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RESEARCH

Wildlife Health Gent aims to understand the interactions between host, pathogen and environment with a clear link to management and policy. The focus lies on emerging infectious diseases with a negative impact on wildlife health. The main topics we are currently researching are:

1. Chytridiomycosis

A disease in amphibians caused by the chytrid fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Both fungi pose a major threat to survival​​ of amphibians worldwide.

2. Zoonoses and Tick-Borne Diseases

Wildlife can act as a reservoir of zoonoses and tick-borne diseases. Such diseases are for example salmonellosis , bovine tuberculosis and Lyme disease and can have an impact on public health and the economy. However, less is known about the impact of such pathogens on wildlife health and biodiversity in general.

 

3. Hedgehog Health

Over the past decade, the hedgehog population in Northern Europe has declined alarmingly. The reasons are currently unclear and likely involve a complex interplay between environmental stressors and infections.

4. Environmental Stress and Wildlife Health  

The combined impact of different environmental stressors on wildlife is likely to have a negative effect at the population level. Pinpointing key stressors and unraveling the underlying mechanisms can open new avenues for mitigation.

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