CVM Faculty Publications

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This collection includes freely accessible and “open access” journal articles and other publications by faculty members, research associates, and others at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

This color photo was taken in 1996 about the time of the College’s centennial of the first class being admitted in 1896. Hence, it is known as the “Centennial Faculty, College of Veterinary Medicine”.

Submission of publications is voluntary. Send citations, pdf files for inclusion, and requests for information to Reference Services, Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library at or call 607-253-3510.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 20
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    Rethinking the drivers of feline and canine coronavirus virulence and pathogenesis; toward an understanding of the dynamic world of coronavirus mutations, indels and recombination
    Olarte-Castillo, Ximena A.; Whittaker, Gary R. (2024)
    The viral species Alphacoronavirus-1, which includes feline and canine coronaviruses 1 and 2 (FCoV-1, FCoV-2, CCoV-1 and CCoV-2) as well as transmissible gastroenteritis virus of swine (TGEV), is the cause of a range of disease outcomes in animals and may have zoonotic potential for humans. In cats, feline coronavirus is infamous as the cause of the feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a lethal disease that can now be treated with antiviral drugs. FCoV-1 disease outcome is driven by a combination of both within- and between-host evolution, whereas FCoV-2 disease appears to be driven by recombination with co-circulating CCoV. This is exemplified by FCoV-23, a novel canine/feline recombinant virus that caused a widespread outbreak of severe disease in Cyprus during 2023. As such, Alphacoronavirus-1 may exist as a dynamic "metavirome" that is in a constant state of flux, presenting notable challenges for disease surveillance and management, and in risk-assessment.
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    War and wildlife: linking armed conflict to conservation
    Gaynor, K.M.; Fiorella, K.J.; Kurz, D.J.; Gregory, G.H.; Seto, K.L.; Withey, L.S.; Brashares, J.S. (Ecological Society of America, 2016-12-01)
    Armed conflict throughout the world's biodiversity hotspots poses a critical threat to conservation efforts. To date, research and policy have focused more on the ultimate outcomes of conflict for wildlife rather than on the ecological, social, and economic processes that create those outcomes. Yet the militarization that accompanies armed conflict, as well as consequent changes in governance, economies, and human settlement, has diverse influences on wildlife populations and habitats. To better understand these complex dynamics, we summarized 144 case studies from around the world and identified 24 distinct pathways linking armed conflict to wildlife outcomes. The most commonly cited pathways reflect changes to institutional and socioeconomic factors, rather than tactical aspects of conflict. Marked differences in the most salient pathways emerge across geographic regions and wildlife taxa. Our review demonstrates that mitigating the negative effects of conflict on biodiversity conservation requires a nuanced understanding of the ways in which conflict affects wildlife populations and communities.
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    Quantity and species of fish consumed shape breast milk fatty acid concentrations
    Fiorella, K.J.; Milner, E.M.; Hickey, M.D.; Salmen, C.S.; Omollo, D.O.; Bukusi, E.; Fernald, L.C.H. (Cambridge Unversity Press, 2017-11-27)
    Objective: Long-chain PUFA (LCPUFA) found in breast milk are derived from dietary sources and critical for optimal infant development. We examined associations between fish consumption and concentrations of LCPUFA and essential n-3 and n-6 fatty acids in breast milk among mothers living around Lake Victoria. Design: We used cross-sectional analyses of associations between recent fish consumption and breast-milk fatty acid concentrations. Setting: The study was conducted around Lake Victoria on Mfangano Island, Kenya, where multiple fish species are key dietary components and also are widely exported. Subjects: Breast-feeding mothers (n 60) provided breast-milk samples, anthropometric measurements and questionnaire responses. Results: In the previous 3 d, 97 % of women consumed a mean of 178 (sd 111) g fish (~2 servings/3 d). Mean breast-milk concentrations included DHA (0·75 % of total fatty acids), EPA (0·16 %), _-linolenic acid (ALA; 0·54 %), arachidonic acid (AA; 0·44 %) and linoleic acid (LA; 12·7 %). Breast-milk DHA concentrations exceeded the global average of 0·32 % in fifty-nine of sixty samples. We found native cichlids (Cichlidae) and dagaa (Rastrineobola argentea) contributed high levels of DHA, EPA and AA to local diets. We also found evidence for associations between fish species consumed and breast-milk LCPUFA concentrations when controlling for intake of other fish species, maternal body mass, maternal age, child age and exclusive breast-feeding. Conclusions: The fatty acid composition of breast milk was influenced by the fish species consumed. Ensuring access to diverse fish and particularly inexpensive, locally available species, may be important for diet quality as well as infant growth and development.
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    Human Health Alters the Sustainability of Fishing Practices in East Africa
    Fiorella, K.J.; Milner, E.M.; Salmen, C.S.; Hickey, M.D.; Omollo, D.O.; Mattah, B.; Adhiambo, A.; Bukusi, E.B.; Fernald, L.C.H.; Brashares, J.S. (National Academy of Sciences, 2017-04-18)
    Understanding feedbacks between human and environmental health is critical for the millions who cope with recurrent illness and rely directly on natural resources for sustenance. Although studies have examined how environmental degradation exacerbates infectious disease, the effects of human health on our use of the environment remains unexplored. Human illness is often tacitly assumed to reduce human impacts on the environment. By this logic, ill people reduce the time and effort that they put into extractive livelihoods and, thereby, their impact on natural resources. We followed 303 households living on Lake Victoria, Kenya over four time points to examine how illness influenced fishing. Using fixed effect conditional logit models to control for individual-level and time-invariant factors, we analyzed the effect of illness on fishing effort and methods. Illness among individuals who listed fishing as their primary occupation affected their participation in fishing. However, among active fishers, we found limited evidence that illness reduced fishing effort. Instead, ill fishers shifted their fishing methods. When ill, fishers were more likely to use methods that were illegal, destructive, and concentrated in inshore areas but required less travel and energy. Ill fishers were also less likely to fish using legal methods that are physically demanding, require travel to deep waters, and are considered more sustainable. By altering the physical capacity and outlook of fishers, human illness shifted their effort, their engagement with natural resources, and the sustainability of their actions. These findings show a previously unexplored pathway through which poor human health may negatively impact the environment.
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    From Sea to Plate: The Role of Fish in a Sustainable Diet
    Seto, K.; Fiorella, K.J. (Frontier Media, 2017-03-16)
    In the most recent U.S. Dietary Guidelines, the USDA Advisory Committee recommended for the first time the inclusion of sustainability considerations (DGA Committee, 2015). Since the U.S. Dietary Guidelines provide standards for nutrition and targets for federal and state food programs, explicitly incorporating sustainability would advance considerably discussions of food system sustainability (Merrigan et al., 2015). However, despite broad public support, sustainability 80 concerns were ultimately jettisoned from the 2015–2020 Guidelines (Secretary Vilsack and Burwell, 2015; US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture, 2015; Wood-Wright, 2016). Though much of the concern around incorporating sustainability has focused on animal agriculture, the sectors most heavily impacted by sustainability policies are arguably fisheries and aquaculture. Fish have been promoted as a sustainability strategy, providing nutritious alternatives to resource intensive livestock and poultry, and a concern, given the decline of many global fish stocks (Worm et al., 2006; Health Council of the Netherlands, 2011; FAO, 2014). Yet, we regularly overlook the origins and implications of this decline due to fragmented notions of our food resources. Resources that originate in our oceans, rivers, and lakes are almost entirely omitted in our conceptions of a sustainable food system. To understand the trade-offs from food production and consumption to sustainability, we must extend our understanding of food resources to conceive of fishery, agricultural, and livestock systems as integrally linked. Our failure to do so thus far has led to a disjointed understanding of our food system, contributed to inequalities in food access, and exacerbated overexploitation and environmental degradation. We argue here that fishery resources are of particular concern for sustainability yet often omitted in conceptions of our food system, and that such disjointed notions of food resources limit our ability to foster sustainable diets (Farmery et al., 2017).
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    Characteristics of Pica Behaviors Among Women in Western Kenya
    Chung, E.O.; Omollo, D.O.; Mattah, B.; Hickey, M.D.; Salmen, C.R.; Milner, E.M.; Brashares, J.S.; Young, S.L.; Fernald, L.C.H.; Fiorella, K.J. (BMC, 2019-07-14)
    Background: Pica, the craving and purposeful consumption of nonfoods, is poorly understood. We described the prevalence of pica among women on Mfangano Island, Kenya, and examined sociodemographic and health correlates. Methods: Our cross-sectional study included 299 pregnant or postpartum women in 2012. We used a 24-h recall to assess pica, defined as consumption of earth (geophagy), charcoal/ash, or raw starches (amylophagy) and built multivariable logistic regression models to examine sociodemographic and health correlates of pica. Results: Eighty-one women (27.1%) engaged in pica in the previous 24 h, with 59.3% reporting amylophagy and 56.8% reporting geophagy, charcoal, and/or ash consumption. The most common substances consumed were raw cassava (n = 30, 36.6%), odowa, a chalky, soft rock-like earth (n = 21, 25.6%), and soil (n = 17, 20.7%). Geophagy, charcoal, and/or ash consumption was negatively associated with breastfeeding (OR = 0.38, 95% CI: 0.18–0.81), and amylophagy was associated with pregnancy (OR = 4.31, 95% CI: 1.24–14.96). Pica was more common within one of six study regions (OR = 3.64, 95% CI: 1.39–9.51). We found no evidence of an association between food insecurity and pica. Conclusion: Pica was a common behavior among women, and the prevalence underscores the need to uncover its dietary, environmental, and cultural etiologies.
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    Vaccination for COVID-19: benchmarks in Public Health and virus transmission
    Lesser, Katherin; Whittaker, Gary R. (2020-02-24)
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    Coronaviruses as a cause of vascular disease: a comparative medicine approach
    Stout, Alison; Andre, Nicole M.; Zimmerberg, Joshua; Baker, Susan; Whittaker, Gary R. (2021-01)
    COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, frequently manifests as a respiratory disease, including coughing, shortness of breath, fever, and loss of smell. However, additional disease manifestations occur across numerous organ systems, due at least in part to vasculitis and endotheliitis. COVID-19-associated multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) was recently identified as a component of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In feline medicine, feline coronavirus is a common pathogen of cats that can lead to a fatal disease called feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Like COVID-19 in humans, clinical manifestations of FIP are due, in part, to coronavirus-induced vasculitis that can also result in a fatal multisystem inflammatory syndrome in cats. As such, studies investigating how feline coronavirus infection can cause disseminated vasculitis in FIP cats will provide new information that can translate to understanding COVID-19 in humans. We argue for a comparative medicine approach for tackling coronavirus diseases.
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    Rethinking feline coronavirus infection outcomes
    Stout, Alison E.; Andre, Nicole M.; Licitra, Beth N.; Whittaker, Gary R. (Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 2020-11-01)
    This article outlines the parallels between feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and COVID-19. The effect of SARS-Cov-2 on the human vascular system are only starting to be understood. From cardiac complications and COVID toes in adults, to multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), the world of human medicine is tackling some of the more perplexing and severe complications of SARS-2 in real time. Dr. Alison Stout and her colleagues at the Whittaker Lab share insights learned from years studying FIP and make a compelling argument for a one-health approach to the global pandemic.
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    Fecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 patients: insights from animal coronaviruses
    Andre, Nicole M.; Stout, Alison E.; Whittaker, Gary R. (JAVMA, 2020-05-15)