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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Research on animal-borne parasites and pathogens helps prevent human disease


A large body of basic and applied research conducted at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) has focused on micro- or macroparasites that infest humans, domestic animals and wildlife, including viruses, bacteria, protozoans, helminths and blood-sucking arthropods. Approximately 17 microorganisms detected at the HREC are transmitted by ticks, and of these, at least five cause zoonotic diseases — animal-borne diseases that can be transmitted to people. Scientists working at the HREC identified the basic transmission cycle of the Lyme disease spirochete in the far-western United States. This information now is being used to develop and implement risk-assessment and preventive strategies.

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