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Press Release 13-084

Human Disease Leptospirosis Identified in New Species, the Banded Mongoose, in Africa

Scientists find widespread but neglected disease is significant health threat in Botswana

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A group of mongoose

Banded mongoose troops are radio-collared and tracked across the landscape in Botswana.

Credit: B. Fairbanks, Virginia Tech


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Scientist Kathleen Alexander with locals in a yard in a Botswana village.

Scientist Kathleen Alexander studies disease transmission in villages in Botswana.

Credit: M. Ramotadima, CARACAL


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Mongoose and warthogs looking through trash

Mongoose, along with other species such as warthogs, are experts at finding human trash.

Credit: P. Laver, Virginia Tech


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Banded mongoose roaming through a trailer in a tourist camping site.

Residents aren't the only people to meet up with a banded mongoose; tourists do too.

Credit: P. Laver, Virginia Tech


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Banded mongoose eating human food from plates

Banded mongoose share the Botswana landscape with humans; leptospirosis often follows.

Credit: K. Alexander, Virginia Tech


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Researcher Sarah Jobbins works in a field laboratory in Botswana, testing for leptospirosis.

Researcher Sarah Jobbins works in a field laboratory in Botswana, testing for leptospirosis.

Credit: I. Moore, CARACAL


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