Indonesian wildlife markets and the risk of viral infections



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Indonesian wildlife markets and the risk of viral infections

Risk of Viral Infectious Diseases from Live Bats, Primates, Rodents and Carnivores for Sale in Indonesian Wildlife Markets, is a study published in the Viruses. The study aims to inform readers about the possibility of contracting potentially dangerous diseases,s and no particular attention is paid to health protocols, when visiting these markets.

The researchers said us: "Southeast Asia is considered a global pot of emerging zoonotic diseases. There, wildlife is commonly traded under poor sanitary conditions in open markets; these markets have been considered 'the perfect storm' for zoonotic disease transmission.

We assessed the potential of wildlife trade in spreading viral diseases by quantifying the number of wild animals of four mammalian orders, Rodentia, Chiroptera, Carnivora and Primates, on sale in 14 Indonesian wildlife markets and identifying zoonotic viruses potentially hosted by these animals.

We constructed a network analysis to visualize the animals that are traded alongside each other that may carry similar viruses."

Indonesian wildlife markets and the risk of viral infections

The researchers the added: "We recorded 6725 wild animals of at least 15 species on sale.

Cities and markets with larger human population and number of stalls, respectively, offered more individuals for sale. Eight out of 15 animal taxa recorded are hosts of 17 zoonotic virus species, nine of which can infect more than one species as a host.

The network analysis showed that long-tailed macaque has the greatest potential for spreading viral diseases, since it is simultaneously the most traded species, sold in 13/14 markets, and a potential host for nine viruses.

It is traded alongside pig-tailed macaques in three markets, with which it shares six viruses in common. Short-nosed fruit bats and large flying foxes are potential hosts of Nipah virus and are also sold in large quantities in 10/14 markets.

This study highlights the need for better surveillance and sanitary conditions to avoid the negative health impacts of unregulated wildlife markets." Photo Credits: pic by The Independent