pte20200511036 Medicine / Wellness, Research / Development
Microbiome similar to University of Texas at San Antonio with occasional contact
Monkey: Social Distancing also important for animals (Photo: pixabay.com, ElvisCZ)
San Antonio (pte036 / 11.05.2020 / 13: 35) – Social Distancing prevents the spread of diseases not only in humans, but also in monkeys. The closer individual animals are to each other within a social network, the more similar is the microbiome in their intestines, i.e. the entirety of the microorganisms living there. This is shown by a study by the University of Texas at San Antonio http://utsa.edu.
“Parallels to the current situation”
“The social transmission of microbiota among monkeys can help us in research on the spread of diseases. There are parallels here with our current situation. We want to find out how social distancing in the coronavirus pandemic and future outbreaks of diseases prevent their spread can, “says Eva Wikberg, co-author of the study.
For the study, the researchers analyzed the faeces of 45 female black and white colobus monkeys. The animals live in eight different social groups in a small forest in Ghana. During the investigation, there were strong differences between the microbiomes of the individual groups.
Volatile contact is enough
Monkeys from different groups, which were more closely connected in the entire social network in the forest, had similar microbiomes. This means that even occasional contact between animals leads to the transmission of microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses. The research team assumes similar dangers in humans. Even fleeting interactions can be contagious in diseases like the corona virus.