Host Range and Emerging and Reemerging Pathogens

Centre for Infectious Diseases, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Emerging infectious diseases (Impact Factor: 6.75). 01/2006; 11(12):1842-7. DOI: 10.3201/eid1112.050997
Source: PubMed


An updated literature survey identified 1,407 recognized species of human pathogen, 58% of which are zoonotic. Of the total, 177 are regarded as emerging or reemerging. Zoonotic pathogens are twice as likely to be in this category as are nonzoonotic pathogens. Emerging and reemerging pathogens are not strongly associated with particular types of nonhuman hosts, but they are most likely to have the broadest host ranges. Emerging and reemerging zoonoses are associated with a wide range of drivers, but changes in land use and agriculture and demographic and societal changes are most commonly cited. However, although zoonotic pathogens do represent the most likely source of emerging and reemerging infectious disease, only a small minority have proved capable of causing major epidemics in the human population.

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    • "Collectively, these pathways capture nearly all the ways in which pathogens and the diseases they cause can change in the human population. These seven pathways have been used predominantly to identify emergence, but have been overlooked in macroscale analyses of EIDs [18] [19] [21]. Neglect of the pathways used to designate diseases as emerging has left some important questions unanswered . "
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    ABSTRACT: Microbial infections are as old as the hosts they sicken, but interest in the emergence of pathogens and the diseases they cause has been accelerating rapidly. The term 'emerging infectious disease' was coined in the mid-1900s to describe changes in disease dynamics in the modern era. Both the term and the phenomena it is meant to characterize have evolved and diversified over time, leading to inconsistencies and confusion. Here, we review the evolution of the term 'emerging infectious disease' (EID) in the literature as applied to human hosts. We examine the pathways (e.g., speciation or strain differentiation in the causative agent vs. rapid geographic expansion of an existing pathogen) by which diseases emerge. We propose a new framework for disease and pathogen emergence to improve prioritization. And we illustrate how the operational definition of an EID affects conclusions concerning the pathways by which diseases emerge and the ecological and socioeconomic drivers that elicit emergence. As EIDs appear to be increasing globally, and resources for science level off or decline , the research community is pushed to prioritize its focus on the most threatening diseases, riskiest potential pathogens, and the places they occur. The working definition of emerging infectious diseases and pathogens plays a crucial role in prioritization, but we argue that the current definitions may be impeding these efforts. We propose a new framework for classifying pathogens and diseases as " emerging " that distinguishes EIDs from emerging pathogens and novel potential pathogens. We suggest prioritization of: 1) EIDs for adaptation and mitigation, 2) emerging pathogens for preventive measures, and 3) novel potential pathogens for intensive surveillance.
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    • "Zoonotic infectious diseases represent a current threat for public health and biodiversity (Daszak et al., 2000; Jones et al., 2008), especially in the current context of agriculture intensification and biodiversity erosion (Jones et al., 2013). Despite representing 62% of emerging infections (Jones et al., 2008), understanding epidemiological patterns of these mostly multi-host diseases (Woolhouse and Gowtage-Sequeria, 2005) remains a great challenge for ecologist and public health authorities. One reason of our inability to improve our understanding is the quantification of the respective contribution of the two scales involved in pathogen transmission, namely exposure and receptivity (Combes, 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Infection is a complex biological process involving reciprocally both the intensity of host exposure to a pathogen as well as the host intrinsic "receptivity", or permissiveness to infection. Disentangling their respective contributions is currently seen as a fundamental gap in our knowledge. Here, we take the advantage of a rare semi-natural experiment context provided by the emergence of the West Nile virus (WNV) in North America.Focusing on the pathogen emergence period, we combine datasets from i) wild birds exposed to WNV in an urban zoo to evaluate the species intrinsic receptivity to WNV infection in an environment where exposure to WNV vectors can be assumed to be relatively homogenous for all captive species, and ii) from free-ranging birds in their natural habitat where species ecological traits is expected to influence their exposure to WNV vectors. We show that ecological trait and intrinsic receptivity to infection both contribute similarly to the species variation in WNV seroprevalence, but considering only one of them can lead to erroneous conclusions. We then argue that degree of pathogen host specialization could be a fundamental factor for the respective contribution of species exposure and receptivity for numerous pathogens. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 04/2015; 33. DOI:10.1016/j.meegid.2015.04.011 · 3.02 Impact Factor
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    • "Rodents are the host species to many wildlife-borne zoonotic pathogens (Mills & Childs 1998; Ostfeld & Holt 2004; Woolhouse & Gowtage-Sequaria 2005). Often rodent populations show a combination of seasonal and multiannual fluctuations in abundance (Stenseth 1999; Lambin, Bretagnolle & Yoccoz 2006; Korpela et al. 2013), which have been linked to fluctuations in the incidence of human infections by rodent-borne zoonotic diseases (reviewed by Davis, Calvet & Leirs 2005); for instance, in Northern Fennoscandia the human Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) infection epidemiology reflects the multiannual density fluctuations of the rodent host, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) (Olsson et al. 2003; Kallio et al. 2009). "

    Journal of Animal Ecology 01/2015; · 4.50 Impact Factor
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