Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lake sturgeon have genes from parasite, signs of human STD

While doing a DNA-test on a lake sturgeon to determine the gender, it was found that the sturgeon genome contains a possible protozoan parasite cause a sexual transmitted disease in humans. The only way to find the gender of lake sturgeon is to examine its internal sex organs. Researchers found that Schistosoma, a parasitic worm, contributed 15 genes to the sturgeon. It is thought that the parasite may be part of the evolutionary process of the sturgeon. Some organisms accept new genes as a means of evolution, showing that the sturgeon is probably not being hurt by the parasite, but possibly being benefited. Even though the parasite might ultimately be beneficial for the sturgeon, the Trichomonas pathogen may hurt. The human strain of this pathogen causes Trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease that effects women and can cause premature or underweight births. This is the first assumed case of Trichomonas in fish, but if it has the same effect on them as it does humans, bad things could happen. Sturgeon are a steady species, with most living over a hundred years and only reproducing a small amount. Humans can have a lot of impact on the sturgeon, whether it be beneficial or harmful.


It is good to know the possibility of an STD being in a body of water I am swimming in. It is hard to believe that what would be an STD to a human is surviving and possibly helping the lifespan of a fish. It is just proof of how often we tend to have things in common with animals. Should the sturgeon be negatively effected by this pathogen, humans have something in common with fish - STDs. We need to study these possible STDs in other animals so that we may possibly find the origin of other types of sexual transmitted diseases.

No comments:

Post a Comment