Science or Fiction?

Science or Fiction?

friendsA zoonosis is a disease that is ‘generic’ enough to affect more than one class or order of animals. For instance, rabies is zoonotic: it can be transmitted to any animal in the Class Mammalia and affects the brain resulting in death if not treated, but if that rabid dog bites a turkey or eagle, it won’t catch the virus. It doesn’t affect Birds, Reptiles, Fish, Amphibians, or other chordates, including all the other spongy forms and animals we don’t recognize in our daily lives. But today’s post is not about rabies. I”ll cover that another day. Today is just one question.


True or False? AIDS may be a zoonosis; two strains of immunodeficiency virus have been confirmed in chimpanzees that are transmissible to humans.





It’s TRUE.  At the University of Nebraska (Lincoln) it has been tested and confirmed.


“The team also found evidence for the long-suspected notion that SIV strains mutate upon entering cells to overcome human-specific barriers to infection. Within 14 weeks, the same viral gene in two different SIV strains — including the ancestor of HIV-1 M — regularly underwent mutations at two key positions on that gene.”

University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Forms of HIV can cross from chimps to humans, study confirms.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2016. <>.

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