Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Emerging virus in raccoons may provide cancer clues

13.12.2012
Rare brain tumors emerging among raccoons in Northern California and Oregon may be linked to a previously unidentified virus discovered by a team of researchers, led by scientists from the University of California, Davis.

Their findings, published today in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, could lead to a better understanding of how viruses can cause cancer in animals and humans.

Necropsies conducted since March 2010 by scientists at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and UC Davis-led California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory found brain tumors in 10 raccoons, nine of which were from Northern California, the article reports. The 10th was sent to UC Davis by researchers at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore.

The common factor, found in all of the tumors, was a newly described virus, dubbed raccoon polyomavirus. Researchers suspect this virus contributes to tumor formation.

Polyomaviruses, which are prevalent but rarely cause cancer, do not typically cross from one species to another, so the outbreak is not expected to spread to people or other animals.

Two more raccoons with the tumor and the virus have been found in Yolo and Marin counties since September 2012, when the article was submitted to the journal for publication.

"Raccoons hardly ever get tumors," said study author Patricia Pesavento, a pathologist with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. "That's why we take notice when we get three tumors, much less 12."

Polyomaviruses are known to cause cancer under laboratory conditions. Less is known about their ability to cause cancer under natural conditions among people, because cancer often takes decades to develop.

Raccoons, with their short lifespans of two to three years, can provide a model for studying how these viruses spread outside the laboratory, how they cause cancer, and how easily they can jump from species to species.

Of the 12 raccoons affected, 10 were collected from Marin County. Pesavento said this does not mean the virus is limited to that county, or even to Northern California. Marin County is home to WildCare, an animal rescue and rehabilitation center that routinely submits animal remains for diagnostic testing, which might result in a sampling bias.

Other California raccoons were submitted by Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Contra Costa County and Sonoma Wildlife Rescue. Pesavento said her lab is collecting specimens and data from other sources across the country, looking for the virus and for raccoon exposure to it.

Pesavento said more research is needed to understand whether an environmental toxin, genetics or other explanation is contributing to the cancer. The study said that raccoons are exposed daily to human waste, garbage, environmental toxins and environmental pathogens as they travel along sewer and water lines.

"This is just the beginning of a story," said Pesavento, adding that high rates of cancer among wildlife are found in animals that live in close proximity to humans. "Wildlife live in our fields, our trash cans, our sewer lines, and that's where we dump things. Humans need to be guardians of the wildlife-human interface, and raccoons are important sentinel animals. They really are exquisitely exposed to our waste. We may be contributing to their susceptibility in ways we haven't discovered."

Infectious pathogens, such as viruses, are associated with 15-20 percent of all human cancers worldwide, according to the American Cancer Society. For example, human papillomavirus can lead to cervical cancer. Feline leukemia virus, for which UC Davis developed a vaccine, can cause cancer in cats. UC Davis also continues to study Marek's disease, a deadly virus in chickens that is providing insight into human cancer.

"This work to investigate natural associations of cancer verifies the importance of our One Health approach to addressing complex biomedical problems, such as viral causes of cancer," said Michael Lairmore, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, of which the UC Davis One Health Institute is a part. "Understanding how infectious agents may contribute to cancer in animals has provided fundamental new knowledge on the cause of cancer in people."

The study was funded through The Bernice Barbour Foundation, the UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health, and Meadowview Foundation.

The study's authors include lead author Florante Dela Cruz, Federico Giannitti and Leslie Woods from UC Davis; Eric Delwart from University of California, San Francisco, and Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco; Linlin Li from Blood Systems Research Institute; and Luis Del Valle from Louisiana State University in New Orleans.

About the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
Leading Veterinary Medicine, Addressing Societal Needs: The School of Veterinary Medicine serves the people of California by providing educational, research, clinical service, and public service programs of the highest quality to advance the health and care of animals, the environment, and the public, and to contribute to the economy. For more information, visit www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu.

About UC Davis

For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has more than 33,000 students, more than 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget of nearly $750 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

Kat Kerlin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdavis.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Genetic Regulation of the Thymus Function Identified
23.08.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Sun protection for plants - Plant substances can protect plants against harmful UV radiation
22.08.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neues DFKI-Projekt SELFIE schlägt innovativen Weg in der Verifikation cyber-physischer Systeme ein

Vor der Markteinführung müssen neue Computersysteme auf ihre Korrektheit überprüft werden. Jedoch ist eine vollständige Verifikation aufgrund der Komplexität heutiger Rechner aus Zeitgründen oft nicht möglich. Im nun gestarteten Projekt SELFIE verfolgt der Forschungsbereich Cyber-Physical Systems des Deutschen Forschungszentrums für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI) unter Leitung von Prof. Dr. Rolf Drechsler einen grundlegend neuen Ansatz, der es Systemen ermöglicht, sich nach der Produktion und Auslieferung selbst zu verifizieren. Das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) unterstützt das Vorhaben über drei Jahre mit einer Fördersumme von 1,4 Millionen Euro.

In den letzten Jahrzehnten wurden enorme Fortschritte in der Computertechnik erzielt. Ergebnis dieser Entwicklung sind eingebettete und cyber-physische...

Im Focus: „Künstliches Atom“ in Graphen-Schicht

Elektronen offenbaren ihre Quanteneigenschaften, wenn man sie in engen Bereichen gefangen hält. Ein Forschungsteam mit TU Wien-Beteiligung baut Elektronen-Gefängnisse in Graphen.

Wenn man Elektronen in einem engen Gefängnis einsperrt, dann benehmen sie sich ganz anders als im freien Raum. Ähnlich wie die Elektronen in einem Atom können...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Quanten-Jonglieren mit freien Elektronen

Göttinger Wissenschaftler manipulieren Quantenzustand freier Elektronen mit Lichtfeldern

In der klassischen Physik kann ein Elektron nur eine einzige, bestimmte Geschwindigkeit annehmen. Quantenmechanisch ist es jedoch möglich, dass es sich in...

Im Focus: Nanopelz gegen die Ölpest

Einige Schwimmfarne können in kurzer Zeit große Mengen Öl aufnehmen, denn ihre Blätter sind zugleich stark wasserabstoßend und in hohem Maße ölabsorbierend. Eine Forschergruppe des KIT hat gemeinsam mit Kollegen der Universität Bonn herausgefunden, dass die Wasserpflanze die ölbindende Eigenschaft der haarähnlichen Mikrostruktur ihrer Blattoberfläche verdankt. Sie dient nun als Vorbild, um das Material Nanofur weiterzuentwickeln, das Ölverschmutzungen umweltfreundlich beseitigen soll. (DOI: 10.1088/1748-3190/11/5/056003)

Beschädigte Pipelines, Tankerhavarien und Unfälle auf Förderplattformen können Wasserflächen mit Roh- oder Mineralöl verschmutzen. Herkömmliche Verfahren zum...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

HTW Berlin richtet im September die 30. EnviroInfo aus

23.08.2016 | Veranstaltungen

micro photonics mit Kurs auf Premiere in Berlin

22.08.2016 | Veranstaltungen

„BirdNumbers 2016“ - 300 Ornithologen kommen zu internationaler Tagung an die Uni Halle

22.08.2016 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Mit Kristallen regenerativ Wasserstoff erzeugen

23.08.2016 | Energie und Elektrotechnik

Signalübertragung zielgenau steuern: Neue Erkenntnisse für künftige Therapieansätze

23.08.2016 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

RWI/ISL-Containerumschlag-Index: Anstieg des Welthandels setzt sich fort

23.08.2016 | Wirtschaft Finanzen