Displaying items by tag: disease


RALEIGH, NC (April 30, 2019) - The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation (CHF) marks Pet Cancer Awareness Month this May with the launch of their Canine Cancer Research Initiative. The focus of this initiative is to direct research funding that will advance understanding, treatment and prevention of canine cancer to benefit dogs. With almost $2.3 million already invested in currently active canine cancer research, new oncology grants were recently awarded to study brain tumors, melanoma, osteosarcoma, and lymphoma, including:

  • 02663: Comparative Brain Tumor Consortium (CBTC) Meningioma Pathology Board
  • 02643-A:  Examination of the Effects of Cannabidiol on Canine Neoplastic Cell Apoptosis/Autophagy and Chemotherapy Resistance or Sensitivity
  • 02642-A:  NF-kappaB Inactivation Enhances Apoptosis in Canine Osteosarcoma Cells
  • 02636-A:  Development of RNA in-situ Hybridization to Identify T Regulatory Cells and their Function within the Tumor Microenvironment of Canine Oral Malignant Melanoma
  • 02595-A:  Defining the Flow Cytometric Characteristics of Normal and Diseased Canine Spleen and Visceral Lymph Nodes 

These studies complement ongoing canine cancer studies for hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, bladder cancer, and more. Information on all active studies can be found in CHF's Research Grants Portfolio, including studies funded through CHF's Hemangiosarcoma Research Initiative.“The AKC Canine Health Foundation has a longstanding commitment to canine cancer research. The Canine Cancer Research Initiative provides an opportunity to advance our understanding of cancer in dogs while also exploring new targets for their diagnosis and treatment,” states Dr. Diane Brown, CHF Chief Executive Officer. “With the support generated through this initiative, CHF can resource more research to help dogs while also informing a comparative oncology aspect to the same cancers that affect people. Together with our donors, we are making progress in the fight against cancer.”The increase in canine cancer research funding is bolstered by the American Kennel Club’s pledge to match donations to the CHF Canine Cancer Research Initiative with an equal donation to CHF for canine health research up to $250,000 in 2019.Since 1995, CHF has invested more than $13 million to study canine cancer in search of ways to diagnose cancer earlier and treat it more effectively. Learn more about AKC Canine Health Foundation’s Canine Cancer Research Initiative and join the fight against cancer at akcchf.org/caninecancer.

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About AKC Canine Health Foundation
Since 1995, the AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science to address the health needs of all dogs. With more than $46 million in funding to date, the Foundation provides grants for the highest quality canine health research and shares information on the discoveries that help prevent, treat and cure canine diseases. The Foundation meets and exceeds industry standards for fiscal responsibility, as demonstrated by their highest four-star Charity Navigator rating and GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency. Learn more at www.akcchf.org.



Established in 1995, the AKC Canine Health Foundation's (CHF) mission is to advance the health of all dogs and their owners by funding scientific research and supporting the dissemination of health information to prevent, treat and cure canine disease.

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Review written by Jon Patch with 2 out of 4 paws

Everything, Everything

Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Itaca Films and Alloy Entertainment present a PG-13, 96 minute, Romance, Drama directed by Stella Meghie, screenplay by J. Mills Goodloe and based on the book by Nicola Yoon with a theater release date of May 19, 2017.

From one of the country’s foremost doctors and now New York Times bestselling author comes a step-by-step plan for diagnosing, treating and healing Lyme and other chronic diseases.


An Action Plan for Treating Resistant Lyme and Chronic Disease

Dr. Richard Horowitz

Since its release in the fall of 2013, Dr. Horowitz's groundbreaking text on Lyme and chronic disease Why Can’t I Get Better? has been an extraordinary success, selling close to 50,000 copies across formats to date with a media platform that is increasing every day. Now, in HOW CAN I GET BETTER?:  An Action Plan for Treating Resistant Lyme and Chronic Disease (SMP OS February 14, 2017), a new handbook, he provides what everyone suffering desperately needs: a direct, actionable step by step plan for implementing his 16-point MSIDS Diagnostic Map in the treatment of Lyme and Chronic Disease, along with the research updates that guide his treatment and new stories pulled from his practice that show how healing is possible.

The ongoing debate over Lyme disease as a chronic illness has made it difficult for patients to find appropriate care, as they are often misdiagnosed with such diseases as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, an auto-immune disorder, or even a psychiatric condition. Meanwhile, answers are elusive and doctors knowledgeable in treating remain few. At the same time, the number of cases is growing astoundingly each year, reaching epidemic proportions. Specific and accessible, HOW CAN I GET BETTER? is an all-in-one source to guide doctors and patients alike in  identifying  symptoms and working together for the best possible treatment outcome.

RICHARD I. HOROWITZ is a board-certified MD specializing in Internal Medicine. He and his wife, Lee, founded the Hudson Valley Healing Arts Center in Hyde Park, New York, which has treated over 12,000 patients for tick-borne diseases over the past twenty-six years. Dr. Horowitz is known for his pioneering work with Lyme disease and is recognized to be one of the country’s foremost experts on chronic illness.


HOW CAN I GET BETTER?: An Action Plan for Treating Resistant Lyme and Chronic Disease

Author: Dr. Richard Horowitz

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

On sale: February 14, 2017

U.S. ISBN: 9781250070548 / $18.99

U.S. Ebook ISBN: 9781250111449 / $9.99



RALEIGH, N.C. (September 20, 2016) – The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent, treat and cure diseases in all dogs, is pleased to announce ongoing progress through its Tick-Borne Disease Initiative.

Launched in February 2016, this comprehensive Initiative addresses important health concerns that include Lyme disease, bartonellosis, and ehrlichiosis, through much-needed research in diagnostics, disease pathogenesis and prevalence. Tick-borne diseases are an important group of emerging infectious diseases that impact both dogs and their people. As the geographic range of ticks continues to expand, all dogs can be affected by these diseases, year-round.

Through a $100,000 leadership gift from Kiki Courtelis, a longtime friend to animal health, and a combined $50,000 gift from the English Springer Spaniel Foundation and English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association, as well as generous gifts from many individuals, dog clubs, and foundations, the donations raised toward the Initiative, and matched by the American Kennel Club, are driving further progress in this important research for dogs. 

“When my veterinarian tells me that he diagnoses Lyme disease at least three times a week, I thought it was worthwhile to find an organization truly attacking these diseases to improve testing, treatment and cures,” said Kiki Courtelis.  “It means the world to me that I'm blessed to participate in CHF’s initiative, and be a part of improving the health of the dogs we love so much.”

To date, donations to the Initiative have resulted in the Foundation awarding a first round of five grants to improve diagnostics and enhance practical understanding of tick-borne diseases, including effects of these infections on blood cells, the canine blood donor population, disease prevalence in dogs, and treatment recommendations.

According to Mark Haglin, English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association president, “We have had many encounters over the years with tick-borne disease in our Springer Spaniels and we are very proud to play a role in this Initiative. Being closely associated with friends who are dealing with the devastating effects of Lyme disease, I hope these grants will bring some crossover results on the human side of treatment as well.”

“The Foundation chose this area of research important to canine health because we believe we can have an immediate and long-lasting impact on these diseases in dogs and their human companions,” said Dr. Diane Brown, CHF CEO. “Since launching the Initiative, many of CHF’s supporters have shared stories of a beloved dog being diagnosed with a tick-borne disease like babesiosis, anaplasmosis, or bartonellosis, or a human family member or friend with a diagnosis of Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The stories remind us of the urgent need to address these diseases that afflict dogs and people.”

To learn more about CHF’s Tick-Borne Disease Initiative, including research outcomes, free educational resources, and additional RFP announcements, visit www.akcchf.org/ticks. “Tick-borne diseases can surprise you, and the need for accurate diagnosis, proper treatment and prevention is critical,” said Brown.

Funding for CHF grants comes from a number of sources, including: corporations, dog clubs and foundations, and individuals who are committed to the betterment of canine health through scientific research. During 2016, donations from new and lapsed donors (last donation 12/31/2013), will be generously matched for research dollar-for-dollar by the American Kennel Club. Make an impact and double your donation today!

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About CHF 
For more than 20 years, the Raleigh, NC-based AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science and research to improve the lives of dogs and their people. The Foundation works to prevent, treat, and cure diseases that impact all dogs, while providing professional information and resources for a new breed of dog owner. Take action because you care; find out more online at www.akcchf.org.


RALEIGH, N.C. (July 25, 2016) – The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent, treat and cure diseases in all dogs, announces a second round of new grants awarded through its Tick-Borne Disease Initiative. This comprehensive Initiative addresses important health concerns that include Lyme disease, bartonellosis, and ehrlichiosis, through much-needed research in diagnostics, disease pathogenesis and prevalence.

Edward B. Breitschwerdt, DVM, DACVIM, of North Carolina State University, will study “Enhanced Testing for the Diagnosis of Bartonellosis in Dogs.” Bartonellosis is a potentially life-threatening zoonotic disease distributed throughout the world by approximately ten different Bartonella bacteria species. Bartonella bacteria are transmitted to dogs and humans by ticks, fleas, lice, mites, and sand flies. Due to a lack of sensitive and reliable diagnostic tests, definitive diagnosis of bartonellosis in dogs remains a significant problem. Because these bacteria invade cells and infect tissues throughout the body, this chronic intracellular infection is difficult to cure with currently used antibiotic regimens. Dr. Breitschwerdt and his team aim to develop improved blood tests for bartonellosis in dogs that can also be used for world-wide sero-epidemiological prevalence studies, and to establish early and accurate diagnosis.

Pedro Paul Diniz, DVM, PhD, of Western University of Health Sciences, will study “Broad-Range Detection of Canine Tick-Borne Disease and Improved Diagnostics Using Next-Generation Sequencing.” Currently available tests for vector-borne diseases in dogs rely on previously known DNA sequences of each pathogen, with little room for detecting new or emerging organisms. This results in false negatives for tick-borne diseases, leaving veterinarians and dog owners frustrated by a lack of definitive diagnosis. Using an innovative approach, Dr. Diniz and team will employ next-generation sequencing (NGS) to overcome the limitations of current diagnostic technology. Testing samples from dogs naturally exposed to tick-borne diseases, NGS will detect not only new organisms but also characterize genetic differences among known organisms. The resulting dataset of a large number of DNA sequences of known tick-borne organisms and previously undetected organisms in naturally-infected dogs will support the development of diagnostic tools to simultaneously advance canine and human health.

In addition to these two new grants, earlier this year the AKC Canine Health Foundation awarded three grants through its Tick-Borne Disease Initiative. The three grants address Lyme disease, vector-borne disease testing for canine blood donors, and ehrlichiosis. 

Funding for CHF grants comes from a number of sources, including: corporations, dog clubs, and individuals who are committed to the betterment of canine health through scientific research. During 2016, all donations to the Tick-Borne Disease Initiative are being matched dollar-for-dollar by the American Kennel Club (up to $250,000). Make an impact and double your donation today: www.akcchf.org/ticks.  

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About CHF 
For more than 20 years, the Raleigh, NC-based AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science and research to improve the lives of dogs and their people. The Foundation works to prevent, treat, and cure diseases that impact all dogs, while providing professional information and resources for a new breed of dog owner. Take action because you care; find out more online at www.akcchf.org.

     Goal: $ 9,900                               

About Maria      

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Please Help Make a Difference!

My name is Maria Ryan and I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in 2001. Relapsing-remitting means that symptoms, such as a vision problem in my case, can come and go making it difficult to detect. Prior to 2001, I was living the life I had worked hard to achieve. I was extremely active, I ran 5k’s, I boxed and I owned and operated a successful dog training business where I lived my passion every day.

I started experiencing symptoms that prompted me to visit my eye doctor and after hours of testing, he made an appointment for me to see a neurologist. The next day, I had my first brain MRI only to be unexpectedly diagnosed with this life changing disease.

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Widespread Contamination Also Affects Humans and Other Wildlife

(Washington, D.C., June 2, 2016)A new study published in theJournal of Wildlife Diseaseshas documented evidence of “widespread contamination of habitat” in Hawai‘i caused by feral cats. This latest research has alarming implications for the endangered Hawaiian Goose (Nēnē) and other animals found throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

The peer-reviewedstudy, conducted by scientists from the United States Geological Survey, the U.S.  Department of Agriculture, the University of Tennessee, and the state’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, evaluated the prevalence of infection withToxoplasma gondiiamong Nēnē, Hawai‘i’s state bird.T. gondiiis a protozoan parasite that causes toxoplasmosis in humans and wildlife and is the “most-commonly encountered infectious disease” in Nēnē, the study reports.T. gondiirelies on cats to complete its life cycle and is excreted into the environment through cat feces. A single cat may excrete hundreds of millions of infectious eggs (called “oocysts”) in its feces.

The study found between 21 and 48 percent of Nēnē tested positive for past infection, depending on the island. The island of Moloka‘i had the highest infection rate (48 percent), followed by 23 percent on Maui and 21 percent on Kaua‘i. According to the authors, the higher rate on Moloka‘i may have been due to “a conspicuously consistent presence of feral cats.”

“This research confirms earlier studies dating from the 1970s that this parasite is probably found in tropical island ecosystems wherever there are feral cats,” said Dr. Thierry Work, the study’s lead author. “Recent studies also suggest that animals and humans are more prone to trauma when infected withT. gondii. Trauma is the chief cause of death for Nēnē, and infections withT. gondiimay be making them more vulnerable, but confirming that will require additional studies.”

Nēnē are not the only Hawaiian wildlife to test positive forT. gondii. Other birds, such as the endangered Hawaiian Crow (‘Alalā), and mammals, such as endangered Hawaiian monk seals, are also susceptible and have died from infection. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in response to increasing seal deaths, elevated toxoplasmosis to a disease of “serious concern.” According to the Main Hawaiian Islands Monk Seal Management Plan, NOAA is concerned both with seal deaths and “the secondary and cumulative impacts of subclinical or chronic disease.”

Visitors to and residents of Hawai‘i are also at risk from toxoplasmosis. Ingestion or inhalation of cat-transmitted oocysts may result in miscarriages, fetal abnormalities, blindness, memory loss, or death. A 2011studyfound that nearly 80 percent of sampled mothers of congenitally infected infants (those infected byT. gondiiin the womb) contracted their infections as a result of environmental contamination from cat feces.

A 2013studyby scientists from the Stanley Medical Research Institute and Johns Hopkins University also called attention to cats as the means of transmission to people. “Because cats are now so ubiquitous in the environment, one may become infected [withT. gondii] by neighboring cats which defecate in one’s garden or play area, or by playing in public areas such as parks or school grounds,” the study said.  “Indeed, as cats increasingly contaminate public areas with T. gondii oocysts, it will become progressively more difficult to avoid exposure.”

As well as spreading disease, cats are also a non-native predator that directly kill native wildlife in Hawai‘i and on islands around the world. In Hawai‘i, already known as the bird extinction capital of the world, feral cats kill endangered Hawaiian Petrels (‘Ua‘u), Newell’s Shearwaters (‘A‘o), and Palila, among others. A 2011studyrecorded feral cat impacts on at least 120 different islands worldwide and determined that feral cats are responsible for at least 14 percent of global bird, mammal, and reptile extinctions.

“While we appreciate cats as pets and acknowledge the important role pet cats play in many people’s lives, it is clear that the continued presence of feral cats in our parks and neighborhoods is having detrimental impacts on people and wildlife,” said Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs at American Bird Conservancy. “Before another species goes extinct or another person is affected by toxoplasmosis, we need to acknowledge the severity of the problem and take decisive actions to resolve it. What is required is responsible pet ownership and the effective removal of free-roaming feral cats from the landscape.”

Image: Endangered Nēnē (Hawaiian Goose) is the direct and indirect victim of disease-spreading feral cats. Photo by Jack Jeffrey.


American Bird Conservancy is the Western Hemisphere's bird conservation specialist—the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.  With a focus on efficiency and working in partnership, we take on the toughest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on sound science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

ITHACA, N.Y. – Canine parvovirus, or CPV, emerged as a deadly threat to dogs in the late 1970s, most likely the result of the direct transfer of feline panleukopenia or a similar virus from domesticated cats.
CPV has since spread to wild forest-dwelling animals, including raccoons, and the transfer of the virus from domesticated to wild carnivores has been something of a mystery.
“The underlying issue is, how do viruses jump from one animal to another and what controls viral host range?” said Colin Parrish, the John M. Olin Professor of Virology and director of the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University.
Parrish co-authored a research paper, published in the Journal of Virology, with Susan Daniel, associate professor in Cornell’s Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, which contends that a key mutation in the protein shell of CPV – a single amino acid substitution – plays a major role in the virus’ ability to infect hosts of different species.
“That was a critical step,” he said. “It took a lot of changes to allow that to happen.”
He said another key factor in CPV’s infectivity is adhesion strengthening during TfR binding.
“There’s an initial attachment, which is probably relatively weak,” he said. “The thing just grabs on and holds on a little bit, sort of like using your fingertips. And then it looks like there’s a second attachment that is much stronger, where it’s like you grab on and hold on with both hands and won’t let go.”
“We think that the second event, this structural interaction that occurs in a small proportion of the binding cases, seems to be critical,” he said. “We think that it actually causes a change in the virus, that it triggers a small shift in the virus that actually makes it able to infect successfully.”
One of Daniel’s specialties is the investigation of chemically patterned surfaces that interact with soft matter, including biological materials such as cells, viruses, proteins and lipids. Her lab has pioneered a method called single-particle tracking – placing artificial cell membranes into microfluidics devices, fabricated at the CNF, to study the effect of single virus particles on a variety of membrane host receptors, in this case from both dogs and raccoons.
“The nice thing about these materials is that we can design them to have all different kinds of chemistries,” she said. “So in this particular study, we can put the receptor of interest in there, isolated from everything else so we can look at the specific effect of that receptor on a particular virus interaction.”
Daniel’s lab also developed the precision imaging devices used in the study.
“Another piece of this paper is how the parvovirus actually sits down and binds even stronger over time with that receptor,” Daniel said. “That was kind of a new result that came out of the technique itself, being able to look at individual binding events.”
“When this virus infects a young animal, it can be fatal,” Parrish said. “It’s very unpleasant, and if you own a puppy or a kitten, that’s why you should vaccinate.”
This work was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.


RALEIGH, N.C. (February 4, 2016) – The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent, treat and cure diseases in all dogs, announces that 30 grants have been awarded in 2015 to researchers studying canine disease. These grants, totaling nearly $1.5 million, will continue to build on CHF-funded advances in veterinary medicine and biomedical science, impacting both canine and human health.

“The projects funded this year are a combination of innovative science and technology, and studies to address the immediate and practical medical needs of all dogs,” according to Dr. Diane Brown, CHF’s chief executive officer. “Research ranges from heritable disease, reproductive health, cancer and infectious disease, and includes projects to understand the needs and health of working dog populations, all with an emphasis on better health for dogs and their people.”

CHF administers annual health polls to provide real-time data on the concerns of dog owners and on unmet areas of need in veterinary medicine. Using this information, projects are chosen to build on the depth and breadth of CHF’s 20-year history of health research for dogs. Each grant awarded has specific aims to fill critical knowledge gaps in veterinary medicine, leading to better care options for both the common and the complex health issues of dogs. CHF also invests in training the next generation of scientists to address the health needs of dogs through its Clinician-Scientist Fellowship Program, awarding three Fellowships in 2016.

True to CHF’s mission, several of the newly awarded grants have a One Health emphasis where outcomes of the research project have the potential to benefit human, as well as canine health. One such example is the study of dogs with respiratory and skin diseases that live in the homes of children with asthma. Findings from this study will help unlock the complexities of these health conditions in both species.

CHF is committed to canine cancer research, and one such example is the funding of a $432,000 grant to better understand and prevent hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive and deadly form of cancer in dogs. This grant, awarded to Dr. Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD, professor at the University of Minnesota, joins the American Boxer Charitable Foundation, the Golden Retriever Foundation, and the Portuguese Water Dog Foundation, thus emphasizing the impact CHF donors have in advancing collaborative research.

Funding for CHF grants comes from a number of sources, including: corporations, dog clubs and individuals who are committed to canine health research. Dog lovers are encouraged to make a donation to support healthy dogs by visiting www.akcchf.org.

The complete portfolio of new grants for 2015 can be downloaded in PDF format. Or, view and search all active and past grants in CHF’s full grant portfolio

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About the AKC Canine Health Foundation

For more than 20 years, the Raleigh, NC-based AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science and research to improve the lives of dogs and their people. The Foundation works to prevent, treat, and cure diseases impacting all dogs while providing professional information and resources for a new breed of dog owner. Take action because you care; find out more online at www.akcchf.org.

Buzzing to a City Near You: Zika Virus

AMCA Warns Public of Exotic Mosquito-borne Disease Spreading in Caribbean


MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. – February 9, 2016 - Zika virus, a pathogen transmitted by mosquitoes, has seemingly established itself in South America and the Caribbean and is now threatening the U.S. Cases have been reported in Florida, Illinois, Texas and Hawaii in patients having traveled to Central and South America, where they acquired the virus through mosquito bites. It’s unclear whether the virus could establish itself in the U.S., but the mosquitoes that transmit this disease, the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) are found in southeastern and Midwestern states. Both species lay their eggs in containers such as cans, discarded tires and other items that hold water close to human habitation.

“This is a most discomfiting development, and reminds us that some of the most exotic mosquito-borne diseases are but a few hours plane flight from the continental United States,” says Joseph Conlon, Technical Advisor of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA).

The virus was first isolated from monkeys in the Zika Forest in Uganda in 1947. Although rarely fatal, the symptoms of rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, muscle pain and headache can be debilitating and may persist for several weeks. Alarmingly, exposure of a fetus to Zika virus during pregnancy has been known to result in birth defects such as microcephaly, a deformation of the infants head often associated with various significant developmental problems.

Public health departments and mosquito control districts in the southeast are gearing up public education, mosquito control and laboratory programs to meet the threat. “Traditional mosquito methods of truck-mounted and aerial sprays are ineffective in controlling the species of mosquitoes that transmit Zika,” says Conlon. “The best way to prevent Zika from establishing itself is through the removal of water-bearing containers. Sanitation is key.”

In the meantime, individuals can do their part by eliminating water sources providing mosquito- breeding habitat around their homes. Bites can be prevented through the use of long-sleeve clothing and EPA-registered repellents such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and oil of lemon-eucalyptus. It’s particularly important for women who are pregnant or attempting to get pregnant to avoid travelling to areas of active Zika infection. Further recommendations can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

About the American Mosquito Control Association

Celebrating 81 years of protecting public health in 2016, the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) is an international not-for-profit public service professional association. With over 1,600 members worldwide in over 50 countries, AMCA is international in scope, and includes individuals and public agencies engaged in mosquito control, mosquito research and related activities. Please visit AMCA online at www.mosquito.organd follow AMCA on Twitter @AMCAupdates.

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