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~ Patogen Manusia Menginfeksi Organisme Laut

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~ Patogen Manusia Menginfeksi Organisme Laut

Manusia Bisa Tularkan Penyakit ke Koral Laut


Manusia Bisa Tularkan Penyakit ke Koral Laut

MT

 

Kehidupan koral laut selama ini dianggap bebas dari sentuhan penyakit manusia. Kalau pun ada koral yang mati, dianggap sebagai hal alamiah atau pun sebagai dampak dari perubahan iklim yang terjadi di Bumi.

Namun, penemuan seorang ahli biologi bernama Kathryn Sutherland dari Rollins College mengejutkan semua pihak. Sebab, hasil penemuan ia dan tim menemukan penyakit di koral yang selama ini hanya ada di manusia. Penyakit ini ditemukan tim Sutherland di koral Elkhorn yang hidup di pantai Florida, Amerika Serikat.

Penyakit ini disebut cacar putih dengan dampak memperlambat pertumbuhan koral secara keseluruhan. Di saat bersamaan, penyakit yang disebabkan patogen Serratia ini menyebarkan bercak putih ke sepanjang koloni koral.

Kondisi ini disebut dengan zoonosis terbalik, artinya penyakit yang berpindah dari manusia ke hewan. Padahal dalam kondisi 'normal', zoonosis merupakan kondisi di mana manusia ditularkan penyakit oleh hewan. Contoh dari zoonosis termasuk flu babi dan flu burung. "Ini adalah contoh pertama patogen manusia menginfeksi organisme laut," ujar pernyataan resmi tim.

Patogen Serratia marcescens biasanya terkandung di kotoran manusia. Insiden patogen ini bisa tersapu hingga ke lautan terjadi di tahun 2002. Namun, saat itu para ahli belum bisa menemukan fakta yang menghubungkan kontaminasi kotoran manusia dengan kematian koral. "Jika kita terus menyakiti laut dan koral, maka kita menyakiti diri sendiri dalam jangka panjang," kata salah satu anggota tim peneliti, Hunter Noren.

National Geographic.co.id


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