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Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases

2018 Press Releases

November 29, 2018

CEEZAD director named a Fellow of prestigious national science association

The director of CEEZAD is one of two Kansas State University representatives named 2018 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS. 

Dr. Jürgen Richt, Regents distinguished professor and director of the university's Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, or CEEZAD, was selected for his distinguished research and advisory contributions to the field of zoonotic diseases, particularly for his pioneering role in the development of the One Health paradigm.

He was named along with Dr. James Guikema, late professor of biology and university administrator, for distinguished contributions to the fields of photosynthesis and gravitational biology, and in research administration and the NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training, or NSCORT. Dr. Guikema died in April.

They are among 416 fellows chosen this year by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which is the world's largest scientific society. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon association members by their peers. The association's fellowship program recognizes individuals whose efforts toward advancing science applications are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

This year's fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News and Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 29. Richt and Guikema will be recognized at a certificate and pinning ceremony on Feb. 16, 2019, during the association's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. 

Richt and Guikema join 21 current and emeritus Kansas State University faculty members who are fellows of the association.  

"Our 2018 fellows are truly deserving of this recognition for their career accomplishments," said Peter Dorhout, the university's vice president for research. "Dr. Richt is a distinguished leader in zoonotic diseases whose work has improved animal and human health throughout the world. In a special way, this distinction by AAAS helps us remember and honor Dr. Guikema and his countless contributions to the field of biology during his service to Kansas State University." 

Dr. Richt is a veterinary microbiologist who has worked with multiple agents of zoonotic potential, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease, animal influenza viruses, Rift Valley Fever virus, Borna virus and other emerging pathogens. His career, which includes a seven-year assignment as lead scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Animal Disease Center, has been spent developing novel vaccines and testing methods and remedies for a number of animal and zoonotic diseases.

He joined Kansas State University in 2008 as Regents distinguished professor and Kansas Bioscience eminent scholar in the College of Veterinary Medicine's department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. Richt became the director of the Department of Homeland Security's Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases at Kansas State University in 2010. As director, he leads an international network for scientific research involving multiple U.S. universities, foreign universities, and various industry and foreign partners.

Richt has authored or co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles. His work has been published extensively, including in such prestigious journals as Nature Biotechnology, Science, Journal of Experimental Medicine, PNAS, Cell Host Microbe and Journal of Virology. In 2011, Richt received the Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence and in 2014 the Kansas State University Iman Outstanding Faculty Award for Research.

November 16, 2018

Role of tick in the potential risk of spreading disease in Senegal is focus of newly published paper by CEEZAD official

CEEZAD’s deputy director is co-author of a recently published article analyzing the role played by ticks in the spread of Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and other pathogen agents.

A particular focus of the article by CEEZAD’s Dr. Jean-Paul Gonzalez and three other co-authors is identifying the species of tick responsible for the disease’s spread in Senegal, where CCHF is known to circulate.

Dr. Gonzalez co-wrote the article with Massamaba Sylla, Institut de Recherches pour le Developpement, Dakar, Senegal; Mady Ndiaye, Departement de Biologie Animale, Universite Cheikh Anta, Dakar, Senegal and Marc Souris, Unite des Virus Emergents, Aix-Marseille University, France.

The article is titled “Ticks (Acari: Ixodida) of the genus Haemaphysalis Koch, 1844 in Senegal: a review of host associations, chorology, and identification.” It is being published this month in the journal Acarologia.

 The article reviews the role of the Haemaphysalis tick as a potential vector of zoonotic diseases, including CCHF, in Senegal. It concludes that ticks of thatgenus are a potential vector of CCHF in Senegal.

Those ticks are known to be infected elsewhere by the CCHF virus and be an efficient vector. Also they can transmit other arboviruses pathogen for human and animals including among others : Kyasanur Forest Disease,  Powassan, Louping-ill, Russian spring-summer encephalitis) and other pathogen agents of medical and veterinary importance  (Anaplasma spp., Babesia spp., Borrelia burgdorferi, Brucella melitensis, Francisella tularensis ssp., Hepatozoon canis, Mycobacterium, Pseudomonas spp.,Toxoplasma gondi, Theileria spp., Rickettsia spp., Sphingomonas spp., Wolbachia spp.,)

Based on a review of recent research, the article concludes that the haemaphysalid tick fauna of Senegal requires more in depth investigations to establish its role in the transmission of pathogens.


The authors note that with respect to climate change, migration and commercial trade, understanding the health risks associated with tick-borne pathogens appears of public health importance in the geographic domains where haemaphysalid tick circulate. Indeed, the authors add, their relative abundance, their seasonality, their geographical extension need to be assessed because the involvement of the Haemaphysalis genus in pathogen transmission may be underestimated.

October 4, 2018

CEEZAD’s director takes part in international symposium on emerging threats