Saturday, August 20, 2011

Microbe in Human is Killing Coral


coral1 “How a Microbe in Humans Is Killing Coral”


“Usually infectious disease is a one-way street—and human beings are at the end. New viruses begin in wild animals—like monkeys or chickens—before they mutate and cross over to human beings. HIV, West Nile, SARS, H5N1, H1N1—just about every new infectious disease over the past several decades had its start in animals before infecting people. "We're in a unique time because the world is completely globalized now," says Peter Daszak, the president of the EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit that works on the intersection between animal and human health. "New pathogens arise out of this border between wildlife and humans."

But it turns out the traffic can run the other way too—at least occasionally. In a study published in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers from the University of Georgia and Rollins College in Florida confirmed that a human pathogen was infecting and killing corals in the Florida Keys. Scientists had already known the bacterium Serratia marcescens caused the coral disease "white pox," which produces lesions that eat away at the elkhorn coral in the Carribbean—so much so the coral is now listed under the Endangered Species Act. But the PLoS ONE team, led by Kathryn Sutherland of Rollins College, managed to determine that the bacterium originates in human beings, and that the human sewage spread the disease—which provides hope that we might be able to stop it. (..)

in Time


GHive said...

Theres nowhere safe in the world :p Nice post btw!

August 20, 2011 at 7:06 PM
PvtCarlin said...

These bacterium never scare me.

August 21, 2011 at 12:07 AM

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