I. ZOONOSES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES
Awareness of Zoonotic diseases: Zoonotic diseases affect livestock and causes heavy economic burden. A survey study conducted in Wayanad to ascertain extend of knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of major zoonotic diseases revealed that majority of the farmers practice control measures such as deworming of animals, biosecurity and were also aware of major zoonotic diseases (*Dr. Lijin James; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit). In a study carried out in Bidar district of Karnataka concluded that the livestock farmers were well aware of disease like rabies and FMD and their control programmes (*Dr. Ambika; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit). In a cross sectional study conducted in 100 dairy farmers at Perambalur district of Tamil Nadu State revealed that 74 per cent and 77 per cent dairy farmers were aware about deworming and zoonotic diseases, respectively. 45, 78 and 64 per cent farmers were aware on usage of disinfection, frequency of disinfection usage in hand washing and frequency of livestock shed cleaning respectively. 44 per cent and 48 per cent spending amount Rs.751-1,000 for treating the disease per year /animal/person respectively. 56 per cent respondents are aware of route of transmission of zoonotic diseases. 33, 30 and 19 per cent received the sources of information from Media, Veterinarian and Physician. Garrett ranking was used to analyze the Specific knowledge about the Zoonotic disease and revealed that knowledge on disease and symptoms of zoonotic diseases is 86.34 per cent. Article was published in Int. J. Curr. Microbiol. App. Sci (2017) (Dr. M. Bojiraj; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit ).
Rabies is a fatal infectious disease with high case-fatality rate characterised by an acute progressive and almost fatal encephalomyelitis. The study conducted to explore the effect of animal birth control (ABC) and anti-rabies vaccination (ARV) in controlling canine rabies suggested that both ABC and ARV programmes are highly essential to eliminate the introduction of infection and migration of infected animal for sustainable rabies control (*Dr. Supriyaraj D.; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
A study done to characterize animal bite re-exposure in human and levels of anti-rabies antibodies in their blood sample, revealed that in 38% cases animal bite re-exposure occured in the streets and young male and students are more vulnerable for animal bite re-exposure. Lower limb is the commonest biting site involved with category III among animal bite re-exposure cases. Playing with animals, teasing and trespassing the animal territory were commonest provocation for animal bite re-exposure (*Dr. Girraj Singh.; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit.).
A knowledge survey conducted to know the awareness of Rabies among the dog-bitten victims of Kannur recorded positive response to the fact that respondants were aware of washing of wound with soap and water as an effective first aid to prevent rabies as well as visiting a physician for post exposure treatment (*Dr. Soya E.; Major Advisor: Dr. Deepa P.M.).
On diagnostic front on the usage of immune-chromatographic assay and Fluorescent antibody test to detect rabies viral antigen in decomposing brain samples of dogs proved that using immune-chromatographic assay is effective in detecting Rabies even after 8 days of autolysis. FAT could be a reliable tool when the carcass was submitted afresh or in the earlier stages of putrefaction (Dr. Tessy D.L.; Collaborating Centre: State Institute of Animal Disease Diagnosis, Palode, Trivandrum; Major Advisor: Dr. Arun George). In a study carried out to assess the awareness of rabies among animal owners of Thrissur Corporation found that the awareness levels were not influenced by sex and age and is attributed to literacy rates and increased percolation of media among population (*Dr. Aneesh A.; Major Advisor: Dr. Ajith Jacob George).
Leptospirosis is endemic to Kerala with increasing reports during monsoon. Water samples collected from canals, backwaters, rain-harvested areas in and around Alappuzha subjected to dark field microscopy (DFM) and PCR detection revealed the fact that those occupied in the paddy fields were vulnerable to the disease and require awareness on the safety precautions to control the disease (*Dr. K. Vrinda Menon; Collaborating Centre: Department of VPH, COVAS, Mannuthy; Major Advisor: Dr. B. Sunil). In another study to investigate the occurrence of leptospirosis in cattle urine samples by DFM, cultural isolation and PCR revealed the presence of leptospirosis (Data not published). It was suggested that a routine check-up from a qualified Veterinarian with proper vaccination is essential (*Dr. Nair Archana Shivakumar; Collaborating Centre: Department of VPH, COVAS, Mannuthy ; Major Advisor: Dr. B. Sunil ). The survey conducted at Thrissur with regard to the overall awareness of leptospirosis and it was recommended that awareness programs and training for high-risk groups regarding leptospirosis could prove effective in controlling the disease (*Dr. Sarika N.; Major Advisor: Dr. Binu K Mani). In another study conducted at Pathanamthitta revealed the importance of agricultural practices in the occurrence of disease and concluded the need of awareness among the risk group to prevent the disease (*Dr. Viji V. R.; Major Advisor: Dr. Sujith S ). In a study conducted to detect leptospirosis from dogs and humans using MAT and IgG ELISA indicated that the veterinarians are at high-risk of contracting infections from infected canines and appropriate precautions need to be taken (*Dr. Amal Dev P.; Collaborating Centre: TVCC, COVAS, Mannuthy; Major Advisor: Dr. P.V. Tresamol).
Tuberculosis is a major bacterial zoonotic disease and a survey carried out in tribal colonies of Calicut with regard to awareness of the diseases and control through hygiene (personal hygiene, food hygiene, food habits, adverse effect of alcohol consumption and tobacco usage) revealed the need to sensitize people about the disease and start a TB free drive in Kerala (*Dr. Jayasree K.V.; Major Advisor: Dr. Leeba Chacko).
Toxoplasmosis is an emerging food-borne parasitic infection responsible for embryonic death, resorption, foetal death and mummification. A study conducted in feline faecal samples revealed a higher occurrence of T. gondii by microscopy and PCR assay which indicates a wide spread distribution of the parasite and that one health approach is required for its effective prevention and control (*Dr. C. Latha; Collaborating Centre: Department of VPH, COVAS, Mannuthy; Major Advisor: Dr. P.V. Tresamol). In another study, ELISA-based sero-screening in goats (showing abortion) indicated an alarming rate of incidence of toxoplasmosis (*Dr. Preetham Kumari C.B.; Collaborating Centre: Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, COVAS, Mannuthy ; Major Advisor: Dr. Sujith S).
Campylobacteriosis is one of the leading causes of bacterial food-borne illness worldwide. A study was undertaken to determine the occurrence of thermophilic Campylobacters in dogs and cats employing conventional as well as molecular methods. It was concluded that the dogs can serve as a potential source of Campylobacter infection to humans through food, water, environment and in turn from humans/animals by direct contact (*Dr. Savita Rudrappa Kashappanavar; Collaborating Centre: Dept. of VPH, Mannuthy; Major Advisor: Dr. Binsy Mathew). The study undertaken in cats emphasized the importance of good rearing and hygienic practices along with the need for awareness about its zoonotic implications. Besides, it was found that the Campylobacteriosis is greatly influenced by age, health status and type of diet (*Dr. Vani R Pillai; Collaborating Centre: Dept. of VPH, Mannuthy; Major Advisor: Dr. Binsy Mathew). In yet another study to detect thermophilic Campylobacters from meat samples of pig and poultry in Bareilly using molecular methods, C. coli revealed the highest occurrence rate (*Dr. Tayade Ravindra Shivaji; Collaborating Centre: Department of VPH, ICAR-IVRI, Bareilly ; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
Other Zoonotic Diseases: The sero-screening was carried out for the detection of anthrax, brucellosis, leptospirosis and bovine tuberculosis using ELISA, RPBT, MAT and bovine TB iELISA (*Dr. Arun Kurian; Collaborating Centre: Department of Veterinary Microbiology, COVAS, Pookode ; Major Advisor: Dr. Siju Joseph). The sero-screening conducted at Thiruvananthapuram among community-owned dogs detected Leptospira and Leishmania spp. and necessitated the need for conducting awareness on zoonosis and personal hygiene (*Dr. Nandakumar S.; Collaborating Centre: Chief Disease Investigation Office, Palode, Trivandrum ; Major Advisor: Dr. Koshy John). The sero-screening of Brucellosis in goats at Calicut using RBPT and i-ELISA assays concluded that the occurrence of infection increases with age; dairy products were found to be the major source of infection for people who do not have direct contact with animals (*Dr. Bijlee Bhaskar; Major Advisor: Dr. Arun George ). A study carried out to detect Coxiella burnetti from bovine samples revealed positivity by PCR and ELISA. Further, awareness programmes were conducted for the human handlers (*Dr. Pankaj Dhaka; Collaborating Centre: Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana; Major Advisor: Dr. C. Latha). A study was designed to develop an application to aid in the diagnoses of the zoonotic diseases along with providing information on their management in humans and animals. This expert system can be also used to create awareness in common people about the zoonotic diseases with their peculiar symptoms. This is developed using Python 2.7 and the Flask web framework. (*Dr. Netra Ansar.; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit.).
*Data not published
II. ANTI-MICROBIAL RESISTANCE
Food-borne pathogens pose a major emerging threat worldwide. The study conducted to know the occurrence and antibiotic susceptibility testing of the emerging food-borne pathogen, Arcobacter spp. by cultural and molecular methods from retail chicken meat samples in and around Bengaluru. It was also imperative from the study that due to the presence of antimicrobial resistant strains in retail chicken, mass education programme for the butchers needs to be conducted on hygienic handling and processing of poultry and poultry meat products (*Dr. Nishanth C.; Collaborating Centre: Department of VPH, Banglore ; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
Mastitis, though being an important production disease in dairy cattle, continues to have a major economic impact on dairy industry. Indiscriminate use of antimicrobial agents results in treatment failure as well as emergence of antimicrobial resistance. A farm-based study conducted in Wayanad district recovered Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococci and Micrococci from milk; amoxicillin was the most sensitive antibiotic and ampicillin was the most resistant antibiotic (*Dr. Mukesha Kini M.A.; Collaborating Centre: Dept. Of Preventive Medicine, Pookode ; Major Advisor: Dr. Smitha J.P.). In another study, tetracyclines (tetracycines, oxytetracycline, doxycycline) and fluoroquinolones (enrofloxacin, norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin) was found to be sensitive antibiotics.
In a survey conducted among the public of Bengaluru on AMR revealed that majority of the people were not aware about the antibiotic resistance. The survey concluded that the people of middle age group who are unaware of the usage of antibiotics, especially the livestock workers, are more prone to AMR (*Dr. Aishwarya N.; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
In a study conducted to determine the ability of methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) from canines using conventional and molecular methods revealed the potential risk involved in the transmission of MRSA between dog handlers and human handlers (*Dr. Hamna Hakkim; Collaborating Centre: COHEART, Pookode; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
A study conducted to analyse the occurrence of E. coli and Salmonella spp. from layer birds and eggs using microbiological analysis and molecular assays detected the presence of ESBL-producing genes that warrants strict vigil (*Dr. Suma N.; Collaborating Centre: COHEART, Pookode; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
*Data not published
III. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH HAZARDS
Mining is the extraction of minerals and geological materials from the earth’s crust and it is an important economic activity. A study conducted to analyse the impact of china clay mining on the environment found that the entire biodiversity has been affected by indiscriminate mining resulted in pollution of the entire locality, including well water (*Dr. Sarika P.; Major Advisor: Dr. Anil K.S. ).
Tobacco usage accounts for a major risk aspect for the incidence of oral cancer and associated pre-malignant lesions. A study conducted to explore the association between oral precancerous condition and usage of tobacco amongst tribal population of Agali was found to be associated positively. It was concluded that a periodical review is required for the reliable definitions to the usage of tobacco and bring out information on diverse types of tobacco frenzied (*Dr. Minnu K. Francis; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
Trifluralin, a widely used pre-emergence herbicide, is a potent human carcinogen without establishing a reference concentration. While performing mouse lymphoma assay, mammalian chromosome assay and standard cell transformation assay in order to check cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and carcinogenicity, it was concluded that trifluralin can cause cytotoxic and carcinogenic effect without genotoxic effects; hence, personal safety measures should be followed while using this herbicide (*Dr. Bibu John Kariyil; Collaborating Centre: Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, COVAS, Mannuthy ; Major Advisor: Dr. Usha P.T.A).
A study was aimed to develop farm-level aerobic feather composting technology to produce a community orientated and environmental friendly facility. The developed feather composter was found to be a low cost method, easily adaptable, portable, easy to handle by any age or gender, less labour with no odour and ease of aeration (*Dr. Pavan M.; Collaborating Centre: Department of LPT, COVAS, Mannuthy; Major Advisor: Dr. T. Sathu).
A survey was conducted to know the e-waste purchasing and managing patterns among people living in Calicut city in Kerala through personal interviews. The major factors that influence the purchase of the electronic gadgets are necessity, new features, status symbol, higher incomes and advertisements. Majority were unaware of the effects of discarding e-gadgets which could be extrapolated to the fact that India is still at a nascent stage of e-waste generation. An animated video developed in this project was used as the tool for educating the participants post survey (*Dr. Neethu R.R.; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit ).
Indoor air quality monitoring is an important factor in health-care settings. The study conducted using HiAir sampler detected various pathogens in the air. It is imperative from this study that routine monitoring of air quality could prevent the spread of infection. (*Anumol M. Joseph; Collaborating Centre: COHEART; Major Advisor: Dr. Vinod V. K.).
*Data not published
IV. WATER AND HEALTH
Water is considered to be the elixir of life; of late, many of the major threats faced by humanity are linked to water quality and/or water quality issues. In a study conducted to analyse the occurrence of microbial as well as heavy metals on forest water samples using molecular and cultural methods detected coliforms and heavy metals (nickel, iron and lead) in some of the sources examined (*Dr. Akarsh K.L.; Collaborating Centre: COHEART, Pookode ; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit). In another study could observe the occurrence of major enteric bacterial pathogens (Salmonella, Yersinia and Shigella) in same water sources. The Salmonella/ Shigella isolates was resistant to Nalidixic acid while, Gentamicin was found resistant to Y. enterocolitica (*Salu A. Sajan; Collaborating Centre: COHEART; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of banana pith extract on drinking water wherein, the collected well water samples were analysed for its physical parameters like pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, total dissolved solids (TDS), microbiological parameters like coliform and Escherichia coli counts. It was further concluded that the application of banana pith could be recommended as a measure for eco-friendly and non-toxic water treatment (*Dr. Aneesha K.N.; Collaborating Centre: Department of VPH, COVAS, Mannuthy ; Major Advisor: Dr. K. Vrinda Menon).
Improper waste management is closely linked to the spread of zoonotic diseases. A study was conducted in the water samples of Kannur revealed that the changes in the colour and taste of well water are significantly different in the population nearer to the trenching ground (*Dr. Smitha S. Pillai; Major Advisor: Dr. K. Vinod).
Chlorination, being a safe and economic alternative in the water supply treatment, a study to analyse the efficacy of chlorination was undertaken using different chlorine preparations on the microbial count and physico-chemical parameters. The water samples spiked with standard inoculum of E. coli treated with appropriate doses of different chlorine preparations revealed that the bleaching powder procured from retail shops had higher efficacy than that of free supplies. It was also concluded that the chlorination at proper dose had no adverse health impacts and the water quality was satisfactory (*Dr. Muralikrishna P.; Collaborating Centre: Department of VPH, COVAS, Mannuthy ; Major Advisor: Dr. B. Sunil ).
Cholera is the major water borne disease condition in Kerala. The centre isolated, identified and characterized Vibrio cholerae from various sources of water collected from outbreak areas of Palakkad and Malappuram District of Kerala.
*Data not published
V. FOOD SAFETY
Contaminated milk and milk products will adversely affect human health; the survey conducted found that good hygienic measures are required for clean milk production. This project formed part of Kotoor safe milk mission where milk samples were examined for various pathogenic organisms (*Dr. Annie Navomi Philip; Collaborating Centre:COHEART, Pookode ; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit). Most of the respondents in the survey conducted at Cherthala had medium knowledge of clean milk production; however, farmers shared lack of scientific knowledge and low milk pricing as the major constraints in adopting clean milk production practices (*Dr. Vimal Zevier; Major Advisor: Dr. K. Syamala). Milk samples collected from Bengaluru for the detection of adulterants noticed the presence of detergents, urea, sodium chloride and formaline in market milk (*Dr. Leena Gowda; Collaborating Centre: Department of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemology, Banglore ; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).In another study targeted at analyzing the milk samples for antibiotic contamination by high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) for the presence of tetracycline revealed the limit of detection was 1 ppm (*Dr. Ranjith D; Collaborating Centre: Dept. of Veterinary Pharmacology, CVAS, Pookode ; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
The escalating pesticide residues in the environment prompted to screen pesticide residues in milk and water samples for 20 organochlorine compounds. It was observed that the analyte in the samples collected were below detection limit while, the presence of other chemicals in milk and water samples raises concern on environmental safety (*Dr. Sindhu K.; Collaborating Centre: Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, COVAS, Pookode ; Major Advisor: Dr. Sanis Juliet).
Meat has become an integral part of our diet wherein, the consumption of animal products improves upon family income. In a survey conducted to know the consumption pattern of livestock products at Wayanad, it was found that the consumption of meat and their preference depended on several factors affecting the socio-economic status especially, monthly income; demand of meat in Kerala is associated with the high prospects for rearing of animals and birds for meat purpose and processing of meat products (*Dr. Naveen Kumar T.J.; Major Advisor: Dr. Renuka Nayar). Raw market beef samples serve to be the source of Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) infection using isolation methods; hence, awareness among public and slaughter house workers regarding the infection is recommended (*Dr. Vanitha H.D.; Collaborating Centre: Department of Veterinary Public Health, COVAS, Mannuthy ; Major Advisor: Dr. C. Sethulekshmi). E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus were recovered from meat of local markets and recommends regular surveillance of microbiological quality, poultry house inspection and hygienic practices (Dr. Raghunatha Reddy R.; Collaborating Centre: COHEART, Pookode; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
The addition of natural antioxidants in meat and meat products improved the quality and prevent oxidative rancidity of meat and meat products; further, it tend to improve the sensory parameters like taste, texture and smell of meat products (*Dr. Saji Eassow; Collaborating Centre; Department of LPT, COVAS, Mannuthy ; Major Advisor: Dr. B. Sunil ). A study targeting the bio-preservation of chicken meat employing the essential oils of clove and cinnamon was found to reduce the bacterial load in meat and meat products, while extending the shelf life at refrigeration temperatures (Dr. Asha K, COHEART, Pookode ; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit). The study undertaken to determine the composition of Meat-cum-bone meal (MBM) produced by dry rendering (bone, offal and washed stomach and intestine of slaughtered cattle, pigs and buffalo) concluded that MBM could be used as suitable ingredient in pet food, fuel in cement kilns and land incineration (*Dr. Salil Kutty; Collaborating Centre: Department of LPT, COVAS, Mannuthy; Major Advisor: Dr. Vasudevan V.N).
Seafood (including, fish) constitute an important food item for a large section of the world population. A study to investigate the occurrence of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes in seafood using isolation and molecular detection was carried out. It was found that the seafood were contaminated with zoonotic bacteria during refrigeration and processing resulting in its transmission to consumers which demands good hygienic practices in fish markets (Dr. Sunitha R, COHEART, Pookode ; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
Healthier diet associated with a better quality of life has produced an increase in the consumption of fruits and natural juices. In this regard, a study was aimed at examining the quality and safety of street-vended fruit juices in and around Thrissur in which various fruit juice samples collected from different public places were subjected to MPN technique, isolation and molecular characterization of pathogens of public health significance. It was found that the street-vended fruit juices constitute potential hazard to human health and suggested that regular monitoring, health education and implementation of hygienic practices should be carried out to control such outbreaks (*Dr. Manjushree T.R.; Collaborating Centre: Department of VPH, COVAS, Mannuthy; Major Advisor: Dr. Sethulekshmi C).
The molecular detection of Salmonella spp. from broilers in Wayanad revealed the need for adoption of strict hygienic measures in poultry food chain. (*Anju Scaria; Collaborating Centre: COHEART; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
VI. ANIMAL HEALTH HAZARDS
Investigation on the prevalence of gastrointestinal nematodes of ruminants in Thrissur district was carried out by detecting faecal eggs after coprological examination. The technique of Egg Hatch Test (EHT) and Faecal Egg Count Reduction Test (FECRT) was employed to detect the occurrence of resistance among these helminths against commonly used anthelmintic agents. Amphistomosis is a parasitic infection of livestock, majorly affected by climatic and environmental factors. With its high occurrence rate in Alappuzha, Oxyclozanide-Levamisole was found to be the effective drug combination; deworming improves the milk production and thereby promoting profitable dairy farming (Dr. Jayasree S.; Collaborating Centre: Department of Veterinary Parasitology, COVAS, Mannuthy ; Major Advisor: Dr. H. Shameem).
Dermatophilosis is a contagious zoonotic disease caused by members of aerobic Actinomycete. Scab lesions taken from affected areas were subjected to cultural examination (isolation and identification); Enrofloxacin and topical Povidone iodine spray along with scrubbing of the affected areas with mixture of boric acid and sodium bicarbonate were found to be effective for the treatment (*Dr. Maruthi S.T.; Collaborating Centre: Department of Veterinary Medicine,Hebbal, Bengaluru ; Major Advisor: Dr. George Chandy ).
Companion animals have become an integral component in human settings. The occurrence of renal disease in dogs has increased tremendously in the recent years. A study conducted in dogs with renal failure employing clinico-biochemical and diagnostic imaging revealed a significant increase in creatinine and BUN levels. Tachycardia and increased capillary refill time (CRT) was also noticed by clinical and physical examination in those dogs presented with a complaint of vomiting (*Dr. Sagar R.S.; Collaborating Centre: TVCC, Pookode; Major Advisor: Dr.Usha Narayana Pillai).
Snakebite is a major concern in tropical countries. A study of pet owners for their knowledge and attitude towards snake envenornation in their dogs by questionnaire survey was carried out. Study concluded that majority of the owners lacked knowledge regarding identification of venomous snake, common signs exhibited and availability of anti-snake venom (*Dr. Nayanakumara S.R.; Major Advisor: Dr. Madhavan Unny N.).
Mastitis constitutes one of the most important production diseases of dairy cattle which directly or indirectly affect the farmers and ultimately affecting economy of the country. A study was conducted at Bengaluru in order to assess the efficacy of ethno-veterinary formulations in preventing the mastitis during dry period. A better response in milk pH reduction and somatic cell count as compared to other treatment revealed that the ethno-veterinary preparations are suited for dry cow therapy in mastitis (Dr. Kumar S.K.; Major Advisor: Dr. Deepa P.M). The occurrence of S. aureus from bovine mastitic milk samples using conventional and molecular methods revealed the importance of screening of milk regularly to prevent public health hazards (*Dr. Nanditha H.J.; Collaborating Centre: Department of Gynaecology, Veterinary College, Bengaluru; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
Paramyxovirus, Salmonellosis and Hemoproteus spp. were detected by PCR assay in the study conducted for the diagnosis of infectious diseases causing neurological signs among pigeons (*Dr. Rani Maria Thomas; Collaborating Centre: Dept of Vet. Epidemiology & Prev. medicine, COVAS, Pookode; Major Advisor: Dr. Deepa P.M.).
Epidermophyton spp. and Microsporum spp. isolated from the pruritic dogs were found sensitive to Ketoconazole and Clotrimazole. This study highlighted the importance of educating pet owners of the risk involved in canine fungal dermatitis (*Dr. Riya Ashok Bakde; Collaborating Centre: TVCC, Pookode; Major Advisor: Dr. Rathish R.L.).
VII. PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARDS
Tribal population is considered as the most vulnerable section by way of exploitation through socio-cultural changes coupled with environmental factors. A survey conducted to explore the impact of animal husbandry schemes in the improvement of nutritional status of tribal clusters located in and around Wayanad suggested for an in-depth study to expedite the overall improvement of the tribal livelihood (*Dr. Senthil Murugan S.; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
Dental caries of bacterial etiology results in pain and difficulty in chewing. In a school-based survey conducted at Kadur, Karnataka to explore the prevalence and factors of dental caries revealed that the children 6 to 10 years have higher incidence rate compared to 11 to 14 years; motivated mothers and their educational status maintain the occurrence of dental caries in their children. The occurrence of caries was found to be higher in children of low-economic status (*Dr. Gopala Krishna T.J.; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
Lymphatic filariasis is endemic to 81 countries of the world and is the second leading cause of permanent disability, though it is regarded as a potentially eradicable disease. The study conducted among the inhabitants of Durdwan district, West Bengal analyzed effects due to mass drug administration against filariasis. It was observed that there exist a need to conduct operational research, evolve sustainable and institutional mechanisms for the education of health-care workers as well as to ensure quality of training on mass drug administration (MDA) activities, strengthen information, education and communication (IEC) delivery mechanisms, improve political and programmatic leadership (*Dr. Mahesh Chandra; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit ).
Mobile phones, particularly, smart phones, have become an integral part of our life style. Often, Veterinarians handle their phones during the clinics and while handling clinical samples in the laboratory. A study conducted to determine the occurrence of microbial contamination (S. aureus and E. coli) by molecular as well as conventional methods concluded that Veterinarians must avoid using their mobile phones while attending to cases and while working with clinical samples. Further, it was suggested that all precautions including thorough washing of hands after handling mobile phones before consuming food should be taken care (*Dr. Nikhil Sanjay Rao; Collaborating Centre: COHEART, Pookode; Major Advisor: Dr. Prejit).
In order to detect virulent typical enteroaggregative E. coli strains based on their virulence plasmid and aggregative adherence fimbria, an accurate and reliable duplex PCR was devised (*Dr. Deepthi Vijay; Collaborating Centre: Department of Veterinary Public Health, COVAS, Mannuthy; Major Advisor: Dr. C. Latha)
Human-animal conflict, especially wildlife, is increasing in the recent past due to the greater resilience and adaptability of wild animals in face of their attenuating habitats. The surveys, interviews and group discussions conducted at Wayanad revealed that majority of the people belonging to the agrarian community in the study area has a high tolerance towards wildlife. Further, factors like clean air, water, fertile soil, medical and education facilities keep them deep rooted to the land (*Dr. Thara V.R.; Major Advisor: Dr. Maya S.).
*Data not published