Domesticated animals provide vital link to emergence of new diseases

Pets and other domesticated animals could provide new clues into the emergence of infections that can spread between animals and humans. The study showed that the number of parasites and pathogens shared by humans and animals is related to how long animals have been domesticated. The findings suggest that although wild animals may be important for the transmission of new diseases to humans, humanity’s oldest companions — livestock and pets such as cattle and dogs — provide the vital link in the emergence of new diseases.

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