Tag Archives: Pets

Risks of Zoonotic Diseases; Pet Owners Need More Awareness of The Risks


Pet owners should be more aware of the risk of disease spread by their animal companions, experts have warned.

Infections from pets are a real threat to vulnerable groups such as newborn babies, children with leukemia, cancer patients, and anyone with a weak immune system, it is claimed.

A new review of “zoonotic” animal-to-human infection suggests that many people including doctors are not taking the risk sufficiently seriously.

Dr Jason Stull, one of the authors from the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at Ohio State University in the US, said: “Studies suggest physicians do not regularly ask about pet contact, nor do they discuss the risks of zoonotic diseases with patients, regardless of the patient’s immune status.”

All pets can potentially transmit diseases to people, the experts point out.

Dogs, cats, rodents, reptiles and amphibians are all capable of transmitting Salmonella, Clostridium difficile (C. diff), Campylobacter jejuni and other sickness-inducing bugs.

Pets can also spread parasites such as hookworm, roundworm or Toxoplasma.

Infections could be acquired from bites, scratches, saliva or contact with faeces, said the researchers writing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Reptiles and amphibians were said to present a special risk because they could transmit disease indirectly via contaminated surfaces.

The authors wrote: “Reptiles and amphibians are estimated to be responsible for 11% of all sporadic Salmonella infections among patients less than 21 years of age, and direct contact with such animals is not required for zoonotic transmission.

“In one study, 31% of reptile-associated salmonellosis cases occurred in children less than five years of age and 17% occurred in children aged one year or younger; these findings highlight the heightened risk in children and the potential for reptile-associated Salmonella to be transmitted without direct contact with the animal or its enclosure.”

Despite the danger, 77% of households acquired a high-risk pet after a cancer diagnosis, said Dr Stull.

The experts suggested the following tips to reduce the chances of picking up an infection from your pet:

:: Wear protective gloves to clean aquariums and cages.

:: Handwash properly after pet contact.

:: Discourage face-licking by pets.

:: Avoid contact with exotic animals.

:: Regularly clean and disinfect animal cages, feeding areas and bedding.

:: Locate litter boxes or trays away from areas where eating and food preparation take place.

:: If immunocompromised, wait until your immune system has strengthened before acquiring a new pet.

:: Regularly schedule vet visits for all your pets.

Dr Stull added: “Given the health benefits of animal ownership and the reluctance of patients to give up their pets, resources highlight the importance of following specific precautions.

” Patients at high risk and their households should have increased vigilance of their pets’ health and take precautions to reduce pathogen transmission.”


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Metanome TM and Companion PBx Partnering at Providing Innovative Digestive Health Solutions for Companion Animals

Metanome and Companion PBx Enter into Strategic Partnership

Providing Innovative Digestive Health Solutions for Companion Animals

Metanome, Inc., a Houston-based provider of comprehensive metagenomic services and data analysis has entered into a strategic partnership with Companion PBx, a developer and provider of innovative digestive health solutions for companion animals.  In June of last year, both companies entered into an agreement whereby Metanome will provide metagenomic services that will enable a scientific cornerstone of product development by Companion PBx.

With an initial focus on canines, Companion PBx is now ready to introduce a sample collection kit, provided by Metanome, and a web-based metadata survey to veterinarian clinics across the nation.  This survey will enable the establishment of a microbiome database comprised of health data for thousands of healthy and unhealthy dogs so that an unhealthy dog’s diet can be modified with specially developed foods and/or probiotics to enable a rapid return to a healthy status.  Metanome will perform the metagenomic analyses on the samples that will enable Companion PBx to develop various digestive health solutions and make recommendations to pet owners and their veterinarians.

Dr. Joseph Petrosino, Founder and Chief Science Officer of Metanome and Director of the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research at Baylor College of Medicine stated, “Companion PBx presented us with an exciting opportunity to leverage the expertise that we have developed on humans and expand it to domestic animals.  Given the importance that owners place on the health of their pets, it makes sense to expand microbiome research to companion animals and specifically to help animals suffering from digestive problems.”

Robert Millman, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Companion PBx stated, “We are thrilled to partner with Metanome to offer our microbiome Dx Fingerprint kit for use in companion pets. Metanome’s integrated sequencing and informatics technology will allow us to collect and obtain the largest annotated microbiome dataset in existence, which we will use to inform and develop proprietary pre- and probiotic supplements to optimize a companion animal’s digestive health.”

About Metanome, Inc.
Metanome provides comprehensive metagenomic services and data analysis focused on solutions that benefit health and improve environmental conditions and industrial processes worldwide. The company is a BCM Technologies,Inc. portfolio company.  Building on the research conducted at the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research at Baylor College of Medicine, Metanome has extensive experience with highly diverse microbiome sample types.  For more information, please visit www.metanome.com.

About Companion PBx
Companion PBx is a private biotech company developing a suite of nutrition products for optimal cat and dog digestive health based on microbiome diversity and gut microbial fingerprints.  The Company is developing a Dx Fingerprint kit as the first diagnostic product to pinpoint deficiencies in a pet’s GI health.  The Company is further developing in combination, a suite of PBx Treats: nutrition products made of proprietary combinations of pre- and probiotic supplements, which are shown to correct deficiencies in a pet’s digestive health.  Companion PBx products are designed by experts in pet digestive health and formulations are built from clinically proven ingredients.


Source: Metanome PR news release