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Bighorn pandemics

Oak

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There has been a desire by many in the wild sheep conservation world to compare the COVID-19 pandemic to the interminable disease issue faced by bighorn sheep in the western United States. Mike Cox, NDOW bighorn sheep biologist and current chair of the WAFWA Wild Sheep Working Group took a stab at it. Despite the clear differences between COVID-19 and respiratory disease in bighorn sheep, I believe there are enough similarities to facilitate a better understanding from the general public. Check out this short read.

Human COVID-19 and Wild Sheep Disease Pandemics
 

Oak

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Despite the duplicated paragraph that wasn't deleted when it was moved. ;)
 

ScottP

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I definitely agree. We may see even more parallels as this unfolds. Research is being conducted on how environmental conditions may impact cilia function in human airways, and our ability to remove pathogens we inhale during the day.

One of the most important pieces of research in bighorn respiratory disease research was when Tom Besser at WSU identified the bacteria that compromised cilia function and opened the door for a host of respiratory pathogens that ultimately resulted in die-offs.
 

Oak

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Here's a recent paper that looks at the genetic structure of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae to determine the source of pathogens from spillover events that have lead to disease in bighorn sheep. Noteworthy is that, while most spillovers can be attributed to contact with domestic sheep, this research identified at least 3 likely spillovers from domestic goats.

You can download the paper using the Download link in the upper right corner:

Genetic Structure of Mycoplasma Ovipneumoniae Informs Pathogen Spillover Dynamics Between Domestic and Wild Caprinae in the Western United States
 

ScottP

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Jan 29, 2013
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Oregon
In keeping with the comparison between SARS-CoV-2 and BHS respiratory disease, here is a nice complement to Oak's link to the Nature paper. It displays the genome sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus strains and how they've moved about the globe. Graphical consequences of our well-connected planet.

Nextstrain Genome Sequencing
 
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