Presence of zoonotic pathogens in wildlife marketplace for human consumption in Laos

In a current research printed in Rising Infectious Illnesses, an interdisciplinary workforce of researchers from totally different nations examined numerous animal species from wildlife commerce websites to detect the presence of zoonotic pathogens in Laos, South East Asia.

Study: Zoonotic Pathogens in Wildlife Traded in Markets for Human Consumption, Laos. Image Credit: Vaclav Matous/Shutterstock
Examine: Zoonotic Pathogens in Wildlife Traded in Markets for Human Consumption, Laos. Picture Credit score: Vaclav Matous/Shutterstock

Wildlife animal buying and selling and consumption amplified by the encroachment of people into the pure ecosystem led to the emergence of assorted infectious ailments. The buying and selling and consumption of wildlife animals have been liable for numerous illness outbreaks similar to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), Ebola, Monkeypox, and even the current coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19).

Wildlife commerce markets amalgamate numerous pathogenic species in shut contact usually in unsanitary and dense circumstances resulting in amplification, mixing, and transmission of zoonotic pathogens amongst totally different species together with people.

Presently, there’s a important want for figuring out pathogens in traded wildlife to develop enough measures for combating zoonotic ailments and assess future environmental and societal prices of wildlife commerce.

Examine design

On this research, the authors collected samples from 9 wildlife commerce hotspots and two roadside stalls known as commerce websites in Laos. Additional samples have been collected from wildlife confiscated in markets by three Provincial Workplaces of Forest Inspection (POFI).

A complete of 717 wildlife samples from 359 animals have been collected. Amongst these, over 461 samples from 324 animals have been collected from wildlife commerce websites and 256 samples from 35 animals have been collected from POFI.

Totally different animal samples similar to urogenital swabs, urine samples, blood samples, and liver, kidney, and spleen tissue have been collected relying on whether or not animals have been alive, lifeless, or butchered.

Nucleic acid was extracted utilizing a QIAGEN equipment. The polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) concentrating on Leptospira spp., Rickettsia spp., Anaplasmataceae, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Ehrlichia chaffeensisCoxiella burnetti, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, hantavirus, flaviviruses, Zika virus, dengue virus, and common bacterial 16S RNA was performed. PCR samples have been sequenced and in contrast via the fundamental native alignment search device (BLASTN).

The authors carried out univariate, descriptive, and multivariate analyses, and a mixed-effect logistic regression mannequin estimated the affect of the processing standing of untamed meat on the danger of Leptospira detection.


The findings of the research demonstrated that among the many animals sampled within the wildlife market, greater than 37% belong to vertebrate species from 12 totally different households. Over 73% of animals sampled have been Sciuridae squirrels representing 16 species and 20.3% have been Pallas’s squirrel (Callosciurus erythraeus).

Amongst animals sampled from Wildlife commerce websites, greater than 20% of animals specimens had at the very least ≥ 1 constructive pattern by PCR for ≥ 1 zoonotic pathogens in 90.9% of whole websites. Of the 324 animals examined 20.1% have been constructive for Leptospira spp., 9.8% for Rickettsia spp, 4.9% for Anaplasmataceae, and 0% for O. tsutsugamushi.

In wildlife collected from POFI websites, greater than 71% of animals have been examined constructive by PCR for ≥ 1 zoonotic pathogen. Amongst them, 25.7% of animal species have been constructive for Leptospira spp, 57.1% for Rickettsia spp, 17.1% for Anaplasmataceae, and 5.7% for O. tsutsugamushi. Sequencing identification match recognized R. felis, R. conorii, R. typhi and Anaplasma species (both A. capra, A. centrale, or A. marginale), A. platys, A. phagocytophilum, A. bovisLactococcus garvieae, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and Kurthia populi. No animal species have been constructive for C. burnetii, dengue virus, flavivirus, and Zika virus.

The workforce noticed that two animal species – variable squirrel (Callosciurus finlaysonii) and the frequent palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) had 45.5% and 46.4% of Leptospira spp.–constructive specimens, respectively. Leptospira spp.–positivity within the dry season was 25.6% whereas within the moist season it was 11.6%.

Species and province-based information disaggregation demonstrated that the seasonality noticed was pushed by ends in variable squirrels and customary palm civets within the Champasak Province. The authors noticed no affiliation between the chance of an animal testing constructive for Leptospira spp and the animal being alive, freshly lifeless, or frozen.

Within the a number of samples from a subset of Leptospira spp.– constructive animals, 75% of urogenital swab samples, and 50% of blood samples have been constructive. Rickettsia spp was solely detected within the strong organs just like the liver, spleen, and kidney of animal species.


The findings of the research demonstrated a considerable threat of publicity of zoonotic pathogens to the human inhabitants via consumption and dealing with of untamed animal meat.

On this research, squirrels had the best pathogen range and have been traded continuously within the Laos market. Leptospira spp. was probably the most infectious and continuously detected pathogen within the majority of animal species adopted by Rickettsia typhi and R. felis.

The frequent prevalence of Leptospira in wild animals that may be transmitted via mucous membranes and abraded pores and skin poses a considerable well being threat to hunters, distributors, and shoppers.

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