Research in the News:
Wild Immunology
This study, by Amy Pedersen and Simon Babayan, provides a framework for bringing our vast knowledge of laboratory immunology to wild animals, where conditions are far from controlled but may represent the true challenges that humans and wild animals face. Achieving this goal will require leveraging rapidly developing genomic tools to overcome the lack of reagents available for wild animals. Despite these challenges, wild immunology may provide a missing link between laboratory-based immunology and human, wildlife and domesticated animal health.

In Scientific Press:
    • Full interview can be found here.
Cross species pathogen transmission and disease emergence in primates
Many of the most virulent emerging infectious diseases in humans, e.g., AIDS and Ebola, are zoonotic, having shifted from wildlife populations. Critical questions for predicting disease emergence are: (1) what determines when and where a disease will first cross from one species to another, and (2) which factors facilitate emergence after a successful host shift. We addressed these questions in our recent paper in Ecohealth.

On the Radio:
Phylogeny and geography predict pathogen community similarity in wild primates and humans.
A study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B examines how “host shifts” occur, and provides a critical first step in predicting when and where future host shifts may take place. We explored patterns of pathogen sharing among primates and found that closely related species of primates, those sharing similar biology and immune responses, are vulnerable to the same pathogens. Humans also follow this pattern, sharing many diseases with great apes, our closest living relatives.

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