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Thursday
Sep262019

Veterinary Experiences Affecting Environmental Health

As a new intiative by SAVMA's Global and Public Health Outreach Officer, The Vet Gazette will be highlighting student research projects that involve the third, often forgotten arm of the One Health triad -- the environment!

The first to be featured is Bonni Beaupied from Colorado State University!

"This summer, with the support of CSU's Veterinary Summer Scholars Program, I worked with our Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences on a budding One Health research project. The broad goal of this project is to evaluate the impact of air pollution on dairy cow health and to use that information to better understand the impact on human health in understudied populations. Exposure to air pollution, including criteria pollutants such as ozone (O3) and aerosolized fine particulate matter (PM2.5), has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality in mammals. These effects have primarily been studied in the laboratory or in humans living in urban settings. Situated in a controlled environment that facilitates data collection, dairy cattle present a unique, yet unexplored, opportunity to assess the correlation between subtle shifts in air pollution and mammalian health. Furthermore, ground-level O3 peaks during the hot summer months, when dairy production is lowest, and may therefore be an unexplored factor in reduced milk production. My research aimed to assess the effects of air pollutants on dairy cow health by comparing O3 and PM2.5 levels recorded by local US EPA air quality monitors to daily production data and bulk tank somatic cell counts. Initial results have supported the hypothesis that O3 exposure is associated with reduced dairy yield. The results of this study may uncover areas for intervention to improve these impacts at the dairy level. These data will also contribute to a translational model for using cattle health as a proxy for human health, particularly in rural settings or other regions with limited air quality data."

Congratulations, Bonnie!

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