Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Yellow fever strikes monkey populations in South America

Wildlife serves as indicator of potential health threats

A group of Argentine scientists, including health experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society, have announced that yellow fever is the culprit in a 2007-2008 die-off of howler monkeys in northeastern Argentina, a finding that underscores the importance of paying attention to the health of wildlife and how the health of people and wild nature are so closely linked.

The paper—appearing in a recent edition of the American Journal of Primatology—focuses on yellow fever outbreaks that were documented in several howler monkey populations of Misiones Province, Argentina. The epidemics, which caused the death of dozens of rare howler monkeys, signaled the need for a human vaccination program in the region to save lives.

The authors of the study include: Ingrid Holzmann and Mario S. Di Bitetti of the Argentine Council for Science and Technology (CONICET); Ilaria Agostini of the Universidad de Roma and CNR; Juan Ignacio Areta of Grupo FALCO; and Hebe Ferreyra and Pablo Beldomenico of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

"The outbreak has tragic conservation implications for the endangered brown howler monkey, one of the two species affected, which is highly threatened primarily by habitat destruction, hunting, and now disease," said Dr. Pablo Beldomenico. "The study also points out the importance of wildlife as a critically important indicator of health and disease processes which can help protect people too."

The authors of the paper initiated their research as an ecological study of two howler monkey species of El Piñalito Provincial Park in January 2005, a project that enabled them to detect the first occurrence of two yellow fever outbreaks between November 2007 and October 2008. After finding four of their study monkeys dead, the team of biologists, park rangers, and veterinarians organized a search both within and outside of the study area to gauge the extent of mortality. The role of yellow fever in the events was confirmed at the Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Virales Humanas in January 2008 with a number of tests. Argentina's National Health Authority was notified and launched a vaccination campaign in Misiones.

Researchers eventually located 59 dead monkeys from outbreaks during the spring and summer of 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.

Yellow fever is caused by a virus from Africa that was brought to the Americas by colonists and the slave trade and still affects people in tropical areas. All Neotropical primates are highly susceptible to the disease, as they have not co-evolved with the virus. Since most howlers suddenly die after becoming infected, researchers concluded that these populations do not serve as reservoirs for the disease-causing virus.

"This study shows the importance of wildlife monitoring as a means of early detection for pathogens that could affect both animals and humans," added Beldomenico. "Wildlife health is also an important component of conserving endangered species such as howler monkeys."

Other recommendations include: human vaccinations around areas affected by disease; prompting people to quickly report monkey mortalities; and education for people living near protected areas about wildlife and the disease risks of capturing animals for pets.

John Delaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>