MACROPHAGES, MAN AND THE ENVIRONMENT: MY LIFE’S STORY
Professor V.O. Taiwo, Department of Veterinary Pathology
The Macrophage and Man have been divinely ordained by God to take very good care of the environments where they have found themselves by Divine placement. Macrophages are about the largest, most versatile and widespread group of cells in the body. They are found in many tissues and organs, including connective tissue, liver, lung, lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, serous fluids, skin, and others where they assume specialized forms, characteristics and functional plasticity, especially maintenance of body homeostasis, protection against intruders, and assistance in humoral and other defense mechanisms. It is however, known that they also aid and abet the establishment of numerous, often dangerous, disease conditions in the body. Man, on the other hand, was created and divinely ordained by God to take care of and subdue all of God’s creatures and maintain/sustain his environment. Considering the enormity of these responsibilities, the two-some have fared quite well in these tasks, securing good and healthy living, within their various environments, but we know that they also have run short of expectations in the performance of these tasks and have involved themselves in, in some cases, self destruction.
In series of experiments carried out during my doctoral research, the macrophage was found to play differential roles in the pathogenesis of anaemia during trypanosomosis in trypanotolerant, Bos taurus, N’Dama vis-à-vis the trypanosusceptible, Bos indicus, East African Boran cattle, the latter which developed more severe degrees of anaemia during infection than the former.
I have been able to discuss the all important issue of Environmental Pollution and its effects on Food Security and Safety in man and animals. I have showcased some of my research efforts aimed at ensuring food security and safety in this nation, and elsewhere, by our various studies into searching for alternate sources of foods and feed ingredients, ensuring their safety levels for both human and animal consumption, and for industrial uses. I and my various colleagues have also been able to research into and have highlighted some environmental toxicological issues affecting the health and wellness of man and animals in our environment, especially on use and abuse of pesticides and pyrethroids-containing insecticidal sprays and coils, and the Zamfara State environmental lead pollution and its effects on our animals and the possible effects on the health and wellness of man.
I have stressed that Man should note that he did not create his environment, and he did not choose wherever he found himself on Earth. Though man has been given the ominous right, by God, to modify his environment to suit some of his (selfish?) requirements, it should be noted that God did not ordain or command man to destroy His creations. Man invents and discovers technology as God’s sovereign Gift to him; hence Man should consciously maintain and sustain a balanced ecosystem and resources to the benefit of both present and future generations.
Recommendations have been posited on the use of appropriate government policies in restructuring and strengthening the Agencies involved in Food Storage and Preservation, Environmental Protection and Technologies, Mass Education on Public and Personal Health and Hygiene, and the provision Funds for Tertiary Biomedical and Allied Research Institutes to carry out biodiversity studies and inventory of plant and animal resources; setting up of gene banks, and genetic improvement of our plant and livestock species. Man should be reminded that a parasite’s success lies in the careful handling of its host (environment), or else he would be killed by it.