite Toxoplasma gondii on Svalbard (the Spitsbergen archipelago), which has then infected the Arctic fox population, among other animals. The parasite can infect all animals and birds, including man, and normally produces few symptoms. It may, however, lead to the disease of toxoplasmosis, and over the years several Arctic foxes have been found dead from this infection on Svalbard.
In her thesis, Prestrud described migrating birds as a possible route of infection of Toxoplasma in the Arctic fox population on Svalbard. Genetic analyses showed that the parasite on Svalbard is identical to the most common Toxoplasma strains one finds in Europe, which supports the idea of a European source of infection on Svalbard.
Several bird species that breed on Svalbard overwinter in the more populated parts of Europe, where they might become infected. Geese, which graze on cultivated land during their migration, are especially suspect, and are a preferred prey of the Arctic fox during the summer. Transmission from mother to unborn offspring in the uterus may be significant for the Arctic fox, but probably not in polar bears, and it is likely that the level of infection in the fox and polar bear populations is also maintained by the animals eating their own species, which primarily occurs during the wintertime when available food is scarce.
Kristin W. Prestrud defended her thesis for the degree of Ph. D. at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, with the title "Toxoplasma gondii in the high arctic archipelago of Svalbard", on October 28, 2008.
Magnhild Jenssen | alfa
Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel
Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
23.05.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences