FARM ANIMALS AS SENTINEL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND FOOD SAFETY IN NIGERIA

Health risks in both animals and humans are associated with chronic exposures to levels of trace elements (TE) eliciting toxic and/or antinutritional effects, including excess exposures to some essential elements.

Interferences with essential TE may also lead to secondary nutritional deficiencies and/or imbalances. Although research is still required, biomarkers of exposure, including bioavailability, for TE are established tools for human biomonitoring that can also be applied to animal surveillance. Biomarkers of effect as well as, where available, of susceptibility and bioavailability are necessary to understand whether an ongoing exposure may pose a current or future health concern.

In the field of animal health the use of biomarkers is less developed and less widespread than in human health; however, under a One Health perspective, animal biomonitoring can provide important information on the interfaces among humans, animals, and the environment, supporting the prevention and management of health risks.

Biomonitoring of farm or free-ranging animals is critical in building risk management measures to protect human health. Farm or free-ranging animals are provider of noninvasive matrices suitable for evaluating animal welfare, environmental stressors, food safety, and potential risks for human health, as proposed by the interdisciplinary concept of One Health.

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