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A ‘One Health’ Approach to Predict Emerging Zoonoses in the Amazon

  • Fundación Teko Kavi

Abstract and Figures

Explosive human population growth and environmental changes have resulted in increased numbers of people living in close contact with animals. The risks of disease emergence are greater in developing countries, where people and animals live in close proximity, livelihoods are highly dependent on natural resources, and capacity for detecting pathogens in wildlife is limited. The USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT program is applying a One Health approach to detect zoonotic pathogens in the highest risk areas of the globe for disease emergence “hotspots” before they emerge. Since 2010, PREDICT has worked jointly with local governments and key stakeholders to conduct wildlife disease surveillance in priority animal taxa across four Amazon countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru). Additional targets have been training field and laboratory personnel, conducting family level screening for priority viral pathogens, communicating risks, and collaborating in outbreak response. In a relatively short time, capacity was significantly enhanced in these countries for detecting wildlife pathogens and conducting outbreak investigations. Efforts should be maximized to secure sustainability for the capacity building process, with the aim to prevent human and animal emerging disease threats.
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In recent decades, explosive human popula on growth
and environmental changes have resulted in increased num-
bers of people living in close contact with animals. The re-
sul ng intensi ed contact, together with extensive land use
change, have altered the inherent ecological balance betwe-
en pathogens and their human and animal hosts.
Historical reviews of emerging infec ous disease (EID)
events have shown that over 60 percent of all new patho-
gens a ec ng humans have originated in animals, and 75%
of them originated in wildlife (Jones et al. 2008). Of the
1,399 species of known human pathogens, 87 have been
discovered in the last three decades, they are dispropor-
onately viruses (75%), have a global distribu on, and are
mostly associated with wildlife reservoirs (Woolhouse and
Gaunt 2007). Remarkable examples of EIDs of wildlife origin
are Ebola hemorrhagic fever, Nipah viral encephali s, severe
acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), hantavirus pulmonary
syndrome, H5N1 highly pathogenic avian in uenza, and
the pandemic 2009 H1N1 in uenza virus (Karesh and Cook
2005, Flanagan et al. 2012). The speed with which these
diseases can emerge and spread presents serious public
health, economic, and development concerns. These facts
underscore the need for the development of comprehen-
sive disease detec on and response capaci es, par cularly
in those geographic areas where disease threats are likely to
emerge. The risks of emergence are greater in developing
countries, where people and animals live in close proximity
and livelihoods are highly dependent on natural resources.
A ‘One Health’ Approach to Predict
Emerging Zoonoses in the Amazon
Marcela Uhart1,2, Alberto A. Pérez2,
Melinda Rostal3, Erika Alandia Robles2,
Ana Patricia Mendoza2, Alessandra Nava3,
Catia Dejuste de Paula2, Flavia Miranda2,
Volga Iñiguez4, Carlos Zambrana3,
Edison Durigon5, Padu Franco2,
Damien Joly2, Tracey Goldstein1,
William Karesh3, and Jonna Mazet1.
1 One Health Ins tute, University of California, Davis. 1089 Veterinary
Medicine Drive. VM3B, Ground oor. Davis, CA 95616.
2 Wildlife Conserva on Society, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York,
NY 10460.
3 EcoHealth Alliance, 460 West 34th Street – 17th oor, New York, NY 10001
4 Ins tuto de Biología Molecular y Biotecnología – UMSA, La Paz, Bolivia
5 Ins tuto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade de São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brasil.
Explosive human popula on growth and environmental changes have resulted in increased numbers of people living in close contact with
animals. The risks of disease emergence are greater in developing countries, where people and animals live in close proximity, livelihoods
are highly dependent on natural resources, and capacity for detec ng pathogens in wildlife is limited. The USAID’s Emerging Pandemic
Threats PREDICT program is applying a One Health approach to detect zoono c pathogens in the highest risk areas of the globe for dise-
ase emergence “hotspots” before they emerge. Since 2010, PREDICT has worked jointly with local governments and key stakeholders to
conduct wildlife disease surveillance in priority animal taxa across four Amazon countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru). Addi onal
targets have been training eld and laboratory personnel, conduc ng family level screening for priority viral pathogens, communica ng
risks, and collabora ng in outbreak response. In a rela vely short me, capacity was signi cantly enhanced in these countries for de-
tec ng wildlife pathogens and conduc ng outbreak inves ga ons. E orts should be maximized to secure sustainability for the capacity
building process, with the aim to prevent human and animal emerging disease threats.
Key words: Emerging zoonoses, wildlife, disease risk, Amazon, One Health, predict, surveillance
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Saúde Silvestre e Humana: Experiências e Perspectivas
A ‘One Health’ Approach to Predict Emerging Zoonoses in the Amazon.
Developing countries are also commonly characterized by
limited capacity for detec ng disease emergence in wild-
life prior to spread to humans, and by limited or no public
health repor ng infrastructure.
In order to predict, respond to, and prevent the emergen-
ce of novel infec ous diseases in humans, pathogens must
be iden ed at their source. The most sensible strategy to
pursue such an aim is by applying a One Health approach,
which, as de ned by the United Na ons Food and Agricultu-
re Organiza on (FAO 2010), is a ‘collabora ve, interna onal,
cross-sectorial, and mul disciplinary mechanism to address
threats and reduce risks of detrimental infec ous diseases
at the animal-human-ecosystem interface’. The One Health
approach combats health threats around the world by buil-
ding bridges between di erent scien c disciplines regar-
ding the movement of diseases among humans, domes c
animals, and wildlife (Karesh and Cook 2005).
The concept of One Health (commonly known also as
‘One World, One Health’) was launched by the Wildlife Con-
serva on Society during a symposium held at the Rockefel-
ler University in September 2004 (One World, One Health
2004), in which health experts from around the world con-
vened to discuss the movements of diseases, and to set prio-
ri es (the Manha an Principles) and discuss strategies for
comba ng threats to the health of life on Earth. The main
goal of the One Health approach is to urge world leaders,
civil society, the global health community, and ins tu ons of
science to holis cally approach the preven on of epidemic/
epizoo c disease and the maintenance of ecosystem inte-
grity. Interna onal organiza ons such as the World Health
Organiza on (WHO), the World Organiza on for Animal He-
alth (OIE), and the Food and Agriculture Organiza on (FAO)
encourage governments and non-government ins tu ons
to jointly pursue the One Health approach at a regional and
global scale. Recommenda ons by OIE (2011) stress that ‘it
is necessary to develop science-based standards on disease
detec on, preven on, and control, and to harmonise the
policies related to disease risks at the interfaces between
wildlife, domes c animals, and humans’.
Five principles have been proposed to reverse the global
trend on EIDs and pandemic threats:
Assess impact of human and animal diseases.
Clarify drivers in uencing disease emergence and
pandemic risks.
Confront and redress the emergence of wildlife patho-
gens as hazards and threats.
Enhance hygiene and biosecurity rou nes and prac -
ces in food value chains and agro-ecological landscape
Pursue partnerships and alliances between medical,
veterinary and environmental agencies with the con-
cept of ‘One Health’.
The Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) program is an
interna onal and mul disciplinary e ort supported by
the United States Agency for Interna onal Development
(USAID), which seeks to aggressively pre-empt or combat di-
seases that could spark future pandemics. The EPT program
emphasizes early iden ca on of, and response to, dange-
rous pathogens in animals before they can become signi -
cant threats to human health. Using a risk-based approach,
EPT focuses e orts on geographic areas where these threats
are most likely to emerge. These e orts are cri cal to the
sustainability of long-term pandemic preven on and pre-
paredness. They help develop be er predic ve models for
iden ca on of future viral and other biological threats.
The EPT program draws on exper se from across the ani-
mal and human health sectors to build regional, na onal,
and local capaci es for early disease detec on, laboratory-
-based disease diagnosis, rapid disease response and con-
tainment, and risk reduc on. These e orts target a limited
number of geographic areas, known as “hotspots”, where
new disease threats have emerged in the past. Five key are-
as of emphasis comprise the EPT program: 1. wildlife patho-
gen detec on, 2. risk determina on, 3. ins tu onaliza on
of a ‘one health’ approach, 4. outbreak response capacity,
and 5. risk reduc on. The EPT program consists of six pro-
The PREDICT project aims to create a global early war-
ning system for disease emergence that detects, tracks, and
predicts new infec ous diseases in high-risk wildlife (e.g.
bats, rodents and non-human primates) that could pose a
major threat to human health (University of California, Davis
2013). Par cular focus is placed on establishing enhanced
wildlife monitoring capacity in those geographic “hotspots”
that pose greater risk for the emergence of new pathogens
(Jones et al. 2008), where host species are likely to have
signi cant interac on with domes c animals and with high-
-density human popula ons. Priority regions are:
Africa (the Congo Basin)
Asia (Gange c Plain and Southeast Asia)
La n America (the Amazon region and Mexico)
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Focused on 22 key countries, the PREDICT project imple-
ments a strategy called SMART Surveillance (Strategic, Me-
asurable, Adap ve, Responsive, and Targeted Surveillance)
which is designed for the early detec on of novel diseases
with pandemic poten al. SMART surveillance e orts are
concentrated on strategic interfaces (e.g. sites and situa-
ons where people and animals have contact and there is
an increased poten al for transmission of zoono c diseases)
and target important sen nel species to improve the e -
ciency of surveillance.
PREDICT follows the principles of the One Health approa-
ch, and jointly with local governments and key stakeholders,
trains personnel, collects wildlife samples, performs family
level screening for priority viral pathogens, communicates
risk, and collaborates in outbreak response. Speci c priority
pathogens are monitored, par cularly RNA viruses associa-
ted with cross-species transmission from wildlife and lives-
tock to humans with signi cant public health impact, such
as: alphaviruses, arenaviruses, bunyaviruses, coronaviruses,
loviruses, aviviruses, henipaviruses, orthomyxoviruses,
paramyxoviruses, reoviruses, retroviruses, rhabdoviruses,
and other emerging viral pathogens.
PREDICT is a One Health partnership centrally managed
by four ins tu ons (University of California, Davis, Metabio-
ta, Wildlife Conserva on Society and EcoHealth Alliance),
with contribu ons from pres gious partners from around the
world (e.g., the Smithsonian Ins tu on, Columbia University,
HealthMap, ProMED, OIE, FAO, WHO, and many others).
In order to detect known, as well as novel pathogens,
it’s necessary to develop a surveillance strategy at the in-
terfaces where zoono c diseases are most likely to emer-
ge, based on the best available knowledge. As previously
men oned, almost 60% of EIDs events in the 20th century
were zoonoses, and 75% of them originated in wildlife (Jo-
nes et al. 2008). Wildlife host species richness seems to be
a signi cant predictor for the emergence of zoono c EIDs
with a wildlife origin. Therefore, the areas at greatest risk for
zoono c pathogen emergence “hotspots” seem to be the
equatorial tropics where biodiversity is higher and human
density is high. Regions with greater host richness may have
a higher total richness of pathogens, such that the species
pool of pathogens capable of jumping to humans may be
higher (Flanagan et al. 2012). Mathema cal models show
that pathogen richness and prevalence are strongly correla-
ted with richness of mammal and bird species (Dunn et al.
2010). However, changes in biodiversity have the poten al
to a ect the risk of infec ous disease exposure in animals
and humans. Studies revealed that for certain EIDs (e.g.,
hantavirus pulmonary syndrome), biodiversity loss tends to
increase pathogen transmission and disease incidence, by
a ec ng factors such as species abundance, behaviour, and
condi on of hosts or vectors (Keesing 2010).
The poten al of certain viral pathogens to “jump” spe-
cies and sustain human-human transmission is an issue of
major concern. Commonly, RNA viruses show higher muta-
on rates than DNA viruses (with the excep on of certain
strains in the la er group). To “jump” species, animal viruses
undergo gene c changes that render them newly able to
spread e ciently among humans. Examples of cross-species
viral transmission and pandemic spread are SARS coronavi-
rus (originated from carnivores and bats), HIV-1 (origina ng
in chimpanzees), In uenza A subtype pdmH1N1 (originated
from domes c pigs), and Dengue fever (originated from
non-human primates via repeated exposure to mosquito
vectors) (Karesh and Cook 2005, Vasilakis et al. 2011, Flana-
gan et al. 2012).
Of the more than 4,600 recognized species of mammals,
50% are rodents and 20% are bats (Calisher et al. 2006,
Dunn et al. 2010). This rich species diversity, plus other eco-
logical and biological traits (e.g., great popula on densi es,
high reproduc ve rates, ability to develop persistent infec-
ons), suggests that surveillance e orts focused on rodents
and bats can result in high viral yields (Calisher et al. 2006).
Furthermore, bats and rodents are evolu onarily ancient,
diverse and include many species with peridomes c habits.
More than 61 zoono c viruses have been isolated from bats,
and 68 from rodent species (Luis et al. 2013). For these rea-
sons bats and rodents remain serious concerns as reservoirs
for future zoono c disease emergence. Evolu onary rela-
onships among primates, rodents and bats are close, whi-
ch par ally explains the taxonomic suscep bility to cross-
-species viral transmission (Wildman et al. 2007, Campbell
and Lapointe 2010).
Analysis of mammal-virus associa on databases showed
that species in the orders Chiroptera and Roden a are less li-
kely than species in other orders to have visible disease, and
therefore healthy animal surveillance is a sensible strategy
to iden fy poten
ally zoono c pathogens, in combina on
with syndromic surveillance in other wildlife and domes c
animal hosts (Levinson et al. 2013).
As suggested by many authors (Jones et al. 2008, Dunn
et al. 2010), disease control e orts would be best focused in
those regions where prevalence remains high, popula ons
are large, and resources for EID surveillance and inves ga-
on are poorly allocated. Early detec on of poten ally high-
risk pathogens in animals could enable mi ga on strategies
to prevent human disease (for example, by avoiding high-
risk areas, distribu ng prophylac c drugs, or mobilizing sur-
veillance and medical resources) (Flanagan et al. 2012).
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Saúde Silvestre e Humana: Experiências e Perspectivas
A ‘One Health’ Approach to Predict Emerging Zoonoses in the Amazon.
The Amazon rainforest is an extremely interes ng envi-
ronment in which to study emerging pathogens of wildlife
origin. Widely recognized as the most biodiverse ecosystem
on Earth, it encompasses an unimaginable variety of ora
and fauna and associated microorganisms. With a few ex-
cep ons, wildlife disease events have been poorly docu-
mented in the Amazon, and no consistent long-term wildlife
health surveillance e orts have been sustainably maintai-
ned in any country.
As a result of human ac vity in recent decades, the
Amazon rainforest has been drama cally modi ed in cer-
tain areas. Vast extensions have been transformed by de-
foresta on for agriculture (crops, livestock and biofuels),
by extrac ve industries (logging, mining, produc on of oil,
gas and hydroelectric energy), for biomedical and industrial
uses of biodiversity, and for the construc on of roads. Other
anthropogenic ac vi es, such as wildlife trade and subsist-
ence hun ng, together with the nega ve e ects caused by
certain natural phenomena (e.g., heavy oods associated to
El Niño-Southern Oscilla on), are all factors that increase
the pressure on natural habitats, and the risks of zoono c
disease emergence. Simula on models forecast that, by
2050, current trends in agricultural expansion will eliminate
a total of 40% of Amazon forests (Soares-Filho et al. 2006).
In Brazil, the massive deforesta on for the produc on of
livestock and monocultures (par cularly soybean and sug-
arcane) results in intense fragmenta on and modi ca on
of natural landscapes, and has been suggested to play an
important role as a driver for disease emergence in recent
years (i.e., yellow fever, malaria, Mayaro and Oropouche fe-
vers) (Vasconcelos et al. 2001). Of note, the main vectors of
malaria are par cularly present and more abundant in al-
tered landscapes (Olson et al 2010). In Colombia, the annual
deforesta on rate is es mated at 0.18%, and is also linked to
livestock farming, expanding ci es and oil palm planta ons
(an increasing problem also in eastern Peru). Peru is current-
ly undergoing major land use changes as three transoceanic
highways are being built to traverse Brazilian and Peruvian
Amazon territories. A large extension of natural forest and
rural se lements are currently being disturbed and modi-
ed, and it is expected that in the near future normal dis-
ease pa erns will also be altered by ecological disturbance
and changes in vectors and reservoir popula ons. In Bolivia,
human migra
on from urban to forest areas is increasing,
o en following infrastructure development projects such as
the construc on of highways and dams, expansion of gas, oil
and mber extrac on and mining, thereby bringing people
into close contact with forest wildlife and pathogens.
A variety of viruses and parasites are normally main-
tained in enzoo c cycles in the rainforest, and can infect
humans and domes c animals a er encroachment into the
wild. The Oropouche virus is the best documented example
in this category (Vasconcelos et al. 2001). Numerous zoonot-
ic disease events have been linked to mining ac vi es in
Peru and Brazil in the past thirty years, with vampire-borne
rabies and cutaneous leishmaniasis at the top of the list
(Chagas et al. 2006, da Rosa et al. 2006, López 2007, Gomez-
Benavides et al. 2007, Salmón-Mulanovich et al. 2009, Sch-
neider et al. 2009). Inves ga ons conducted in the Amazon
in the 1970s and 80s showed increased incidence of known
vector-borne viruses and emergence of new viruses of pub-
lic health importance (e.g., avivirus, bunyavirus, alphavi-
rus, reovirus) during the construc on of a hydroelectric dam
in Tucuruí (State of Para, Brazil), and highways across vast
areas of virgin tropical forest (Vasconcelos et al 2001). At
least 187 di erent arboviruses have been isolated in Brazil
over the second half of the twen eth century. Thirty-two of
these are known to cause disease in humans (fever, exan-
thema c fever, hemorrhagic disease, and encephali s), and
some of them (especially dengue, yellow fever, mayaro, and
oropouche fever viruses) are highly relevant to public health
as they may be involved in epidemics causing severe illness
or even death (Vasconcelos et al 2001).
Contact with wild animals, including hun ng, butchering
and keeping wildlife pets, can lead to the transmission of
poten ally severe diseases for the health of both individuals
and communi es. Tradi onally, bushmeat played an impor-
tant dietary role among indigenous people and poor hou-
seholds, but there is a recent growing demand by people
moving into the forest for logging concessions and other ex-
trac ve projects, as well as by forest people moving into ur-
ban areas. The handling and consump on of infected meat
is considered a signi cant route of pathogen transmission.
Cross-species transmission of microbes during hun ng and
butchering has been linked to human outbreaks of monkey
pox and Ebola hemorrhagic fever, and to infec ons with re-
troviruses, such as simian foamy virus, primate T-cell lym-
photropic viruses, and simian immunode ciency virus (Wol-
fe et al., 2005, Smith et al. 2012). Individuals who undertake
butchering are in contact with the animal’s blood and body
uids during skinning, opening of the body cavity, removal
of organs and cu ng of meat. They risk infec on through
open wounds or through injuries from knives and bone frag-
ments (Le Breton et al. 2006). The es mated consump on
of wild animal meat in the Amazon Basin ranges from 67
to 164 million kilograms annually; for mammals alone, this
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consump on reaches about 6.4 million to 15.8 million indi-
vidual animals (Karesh et al. 2005).
The wildlife trade, much of which is conducted illegally
or through informal networks, poses signi cant health thre-
ats to humans, domes c animals, na ve wildlife species,
and ecosystems (Karesh et al. 2005, Rosen et al. 2010). The
transport of illegal live animals or their parts can facilitate
the movement of pathogens to new regions. Wildlife trade
may result in devasta ng economic losses, and it also re-
presents an animal welfare concern as live specimens are
o en handled and transported under inhumane condi ons.
According to some es mates, almost 40,000 live primates,
4 million live birds, 640,000 live rep les, and 350 million
live tropical sh are traded globally each year (Karesh et al.
2005). Analysis of con sca on records for a period of 12 ye-
ars, revealed that mammals and mammal parts dominate
the global trade of animal products (51% of all seizures),
though rep les and amphibians are usually traded as live
specimens (Rosen and Smith 2010).
Transloca on of wild animals for the pet and wildlife tra-
de poses risks of disease introduc on from one part of the
world to another. There are many examples of how diseases
origina ng in the wildlife trade can impact human, animal
and environmental health (e.g., SARS, HPAI H5N1, monkey-
pox, avian paramyxovirus, amphibian chytridiomycosis)
(Kock et al. 2010, Travis et al. 2011). Recently, zoono c
retroviruses (simian foamy virus) and herpesviruses were
iden ed in smuggled bushmeat from non-human primates
at the JFK Interna onal Airport (New York), origina ng from
West Africa (Smith et al. 2012).
Wildlife trade represents a route of disease exposure in
humans yet to be documented adequately in Amazon coun-
tries, where wetmarkets are signi cant and expanding. In
Bolivia, wild animals are sold legally and illegally for both
internal and external markets. The trade of wildlife consists
mainly of live animals that are sold as pets (psi acine birds,
primates and rep les), and animal parts or by-products that
are sold for tradi onal medicine, rituals and as tourist sou-
venirs. A study conducted in Cochabamba (La Pampa mar-
ket) showed that 27 di erent mammal species are object of
trade (including carnivores, bats, ungulates and xenarthra)
(Suarez and Alandia 2011). Wildlife trade is also a major
concern for the conserva on of endangered species; it is
es mated that 4 out of 5 primates taken from their natural
habitat die before reaching the market (Suarez and Alandia
2011). More than three thousand bats (of frugivorous, insec-
vorous and hematophagous species) are hunted in Bolivia
every two months for the trade. These bats are commonly
sold in urban markets (La Paz, El Alto, Oruro, Cochabamba
and Santa Cruz) by the so-called ‘chi eras’ (a Spanish term
for witches), for use in tradi onal medicine either in des-
iccated forms or as live individuals. People su ering from
epilepsy are o ered raw blood from live bats, which are be-
headed on-site at market se ngs; blood is preferably drunk
while the person is fas ng (Jemio 2007).
In Peru, non-human primates are commonly illegally
traded for the pet market, and as a result, thousands of
monkeys are con scated or abandoned every year in rescue
centers. Con scated animals are mostly of unknown origin
and found in very poor health condi on, represen ng po-
ten al health risks to humans and animals. A recent survey
of 7 out of 12 rescue centers in Peru used samples from 165
con scated non-human primates to test for zoono c patho-
gens. It iden ed infec ons with Trypanosoma sp., Herpes
sp., Foamy virus, enteroparasites, and pathogenic entero-
bacteria including Aeromonas sp., Campylobacter sp., Sal-
monella sp., and Shigella sp. (Murillo et al. 2013).
PREDICT is conduc ng the rst scien c characteriza on
of disease risks posed by human-wildlife interfaces, and pro-
viding informa on necessary to detect and respond to dise-
ase emergence in the Amazon Basin. From project start in
2010, PREDICT has focused e orts on crea ng awareness on
the importance of wildlife disease surveillance as a valuable
strategy to prevent infec ons in humans. Wildlife pathogens
are monitored in priority taxonomic groups (bats, primates
and rodents) at seven animal-human interfaces: subsisten-
ce hun ng (indigenous territories), wildlife trade (wetma-
rkets), cap ve se ngs (sanctuaries, rehabilita on centers,
zoos), disease events (outbreaks), peri-domes c se ngs
(near villages or urban areas), extrac ve industries (logging,
mining), agriculture (livestock), and remote areas without
human disturbance (for baseline comparison) (Fig. 1).
Informa on is managed through a specialized database
(the Global Animal Informa on System, GAINS), which in-
cludes data from both eld and laboratory work. Following
government permission to release the PREDICT data, we will
conduct analyses that should reveal some socio-cultural and
economic drivers of hun ng, trade and consump on of wild
animals, and characterizing disease risks through predic ve
models and EID-risk maps, to prepare and respond to future
disease events.
A er three years of project implementa on in Amazon
countries (as of May 2013), PREDICT has trained 842 peo-
ple in wildlife sampling and surveillance methods, includ-
ing eld sta , biologists, veterinarians, indigenous hunters,
laboratory technicians, and public health, veterinary service
and other government personnel. Diagnos c capacity for
screening fourteen viral families of pandemic poten al was
established at university and government laboratories in
Bolivia, Peru and Brazil. Over 34,082 animal samples were
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Saúde Silvestre e Humana: Experiências e Perspectivas
A ‘One Health’ Approach to Predict Emerging Zoonoses in the Amazon.
collected from 835 rodents, 1058 primates, 1978 bats, 558
birds, 218 rep les and 242 ungulates for pathogen screen-
ing, and tes ng is currently in progress.
In order to ensure sustainability, PREDICT facilitated
inter-ministerial forums to design na onal strategies for
wildlife disease surveillance in Colombia, Bolivia and Peru.
Partnerships were formalized with more than 60 ins tu ons
in Bolivia, Peru, Brazil and Colombia, by engaging ministries,
laboratories, academia, NGOs, and civil organiza ons.
Par cipatory community-based surveillance is one of the
most notable e orts conducted in the region. The Wildlife
Conserva on Society (PREDICT leader in Bolivia) and Tacana
indigenous communi es developed a strategy for commu-
nity-based surveillance to prevent and control transmissible
diseases of backyard domes c animals in the Great Madidi-
-Tambopata landscape (northern Bolivian Amazonia). Being
successfully implemented over ve years, this collabora -
ve model (Fig. 2) is characterized by an agile network for
prompt disease communica on and data recording, and was
adapted to target zoono c diseases. Bolivian government
agencies such as the Veterinary Service (SENASAG) and the
Public Health Ministry have used this framework to enhance
surveillance of pathogens of economic importance, but also
of pathogens of public health concern.
PREDICT is also helping improve the current infrastruc-
ture for outbreak response in the Amazon, by working colla-
bora vely with government agencies for eld inves ga ons
and training. PREDICT joined the na onal task forces in Boli-
via and Peru to respond to ten di erent zoonoses outbreaks
associated with wildlife (i.e., yellow fever, Oropouche fever,
rabies, plague, leptospirosis, hantavirus pulmonary syndro-
me and arenavirus hemorrhagic fever). Response e orts
were focused on ac ve sampling of animal reservoirs (ur-
ban, peri-urban and wild caught) and training of eld sta
(from public agencies, universi es, wildlife sanctuaries, and
NGOs) in wildlife sampling and disease repor ng methods.
FIGURE 1. Map showing PREDICT study areas and interfaces in Amazon countries. A) Bolivia: Tacana,Tsimane-Mosetén and Uchupiamonas indigenous territories
and uninhabi ed areas in northern Amazonia (Madidi Na onal Park and Pilón Lajas Biosphere Reserve, northern Bolivia); peri-urban areas in Carmen Pampa
(Coroico District, La Paz), Cochabamba and Santa Cruz; rescue centers and zoos in La Paz, , Coroico District (Department of La Paz) and Villa Tunari District
(Department of Cochabamba); wetmarkets in La Paz and Cochabamba; agriculture areas in Beni (Elvira, Perotó); logging areas in Santa Cruz. B) Brazil: Unaltered
and uninhabited areas of the Amazon rainforest along Jatapu River, State Road BR-319, BR-174 highway, Santa Izabel do Rio Negro, and Roraima; intermediate
site of Rio Preto da Eva and the disturbed forest sites within the city of Manaus (States of Amazonas and Roraima, north-western Brazil). C) Colombia: wildlife
rescue centers in the Departments of Amazonas, Le cia and Caquetá. D) Peru: wetmarkets and rescue centers in Iquitos, Yurimaguas, Tarapoto, Tumbes, Piura,
Chiclayo, Lima, Cuzco, Madre de Dios and Pucallpa; riverside communi es in Yavari-Mirim Private Conserva on Area, and Pacaya-Samiria Na onal Reserve; peri-
urban areas in Pucallpa.
Red rectangles and dots
show areas surveyed by
WCS (Peru, Bolivia and
Brazil). Purple rectangle
and dots show areas
covered by EHA (Bolivia,
Brazil and Colombia)
Book_Fiocruz.indb 70Book_Fiocruz.indb 70 26/08/2013 17:25:2326/08/2013 17:25:23
An outstanding example of how ‘One Health’ work can
contribute to improve outbreak response, is the one im-
plemented in Bolivia to deal with the rst yellow fever (YF)
outbreak a ec ng monkeys, in which prompt inves ga ons
and response ac vi es of government o cials and PREDICT
sta allowed to prevent infec ons in humans. No YF-mor-
tality had been previously reported in monkeys un l March
2012, when six free-ranging red howler monkeys (Alouat-
ta sara) were found dead near a wildlife sanctuary in Santa
Cruz (eastern Bolivia). Necropsies conducted on two howler
monkey carcasses demonstrated pathological lesions com-
pa ble with YF (e.g., jaundiced mucous membranes, hemor-
rhages in gingiva, liver and kidneys, swollen lymph nodes,
and splenomegaly) (Figure 3). RT-PCR for detec on of viral
families was conducted on liver samples at the Ins tute of
Molecular Biology (University of San Andres). Results sho-
wed infec ons by a avivirus, and immediate no ca on
was sent to the Ministry of Public Health. Later RNA sequen-
cing con rmed that infec ons had been caused by two YF
viral strains (TVP11767 and TN-96 NS5), both related to hu-
man cases in Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil, respec vely.
Only eight days elapsed between the onset of the outbre-
ak and no ca on of the Bolivian government. Preven ve
measures were promptly implemented in the a ected area,
including vaccina on campaigns, public outreach, and mos-
quito control. As a result, no human cases occurred during
this outbreak (Alandia et al. 2013).
PREDICT’s Deep Forest Metagenomics project is aimed at
determining the e ect of anthropogenic landscape disturban-
ce on biodiversity and the infec ous diseases of zoono c in-
terest harbored by wild species. As land-use change is an im-
portant driver of emerging infec ous disease, a pla orm was
developed to understand how landscape disturbance may al-
ter pa erns of biodiversity, corresponding pa erns of viral di-
versity and pa erns of human-animal contact in landscapes.
This project is currently being conducted in Brazil and Malay-
sian Borneo by EcoHealth Alliance, and in Uganda by Univer-
sity of California, Davis. This project emphasizes rigorous sam-
pling design that targets non-lethal sampling of rodents, bats
and primates across a gradient of human disturbance.
In Brazil we collaborate closely with partners at the Uni-
versidade de São Paulo, Universidade Federal do Amazonas,
and Ins tuto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia. The pro-
ject is based in Manaus and the three study sites selected
are: the City of Manaus (disturbed with high human den-
sity), Rio Preto da Eva (intermediate) and a large protected
area to the west of the BR-174 highway (pris ne forest). A
landscape development intensity index (LDI) will be calcula-
ted at each site using a local site-based analysis and satellite
images at numerous spa al scales. Rodents, marsupials and
bats are being trapped, sampled, iden ed and morphome-
FIGURE 2. Animal disease repor ng network developed in collabora on with
the Tacana indigenous people of Bolivia (from Alandia et al. 2012).
FIGURE 3. Necropsy of a howler monkey infected with yellow fever virus,
performed by PREDICT sta at the Municipal Zoo ‘Vesty Pakos’ (La Paz) (Photo
(c) E. Alandia, WCS 2012).
CAHPs: Community Animal Health Promoters; CIPTA: Tacana People’s
Indigenous Council; CIPTA NNRR Coordinator: CITA Natural Resources
Coordinator; SENASAG: Na onal Veterinary Service
Book_Fiocruz.indb 71Book_Fiocruz.indb 71 26/08/2013 17:25:2426/08/2013 17:25:24
Saúde Silvestre e Humana: Experiências e Perspectivas
A ‘One Health’ Approach to Predict Emerging Zoonoses in the Amazon.
tric measurements are taken, then the animals are released.
The family-level PCR analyses (described previously) will be
performed at Biosciences Ins tute (ICB II) at the Universi-
dade de São Paulo (USP) and a subset of samples will be
submi ed for high-throughput deep sequencing. Studies
such as these are important for understanding viral diversity
in high-risk wildlife taxa. The gradient system used by the
Deep Forest Project will be the rst step in answering im-
portant ques ons about the e ect of landscape disturbance
on viral diversity, biodiversity and human-animal contact as
well as assessing the poten al risk of spillover into human
popula ons.
With the implementa on of the strategies described
above, and in a rela vely short me, capacity for iden fying
pathogens in wildlife and responding to infec ous disease
of wildlife origin was signi cantly enhanced in the targeted
Amazon countries by PREDICT partners. E orts to secure
con nuity are of upmost priority, and should ideally evolve
from newly established inter-ministerial collabora ons at a
na onal and regional scale.
As suggested by FAO (2010), ‘it is well known that pre-
ven on is be er than cure, both in the ght against exis ng
and new emerging diseases’. The world is experiencing an
unprecedented genera on of science-based knowledge on
the movement of pathogens in the human-animal-ecosys-
tem interface. This informa on becomes invaluable input
for new predic ve models to help target, with the highest
probability of emerging disease detec on, the best areas in
which to adap vely focus e orts and deploy resources. The
One Health approach, on the basis of enhanced coopera on
among governments and scien sts around the world, is the
most e cient, cost-e ec ve and sustainable strategy to an-
cipate and prevent the next pandemic threats.
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(2013). Preven ng wildlife-borne zoonoses in humans – A case study
from Bolivia. 2nd Interna onal Congress on Pathogens at the Human-
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P, Jolles A, Jones KE, Mitchell CE, Myers SS, Bogich T and Os eld RS
(2010). Impacts of biodiversity on the emergence and transmission of
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Kock RA, Woodford MH and Rossiter PB (2010). Disease risks associated
with the transloca on of wildlife. Revue Scien que et Technique (In-
terna onal O ce of Epizoo cs), 29(2):329-350.
LeBreton M, Prosser AT, Tamoufe U, Sateren W, Mpoudi-Ngole E, Di o JLD,
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... Similar to the idea of 'superspreaders' (Stein, 2011) they represent 'superconnected axes' linking potentially diverse habitats. For example, in countries with high diversities of ecosystems, such as in and around the Amazon, markets can form a direct link between habitats such as tropical forest and mountainous regions (Uhart et al., 2012). There are also clear links between biodiversity and potential for transference events from one host species to another (K. ...
... Additionally, although intense focus in the wake of the pandemic has been put on wet markets as a purely Chinese phenomenon, wet markets can in fact be found all over the worldalbeit within differential sociocultural contexts that may impinge on pathogen emergence. This is especially the case in areas with high biodiversity (Uhart et al., 2012), despite research tending to centre around those in Asian contexts (Nhung et al., 2018;Rahman et al., 2018;Ribas et al., 2016). This goes a little way to understanding the biocultural placement of the outbreak, both within its local context and the wider context of markets as biocultural nexuses of pathogen emergence and divergence. ...
Full-text available
Although there has been increasing focus in recent years on interdisciplinary approaches to health and disease, and in particular the dimension of social inequalities in epidemics, infectious diseases have been much less focused on. This is especially true in the area of cultural dynamics and their effects on pathogen behaviours, although there is evidence to suggest that this relationship is central to shaping our interactions with infectious disease agents on a variety of levels. This paper makes a case for a biocultural approach to pandemics such as COVID-19. It then uses this biocultural framework to examine the anthropogenic dynamics that influenced and continue to shape the COVID-19 pandemic, both during its initial phase and during critical intersections of the pandemic. Through this understanding of biocultural interactions between people, animals and pathogens, a broader societal and political dimension is drawn as a function of population level and international cultures, to reflect on the culturally mediated differential burden of the pandemic. Ultimately, it is argued that a biocultural perspective on infectious disease pandemics will allow for critical reflection on how culture shapes our behaviours at all levels, and how the effects of these behaviours are ultimately foundational to pathogen ecology and evolution.
... It is an amphibious and dynamic environment, with pulses of fl ood and ebb that requires diverse adaptive strategies from the organisms (Junk et al. 1989, Val andAlmeida-Val 1995). The biological diversity existing in the Amazon biome includes organisms from all major biological groups that, in the face of different human pressures, including climate change, result in the reshaping of flora and fauna associated with animals and plants, often resulting in microorganisms jumping from one to another organism, including man (Uhart et al. 2013). We have selected here four main groups of organisms to show these aspects: plants, insects, fish and mammals. ...
... It is clear that environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity are connected with the increase in spillover events from animals to humans (Johnson et al. 2020). Thus, efforts must be made at all levels of the social organization, including policies, legislation and science, as foreseen in the "One Health" approach (Uhart et al. 2013, Who 2017, to reduce the frequent epidemic episodes to which humanity has been exposed. BERNARD ...
Full-text available
Biodiversity is much more than what we see. Biodiversity also includes a number of microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi and viruses, many of which cause disease in animals, plants and man. In the Amazon, many of these organisms live in the body of repository animals that are in the forest and can jump to humans, with the potential to cause new epidemics and pandemics. In the region, we cannot discard plants as repositories for these microorganisms too. It is necessary to reduce deforestation, mining, cattle ranching at the heart of the forest and strive for “One Health” approach, improving social organization, including policies, legislation and science.
... Between 2007 and 2012, a survey of infectious diseases at Peruvian wildlife markets provided unparalleled access to document the species diversity in the live wildlife trade . Partial results of this study have been published elsewhere (Aysanoa et al., 2017;Ghersi et al., 2015;Rosenbaum et al., 2015;Uhart et al., 2013). Here we use data from this study, together with later market counts, and wildlife confiscation records, to compile a comprehensive nationwide, multiyear database of trafficking across terrestrial vertebrates and to provide a baseline to define the complexities of the domestic wildlife traffic in Peru. ...
Full-text available
Amazonian countries have historically sourced the international wildlife trade. However, little is known about their domestic trade, which is often overlooked in estimates of trafficking. Peruvian law prohibits the unauthorized trade and possession of wildlife, but illegal sales are common in urban markets. To describe the dynamics, diversity, and composition of this illegal trade, we surveyed live wildlife for sale in urban markets in 16 Peruvian departments from 2007 to 2012. We identified the main hotspots of market trafficking, detected 193 species being sold alive, and estimate that 0.35 to 1.25 million animals were trafficked in this period. Iquitos, Lima, Pucallpa, and Tumbes were the most active and diverse trafficking nodes. Amazonian cities trafficked mostly local species, whereas in other cities the proportion of local species varied significantly (39-67%). Species dissimilarity across cities was high and correlated with their distance along trafficking routes. To assess if the market-based trade was representative of the national trade, we compared species richness in markets with that of country-wide confiscations. At least 430 species were confiscated in Peru between 2001-2019, but only 50% of species overlapped with markets in the same cities and period of our surveys. Our data suggest that urban markets are connected in a structured network that provides consumers with a diverse selection of species from across the country. Authorities should consider organizational aspects of trafficking networks to ensure success. Failure to eradicate wildlife trafficking in markets constitutes a serious threat to wildlife conservation and One Health in Peru and beyond.
... Essas importantes informações podem ajudar a direcionar, com alta probabilidade de detecção de doenças emergentes, as áreas em que se deve concentrar esforços e recursos. A abordagem de Saúde Única, com base na cooperação entre governos e cientistas de todo o mundo, é a estratégia mais eficiente, econômica e sustentável para prevenir as próximas ameaças de pandemia (Uhart et al., 2012). ...
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A perda de hábitat causa perturbação da dinâmica ambiental, desequilibrando este pilar da Saúde Única ou “One Health”, e afetando os demais pilares: saúde animal e humana. Para que os impactos da ação antrópica sejam diminuídos, a divulgação científica tem sido grande aliada, popularizando o conhecimento e favorecendo a conscientização da população. Esta pesquisa-ação avalia o potencial da mesa-redonda online: “O que a evolução tem a nos dizer sobre a perda de hábitat e surgimento de epidemias?” na promoção da Saúde Única. O evento, realizado em 10 de setembro de 2020 pelo projeto de extensão universitária “Evolução para Todos”, proporcionou debate entre os palestrantes, das áreas de virologia e ecologia aplicada à conservação, e o público de 236 pessoas de diferentes formações e localidades, sobre aspectos evolutivos e ecológicos da pandemia por COVID-19. Após as palestras houve um debate com participação direta do público, esclarecendo dúvidas e ampliando a discussão de conceitos. Esta pesquisa-ação evidenciou que a divulgação científica é uma aliada essencial contra os impactos das ações antrópicas, que no contexto da temática, podem afetar os três pilares da Saúde Única. Os participantes trouxeram retorno positivo, demonstrando a importância de debates como este na conscientização da sociedade.
... A. The surveillance of wildlife for pathogens, particularly birds and mammals likely to come into contact with people (e.g., Uhart et al., 2015) (see Practice 2); B. Cataloguing protected and conserved area species in research accessible databases. Particular effort should be made to document animal species that can act as zoonotic pathogen hosts or vectors, as well as plant species that provide habitat, food or other resources for these animals. ...
Full-text available
Earth systems are under ever greater pressure from human population expansion and intensifying natural resource use. Consequently, micro-organisms that cause disease are emerging and the dynamics of pathogens in wildlife are altered by land use change, bringing wildlife and people in closer contact. We provide a brief overview of the processes governing ‘land use-induced spillover’, emphasising ecological conditions that foster ‘landscape immunity’ and reduce the likelihood of wildlife that host pathogens coming into contact with people. If ecosystems remain healthy, wildlife and people are more likely to remain healthy too. We recommend ten practices to reduce the risk of future pandemics through protected and conserved area management. Our proposals reinforce existing conservation strategies while elevating biodiversity conservation as a priority health measure. Pandemic prevention underscores the need to regard human health as an ecosystem service. We call on multi-lateral conservation frameworks to recognise that protected and conserved area managers are in the frontline of public health safety. © 2021, IUCN - International Union for the Conservation of Nature. All rights reserved.
Primates are susceptible to many human diseases and considered to be potential sources of emerging zoonotic disease. They are also one of the most common groups in the illegal pet trade. Twenty seven of Peru’s 55 native primate taxa are known to be trafficked, with more than 2,000 individuals sold yearly from a single market. The size of this trade means that primates routinely interact with humans and other animals in captive settings. Links between the domestic trade in Peru and international markets have not been described, but primates from Peru are common as pets and in zoological collections worldwide. Wild pets, bushmeat consumption, and trafficking of primates are widespread and could increase with growing demand in a globalized world. Focusing on wet markets in Peru, this chapter provides an overview of zoonotic hazards posed by primate trafficking in South America, and gives general recommendations to counteract its impact.
Primates are susceptible to many human diseases and considered to be potential sources of emerging zoonotic disease. They are also one of the most common groups in the illegal pet trade. Twenty seven of Peru’s 55 native primate taxa are known to be trafficked, with more than 2,000 individuals sold yearly from a single market. The size of this trade means that primates routinely interact with humans and other animals in captive settings. Links between the domestic trade in Peru and international markets have not been described, but primates from Peru are common as pets and in zoological collections worldwide. Wild pets, bushmeat consumption, and trafficking of primates are widespread and could increase with growing demand in a globalized world. Focusing on wet markets in Peru, this chapter provides an overview of zoonotic hazards posed by primate trafficking in South America, and gives general recommendations to counteract its impact.
Full-text available
Brazil has been promoting essential improvements in health indicators by implementing free-access health programs, which successfully reduced the prevalence of neglected zoonosis in urban areas, such as rabies. Despite constant efforts from the authorities to monitor and control the disease, sylvatic rabies is a current issue in Amazon's communities. The inequalities among Amazon areas challenge the expansion of high-tech services and limit the implementation of active laboratory surveillance to effectively avoid outbreaks in human and non-human hosts, which also reproduces a panorama of vulnerability in risk communities. Because rabies is a preventable disease, the prevalence in the particular context of the Amazon area highlights the failure of surveillance strategies to predict spillovers and indicates the need to adapt the public policies to a “One Health” approach. Therefore, this work assesses the distribution of free care resources and facilities among Pará's regions in the oriental Amazon; and discusses the challenges of implanting One Health in the particular context of the territory. We indicate a much-needed strengthening of the sylvatic and urban surveillance networks to achieve the “Zero by 30” goal, which is inextricable from multilateral efforts to combat the progressive biome's degradation.
Full-text available
Earth systems are under ever greater pressure from human population expansion and intensifying natural resource use. Consequently, novel microorganisms that cause disease are emerging, dynamics of pathogens in wildlife are altered by land use change bringing wildlife and people in closer contact. We provide a brief overview of the processes governing 'land use-induced spillover', emphasising ecological conditions that foster 'landscape immunity' and reduce the likelihood of wildlife that host pathogens coming into contact with people. If ecosystems remain healthy, wildlife , and people are more likely to remain healthy too. We recommend practices to reduce the risk of future pandemics through protected and conserved area management. Our proposals reinforce existing conservation strategies while elevating biodiversity conservation as a priority health measure. Pandemic prevention requires that human health be regarded as an ecological service. We call on multilateral conservation frameworks to recognise that protected area managers are in the frontline of public health safety.
Full-text available
Recent outbreaks of avian flu, SARS, the Ebola virus, and mad cow disease wreaked havoc on global trade and transport. They also all originated in animals. Humanity today is acutely vulnerable to diseases that start off in other species, yet our health care remains dangerously blinkered. It is time for a new, global approach.
Full-text available
Bats are the natural reservoirs of a number of high-impact viral zoonoses. We present a quantitative analysis to address the hypothesis that bats are unique in their propensity to host zoonotic viruses based on a comparison with rodents, another important host order. We found that bats indeed host more zoonotic viruses per species than rodents, and we identified life-history and ecological factors that promote zoonotic viral richness. More zoonotic viruses are hosted by species whose distributions overlap with a greater number of other species in the same taxonomic order (sympatry). Specifically in bats, there was evidence for increased zoonotic viral richness in species with smaller litters (one young), greater longevity and more litters per year. Furthermore, our results point to a new hypothesis to explain in part why bats host more zoonotic viruses per species: the stronger effect of sympatry in bats and more viruses shared between bat species suggests that interspecific transmission is more prevalent among bats than among rodents. Although bats host more zoonotic viruses per species, the total number of zoonotic viruses identified in bats (61) was lower than in rodents (68), a result of there being approximately twice the number of rodent species as bat species. Therefore, rodents should still be a serious concern as reservoirs of emerging viruses. These findings shed light on disease emergence and perpetuation mechanisms and may help lead to a predictive framework for identifying future emerging infectious virus reservoirs.
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The global trade in wildlife has historically contributed to the emergence and spread of infectious diseases. The United States is the world's largest importer of wildlife and wildlife products, yet minimal pathogen surveillance has precluded assessment of the health risks posed by this practice. This report details the findings of a pilot project to establish surveillance methodology for zoonotic agents in confiscated wildlife products. Initial findings from samples collected at several international airports identified parts originating from nonhuman primate (NHP) and rodent species, including baboon, chimpanzee, mangabey, guenon, green monkey, cane rat and rat. Pathogen screening identified retroviruses (simian foamy virus) and/or herpesviruses (cytomegalovirus and lymphocryptovirus) in the NHP samples. These results are the first demonstration that illegal bushmeat importation into the United States could act as a conduit for pathogen spread, and suggest that implementation of disease surveillance of the wildlife trade will help facilitate prevention of disease emergence.
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Discussions on diseases of wildlife have generally focused on two basic models: the effect of disease on wildlife, and the role that wildlife plays in diseases affecting people or domestic animal health, welfare, economics and trade. Traditionally, wildlife professionals and conservationists have focused on the former, while most human/animal health specialists have been concerned largely with the latter. Lately, the (re-)emergence of many high-profile infectious diseases in a world with ever-increasing globalisation has led to a more holistic approach in the assessment and mitigation of health risks involving wildlife (with a concurrent expansion of literature). In this paper, the authors review the role of wildlife in the ecology of infectious disease, the staggering magnitude of the movement of wild animals and products across international borders in trade, the pathways by which they move, and the growing body of risk assessments from a multitude of disciplines. Finally, they highlight existing recommendations and offer solutions for a collaborative way forward.
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Current unprecedented declines in biodiversity reduce the ability of ecological communities to provide many fundamental ecosystem services. Here we evaluate evidence that reduced biodiversity affects the transmission of infectious diseases of humans, other animals and plants. In principle, loss of biodiversity could either increase or decrease disease transmission. However, mounting evidence indicates that biodiversity loss frequently increases disease transmission. In contrast, areas of naturally high biodiversity may serve as a source pool for new pathogens. Overall, despite many remaining questions, current evidence indicates that preserving intact ecosystems and their endemic biodiversity should generally reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases.
There is a great need to determine the factors that influence the hunting, butchering and eating of bushmeat to better manage the important social, public health and conservation consequences of these activities. In particular, the hunting and butchering of wild animals can lead to the transmission of diseases that have potentially serious consequences for exposed people and their communities. Comprehension of these risks may lead to decreased levels of these activities. To investigate these issues, 3971 questionnaires were completed to examine the determinants of the hunting, butchering and eating of wild animals and perceptions of disease risk in 17 rural central African villages. A high proportion of individuals reported perceiving a risk of disease infection with bushmeat contact. Individuals who perceived risk were significantly less likely to butcher wild animals than those who perceived no risk. However, perception of risk was not associated with hunting and eating bushmeat (activities that, compared with butchering, involve less contact with raw blood and body fluids). This suggests that some individuals may act on perceived risk to avoid higher risk activity. These findings reinforce the notion that conservation programs in rural villages in central Africa should include health-risk education. This has the potential to reduce the levels of use of wild animals, particularly of certain endangered species (e.g. many non-human primates) that pose a particular risk to human health. However, as the use of wild game is likely to continue, people should be encouraged to undertake hunting and butchering more safely for their own and their community's health.
Zoonotic disease surveillance is typically triggered after animal pathogens have already infected humans. Are there ways to identify high-risk viruses before they emerge in humans? If so, then how and where can identifications be made and by what methods? These were the fundamental questions driving a workshop to examine the future of predictive surveillance for viruses that might jump from animals to infect humans. Virologists, ecologists and computational biologists from academia, federal government and non-governmental organizations discussed opportunities as well as obstacles to the prediction of species jumps using genetic and ecological data from viruses and their hosts, vectors and reservoirs. This workshop marked an important first step towards envisioning both scientific and organizational frameworks for this future capability. Canine parvoviruses as well as seasonal H3N2 and pandemic H1N1 influenza viruses are discussed as exemplars that suggest what to look for in anticipating species jumps. To answer the question of where to look, prospects for discovering emerging viruses among wildlife, bats, rodents, arthropod vectors and occupationally exposed humans are discussed. Finally, opportunities and obstacles are identified and accompanied by suggestions for how to look for species jumps. Taken together, these findings constitute the beginnings of a conceptual framework for achieving a virus surveillance capability that could predict future species jumps.
The four dengue virus (DENV) serotypes that circulate among humans emerged independently from ancestral sylvatic progenitors that were present in non-human primates, following the establishment of human populations that were large and dense enough to support continuous inter-human transmission by mosquitoes. This ancestral sylvatic-DENV transmission cycle still exists and is maintained in non-human primates and Aedes mosquitoes in the forests of Southeast Asia and West Africa. Here, we provide an overview of the ecology and molecular evolution of sylvatic DENV and its potential for adaptation to human transmission. We also emphasize how the study of sylvatic DENV will improve our ability to understand, predict and, ideally, avert further DENV emergence.