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    ABSTRACT: Pet birds are a not-so-well known veterinarian's clientship fraction. Bought individually or in couples, as families often do (which is a lucrative business for pet shops or local breeders) or traded (sometimes illegally) for their very high genetic or exotic value, these birds, commonly canaries, parakeets or parrots, are regularly sold at high prices. These animals, however, are potential carriers and/or transmitters of zoonotic diseases. Some of them could have an important impact on human health, like chlamydophilosis, salmonellosis or even highly pathogenic avian influenza A H5N1. This review paper, although non exhaustive, aims at enlightening, by the description of several cases of bird-human transmission, the risks encountered by bird owners, including children. Public health consequences will be discussed and emphasis will be made on some vector-borne diseases, known to be emergent or which are underestimated, like those transmitted by the red mite Dermanyssus gallinae. Finally, biosecurity and hygiene, as well as prevention guidelines will be developed and perspectives proposed.
    Veterinary Research 05/2013; 44(1):36. DOI:10.1186/1297-9716-44-36 · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There are an estimated 0.5 - 1 million mite species on earth. Among the many mites that are known to affect humans and animals, only a subset are parasitic but these can cause significant disease. We aim here to provide an overview of the most recent work in this field in order to identify common biological features of these parasites and to inform common strategies for future research. There is a critical need for diagnostic tools to allow for better surveillance and for drugs tailored specifically to the respective parasites. Multi-'omics' approaches represent a logical and timely strategy to identify the appropriate mite molecules. Recent advances in sequencing technology enable us to generate de novo genome sequence data, even from limited DNA resources. Consequently, the field of mite genomics has recently emerged and will now rapidly expand, which is a particular advantage for parasitic mites that cannot be cultured in vitro. Investigations of the microbiota associated with mites will elucidate the link between parasites and pathogens, and define the role of the mite in transmission and pathogenesis. The databases generated will provide the crucial knowledge essential to design novel diagnostic tools, control measures, prophylaxes, drugs and immunotherapies against the mites and associated secondary infections.
    International Journal for Parasitology 09/2014; 44(12). DOI:10.1016/j.ijpara.2014.08.003 · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, poses a significant threat to poultry production and hen health in many parts of the world. With D. gallinae increasingly suspected of being a disease vector, and reports indicating that attacks on alternative hosts, including humans, are becoming more common, the economic importance of this pest has increased greatly. As poultry production moves away from conventional cage systems in many parts of the world, D. gallinae is likely to become more abundant and difficult to control. Control remains dominated by the use of synthetic acaricides, although resistance and treatment failure are widely reported. Alternative control measures are emerging from research devoted to D. gallinae and its management. These alternative control measures are beginning to penetrate the market, although many remain at the precommercial stage. This review compiles the expanding body of research on D. gallinae and assesses options for its current and future control. We conclude that significant advances in D. gallinae control are most likely to come through an integrated approach adopting recent research into existing and novel control strategies; this is being combined with improved monitoring and modeling to better inform treatment interventions.
    Annual Review of Entomology 01/2014; 59:447-66. DOI:10.1146/annurev-ento-011613-162101 · 13.02 Impact Factor