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”.

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Now showing 1 - 19 of 19
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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)
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    Feline infectious peritonitis virus-associated rhinitis in a cat
    Andre, Nicole M.; Miller, Andrew; Whittaker, Gary R. (2020-05-13)
    Case Series Summary This report describes a cat with initial respiratory signs prior to developing fulminant feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) after adoption from an animal shelter. Histologic examination of the tissues revealed typical lesions associated with FIP in the lung, liver, large intestine, and small intestine. Histological examination of the nasal cavity revealed pyogranulomatous rhinitis. Immunohistochemistry with FIPV 3-70 targeting FIP antigen in macrophages confirmed FIP and molecular analysis identified a spike protein mutation (R793S) consistent with the presence of an FIPV. Pathological changes, immunolabeling and molecular analysis provide evidence that respiratory infection by feline coronavirus is part of the spectrum of FIP-associated disease. Relevance and novel information This report highlights nasal pathology associated with FIP through a combination of histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and molecular characterization of the virus. Our work supports a little appreciated role of the respiratory tract in FIP.
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    Coronaviruses in cats and other companion animals: where does SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 fit?
    Stout, Alison E.; Andre, Nicole M.; Jaimes, Javier A.; Millet, Jean K.; Whittaker, Gary R. (2020-05-13)
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    Left ventricular volume estimates by two-dimensional echocardiography
    Rishniw, Mark (2019)
    This dataset comprises 224 dogs, imaged for a study to be published.
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    The term "Pilot Study" is misused in veterinary medicine: a critical assessment
    Rishniw, Mark; White, Maurice Edward (Veterinary Record, 2019-08-19)
    Authors commonly use the term ‘Pilot Study’ in the veterinary literature. The term has a specific definition in medical literature, but is not defined in veterinary literature. Therefore, we sought to examine the frequency of the use of the term and the characteristics of studies using the term in the article title, and derive the intended meaning of the term. We identified all articles in veterinary literature using the term in the article title between 2008 and 2017. We then examined specific characteristics of articles published between 2008 and 2012. We found use of the term is increasing (P<0.0001). Of articles using the term between 2008 and 2012, only 20 per cent led to a larger, more comprehensive verifying study. Most garnered few citations, but 75 per cent were cited in review articles. Pilot studies had a median sample size of 10 subjects. We found comparable studies for each pilot study that did not incorporate the term into their titles. None of the authors of any of the pilot studies defined the term or explained why their study was termed a ‘pilot study’. Journals and authors used the term haphazardly. Our findings indicate that the term ‘Pilot Study’ is meaningless because it meets no specific, consistently adhered-to criteria. We believe that authors use the term as a means of ‘Deficiency signaling’ to editors, reviewers and readers. We recommend that authors and journals abandon the term in veterinary literature because it serves no purpose, is not used consistently and might harm veterinary medicine.
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    Are veterinary clinical manuscripts published more slowly than medical or scientific counterparts? A comparative observational study
    Rishniw, Mark; White, Maurice Edward (2018-10-31)
    BACKGROUND Publication speeds of clinically relevant veterinary journals have not been evaluated. METHODS We compared 23 prominent veterinary journals to 11 comparable medical and 4 high-impact science journals and examined select factors that might affect these speeds. Submission date, acceptance date and first online publication date were recorded for 50 sequentially identified research articles from each journal that had been published immediately prior to April 26, 2018. Intervals from submission to acceptance, acceptance to publication, and submission to publication were calculated in days for each article. Data were compared visually across all journals, and statistically by field (veterinary, medical, high-impact), by impact factor and by publisher (commercial vs society) to identify trends or differences in publication intervals. RESULTS When assessed by field, intervals from submission to acceptance (p=0.18), acceptance to publication (p=0.75) and submission to publication (p=0.13) did not differ. Individual journals varied slightly in intervals from submission to acceptance, but varied markedly in intervals from acceptance to publication. Three journals had median intervals from acceptance to publication exceeding 135 days and two exceeding 500 days. Three journals had median intervals from submission to publication exceeding 550 days. Neither impact factor nor publication model affected any intervals. Intervals from submission to acceptance and acceptance to publication were positively associated with overall interval from submission to publication (rho=0.7, P<0.0001 for both associations). CONCLUSIONS Intervals from submission to acceptance for veterinary journals are like those for medical and high-impact journals, suggesting that the review process is similar across fields. However, several veterinary journals have intervals from acceptance to publication approaching 18 months.
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    Developmental Immunotoxicity, Perinatal Programming, and Noncommunicable Diseases: Focus on Human Studies
    Dietert, Rodney R. (Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2014-01-23)
    Developmental immunotoxicity (DIT) is a term given to encompass the environmentally induced disruption of normal immune development resulting in adverse outcomes. A myriad of chemical, physical, and psychological factors can all contribute to DIT. As a core component of the developmental origins of adult disease, DIT is interlinked with three important concepts surrounding health risks across a lifetime: (1) the Barker Hypothesis, which connects prenatal development to later-life diseases, (2) the hygiene hypothesis, which connects newborns and infants to risk of later-life diseases and, (3) fetal programming and epigenetic alterations, which may exert effects both in later life and across future generations.This review of DIT considers: (1) the history and context of DIT research, (2) the fundamental features of DIT, (3) the emerging role of DIT in risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and (4) the range of risk factors that have been investigated through human research.The emphasis on the human DIT-related literature is significant since most prior reviews ofDIT have largely focused on animal research and considerations of specific categories of risk factors (e.g., heavy metals). Risk factors considered in this review include air pollution, aluminum, antibiotics, arsenic, bisphenol A, ethanol, lead (Pb),maternal smoking and environmental tobacco smoke, paracetamol (acetaminophen), pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polyfluorinated compounds.
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    Natural childbirth and breastfeeding as preventive measures of immune-microbiome dysbiosis and misregulated inflammation
    Dietert, Rodney R. (Journal of Ancient Diseases & Preventive Remedies, 2013-06-03)
    Much of the prior century was spent applying the latest emerging technologies toward managing pregnancy, childbirth, and infant development. The idea was that each change was significantly improving the health of our children across their lifetime. But it is now clear that with several of the adopted practices, there have been unintended consequences. We have run the risk of losing certain distinct advantages that were inherently embedded in ancient cultures and practices. Among these were the microbial-rich experiences of natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and agrarian living. These practices permitted children to acquire a complete microbiome thereby facilitating immune development and appropriate later-life immune responses. Perceived technology-associated benefits such as scheduled Caesarian births, urban sanitized living, and earlier and ever increasing vaccine burdens have helped to reduce the burden of some childhood illnesses. But recent studies suggest that they have also produced serious, unanticipated consequences for today’s children: an increased likelihood for human-microbiome incompleteness, lifelong immune dysfunction, and inflammation-promoted chronic disease. This review will examine recent evidence suggesting that a more effective blending of ancient practices and remedies with modern technology and medical knowledge could help to restore the human-microbiome super organism to its historic status, improve pediatric immune homeostasis and reduce risk of later-life chronic diseases.
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    The Completed Self: An Immunological View of the Human-Microbiome Superorganism and Risk of Chronic Diseases
    Dietert, Rodney; Dietert, Janice (MDPI, 2012-10-25)
    In this review, we discuss an immunological-driven sign termed the Completed Self, which is related to a holistic determination of health vs. disease. This sign (human plus commensal microbiota) forms the human superorganism. The worldwide emergence of an epidemic of chronic diseases has caused increased healthcare costs, increased premature mortality and reduced quality of life for a majority of the world’s population. In addition, it has raised questions concerning the interactions between humans and their environment and potential imbalances. Misregulated inflammation, a host defense-homeostasis disorder, appears to be a key biomarker connecting a majority of chronic diseases. We consider the apparent contributors to this disorder that promote a web of interlinked comorbid conditions. Three key events are suggested to play a role: (1) altered epigenetic programming (AEP) that may span multiple generations, (2) developmental immunotoxicity (DIT), and (3) failure to adequately incorporate commensal microbes as a newborn (i.e., the incomplete self). We discuss how these three events can combine to determine whether the human superorganism is able to adequately and completely form during early childhood. We also discuss how corruption of this event can affect the risk of later-life diseases.
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    Energy Medicine and the Path to Globally-Sustainable Health
    Dietert, Rodney R.; Jonsson, Melissa Joy; Mengistu, Kidest; Dietert, Janice M. (Cornell University, 2013-03-04)
    This paper provides key points regarding the significance of energy medicine, a category of complementary and alternative medicine, to a global healthcare approach that is accessible, inclusive, individually-tailored, holistic, and sustainable. The ongoing epidemic of chronic diseases has stretched healthcare systems beyond their capacities, revealed fundamental inadequacies (e.g., to provide equitable access, holistically-driven health and well-being, and a life-course approach to quality of life), and shown that the current approach is unsustainable. Energy Medicine facilitates a way forward for an integrative and sustainable global health approach that redirects care toward greater order vs. disorder and ease vs. dis-ease for individuals and communities.
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    Breaking patterns of environmentally influenced disease for health risk reduction: immune perspectives
    Dietert, Rodney R.; DeWitt, Jamie C.; Germolec, Dori R.; Zelikoff, Judith T. (U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 2010-08)
    BACKGROUND: Diseases rarely, if ever, occur in isolation. Instead, most represent part of a more complex web or "pattern" of conditions that are connected via underlying biological mechanisms and processes, emerge across a lifetime, and have been identified with the aid of large medical databases. OBJECTIVE: We have described how an understanding of patterns of disease may be used to develop new strategies for reducing the prevalence and risk of major immune-based illnesses and diseases influenced by environmental stimuli. FINDINGS: Examples of recently defined patterns of diseases that begin in childhood include not only metabolic syndrome, with its characteristics of inflammatory dysregulation, but also allergic, autoimmune, recurrent infection, and other inflammatory patterns of disease. The recent identification of major immune-based disease patterns beginning in childhood suggests that the immune system may play an even more important role in determining health status and health care needs across a lifetime than was previously understood. CONCLUSIONS: Focusing on patterns of disease, as opposed to individual conditions, offers two important venues for environmental health risk reduction. First, prevention of developmental immunotoxicity and pediatric immune dysfunction can be used to act against multiple diseases. Second, pattern-based treatment of entryway diseases can be tailored with the aim of disrupting the entire disease pattern and reducing the risk of later-life illnesses connected to underlying immune dysfunction. Disease-pattern-based evaluation, prevention, and treatment will require a change from the current approach for both immune safety testing and pediatric disease management.