Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Bird ‘flu: not the only flying hazard


Our view of wild birds is mostly positive. They are a lovely sight as they soar through the air or drift lazily on updrafts. But there is a downside to this beauty. Birds are reservoirs for all manner of infectious disease and we can do little about it, according to an article in the November 2005 issue of Microbiology Today, the quarterly magazine of the Society for General Microbiology.

“Wild birds carry several important human and animal diseases,” explains Dr Keith Jones of Lancaster University. The most notorious of these is bird ‘flu, but the list also includes other influenza viruses, West Nile Virus, psittacosis and Lyme disease. “We have also discovered that gulls can carry E. coli O157.”

Not only do these animals carry many harmful microbes, but because of migration patterns they are also responsible for the worldwide spread of the diseases.

“If we can prevent wild birds from mixing with poultry it should make a difference,” explains Dr Jones. “Stopping the spread of diseases such as avian ‘flu to farmed birds would avoid huge economic losses, and at worst, loss of human lives.”

“Greater bio-security on farms could also prevent the spread of food poisoning bacteria amongst livestock and the direct contamination of salads with pathogens in bird droppings,” says Dr Jones.

Dr Jones also believes that cleaning up contaminated outdoor eating areas and not feeding wild birds will help to prevent cases of food poisoning. “These studies show that it is not just because of bird ‘flu that we should be wary of contact with wild birds and their faeces,” says Dr Jones.

Air surrounds us and we breathe in all that it contains every day — gases, dust particles and microbes. This issue of Microbiology Today looks at the microbes in our air, from how they get there and survive to how they move from around the globe.

Other features in the November 2005 issue of Microbiology Today include:

· Microbes in the air: John Tyndall and the spontaneous generation debate (page 164)
· Microbes and climate (page 168)
· Microbe-laden aerosols (page 172)
· Clouds of desert dust and microbiology: a mechanism of global dispersion (page 180)
· Comment: Clostridium difficile (page 204)

These are just some of the articles that appear, together with all the regular features and reports of Society activities.

Faye Jones | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular doorstop could be key to new tuberculosis drugs
20.03.2018 | Rockefeller University

nachricht Modified biomaterials self-assemble on temperature cues
20.03.2018 | Duke University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Earlier flowering of modern winter wheat cultivars

20.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Smithsonian researchers name new ocean zone: The rariphotic

20.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Molecular doorstop could be key to new tuberculosis drugs

20.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>