Sunday, February 26, 2012

Smuggled bushmeat confiscated in airports shown to harbor potentially harmful viruses.


Bushmeat seized in several US airports recently has been shown to harbor both retroviruses and herpesviruses. Bushmeat has long been known to act as a “conduit for disease emergence”, especially in terms of certain retroviruses. With international trade what is scary, is that easier than ever, these products can be moved around the world increasing pathogen spread.

Wildlife importations have been shown to introduce such diseases to the US as exotic amphibian chytridiomycosis, Newcastle disease and monkeypox (through pets). It has also been shown that the hunting/butchering of bushmeat (especially non human primates) has led to zoonotic transmission of retroviruses including SIV, STLV, and SFV. It is thought that these viruses were than able to mutate allowing them to be transmitted from human to human.

The US CDC prohibits the importation of bushmeat from various species but greater surveillance is needed to fully stop the practice as it poses a threat to health.

Article from: http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/307/8/769.full.pdf+html

--Elena Jordan

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