How Veterinary Medicine Affects Human Health


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How Veterinary Medicine Affects Human Health

  1. 1. How Veterinary 1How Veterinary Medicine Affects Human Health by Sandra Cash Professor Bouchard Crown College English Composition, Section 111 4 December 2011
  2. 2. How Veterinary 2 Abstract This paper talks about how veterinary medicine affects human health. It talksabout how veterinary medicine helped with Yellow Fever, Influenza and Malaria. It alsodeals with how veterinary research has found pathogenic agents such as Salmonella,Brucella, and E. Coli, which in turn brings about how veterinarians play a huge part inour food safety. Another issue is that veterinary medicine has also helped developsurgical techniques such as hip-joint replacements, and organ transplants. Lastly, ittalks about how veterinary medicine will affect human health in the future. Thepossibilities are numberless, but veterinary medicine will continue to impact humanhealth.
  3. 3. How Veterinary 3 When people think of veterinarians, they usually think of only a person who takescare of animals. What they do not realize is that veterinarians do not just take care ofanimals, they also help in human health too. Throughout history, veterinary medicinehas helped improve human health, and continues to do so. First, in order to show howbig an impact veterinary medicine has on human health, one must look back throughhistory. After this then one can see how veterinary medicine has influenced humanhealth in today’s age. Thirdly, veterinary medicine is a big part of food safety. Next,veterinary medicine has found and is preventing pathogenic agents. Lastly, in the future,veterinary medicine will continue to help human health. The earliest document written on how to cure animals is from China, datingaround 4000-3000 B.C. (Ho, 2005). From there veterinary medicine has kept growinginto what it is today. In 1885, veterinarian Daniel Salmon, identified Salmonella(Steele,2008). The discovery of this pathogenic agent subsequently helped in finding acure for Salmonella poisoning. Later a French military veterinarian discovered Tetanustoxoid (Steele,2008). Tetanus toxoid is used as a vaccine to prevent Tetanus, a diseasewhere voluntary muscles spasm for long times ("Tetanus toxoid (intramuscular," 2011). Later veterinarians played an important role in understanding and conqueringMalaria, Yellow Fever, and the mystery of Botulism (Bureau of Labor Statistics& U.S.Department of Labor Veterinarians, 2009). They played an important role inunderstanding these diseases by noticing how it seemed to affect both humans andanimals. They then were able to do research on the animals in hopes of finding a curethat would work for both animals and humans.
  4. 4. How Veterinary 4 Later in April of 1983, an Influenza virus was discovered in a chicken house inPennsylvania (Morse, 1996). The Agriculture Department was very fortunate that aveterinarian was able to isolate H5N2 virus from one of the infected chickens, rightbefore the virus became virulent (Morse, 1996). They had to kill every chick in thehouse, but thanks to being able to isolate a part of H5N2 the virus they were able tostop it from becoming a huge epidemic in humans (Morse, 1996). Veterinarian J.S.Koen found human Influenza viruses can replicate in pigs (Oldstone, 2000). He foundthis out after observing that pigs that have Influenza have very closely relatedsymptoms as humans who have Influenza (Oldstone, 2000). These are just a few mainexamples of how veterinary medicine has affected human health. Today’s veterinary medicine has helped in producing an anticoagulant used totreat some people with heart disease, and has developed surgical techniques forhumans such as joint replacements, and organ transplants (Bureau of Labor Statistics &U.S. Department of Labor Veterinarians, 2009). Sometimes veterinarians helpdetermine the effects of drug therapies, and antibiotics by testing them on animals(Bureau of Labor Statistics& U.S. Department of Labor Veterinarians, 2009). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009 the federal governmentemployed roughly 1,300 veterinarians, mostly in the U.S. Department of Agriculture andthe U.S. food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (Bureau ofLabor Statistics& U.S. Department of Labor Veterinarians, 2009). These veterinariansare involved in food safety and inspection. Veterinarians who are livestock inspectorscheck animals for transmissible diseases such as E. Coli, so that these diseases will notbe transmitted to the people who eat the food (Career Books and eBooks, 2011). They
  5. 5. How Veterinary 5also inspect and enforce government regulations regarding food purity and sanitation(Bureau of Labor Statistics& U.S. Department of Labor Veterinarians, 2009).Veterinarians who are involved in food security often work along the country’s bordersas animal and plant health inspectors. Here they examine imports and exports of animalproducts to prevent diseases here and in foreign countries (Bureau of Labor Statistics &U.S. Department of Labor Veterinarians, 2009). Veterinarians can also become epidemiologists. An epidemiologist investigatesoutbreaks of diseases (Miller, 2000 pp. 18). Homeland security offers opportunities forveterinarians involved in efforts to maintain abundant food supplies and reduce animaldiseases in the United States and in foreign countries (Bureau of Labor Statistics& U.S.Department of Labor Veterinarians, 2009). Jerry Gillespie, who is the director of theWestern Institute for Food Safety at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, saysthis about food safety: “We have a very safe food supply, and we need to keep it that way. Now it has complicated food safety, when we have a food outbreak we have to think about if it was an accident or if it was deliberately done. This leads to a two investigations, the first one is an epidemiological investigation, which is finding out what went wrong, how did it go wrong, and what were the steps that lead to disease, the second investigation is a criminal investigation to see if it was deliberately done.” (Hyde, Gillespie, Joad, Lloyd, Starr, Conrad, Barthold &Boyce, 2006)Food Safety has become a huge issue in today’s news, which is why there are moreand more positions opening up for veterinarians in food safety. Since 1892, a total of
  6. 6. How Veterinary 6fourteen diseases have been eliminated from equine, poultry, and livestock populationsin the United States, to which veterinary medicine contributed (King, 2006). Veterinary medicine has found pathogenic agents such as Salmonella, Brucella,and E. Coli (Steele 2008). Humans, animals, and animal products go around the worldall the time in today’s age, and pathogens are adapting, discovering new niches, andgoing across species into new hosts (King, 2006). Veterinarians are vital to thedetection, identification of, and response to these threats and are essential to first-linedefense and surveillance for some of these pathogenic agents (King, 2006). Four-fifthsof all infections of humans are shared with animals from these pathogenic agents(Hendrix, Thompson, & Maccabe, 2005). These pathogenic agents are referred to aszoonoses. Veterinarian’s curiosity in zoonotic diseases go on from the areas ofzoonoses investigation, disease eradication, control programs to epidemiology,laboratory diagnosis, health education and public health administration (Hendrix,Thompson, & Maccabe, 2005). As it is, there are about sixty to sixty-six percent of infections that affect humansand animals. If you include the infections that are just beginning to arrive, then there areabout seventy-five percent of infections that affect both humans and animals (Hyde,Gillespie, Joad, Lloyd, Starr, Conrad, Barthold & Boyce, 2006). This is where the idea of“one health” comes into play. As Steve Barthold, who is the director of the Center forComparative Medicine at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, says: “We refer to it as one medicine in our professions. Our medical colleagues see one species, where the other sees a wide variety of species. We
  7. 7. How Veterinary 7 are both science based medicines and we rely on science. The progress we gain whether in veterinary medicine or human medicine we gain in the other.” (Hyde, Gillespie, Joad, Lloyd, Starr, Conrad, Barthold & Boyce, 2006)This is where research in veterinary science is critical to understanding and improvinghuman health, if there is a break through in ways to fight infections that afflict bothhumans and animals, it could be used to help fight infections in humans better (King,2006). In the laboratories, veterinarians are working on immunization and the processesof diseases (Miller, 2000 pp.19). This is just the beginning of the impact veterinary medicine has on human health.As more research is done there will be even more information that will help with humanhealth. Who knows what new information will come from veterinary medicine? Thereare a few studies on about asthma, allergies, air problems, toxoplasma, DownSyndrome, and a faster way to diagnose infections in animals that just might helphuman health. There is one study on Down Syndrome done on mice. Veterinarians gave amouse an extra copy of chromosome fifteen, which then makes the mouse look and actlike a Down Syndrome person (Hyde, Gillespie, Joad, Lloyd, Starr, Conrad, Barthold &Boyce, 2006). Great research is being done with this, the modeling of the mouse acts alot like a human even though it has an extra chromosome fifteen instead of an extrachromosome twenty-one. They are hoping that through this study they can find drugs tohelp people with Down Syndrome (Hyde, Gillespie, Joad, Lloyd, Starr, Conrad, Barthold
  8. 8. How Veterinary 8& Boyce, 2006). If this study brings in good research this could be a new way to findout more about conditions like Down Syndrome. Recently this year, a University of Missouri veterinarian identified ways todiagnose a pet infection in about a third of the current diagnosis time (Craven & Berry,2011). As Amy DeClue, who is an assistant professor of veterinary internal medicine inthe MU College of Veterinary Medicine, says: “Infections can be difficult to diagnose, and many veterinarians have to send samples to a lab and wait three days or more as the lab attempts to grow a culture. Meanwhile, the infection continues to spread each day that veterinarians wait on lab results, which is detrimental to the patient. In extreme infections, called sepsis, more than half of patients die. My group has been evaluating different book biomarkers that could give a quick and accurate indication of infections, and we believe we’ve found a biomarker that will only require a simple blood test.” (Craven & Berry, 2011)DeClue and her colleagues found that measuring the blood biomarker N-terminalportion of pro C-type natriuretic peptide is a good indication of infection and the same istrue in humans (Craven & Berry). If all goes well in this study, this could be usedeventually for humans. A few studies are working on asthma, allergies and air problems. In one study onallergies and air problems, they are working with guinea pigs and primates.Veterinarians watch how allergies and air problems affect guinea pigs, and primates in
  9. 9. How Veterinary 9hopes of better understanding how they affect humans. In understanding this, they hopeto help cure or have a better way to manage these problems for both animals andhumans (Hyde, Gillespie, Joad, Lloyd, Starr, Conrad, Barthold & Boyce, 2006). There isanother study being done on monkeys about asthma. The monkey model is notgenetically too close to humans, but they do give the same response as humans. Again,they are hoping to better understand asthma in hopes of finding a cure, or find a newbreak through (Hyde, Gillespie, Joad, Lloyd, Starr, Conrad, Barthold & Boyce, 2006). In a new study, they believe that toxoplasma might actually play a role inSchizophrenia. Toxoplasma is a parasite that is found in cat litter, and in warm-bloodedanimals (Hyde, Gillespie, Joad, Lloyd, Starr, Conrad, Barthold & Boyce, 2006).Toxoplasma is deadly for sea otters. It creates a brain disease that is extremely deadlyfor them. In addition, Toxoplasma is not healthy for a pregnant woman. If a pregnantwoman is infected with toxoplasma, it gives the parasite access to the baby, which inturn can cause many problems (Hyde, Gillespie, Joad, Lloyd, Starr, Conrad, Barthold &Boyce, 2006). Right now scientists, including veterinarians, are seeing a rise intoxoplasma. For this reason, they are studying it in hopes of finding a way to help savethe sea otters. Due to the fact that toxoplasma causes a brain disease in sea otters,they are looking into seeing if being infected with toxoplasma could play a part in aperson having Schizophrenia (Hyde, Gillespie, Joad, Lloyd, Starr, Conrad, Barthold &Boyce, 2006). Even though people do not realize that veterinarians help in human health, theydo. Veterinary medicine has helped improve human heath throughout history and
  10. 10. How Veterinary 10continues to do so. It has helped with Malaria, Yellow Fever, and Influenza. In additionto helping with diseases, it also helps identify pathogenic agents that cause thediseases like E. Coli, and Salmonella. It has become a huge part in controlling andinvestigating our food safety issues and epidemic outbreaks. Who knows howveterinary medicine will affect human health in the future? The possibilities are endless,but veterinary medicine will continue to impact human health.
  11. 11. How Veterinary 11ReferencesBureau of Labor Statistics& U.S. Department of Labor Veterinarians. (2009 December17). Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition. Retrieved December 5, 2011from Books and eBooks (2011). Veterinarian, dude (career book). Career Books andeBooks.Craven, S., & Berry, T. (2011, May 12). MU Veterinarians Find Infections Faster ByMonitoring Blood Compound. Health News. Retrieved from, C., Mcclelland, C., Thompson, I., Maccabe, A., & Hendrix, C. (2005). Aninterprofessional role for veterinary medicine in human health promotion and diseaseprevention. Journal Of Interprofessional Care, 19(1), 3-10.Ho, J. (2005, February). Information resources on veterinary history at the nationalagricultural library . Retrieved from, D., Gillespie, J., Joad, J., Lloyd, K., Starr, M., Conrad, P., Barthold, S., & Boyce,W. (2006, November 29). Interview by Michael Krasny [Web Based Recording]. Livefrom UC Davis: Veterinary medicine. , Retrieved from
  12. 12. How Veterinary 12King, L. (2006). Veterinary medicine and public health at CDC. MMWR. Morbidity AndMortality Weekly Report, 55 Suppl 27-9.Miller, L. (2000). Careers for animal lovers & other zoological types. (pp. 18-19).Blacklick, OH: McGraw-Hill Trade.Morse, S. S. (1996). Emerging viruses. (p. 41-117). Cary NC: Oxford University Press,USA.Oldstone, M. B. A. (2000). Viruses, plagues, and history. (p. 183). Cary NC: OxfordUniversity Press, USA.Smolinski, M. S., Hamburg, M. A., Lederberg, J., & , (2003). Microbial threats to health,emergence, detection, and response. (p. 92). Wasgubgtib DC: National AcademiesPress.Steele, J. (2008). Veterinary public health: Past success, new opportunities. PreventiveVeterinary Medicine, 86(3/4), 224-243. Retrieved December 5, 2011 from toxoid (intramuscular route, injection route) . (2011, December 1). Retrievedfrom ConsultedKahn, R. E., Clouser, D. F., & Richt, J. A. (2009). Emerging Infections: A Tribute to theOne Medicine, One Health Concept. Zoonoses & Public Health, 56(6/7), 407-428.doi:10.1111/j.1863-2378.2009.01255.x
  13. 13. How Veterinary 13Ruvinsky, A., & Sampson, J. (2002). The genetics of the dog. (p. 192). Cambridge MA:CABI Publishing.Woods, E. S. (2011). Characteristics and Correlations Between Human and Pet Use ofAcupuncture: A Cross-sectional Survey of Four Clinics. American Acupuncturist, 5518-27.Young, K., & Christopher, M. (2009). Veterinary Clinical Pathology: history and legacy.Veterinary Clinical Pathology / American Society For Veterinary Clinical Pathology,38(3), 271-272.
  14. 14. How Veterinary 14OutlineI IntroductionII Background history of how veterinary medicine has helped human health in the past.III Today how veterinary medicine has helped human health.IV Food Safety how veterinary medicine is a big part of food safety.V Pathogenic agents veterinary medicine has found and how they are preventing them.VI The future of how veterinary medicine could help human health. A. Down Syndrome B. Diagnosing infections faster C. Asthma and Allergies D. SchizophreniaVII Conclusion