Emerging infectious diseases threaten global biodiversity and public health. Our project goal is to enhance the capability for detection of zoonotic and emerging pathogens in Asian wildlife and people. Samples will be collected from wild animals and people working in the animal-human-ecosystem interface for analysis of selected viral and bacterial pathogens and antimicrobial resistance.
The 3-year project will include surveillance and screening of elephants and wildlife workers for tuberculosis, along with sampling primates and rodents for other zoonotic pathogens. Safe and efficient immobilization techniques will be developed to enable optimal sample collection and to ensure human safety and animal welfare during handling of wildlife. Cutting edge technologies will be used for evaluation of physiological functions to prevent complications during immobilization, and for identification of novel pathogens.
A strong emphasis will be put on strengthening individual and institutional capacities in conjunction with the research activities. With an emphasis on the One Health approach, contributing collaborators are from complementary fields of veterinary and human health, microbiology, metagenomics, bioinformatics, and wildlife conservation at scientific and governmental institutions. Our research on emerging pathogens and wildlife immobilization is of direct relevance for local livelihoods (health and poverty alleviation), wildlife resource management and biodiversity conservation.
Project coordinator: Åsa Fahlman, Associate Professor in Wildlife Medicine. Phone: 070-6106388
Funding agencies: Swedish Research Council - Project Grant, Development Research, and Kolmården Fund Raising Foundation
Collaborative partners: Professor Sunil-Chandra, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka