Screening technique casts wider net in search for pathogens in lemurs

Duke University researchers used whole-transcriptome sequencing to screen blood samples from lemurs in Madagascar, and they identified Babesia, Borrelia and Candidatus neoehrlichia. At least some of the pathogens were likely brought to the island by livestock and pets, and such agents may also pose a risk to humans. Standard screening approaches look for known pathogens, said veterinarian Cathy Williams, making it difficult to detect new, unexpected agents. The study underscores the need for screening approaches that can find a wider range of emerging diseases, experts said. (1/27)

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