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科学美国人60秒: 纽约市老鼠被病原体包围

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NYC Mice Are Packed with Pathogens

纽约市老鼠被病原体包围

Rats. They're a defining feature of life in New York City, rustling in trash bags, scurrying along the subway tracks—and becoming famous for occasionally eating pizza. But these urban vermin may be less of a threat to human health than their smaller, cuter cousins—the city's mice.

大鼠。是纽约市生活的一个重要特征,在垃圾袋里发出沙沙声,在地铁轨道上奔驰,并因偶尔吃披萨而闻名。但是,这些城市害虫对人类健康的威胁,可能不如其较小的可爱表兄弟——城市的老鼠。

"They're in your buildings, and they get into your kitchen cupboards, and they get behind refrigerators. So they have a real potential to contaminate the environment that you actually live in."

“它们存在于建筑物里,进入你的厨房橱柜,并且藏在冰箱后面,所以它们很可能会污染你居住的环境。”

Simon Williams is a microbiologist at Columbia University and the University of Western Australia. He and his colleagues trapped more than 400 mice in apartment building basements in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. They took swabs of the mice's rear ends, gathered feces from the traps, and subjected both to a battery of genetic tests.

Simon Williams是哥伦比亚大学和西澳大利亚大学的微生物学家。他和同事在曼哈顿、皇后区、布鲁克林和布朗克斯的公寓楼地下室中捕获了400多只老鼠。他们收集了陷阱中的粪便,并做抽样检查、进行了一系列基因测试。

The mice harbored an array of disease-causing bacteria, like shigella, Clostridium difficile, salmonella. They also carried a suite of antibiotic-resistance genes, and viruses associated with insects, dogs, chickens and pigs. Mice from a Chelsea apartment building had the most pig virus—perhaps, the scientists say, because they live near the Meatpacking District, which used to have pork processing facilities before fashionable nightclubs took over.

小鼠含有一系列致病细菌,如志贺氏菌、艰难梭菌、沙门氏菌。它们还携带了一套抗生素抗性基因,以及与昆虫、狗、鸡和猪有关的病毒。科学家表示,来自切尔西公寓楼里老鼠携带有数量最多的猪的病毒,因为切尔西公寓楼在Meatpacking区附近,这个地区曾经在时尚夜总会之前,是猪肉加工设施。

The details are in the journal mBio.

详情请见《微生物学》杂志。

The mere fact that these microbes can be found in poop, though, isn't cause for immediate alarm. "You know we're not saying these bugs are all out to get us. We're just finding the genetic footprint. They're indicators, but we're not saying they're necessarily out there and there's a huge problem. So keep calm, in terms of the public health response."

尽管这些微生物可以在粪便中找到,但这并不是立即引起警报的原因。“你知道我们并不是说这些虫子都是都与我们人类有关,我们只是找到遗传足迹,它们是指标,但我们并不是说它们必然存在,并且存在很大的问题。 我们就公共卫生应对措施应保持冷静。“

Further work might tease out whether there's transmission of bacteria between mice feces and humans. Until then, there are plenty of other New Yorkers to investigate.

进一步的工作可能会弄清楚老鼠粪便和人类之间是否存在细菌传播。 在此之前,还有很多其他纽约“人”需要调查。

"Cockroach would be an amazing one to go onto next. I think they have real potential."

“蟑螂将是一个惊人的发现,我认为他们拥有真正的潜力。

NYC Mice Are Packed with Pathogens

Rats. They're a defining feature of life in New York City, rustling in trash bags, scurrying along the subway tracks—and becoming famous for occasionally eating pizza. But these urban vermin may be less of a threat to human health than their smaller, cuter cousins—the city's mice.

"They're in your buildings, and they get into your kitchen cupboards, and they get behind refrigerators. So they have a real potential to contaminate the environment that you actually live in."

Simon Williams is a microbiologist at Columbia University and the University of Western Australia. He and his colleagues trapped more than 400 mice in apartment building basements in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. They took swabs of the mice's rear ends, gathered feces from the traps, and subjected both to a battery of genetic tests.

The mice harbored an array of disease-causing bacteria, like shigella, Clostridium difficile, salmonella. They also carried a suite of antibiotic-resistance genes, and viruses associated with insects, dogs, chickens and pigs. Mice from a Chelsea apartment building had the most pig virus—perhaps, the scientists say, because they live near the Meatpacking District, which used to have pork processing facilities before fashionable nightclubs took over.

The details are in the journal mBio.

The mere fact that these microbes can be found in poop, though, isn't cause for immediate alarm. "You know we're not saying these bugs are all out to get us. We're just finding the genetic footprint. They're indicators, but we're not saying they're necessarily out there and there's a huge problem. So keep calm, in terms of the public health response."

Further work might tease out whether there's transmission of bacteria between mice feces and humans. Until then, there are plenty of other New Yorkers to investigate.

"Cockroach would be an amazing one to go onto next. I think they have real potential."


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