Economic losses inside the European Union caused by the red poultry mite are now running at roughly €130 million or nearly £90 million every year. The mite causes blood spotting on eggs, making them unfit for sale. In severe cases the infested birds can become badly anaemic and fall ill, or get infections caused by bacteria and viruses which can be passed on to people, giving them dangerous illnesses.
“With the recent changes in regulations brought on by new threats like bird ‘flu, coupled with a growing and widespread resistance to the chemicals we use to fight poultry mites, called acaricides, we urgently need to develop new approaches to combat these pests”, says Dr Olivier Sparagano from Newcastle University, UK.
“If somehow we could develop a method to destabilise the symbiotic bacteria that we have discovered living inside the mites, therefore removing the beneficial effect, we could develop a new control method for the chicken red mite”, says Dr Sparagano.
If the scientists are successful then the use of acaricide chemicals could be cut, which in turn would reduce the harmful effect they have on the environment and cut down cases of skin rashes and dermatitis in poultry farmers, smallholders and meat packers. Some traces of acaricides have even been found in eggs intended for human consumption.
“The bacteria are obviously very important to the mites. A new control method based on attacking the symbiotic bacteria inside the mites’ bodies would also create economic benefits through higher egg quality and production, and fewer diseases transmitted by these parasitic mites. It would also lead to better welfare for the birds”, says Dr Sparagano.
Red poultry mites are a direct threat to economically valuable birds, suspected of passing on diseases like Newcastle Disease. But they have also been shown to be part of a wider chain transmitting diseases to people and other animals such as the food poisoning bacteria Salmonella, and equine encephalitis in horses.
Lucy Goodchild | EurekAlert!
Programming cells with computer-like logic
27.07.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics
27.07.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.
Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
27.07.2017 | Life Sciences
27.07.2017 | Life Sciences
27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine