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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Kansas State researchers investigate the threat of influenza from amphibians.

Equine flu. Canine flu. Now do we have to worry about the frog flu, too?If you needed another reason to wash your hands after handling a frog other than warding off salmonellosis, researchers at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine have a new set of zoonoses to concern you that could be acquired from our amphibian friends—viral disease. Yongming Sang, PhD, is leading a project investigating the role of inferons in amphibians and how it might translate to viral transmission to people. The first publication of their work, featured in Nature’s Scientific Reports, discusses intronless interferons in amphibians, all signaling the need to more closely observe these vertebrates. "Amphibians have a previously unknown complexity within their antimicrobial interferon system, which is highly and differentially responsive to influenza infections,” says Sang in a release from Kansas State. “This suggests the need to study the possible role of wild amphibians as overlooked reservoirs/end hosts for influenza and other zoonotic pathogenic infections." continue