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When two parasites are better than one: (Unusual) insights into ways to combat human parasitic diseases

Portrait of one of Kenya’s  Improved Boran breed of cattle (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann). ‘Parasites found in African cattle could offer a new insight into ways of combatting serious parasitic diseases in humans, including malaria. A team funded by the Wellcome Trust has found that cows can be protected from parasites that cause deadly diseases … Continue reading

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Livestock in poor countries need drugs to stay alive and productive, but how to avoid the rise of ‘super bugs’?

Developing-country livestock keepers need more and better drugs to keep their animals alive and productive, and there are increasing numbers of livestock in the South, where there is increasing use of antimicrobial drugs, and poor livestock keepers will be hurt the most by development in pathogens of antimicrobial resistance. So what’s needed to avoid ‘super bugs’ arising? A new PNAS paper has this to say. Continue reading

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New paper on parasitic infections shows the benefits of co-infections with the ‘mild cousins’ of important pathogens

Herds of African cattle may hold the secret to new ways of fighting parasitic diseases like malaria, which kills some 600,000 people a year, scientists said on Friday. Continue reading

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ILRI’s Philip Toye VOA interview on East Coast fever, and the benefits of co-parasitic infections

Voice of America’s Joe DeCapua interview Phil Toye, a scientist with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), about a paper published this week in Science Advance. Continue reading

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New Scientist reports on Nairobi study mapping out role of urbanization in zoonotic pathogen transmission

A study by 12 Kenyan and UK institutions, including the University of Liverpool, ILRI and the University of Nairobi, is investigating the role of urbanization in the origin and spread of zoonotic pathogens in Nairobi. Continue reading

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New livestock maps pinpoint ‘danger zones’ for possible spread of deadly H7N9 strain of bird flu

A recent paper that maps the global distributions of the world’s major livestock species has already been used to advance understanding of where surveillance efforts should be targeted to prevent the possible spread of a lethal bird flu virus now circulating in poultry populations in China, where it has killed 62 people. The original mapping work, led by Tim Robinson, of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and published at the end of May, was immediately put to practical use in locating large regions in South and Southeast Asia that would suit the new lethal virus. Continue reading

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Aflatoxins: New briefs disclose the threat to people and livestock and what research is doing about it

A damaged maize cob that, if harvested with clean cobs, can contaminate all the cobs with aflatoxins (photo credit: Joseph Atehnkeng/IITA). ‘The UN World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that billions of people in the developing world are chronically exposed to aflatoxin, a natural poison on food crops which causes cancer, impairs the immune system, inhibits … Continue reading