Scientists have discovered that the banded mongoose population in Africa carries Leptospira interrogans, a zoonotic pathogen that causes leptospirosis. Because these animals live in close proximity to humans and are considered a food source, the mongoose may be an unidentified source of leptospirosis in humans, according to researchers. "The transmission of infectious diseases from wildlife to humans represents a serious and growing public health risk due to increasing contact between humans and animals," said Alan Tessier of the National Science Foundation.

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