Columbia University

To determine the microflora of mice in proximity to densely populated and high-traffic areas in New York City

  • Amount $250,000
  • City New York, NY
  • Investigator W. Lipkin
  • Year 2014
  • Program New York City Program
  • Sub-program

Infectious disease expert Ian Lipkin, M.D., the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University studied the microbial profiles of 133 rats in lower Manhattan and determined that they harbor multiple human pathogens.  This grant supports Lipkin as he expands this study to mice.  Lipkin will examine the microflora of 100 mice from each of 16 densely populated areas of New York City in order to determine what bacteria, fungi, and viruses are present in native NYC mice and whether the distribution of these microoganisms  differ by borough, season, or socioeconomic status of the surrounding human population.  The project has the potential to identify both known and novel pathogens in rodent vectors, provide insights into otherwise unexplained diseases by revealing links to infection with rodent-borne pathogens, and build support for rodent control.  The new knowledge will be shared through peer-reviewed publications and presentations at scientific and medical meetings.

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