Andrew A Cunningham

Andrew A Cunningham
Zoological Society of London | IoZ · Institute of Zoology

BVMS PhD Dip ECZM (WPH) MRCVS

About

606
Publications
177,164
Reads
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30,432
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2015 - August 2021
Zoological Society of London
Position
  • Managing Director
December 1988 - present
Zoological Society of London
Education
October 1996 - May 2001
Royal Veterinary College, University of London
Field of study
  • Wildlife Pathology and Epidemiology
September 1982 - June 1987
University of Glasgow
Field of study
  • Veterinary Medicine and Surgery

Publications

Publications (606)
Article
Full-text available
This work was funded by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation Grant Number NE/J001570/1 and the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme under ANTIGONE with Project Number 278976. AAC is supported by a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit award.
Article
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Bats are natural reservoirs of several important emerging viruses. Cross-species transmission appears to be quite common among bats, which may contribute to their unique reservoir potential. Therefore, understanding the importance of bats as reservoirs requires examining them in a community context rather than concentrating on individual species. H...
Article
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A link between paternal care and territoriality has been described in several anuran species. The southern Darwin's frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) has developed a highly specialized form of paternal care known as neomelia, in which males ingest developing embryos and transport them in their vocal sacs until metamorphosis is completed. Based on the main...
Article
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Following the first detection in the United Kingdom of Usutu virus (USUV) in wild birds in 2020, we undertook a multidisciplinary investigation that combined screening host and vector populations with interrogation of national citizen science monitoring datasets to assess the potential for population impacts on avian hosts. Pathological findings fr...
Article
Urbanization is driving many species to inhabit modified landscapes, but our understanding of how species respond to this remains limited. Bats are particularly vulnerable due to their life‐history traits but have received little attention. We describe the roosting behavior and roost site selection, including maternity roosts, for the Gambian epaul...
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Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been recognized as the infectious disease causing the most catastrophic loss of biodiversity known to science, with South America being the most impacted region. We tested whether Bd prevalence is distributed among host taxonomy, ecoregion, conservation status and habita...
Article
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Compensatory recruitment is a key demographic mechanism that has allowed the coexistence of populations of susceptible amphibians with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a fungus causing one of the most devastating emerging infectious disease ever recorded among vertebrates. However, the underlying processes (e.g. density‐dependent increase in su...
Article
Full-text available
The crisis generated by the emergence and pandemic spread of COVID-19 has thrown into the global spotlight the dangers associated with novel diseases, as well as the key role of animals, especially wild animals, as potential sources of pathogens to humans. There is a widespread demand for a new relationship with wild and domestic animals, including...
Preprint
Full-text available
Outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases are trained by local biotic and abiotic factors, with host declines occurring when conditions favour the pathogen. Extinction of the Tanzanian Kihansi spray toad (Nectophrynoides asperginis) in 2004 was contemporaneous with the construction of a dam, implicating habitat modification in the loss of this spec...
Article
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Emerging infectious diseases in wildlife are increasingly associated with animal mortality and species declines, but their source and genetic characterization often remains elusive. Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been associated with catastrophic and well-documented amphibian population dec...
Article
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Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has caused the greatest known loss of biodiversity due to an infectious disease. We used Bd infection data from quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assays of amphibian skin swabs collected across Chile during 2008–2018 to model Bd occurrence with the aim to determin...
Article
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Citation: Jolma, E.R.; Gibson, L.; Suu-Ire, R.D.; Fleischer, G.; Asumah, S.; Languon, S.; Restif, O.; Wood, J.L.N.; Cunningham, A.A. Longitudinal Secretion of Paramyxovirus RNA in the Urine of Straw-Coloured Fruit Bats (Eidolon helvum). Viruses 2021, 13, 1654. Abstract: The straw-coloured fruit bat (Eidolon helvum) is widespread in sub-Saharan Af...
Article
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Bats have been identified as the natural hosts of several emerging zoonotic viruses, including paramyxoviruses, such as Hendra and Nipah viruses, that can cause fatal disease in humans. Recently, African fruit bats with populations that roost in or near urban areas have been shown to harbour a great diversity of paramyxoviruses, posing potential sp...
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing the imperative to evaluate species recovery and conservation impact, in 2012 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for development of a "Green List of Species" (now the IUCN Green Status of Species). A draft Green Status framework for assessing species' progress toward recovery, published in 2018, proposed 2 s...
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing the imperative to evaluate species recovery and conservation impact, in 2012 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for development of a "Green List of Species" (now the IUCN Green Status of Species). A draft Green Status framework for assessing species' progress toward recovery, published in 2018, proposed 2 s...
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing the imperative to evaluate species recovery and conservation impact, in 2012 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for development of a "Green List of Species" (now the IUCN Green Status of Species). A draft Green Status framework for assessing species' progress toward recovery, published in 2018, proposed 2 s...
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing the imperative to evaluate species recovery and conservation impact, in 2012 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for development of a “Green List of Species” (now the IUCN Green Status of Species). A draft Green Status framework for assessing species’ progress toward recovery, published in 2018, proposed 2 s...
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing the imperative to evaluate species recovery and conservation impact, in 2012 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for development of a "Green List of Species" (now the IUCN Green Status of Species). A draft Green Status framework for assessing species' progress toward recovery, published in 2018, proposed 2 s...
Article
Full-text available
The source of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown, but the natural host of the progenitor sarbecovirus is thought to be Asian horseshoe (rhinolophid) bats. We identified and sequenced a novel sarbecovirus (RhGB01) from a British horseshoe bat, at the western extreme of the rhinolophid range. Our results extend both the geographic and species ranges of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Bats have been identified as the natural hosts of several emerging zoonotic viruses, including paramyxoviruses, such as Hendra and Nipah viruses, that can cause fatal disease in humans. Recently, African fruit bats with populations that roost in or near urban areas have been shown to harbour a great diversity of paramyxoviruses, posing potential sp...
Preprint
Full-text available
The straw-coloured fruit bat (Eidolon helvum) is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa and is widely hunted for bushmeat. It is known to harbour a range of paramyxoviruses, including rubuloviruses and henipaviruses, but the zoonotic potential of these is unknown. We previously found a diversity of paramyxoviruses within a small, captive colony of E. hel...
Article
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The mountain chicken frog (Leptodactylus fallax) is a critically endangered frog native to the Caribbean islands of Dominica and Montserrat. Over the past 25 years their populations have declined by over 85%, largely due to a chytridiomycosis outbreak that nearly wiped out the Montserratian population. Within the context of developing tools that ca...
Article
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When facing an emerging infectious disease of conservation concern, we often have little information on the nature of the host-parasite interaction to inform management decisions. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the life-history strategies of host species can be predictive of individual and population-level responses to infectious d...
Article
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The mountain chicken frog (Leptodactylus fallax) is the largest endemic amphibian species in the Western Hemisphere. Since 1998, this critically endangered species has been maintained as a European Endangered Species Programme, but low breeding success and a high mortality rate threaten the sustainability of the captive frog population. In the curr...
Article
Avian knemidokoptosis, caused by knemidokoptid mites (Knemidokoptinae: Epidermoptidae), has been reported in wild and domestic birds globally. We report two cases of severe knemidokoptosis in Dunnocks (Prunella modularis) from separate sites in Great Britain, where the disease has previously been reported predominantly in finches and, less frequen...
Preprint
Full-text available
The source of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown, but the natural host of the progenitor sarbecovirus is thought to be Asian horseshoe (rhinolophid) bats. We identified and sequenced a novel sarbecovirus (RhGB01) from a British horseshoe bat, at the western extreme of the rhinolophid range. Our results extend both the geographic and species ranges of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Infectious diseases result from multiple interactions among microbes and hosts, but community ecology approaches are rarely applied. Manipulation of vector populations provides a unique opportunity to test the importance of vectors in infection cycles while also observing changes in pathogen community diversity and species interactions. Yet for man...
Article
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Over recent decades, Chinese giant salamanders Andrias spp. have declined dramatically across much of their range. Overexploitation and habitat degradation have been widely cited as the cause of these declines. To investigate the relative contribution of each of these factors in driving the declines, we carried out standardized ecological and quest...
Article
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1. Determining the dynamics and sustainability of human interactions with threatened species is essential to inform evidence-based conservation, but data can be challenging to collect across large areas and multiple user groups. 2. Chinese giant salamanders Andrias spp. are critically depleted across China. Wild populations were exploited during th...
Article
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Multiple national and international trends and drivers are radically changing what biological security means for the United Kingdom (UK). New technologies present novel opportunities and challenges, and globalisation has created new pathways and increased the speed, volume and routes by which organisms can spread. The UK Biological Security Strateg...
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Rabies is a fatal neurologic disease caused by lyssavirus infection. Bats are important natural reservoir hosts of various lyssaviruses that can be transmitted to people. The epidemiology and pathogenesis of rabies in bats are poorly understood, making it difficult to prevent zoonotic transmission. To further our understanding of lyssavirus pathoge...
Article
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Bats are an important source of viral zoonoses, including paramyxoviruses. The paramyxoviral Pararubulavirus genus contains viruses mostly derived from bats that are common, diverse, distributed throughout the Old World, and known to be zoonotic. Here, we describe a new member of the genus Achimota pararubulavirus 3 (AchPV3) and its isolation from...
Article
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In August 2020, as part of a long-term disease surveillance programme, Usutu virus was detected in five Eurasian blackbirds (Turdus merula) and one house sparrow (Passer domesticus) from Greater London, England. This was initially detected by reverse transcription-PCR and was confirmed by virus isolation and by immunohistochemical detection of flav...
Article
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The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a very powerful method to detect and identify pathogens. The high sensitivity of the method however comes with a cost; any of the millions of artificial DNA copies generated by PCR can serve as a template in a following experiment. If not identified as contaminations, these may result in erroneous conclusions...
Article
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Darwin's frogs Rhinoderma darwinii and Rhinoderma rufum are the only known species of amphibians in which males brood their offspring in their vocal sacs. We propose these frogs as flagship species for the conservation of the Austral temperate forests of Chile and Argentina. This recommendation forms part of the vision of the Binational Conservatio...
Article
The black flying-fox (Pteropus alecto) is extending its range southward and is now sympatric with the grey-headed flying-fox, (P. poliocephalus) in New South Wales. Competition for food between the two species has been suggested as a contributor to declines of the vulnerable grey-headed flying-fox. During winter 2016 the diet of both species was in...
Preprint
Full-text available
The crisis generated by the emergence and pandemic spread of COVID-19 has thrown into the global spotlight the dangers associated with novel diseases, as well as the key role of animals, especially wild animals, as potential sources of pathogens to humans. There is a widespread demand for a new relationship with wild and domestic animals, including...
Article
Full-text available
Participation in conservation citizen science projects is growing rapidly and approaches to project design are diversifying. There has been a recent shift towards projects characterised by contributors collecting data in isolation and submitting findings online, with little training or opportunities for direct social interaction with other citizen...
Article
Full-text available
The Kihansi spray toad, Nectophrynoides asperginis, became extinct in the wild despite population monitoring and conservation management of its habitat in the Kihansi gorge, Tanzania. Previous investigations have indicated human induced habitat modification, predators, pesticides and disease as possible causes of a rapid population decline and the...
Article
The Kihansi spray toad, Nectophrynoides asperginis, became extinct in the wild despite population monitoring and conservation management of its habitat in the Kihansi gorge, Tanzania. Previous investigations have indicated human induced habitat modification, predators, pesticides and disease as possible causes of a rapid population decline and the...
Article
Provision of supplementary food for garden birds is practiced on a large scale in multiple countries. While this resource has benefits for wild bird populations, concern has been expressed regarding the potential for contamination of foodstuffs by mycotoxins, and the implications this might have for wildlife health. We investigated whether aflatoxi...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Book
Full-text available
Binational Conservation Strategy fro Darwin's frogs www.estrategiarhinoderma.org
Article
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Recent outbreaks of animal-borne emerging infectious diseases have likely been precipitated by a complex interplay of changing ecological, epidemiological and socio-economic factors. Here, we develop modelling methods that capture elements of each of these factors, to predict the risk of Ebola virus disease (EVD) across time and space. Our modellin...
Article
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Pathogen circulation among reservoir hosts is a precondition for zoonotic spillover. Unlike the acute, high morbidity infections typical in spillover hosts, infected reservoir hosts often exhibit low morbidity and mortality. Although it has been proposed that reservoir host infections may be persistent with recurrent episodes of shedding, direct ev...
Article
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Abstract Inaccurate taxonomic assessment of threatened populations can hinder conservation prioritization and management, with human‐mediated population movements obscuring biogeographic patterns and confounding reconstructions of evolutionary history. Giant salamanders were formerly distributed widely across China, and are interpreted as a single...
Article
Full-text available
The infectious chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans ( Bsal ) has been responsible for severe population declines of salamander populations in Europe. Serious population declines and loss of urodelan diversity may occur if appropriate action is not taken to mitigate against the further spread and impact of Bsal . We provide an overview o...
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Demodicosis is most frequently observed in the domestic dog (Canis familiaris), but it has rarely been reported in bats (Chiroptera). The overpopulation of Demodex spp. that causes dermatological changes is generally associated with a compromised immune system. We describe the gross and histological features of generalized demodicosis in an adult f...
Poster
Two adult Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major) from separate sites in Great Britain were examined postmortem in 2013 and 2016. A Salmonella sp. was isolated from multiple tissues in both birds. Histopathology and immunohistochemistry confirmed disseminated salmonellosis. Whole-genome sequencing and biochemical analyses putatively identifie...
Article
Full-text available
In Europe, Trichomonas gallinae recently emerged as a cause of epidemic disease in songbirds. A highly virulent and clonal strain of the parasite, first found in the UK, has become the predominant strain there and spread to continental Europe. Discriminating this epidemic strain of T. gallinae from other strains necessitated development of multi-lo...
Article
Full-text available
Parasites have the capacity to affect animal populations by modifying host survival, and it is increasingly recognized that infectious disease can negatively impact biodiversity. Populations of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) have declined in many European towns and cities, but the causes of these declines remain unclear. We investigated asso...
Preprint
Two adult Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major) from separate sites in Great Britain were examined postmortem in 2013 and 2016. A Salmonella sp. was isolated from multiple tissues in both birds. Histopathology and immunohistochemistry confirmed disseminated salmonellosis. Whole-genome sequencing and biochemical analyses putatively identifie...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Kihansi spray toad, Nectophrynoides asperginis , became extinct in the wild despite population monitoring and conservation management of its habitat in the Kihansi gorge, Tanzania. Anecdotal evidence has indicated human induced habitat modification, predators, pesticides and disease as possible causes of a rapid population decline and the speci...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging infectious diseases are an increasingly important threat to wildlife conservation, with amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the disease most commonly associated with species declines and extinctions. However, some amphibians can be infected with B. dendrobatidis in the absence of disease and can act as res...