Special Issue "Animal Sentinels for Diseases and Environmental Pollution"

A special issue of Veterinary Sciences (ISSN 2306-7381).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2016).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Peter M. Rabinowitz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, and Department of Global Health, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
2 Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
3 Center for One Health Research (COHR), 1959 NE Pacific Street, F551 Health Sciences Center, Box 357234, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
Interests: zoonoses; diseases of animal workers; zoonotic influenza infections; emerging infectious disease; animal sentinels of environmental health hazards; noise and hearing loss
Dr. Lisa A. Conti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1 Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
2 Global One Health Solutions, Tallahassee, FL 32317, USA
3 One Health Initiative
Interests: One Health; zoonoses; food safety; environmental health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Global environmental factors, including population increases, climate change, habitat destruction, and agricultural practices are driving disease emergence (due to both toxic and infectious agents) in both human and animal populations. Due to their increased environmental exposures, susceptibility, and shorter latency for many environmentally induced effects, wild and domestic animals, like the “canary in the coal mine” may act as “sentinels” for environmental health hazards. In addition, humans may serve as sentinels for animal health in some situations. Despite such phenomena, routine communication between human and animal health professionals regarding possible sentinel health events rarely takes place. This issue will explore different aspects of the animal sentinel concept, including how One Health efforts can improve surveillance and management of sentinel events across species.

Prof. Dr. Peter M. Rabinowitz
Dr. Lisa A. Conti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Veterinary Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • animal sentinel
  • surveillance
  • sentinel surveillance
  • animal models
  • environmental monitoring
  • zoonoses
  • communicable disease epidemiology

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

Open AccessReview
Sentinel Animals in a One Health Approach to Harmful Cyanobacterial and Algal Blooms
Vet. Sci. 2016, 3(2), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci3020008 - 21 Apr 2016
Cited by 9
Abstract
People, domestic animals, and wildlife are all exposed to numerous environmental threats, including harmful algal blooms (HABs). However, because animals exhibit wide variations in diet, land use and biology, they are often more frequently or heavily exposed to HAB toxins than are people [...] Read more.
People, domestic animals, and wildlife are all exposed to numerous environmental threats, including harmful algal blooms (HABs). However, because animals exhibit wide variations in diet, land use and biology, they are often more frequently or heavily exposed to HAB toxins than are people occupying the same habitat, making them sentinels for human exposures. Historically, we have taken advantage of unique physiological characteristics of animals, such as the sensitivity of canaries to carbon monoxide, to more quickly recognize threats and help protect human health. As HAB events become more severe and widespread worldwide, exposure and health outcome data for animals can be extremely helpful to predict, prevent, and evaluate human exposures and health outcomes. Applying a One Health approach to investigation of HABs means that lessons learned from animal sentinels can be applied to protect people, animals and our shared environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sentinels for Diseases and Environmental Pollution)
Open AccessReview
Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) as A Sentinel for Exposure to Mercury in Humans: Closing the Loop
Vet. Sci. 2015, 2(4), 407-422; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci2040407 - 12 Nov 2015
Cited by 13
Abstract
Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous global contaminant with important public health implications. Mercury is released from a variety of anthropogenic, industrial processes, enters the earth's atmosphere and is re-deposited onto the earth’s surface in rainfall. Much of this Hg enters the oceans which [...] Read more.
Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous global contaminant with important public health implications. Mercury is released from a variety of anthropogenic, industrial processes, enters the earth's atmosphere and is re-deposited onto the earth’s surface in rainfall. Much of this Hg enters the oceans which cover the majority of the earth’s surface. In the marine environment, inorganic Hg is converted to the most toxic form of the element, methylmercury, and biomagnified through the trophic levels of the food web. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is the apex predator in many estuarine and coastal ecosystems. Due to their long life span and trophic position, bottlenose dolphins bioaccumulate high concentrations of contaminants including Hg, thus making them an important sentinel species for ecosystem and public health. Bottlenose dolphins in Florida bioaccumulate high concentrations of Hg in their blood, skin and internal organs. The concentrations of Hg in blood and skin of bottlenose dolphins of the Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) are among the highest reported world-wide. In previous studies, we demonstrated associations between concentrations of total Hg in the blood and skin of IRL dolphins and markers of endocrine, renal, hepatic, hematologic and immune system dysfunction. The predominant manifestation of exposure to mercury in humans is neurotoxicity. During the 1950s and 1960s, residents of Minamata bay, Japan were exposed to high concentrations of methyl mercury as the result of ingestion of fish and shellfish that had become contaminated in this infamous environmental disaster. Affected adults had severe motor and sensory abnormalities often leading to death. Methyl mercury crosses the placenta during pregnancy. Children exposed in utero were born with multiple congenital anomalies and also suffered from neurologic disorders. Significantly, local cats that consumed Hg contaminated fish developed severe signs of neurotoxicity which led to their subsequent description as the “dancing cats of Minamata bay”. Unfortunately, the cause of these strange manifestations in cats was not recognized in time to prevent hundreds of additional cases from occurring. More recent studies have shown that exposure to mercury as a result of seafood consumption during pregnancy may result in multiple cognitive and neurodevelopmental effects in children. The levels of mercury found in bottlenose dolphins and the health effects we identified alerted us to the possibility of an important public health hazard. The IRL occupies 40 percent of the east coast of Florida and is bordered by counties with approximately 2.5 million human inhabitants. Therefore, we hypothesized that local inhabitants in communities bordering the IRL could be at risk of exposure to Hg from the consumption of fish and shellfish. We measured hair Hg in 135 local residents and found a mean concentration of 1.53 µg/g which was higher than that from previous studies of sport fishermen and coastal residents in other states. Over 50% of participants had a hair Hg concentration which exceeded the U.S. EPA exposure guideline. Hair Hg concentration was directly related to the frequency of seafood consumption and to the proportion of fish and shellfish obtained from local recreational sources. This study clearly exemplifies the importance of an animal sentinel in identifying a public health hazard and is virtually unique in “closing the loop” between animal and human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sentinels for Diseases and Environmental Pollution)
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