Initial Projects:
Deer Mice, Frogs, Raccoons

Among the projects taking place under the CMCC are:

  • A study of the immunology and health of deer mice to help determine their role in the transmission of Lyme disease, and
  • A study of frog immunology and its potential role in the global declines of amphibian populations during the last 10 years.

A study is also underway to track the growing rabies epidemic in raccoon populations in the eastern United States in order to predict and possibly prevent potential effects should the outbreak reach the Chicago area.

"We started thinking a couple of years ago that perhaps changes in human population, changes in human demographics and wildlife habitat destruction aren't coincidences. The environmental changes we make that cause conservation crises also directly cause the emergence of infectious diseases. What's happening around the globe to the animals that are very sensitive to environmental changes is kind of like a canary in the coal mine. This is something to which we really need to pay attention."

- Thomas Meehan, DVM, Brookfield Zoo

Projects Include:
From Dolphins to Monkeys

CMCC projects to be undertaken in the near future include:

  • A study of the ecology and life cycle of organisms in the same family as the Lyme disease agent in various mammalian hosts;
  • A comparative study of the effects of environmental toxins on the health of dolphin populations in Florida; and
  • A study at the molecular level of the immune response of Goeldi's monkeys (Callimico goeldii) in order to determine the cause of long-standing increases in the mortality of the captive population of this critically endangered species.

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Last reviewed:
Oct. 15, 2003

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