Bat surveillance in Kenya: searching for emerging zoonotic pathogens
Rokhsar, Jennifer L.
Bats have long been known to host many infectious agents. This is unsurprising, as to date, viruses from over 60 groups have been reported in bats. Many of the pathogens are an extreme public health risk as they lead to diseases that result in fatal encephalitides (rabies, Nipah, Hendra viruses) and hemorrhagic fevers (Marburg, Ebola viruses). Even more worrisome, recent disease surveillance in various regions (such as Kenya, Uganda, Bangladesh, Peoples Republic of China), have shown species of bats to be hosts of emerging infectious pathogens that have been proven a public health threat to the people they live among (example: the SARs 2003 outbreak in China, Marburg fever outbreaks in Africa, Nipah encephalitis outbreaks in Bangladesh). In this modern world with increased mobility of animals, animal products, and people, evidence of a pathogen at a certain location could potentially pose a larger global threat. These field surveys were under taken during 2006-2009 with partial support from the Global Disease Detection Program and O.C. Hubert Fellowship in International Public Health and Epidemiology – from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (4,2). By collecting a selected sample size of various bat species throughout the southern half of Kenya, we are looking for novel emerging and re-emerging pathogens, trying to better understand their pathobiology, distribution and circulation patterns, and the existing and potential threat for veterinary and public health, as well as for the bat populations.
Senior seminar paperSeminar SF610.1 2010
Bats -- Virus diseases -- Epidemiology -- Kenya