Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Dog disease in lions spread by multiple species

January 27, 2015

Washington State University

Canine distemper, a viral disease that's been infecting the famed lions of Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, appears to be spread by multiple animal species, according to a study published by a transcontinental team of scientists.

Their findings demonstrate that in natural ecosystems, a deadly virus can jump between species and thrive, thereby threatening vulnerable animal populations.

"Our study shows that the dynamics of canine distemper virus are extremely complex, and a broadened approach -- focusing not only on domestic dogs--is required if we are to control the disease among lions and other wild animal species," said veterinary researcher Felix Lankester of Washington State University's Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, a co-author based in Tanzania.

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