University of Edinburgh - Humans make animals sick

November 12, 2009

Animals are picking up new diseases from humans as a result of globalisation and industrialisation, researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found. A study carried out by a team from the Centre for Infectious Diseases has shown that a strain of bacteria has jumped from humans to chickens - the first evidence of disease crossing the species barrier in this direction since the domestication of animals about 10,000 years ago. The study identified a form of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus in poultry. Genetic testing showed that it crossed from humans to chickens about 40 years ago, coinciding with the growth of intensive poultry farming practices.

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