- Press Release Distribution

Young people and adolescents know too little about pathogens such as COVID-19

Which are reciprocally transmitted from animals to humans

Young people and adolescents know too little about pathogens such as COVID-19
( The EU-funded BIO-CRIME project - with support from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) - conducted a scientific investigation on the topic of illegal small animal trade and the associated risk of pathogen transmission.

The study focused on the key areas of "illegal small animal trade" and the level of knowledge and proper behaviours of young people and adolescents with "zoonotic diseases" and the "One Health concept". One Health is an approach that recognises that human health is closely linked to the health of animals and our shared environment.

A total of 656 students from six countries participated in the survey. The students answered an anonymous questionnaire, followed by a theoretical and practical lesson that resolved the correct results of the survey. After four weeks - in the meantime the students had further studied the topic of zoonoses and the One Health approach - a second theoretical-practical lesson was conducted. Immediately afterwards, the same questionnaire was answered anonymously a second time.

The result of the first questionnaire response showed that the percentage of students who did not know that animals can transmit many diseases to humans and vice versa was 28.96 %. The percentage of participants who did not know what a zoonosis is was 32.16 %. Ignorance about the One Health concept was 31.40 % among the young people, respectively was answered incorrectly by 59.91 % of the students, furthermore rabies was considered as a non-dangerous disease by 23.02% of the participants.

After the two theoretical-practical lessons of the first survey, the same questionnaire was filled out again to conclude the knowledge transfer process. The result, the percentage of correct answers (knowledge increase) increased by 21.92 %.

Depending on gender and country, there were different expressions in the correctness of the answered questions. Overall, however, a pronounced lack of knowledge about zoonotic risks and a lack of understanding about the contents of the One Health concept were present in more than one third of the participating students in this study.

"This is a public health problem that needs to be addressed. It means that more than one third of the students participating in the study are not aware of the zoonotic risk they run when they come into contact with animals from the illegal small animal trade. Therefore, I recommend that education about zoonotic diseases and the One Health concept be firmly anchored in school curricula and syllabi by means of theoretical-practical teaching units," explains project leader and first author Paolo Zucca, from the Central Directorate for Health, Social Policies and Disabilities, in Italy.

"In Germany, for the practical part of zoonotic disease education in schools, we used Sir Isaac Newton, a research sniffer dog from the Leibniz-IZW, who showed students how dogs can detect illegally hidden animals in luggage," reports Leibniz-IZW scientist Susanne Holtze.

"Our joint international scientific work emphasises the importance of sharing knowledge about zoonotic diseases and the One Health concept among younger generations. The Covid-19 pandemic shows us all that the transmission of diseases from animals to humans is not just mere theory, but a real threat," explains science communicator and co-author Steven Seet from the Leibniz-IZW.

More than 60% of the 1,700 known infectious diseases transmissible to humans originate from animals. Repeated and frequent zoonotic outbreaks, such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic, are caused by human impact on nature. In particular, the creation of huge intensive domestic animal farms, the frequent use of antibiotics in intensive breeding farms, the destruction of forests, the consumption of wild meat (bushmeat), and the "illegal animal trade" are factors that favor the occurrence and transmission of diseases from animals to humans and vice versa.

"Early education and health prevention programmes in schools that explain the interrelationships of zoonoses within the framework of the One Heath concept are a fundamental prerequisite for the health of the population and the prevention of future pandemics," explains Jeannette Wichert, biology and chemistry teacher at the Robert Havemann Gymnasium in Berlin, Germany.


Publication: Zucca P, Rossmann M-C, Dodic M, Ramma Y, Matsushima T, Seet S, Holtze S, Bremini A, Fischinger I, Morosetti G, Sitzia M, Furlani R, Greco O, Meddi G, Zambotto P, Meo F, Pulcini S, Palei M, Zamaro G (2021): What do adolescents know about One-Health and Zoonotic risks? A school-based survey in Italy, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Mauritius and Japan. Frontiers in Public Health. Manuscript ID: 658876.


Partners, collaborators and stakeholders of the BIO-CRIME Project:

Contact: Dr. Paolo Zucca
DVM PhD BSc. Psychol.
Lead Partner Bio-Crime Project
Health Prevention, Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health Service,
Central Directorate for Health, Social Policies and Disability,
Friuli Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region

Riva Nazario Sauro, 8
34124 Trieste,

Phone +39-040-3775683
Web Biocrime:

Steven Seet
Head Science Communication
Member of Science Management
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) i
n the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

Alfred-Kowalke-Straße 17
10315 Berlin

Fon. + 49 - 30 - 51 68 - 125
Fax + 49 - 30 - 51 26 - 104

[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Young people and adolescents know too little about pathogens such as COVID-19


Greta Thunberg and Fridays For Future, from global myth to local mobilization

In 2019 the climate movement experienced an unprecedented growth in its mobilization capacity and its political and media impact. The success of the movement is closely linked to the figure of Greta Thunberg and the global impact of her discourse and the "Fridays for Future" movement in hundreds of cities around the world. A study by Silvia Díaz-Pérez, Roger Soler-i-Martí and Mariona Ferrer-Fons, members of the UPF JOVIS research group of the Department of Communication, analyses the activist's speeches and messages on social networks and their legitimization through her personal story, and it also looks into the "Fridays for Future" movement in Barcelona, based on Twitter and Instagram posts. The research was based on a project that has received funding from ...

New protocol makes Bitcoin transactions more secure and faster than Lightning

New protocol makes Bitcoin transactions more secure and faster than Lightning
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are becoming increasingly popular. At first glance, they have many advantages: Transactions are usually anonymous, fast and inexpensive. But sometimes there are problems with them. In certain situations, fraud is possible, users can discover information about other users that should be kept secret, and sometimes delays occur. The research unit "Security and Privacy" at TU Wien (Lukas Aumayr and his supervisor Prof. Matteo Maffei) in collaboration with the IMDEA Software Institute (Prof. Pedro Moreno-Sanchez, previously postdoc at TU Wien) and the Purdue University (Prof. Aniket Kate) analyzed these problems and developed an improved protocol. It has now been published and will be presented this year at ...

Cayman Islands sea turtles back from the brink

Cayman Islands sea turtles back from the brink
Sea turtles in the Cayman Islands are recovering from the brink of local extinction, new research shows. Monitoring from 1998-2019 shows loggerhead and green turtle nest numbers increased dramatically, though hawksbill turtle nest numbers remain low. In the first counts in 1998-99, just 39 sea turtle nests were found in total on the three islands. By 2019, the figure was 675. Captive breeding of green turtles and inactivity of a traditional turtle fishery due to tightening of restrictions in 2008 contributed to this - but populations remain far below historical levels and still face threats including ...

New study traces back the progenitor genomes causing COVID-19 and geospatial spread

New study traces back the progenitor genomes causing COVID-19 and geospatial spread
In the field of molecular epidemiology, the worldwide scientific community has been steadily sleuthing to solve the riddle of the early history of SARS-CoV-2. Despite recent efforts by the World Health Organization, no one to date has identified the first case of human transmission, or "patient zero" in the COVID-19 pandemic. Finding the earliest possible case is needed to better understand how the virus may have jumped from its animal host first to infect humans as well as the history of how the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome has mutated over time and spread globally. Since the first SARS-CoV-2 virus infection was detected in December 2019, well over a million genomes of SARS-CoV-2 have been sequenced worldwide, ...

New clinical practice guideline on community acquired pneumonia

May 04, 2021 - In its latest clinical practice guideline on community-acquired pneumonia the American Thoracic Society's guidelines panel addresses the use of nucleic acid-based testing for non-influenza viral pathogens. The guideline was published online in the May 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. An explainer video may be viewed here. Community-acquired pneumonia is caused by a wide range of respiratory pathogens, prominently including viruses. However, the only viral pathogen addressed by the 2019 clinical practice guideline was influenza. The panel determined that, given the increasing recognition of non-influenza viral causes ...

New study shows tree nuts may play a role in both weight loss and weight maintenance

New study shows tree nuts may play a role in both weight loss and weight maintenance
DAVIS, CA, May 4, 2021 - In a randomized, controlled study* published online in the journal, Nutrients, researchers found that including mixed tree nuts in a weight management program resulted in significant weight loss and improved satiety. Researchers at UCLA compared 95 overweight/obese men and women (BMI 27.0-35.0 kg/m2) ages 30-68 years who consumed either 1.5 ounces of mixed tree nuts or a pretzel snack. Both snacks provided the same number of calories, as part of a hypocaloric weight loss diet (500 calories less than resting metabolic rate) over 12 weeks. This was followed by an isocaloric weight maintenance program for an additional ...

Intestinal polyps in close relatives can increase risk of colorectal cancer

Intestinal polyps in close relatives can increase risk of colorectal cancer
Cancer of the colon and rectum is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, and has in recent years affected growing numbers of young people. In the largest registry study to date, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and Harvard University in the USA demonstrate a possible connection between colorectal polyps in close relatives and the risk of developing colorectal cancer. The study, which is published in the British Medical Journal, is of potential consequence for different countries' screening procedures. Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest form of cancer in the world, according to the World Health ...

Pandemic worsened older adults' mental health & sleep; others show long-term resilience

Pandemic worsened older adults mental health & sleep; others show long-term resilience
Nearly one in five older adults say their mental health has gotten worse since the pandemic began in March 2020, and an equal percentage say their sleep has suffered in that time too. More than one in four say they're more anxious or worried than before the COVID-19 era, according to a new poll of people age 50 to 80. Women, people in their 50s and early 60s, and older adults who have a college degree or higher were more likely than others to report worse mental health than before the pandemic, according to the END ...

Air pollution linked to high blood pressure in children; other studies address air quality and the heart

DALLAS, May 4, 2021 -- A meta-analysis of 14 air pollution studies from around the world found that exposure to high levels of air pollutants during childhood increases the likelihood of high blood pressure in children and adolescents, and their risk for high blood pressure as adults. The study is published in a special issue on air pollution in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open access journal of the American Heart Association. Other studies look at: the effects of diesel exhaust on the muscle sympathetic nerve; the impact of pollutants on high blood pressure; rates of hospital readmission for heart failure among those exposed ...

Laser light makes a comeback (literally)

Laser light makes a comeback (literally)
Osaka, Japan --Straight-line constant-speed propagation in free space is a basic characteristic of light. In a recent study published in Communications Physics, researchers from Osaka University discovered the phenomenon of reciprocating propagation of laser pulse intensity in free space. Spatiotemporal couplings have been recently used to produce light with tunable group-velocity, direction, and trajectory in free space. For example, the flying focus (a moving laser pulse intensity in the extended Rayleigh length), where longitudinal chromatism and temporal chirp are combined to control the spectrum-dependent focus-separation ...


Worldwide network develops SARS-CoV-2 protocols for research laboratories

Sharks in protected area attract illegal fishers

Molecular tweezers that attack antibiotic resistant bacteria developed by Ben-Gurion U.

Cricket bats should be made from bamboo not willow, Cambridge study finds

Future-proofing mental health -- Experts set out research roadmap to prioritise key areas

Body mass index during childhood linked with risk of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa in later life

Combining BMI with body shape better predictor of cancer risk, suggests

Higher BMI, body fat, and larger waist and hips pose similar risk for

Higher BMI in childhood may help protect women against breast cancer in later life, both before and after the menopause

Research shows for the first time that protein complexes 'inflammasomes' are linked to obesity-related colon cancer

New Strep A human challenge model paves the way to test vaccines against the deadly bacteria

How proteins control information processing in the brain

Study supports recommendations to avoid pregnancy for at least 12 months after obesity surgery

Most comprehensive studies to date find 'insufficient evidence' to support herbal and dietary supplements for weight loss

Vegetarians have healthier levels of disease markers than meat-eaters

Switch of breast tumors to HER2-low in recurrence may provide greater therapeutic options

Mild COVID-19 infection is very unlikely to cause lasting heart damage

Ice core data show why, despite lower sulfur emissions in US and Western Europe, air pollution is dropping more slowly

The Lancet Rheumatology: Largest study to date confirms non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications do not result in worse COVID-19 outcomes

The legume family tree

New research sets stage for development of salmonella vaccine

New study examines social network's relation to binge drinking among adults

Archaeologists pinpoint population for the Greater Angkor region

Stop the genetic presses!

Sleep disorders tally $94.9 billion in health care costs each year

Turning a pancreatic cancer cell's addiction into a death sentence

How viruses and bacteria can reach drinking water wells

Latest peer-reviewed research: Immediate global ivermectin use will end COVID-19 pandemic

The structure of DNA is found to be actively involved in genome regulation

New innovation successfully treats neonatal hypothermia

[] Young people and adolescents know too little about pathogens such as COVID-19
Which are reciprocally transmitted from animals to humans