ArticlePDF AvailableLiterature Review

Recent Animal Disease Outbreaks and Their Impact on Human Populations

  • University of Minnesota, School of Public Health

Abstract and Figures

Over the past 20 years, headlines have documented an increasing number of emerging diseases; most have an animal source (zoonoses). Recent examples include West Nile virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), avian influenza, and monkeypox. While some emerging diseases occur among both humans and animals, others affect only animals or only humans. Nevertheless, all these new or reemerging infections have societal implications, often tied to local and national economies. It is important to understand the implications of emerging animal diseases and encourage stronger collaboration of veterinary and medical practitioners, especially in rural areas. Illnesses in agricultural workers may be the index cases for newly emerging diseases.
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Animals occupy a special place in human societies. ey are utilized for food (e.g., milk
and meat), transportation, raw materials (e.g., wool and hides), energy (e.g., manure),
recreation, and money (e.g., bartering). Furthermore, animals such as dogs, cats, and
horses in some societies often are viewed as companions.eir value in long-term
care facilities and for the emotional well-being of AIDS patients has been documented
(Siegel et al., 1999). In addition to these valuable contributions, there is growing con-
cern about diseases that humans can acquire from animals (e.g., zoonoses). Zoonoses are
overrepresented among human diseases that are defined as emerging (Table 1). Taylor
et al. (2001) documented that 61% of all human pathogens are zoonotic. And of the
175 newly emerging pathogens in humans, 75% are listed as zoonotic (Cleaveland et
al., 2001). From 1996 to 2006, eleven of the twelve global emerging diseases originated
from animals (Gerberding, 2004).
However, it is also important to remember that some diseases affect animals only, often
with economic, environmental and/or societal implications. Recent examples include
chronic wasting disease in elk and deer, foot-and-mouth disease, toxoplasmosis in sea
otters, and salmonella in song birds. In 1994, canine distemper jumped the species-bar-
rier” and infected African lions of the Serengeti (Roelke-Parker et al., 1996), killing over
a third of the population within 6 months.
¹Adapted from Bender JB et al. (2006) Recent animal disease outbreaks and their impact on human popula-
tions. Journal of Agromedicine 11(1) 5–15.
Recent Animal Disease Outbreaks and their
Impact on Human Populations¹
J B. B, W H  M O
University of Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota
134 Food Security: e Intersection of Sustainability, Safety and Defense
Table 1. recenT zoonoTIc agenTs IdenTIfIed.
Agent Identified Common illness in humans Common illness in animals
Cryptosporidium parvum 1976 Profuse and watery diarrhea Diarrhea in calves
Ebola virus 1977 Hemorrhagic fever and death Hemorrhagic fever and death
(high case-fatality rate) in primates
Hanta virus 1977 Fever and hypotension None
Campylobacter spp. 1977 Diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever None
Escherichia coli O157 1982 Hemorrhagic enterocolitis None
Borrelia burgdorferi 1982 Arthritis and skin rash Arthritis in companion animals
Ehrlichia chaffeensis 1987 Fever, headache and malaise None
Anaplasma phagocytophilum 1990 Fever, headache and malaise Fever, lethargy in dogs and horses
Bartonella henselae 1992 Lymphadenitis and fever Rare illness in cats, fever
Sin nombre virus (Hanta virus) 1993 Pulmonary syndrome, fever, myalgias None
Hendra virus 1994 Pneumonia/encephalitis Respiratory disease and death in
West nile virus 1999 Fever, encephalitis Fever, muscle tremors, encephalitis
Nipah virus 1999 Encephalitis None
SARS-coV 2003 Pneumonia None
New diseases emerge for a number of reasons: world trade, animal translocation, ecologi-
cal disruption, climate change, pathogen adaptation, and agricultural husbandry changes
(Smolinski et al., 2003). ese factors represent the dynamic relationships among the
pathogenic agent, host, and environment (Figure 1). is epidemiologic triangle includes
the intrinsic characteristics of an individual’s susceptibility to disease, including immune
status, general health, genetic makeup, lifestyle, age, sex, and socioeconomic status, and
extrinsic factors, which include the host’s biological, social, and physical environment.
Coincidentally, the triangle describing this relationship is the same as delta, the symbol
for change; change is the one constant in the on-going tension between humans and
Bender, Hueston and Osterholm
Figure 1. e epidemiologic triangle.
is article will discuss some recent outbreaks of disease, lessons learned, and challenges
for the future. We will describe:
the strong connection between animals and humans,
the challenge of effective risk communication where there is limited knowledge of
the risks,
the dwindling and fragile animal-health and public-health systems,
the lack of oversight and regulations to prevent disease transmission,
changes in agricultural practices that result in new or re-emerging diseases, and
the relationship between culture and disease.
We will discuss the specific examples of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), chronic wast-
ing disease (CWD), monkeypox, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and avian
T S C B A  H
Foot-and-Mouth Disease
Some diseases may not have a direct impact on human health but, nonetheless, exert
significant societal pressure by disrupting local economies as well as world trade. is
is exemplified by the 2001 outbreak of FMD in the United Kingdom, which spread to
other countries in Europe (Figure 2).
136 Food Security: e Intersection of Sustainability, Safety and Defense
Figure 2. e impact of culling sheep during the outbreak of
foot and mouth disease in France, 2001.
Foot-and-mouth disease is primarily a disease of cloven-footed domestic and wild
animals. It is endemic in Asia, Africa, and parts of South America. However, some areas
of the world are free of FMD, including North and Central America, Australia, New
Zealand, Japan and most European countries. e causal agent is considered one of the
most highly contagious viruses, and its contagiousness has huge implications on trade
of livestock and livestock products. e disease may spread by direct or indirect contact
with infected animals, aerosol from infected animals or milk trucks, and fomites, as well
as through artificial insemination. People who come into contact with infected animals
can serve as mechanical vectors, as sufficient FMD virus survives in their upper airways
for 24 hours to potentially serve as an ongoing source of infection to livestock (Sellers
et al., 1971).
During the FMD outbreak in the United Kingdom in 2001, an estimated 2,000 con-
firmed cases and an additional 6 million animals were slaughtered to achieve containment
(DEFRA, 2005a). e cost of controlling the outbreak and losses due to decreased tour-
ism were estimated at £6.2 billion (DEFRA, 2005a). e postulated source was illegally
imported food that eventually ended up as scraps in garbage fed to pigs (DEFRA, 2005b).
e psychological and economic impact on the British population—farmers and non-
farmers alike—was huge. Increases in suicides among farmers were reported and substantial
economic losses were incurred from a trade embargo, travel restrictions, and reduced tourist
income (DEFRA, 2005a). is does not take into account the loss of genetic stock and
the cost of controlling the outbreak. A psychological assessment of the impact of FMD
noted that farmers in the impacted area had significantly higher psychological morbidity
scores compared to farmers in non-impacted areas (Peck et al., 2002).
Although FMD rarely is detected in humans, human health did not go entirely unaf-
fected by the outbreak. e presence of FMD, an exotic animal disease, correlated
with a decreased incidence of an endemic zoonotic disease, cryptosporidiosis, caused
137Bender, Hueston and Osterholm
by Cryptosporidium parvum. Cryptosporidiosis is the most common parasitic infection
among people in the United Kingdom, where an estimated two-thirds of cases are due
to C. parvum. Two separate reports described a significant drop in Cryptosporidium cases
during the FMD outbreak. Hunter et al. (2003) reported a 69% decline in cases in the
northwest of England (Figure 3). Strachan et al. (2003) reported a 34% decline in Scotland,
with a noticeable difference between FMD-infected areas and FMD-free areas. Reasons
for these reductions were restrictions of farm-animal movement, possibly the presence
of fewer young animals (the major source of exposure), and fewer animal-to-human
interactions that allow transmission.
Figure 3. Reported cases of cryptosporidiosis in northwest England, 1991–2001
(Hunter et al., 2003).
is outbreak of FMD highlights the strong and varied interrelationships between
animals and humans. Although it is a disease primarily of animals with limited direct
transmission to humans, it can have a significant public-health impact in terms of psycho-
logical effects, and its presence can send shockwaves through local economies. In addition,
FMD is one of the primary agents of concern for agroterrorism, not only because of the
economic and trade ramifications it can inflict on the livestock industry, but also because
of the severe societal impact it may have. We must never underestimate the societal impact
of diseases even when they directly impact the health only of animals.
A C  E R C
A second animal disease capturing the headlines is CWD, a disease of the nervous system
found in Cervidae: white-tailed deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer, and elk. CWD belongs
to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion
diseases, and is a slowly progressive, invariably fatal neurologic disease in cervids. First
138 Food Security: e Intersection of Sustainability, Safety and Defense
recognized as a new disease among captive mule deer in a Colorado wildlife unit, it was
later found to be endemic in both mule deer and elk in Colorado and Wyoming (Wil-
liams and Miller, 2003). e origin of the disease is unknown, but some have speculated
that CWD 1 (Williams and Miller, 2003):
is an adapted strain of the scrapie agent found in sheep,
arose as a spontaneous evolutionary event, or
originated from a yet unidentified prion reservoir.
CWD has been found in various areas throughout North America, both in captive and
in free-ranging cervids (Figure 4). e perceived spread from the initial endemic areas
is likely attributable to the movement of deer and elk in commerce, local expansions of
farmed herds, and increased surveillance efforts (Williams and Miller, 2003).
Figure 4. Chronic wasting disease in captive and free-ranging cervids
(courtesy of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance,
Since cervids were found to have CWD, hunters, farmers and venison consumers
have become concerned about the risk of zoonotic transmission, largely because of the
connection between bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and variant Cruetzfeldt-
Jakob disease (vCJD). Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease occurs around the world at a rate of
1–2 per million humans. e majority of cases has occurred among British citizens and
persons who have resided in the United Kingdom. All vCJD cases to date have lived in
countries with BSE.
If CWD is a zoonotic disease, what would it look like in humans? Would people living
in endemic areas be at greater risk? To date, investigators have not seen higher numbers
of human spongiform encephalopathies in CWD-endemic areas. However, prion diseases
139Bender, Hueston and Osterholm
are rare, have long incubation periods, and can be difficult to detect. Because of recent
concerns about prion diseases, epidemiologists are investigating neurologic diseases fo-
cusing on young people with unusual clinical presentations or neuropathology. Several
documented clusters of cases have been investigated, often in response to concern from
family members believing that deer-meat consumption was linked to illness (Belay et al.,
2004). ese cluster investigations are a challenging exercise in risk communication about
human and animal health. One investigation involved three elderly men, all of whom had
a history of eating venison, who died of degenerative neurologic illnesses (CDC, 2003a).
However, further diagnostic work-up revealed that only one actually had evidence of a
prion disease. Currently, it is the consensus of the World Health Organization and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that there is no scientific evidence that CWD
causes human illness (Belay et al., 2004; WHO, 2005).
As with FMD, CWD has a psychological impact on humans although it does not
directly harm human health. No definite link has been found between CWD and human
brain disease, yet the detection of CWD in free-ranging deer in Wisconsin and Illinois
in 2002 had a substantial impact on the human psyche. Nine months after CWD was
discovered in Wisconsin, there was an 11% drop in deer-license sales (Heberlein, 2004).
Also, similar to FMD, the discovery of CWD hurt local economies. Businesses that served
Wisconsin hunters saw sharp declines in sales, as did feed dealers and local butcher shops.
e decrease in license sales resulted in reduced revenues for the State of Wisconsin, and
state expenditures increased $14.7 million to control CWD; overall, the estimated eco-
nomic impact in 2002 was between $53 and $79 million (Bishop, 2004). is situation
illustrates the emotional and economic impacts of infectious diseases and the challenge
of effectively communicating evolving risk with reference to emerging animal diseases.
D  F A-  P-H
National economies are vulnerable to outbreaks of animal disease, both intentionally
malicious and accidental. Recent terrorist attacks have exposed the vulnerability of our
transportation, food, and medical infrastructure. Several episodes have been documented
in which food was intentionally contaminated for terrorist purposes (Manning et al.,
2005). However, in recent years, the most dramatic impact on national economies has
not come from terrorism, but from the accidental introduction of foreign animal diseases.
e threat is very real when we consider the volume of travelers and traffic that enter the
United States each year, both legally and illegally. ere is no feasible way for each vehicle
and piece of luggage to be thoroughly checked for microscopic travelers. In addition,
millions of animals and animal products are imported. ey can serve as silent disease
carriers or can harbor insects and ticks that serve as disease vectors. Clearly, we need to
give greater attention to training of, and cooperation among, veterinarians, livestock
producers, extension personnel, and healthcare professionals. Specifically, since some
of these diseases can be zoonotic, veterinarians and people who work to protect human
health need to combine forces to quickly diagnose and control their spread, especially
in rural communities.
140 Food Security: e Intersection of Sustainability, Safety and Defense
e West Nile virus is another dramatic example of the animal- and public-health
challenges of understanding an emerging disease with only limited personnel dedicated
to understanding insect vectors and viral spread through wild-bird hosts. Originally a
disease of Africa and Europe, it was first observed in New York in 1999 (Lanciotti et al.,
1999). Initially misdiagnosed as St. Louis encephalitis, this disease, new to the Western
hemisphere, was astutely diagnosed with the combined efforts of a veterinary patholo-
gist, a physician, and epidemiologists. e virus now has been documented in all states
of the continental United States. Migratory birds and competent mosquito vectors were
instrumental in the rapid westward spread. e ensuing epizootic has had a dramatic
effect on horse, bird, and human populations. In 2002, over 15,000 horses were reported
ill, and 30% died as a result of the infection (CDC, 2002a). e impact on raptors and
corvids (blue jays and American crows) has also been well documented (Wunschmann
et al., 2004). However, the broader impact within ecosystems, especially on wildlife, is
unknown. From 1999 through 2004, over 16,700 human cases and 666 deaths were
reported in the United States (Hayes and Gubler, 2005). is disease highlights some of
the new challenges for human clinicians of unusual disease presentations (e.g., acute flaccid
paralysis syndrome) and new routes of transmission (e.g., blood transfusion and organ
transplantation). e appearance of West Nile virus required the training and funding of
public-health officials in mosquito trapping, vector control, and close collaboration with
academic institutions for disease surveillance and public education.
L  O  R
Monkeypox was first documented in 1958 in a colony of primates (hence the term). e
first human cases were identified in 1970 in Zaire by local health officials on the lookout
for the re-emergence of the smallpox virus. is rare disease was documented among
people who lived where hunting was an integral aspect of their lifestyle. e natural
disease hosts are likely several species of squirrel.
In 2003, an outbreak in the United States associated with legally imported African
pocket pets led to seventy-two suspected human cases in six states (CDC, 2003b).
Eighteen persons were hospitalized, some because of the potential for human-to-human
spread. Interestingly, a number of the cases were veterinarians and veterinary technicians
exposed while treating ill pets, highlighting potential occupational risk. e majority of
patients had direct or close contact with prairie dogs that were infected by close contact
with imported animals from Ghana, shipped to a distributor in Texas. e shipment
included six genera of African rodents, including rope squirrels (Funiscuirus sp.), tree
squirrels (Heliosciurus sp.), Gambian giant rats (Cricetomys sp.), brushtail porcupines
(Atherurus sp.), dormice (Graphiurus sp.), and striped mice (Hybomys sp.). ere was a
real concern of spillover of the virus from these imported animals to susceptible wildlife
populations in the United States.
Even though this outbreak was not directly related to agriculture, it exemplifies the
problem of both legal and illegal animal movements. e US Fish and Wildlife Service
estimates that the global trade in endangered wildlife is $4.2 billion annually, second only
to illegal drugs. Other examples of emerging diseases linked to live-animal trade, include
the spread of rabies from trapping raccoons in Florida for game farms in West Virginia
(CDC, 1981), the collection of prairie dogs for pet markets that were subsequently di-
agnosed with tularemia (CDC, 2002b), and the shipping of elk infected with CWD to
Korea (Sohn et al., 2002). All of these examples clearly demonstrate potential consequences
when humans move animals from one area to another and the need for regulations and
federal policies that control the transfer/exchange of exotic animals. Currently, there are
regulations for rodents from Africa and poultry from Southeast Asia, but numerous animals
still pass through US ports unregulated (DHHS, 2003). Currently, no regulations control
the interstate movement of exotic animals or wildlife within the United States.
C  A P  F P
e emergence of BSE demonstrated the role of animal-feed commodities such as meat and
bone meal (MBM) in the spread of disease. Meat and bone meal is an important recycled
byproduct used as an inexpensive protein source. Since the 1950s, this protein source
has increasingly been added to the diets of high-producing or rapidly growing animals,
for example, beef and dairy cattle. While the BSE outbreak has largely been confined
to Great Britain, the movement of affected animals and/or contaminated MBM spread
the disease throughout Europe and beyond including sporadic cases in Japan and North
America. As a result, “firewalls” were devised to decrease the amplification and spread of
the disease when a clear understanding of the risks was identified.
In addition to changes in feed ingredients such as those that led to the spread of BSE,
other agricultural and food-production factors that might appear to be innocuous can
also provide a mechanism for disease transmission. For example some have speculated
that the move from pasture feeding in the mid-20
century to intensive grain feeding has
altered the gastrointestinal tracts of cattle in a way that favors the growth of Escherichia coli
O157:H7 (Russell et al., 2000) A second example is Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium
recognized as an animal pathogen more than 100 years ago, but seen as a significant cause
of human illness only since the 1980s. e emergence of L. monocytogenes as a food-
borne pathogen is due to pathogen survival at refrigeration temperatures, the increasing
number of immunocompromised individuals in the population, the centralization and
consolidation of food production, and changes in consumer food habits (e.g. consump-
tion of ready-to-eat foods) (Swaminathan, 2001). is disease reflects the impact of
changing food-processing techniques, with which post-contamination of cooked foods
can be a source of infection. ese factors demonstrate the complex and evolving nature
of pathogens and the need for animal- and public-health surveillance systems to quickly
identify and characterize new and emerging pathogens.
C P  D E
In many communities, there exist cultural or societal practices that can inadvertently
encourage disease transmission by artificially causing animals to congregate. Recently,
Mycobaterium bovis was identified among deer in northern Michigan, and its presence
was attributed to the congregation of the deer due to “baiting” or feeding by deerhunters
(Miller et al., 2003). As a result, Michigan passed legislation prohibiting the feeding of
Bender, Hueston and Osterholm
142 Food Security: e Intersection of Sustainability, Safety and Defense
deer in an attempt to limit the transmission of M. bovis. A similar phenomenon is oc-
curring with birds: when songbirds congregate at feeders, their increased proximity can
lead to the spread of salmonellosis and their subsequent illness and death.
Examples of global problems of disease transmission abound. In November 2002, the
detection of an atypical pneumonia quickly challenged the world public-health system.
SARS caused illness in over 8,000 persons around the world with 774 documented deaths.
e identification of this rapidly spreading disease had a dramatic impact on healthcare
workers and patients’ willingness to utilize medical services (Emanuel, 2003; Chang et
al., 2004; Maunder, 2004). Half of the first sixty cases identified were healthcare workers,
but, despite the risk, they continued to care for patients. e impact was felt globally
with cancelled air flights and record low hotel occupancy rates; for example, in Hong
Kong hotels, they dropped to 17% compared to 83% a year earlier (Emanuel, 2003). e
economic cost to Toronto, Canada, was estimated at nearly $1 billion in 2003 (Blendon
et al., 2004).
SARS is a corona virus that likely emerged from a wild-animal source
(Lau et al. 2005).
is is supported by the detection of initial cases among restaurant workers handling
exotic animals in Guangdong Province (Zhong et al., 2003). SARS-CoV has also been
isolated from masked palm civets and other wild animals in a live-animal market (Guan
et al., 2003; Lau et al., 2005). Seroepidemiology of animal traders and handlers further
supports this; 13% of animal traders had IgG antibody to SARS-CoV, as compared to 1
to 3% from community control groups (CDC, 2003c).
Researchers speculate that SARS-CoV likely originated from animals with which hu-
mans have infrequent contact, such as exotic species. e zoonotic link has been attributed
to the phylogenetic relationship between corona viruses and those isolated from wild ani-
mals such as the palm civet and the raccoon dog. Contact likely occurred among southern
Chinese who periodically consume wild-game meat for medicinal purposes. Zhong et al.
(2003) have suggested that viruses that are transmitted between species tend to undergo
more rapid genetic change as they adapt to new hosts. It is likely that novel viruses such
as Ebola, HIV, and SARS-CoV will continue to appear with increased human interaction
with wild animals. e lucrative wild-animal markets in Southeast Asia, a smorgasbord
of wild and domestic animals, are often unregulated (Karesh et al., 2005).
Avian influenza is another example that illustrates the relationship of cultural and social
practices and the appearance of animal disease. Southeast Asia is considered the epicenter
of recent influenza outbreaks. is is linked to agricultural practices in a highly popu-
lated area. Rice fields often have standing water that attracts waterfowl. ese waterfowl
are natural reservoirs, potentially spreading the disease to other domestic animals (e.g.
chickens, ducks, and pigs) raised outdoors. In 2005 it was estimated that there were 1.3
billion humans, 508 million pigs and 13 billion chickens in China (Osterholm, 2005).
e identification of novel avian influenza strains over the past 15 years documents the
continual re-assortment of influenza viruses among birds, pigs and humans. Fortunately,
sustained human-to-human transmission has not been documented (Ungchusak et al.,
2005). But with aquatic wild birds as the natural reservoir, it will be nearly impossible to
eradicate this disease. e H5N1 strain responsible for the 1997 Hong Kong outbreak
of influenza in domestic poultry resulted in the culling of 1.5 million birds and the
identification of eighteen human cases with six deaths (Bridges et al., 2002). Similarly
in the Netherlands, 28 million birds were culled with eighty-nine reported human cases
and one death (Fouchier et al., 2004). e 2003–2005 H5N1 outbreaks in Asia affected
eleven countries, with 109 reported human cases and fifty-five deaths (CIDRAP, 2005).
Like SARS, the economic impact in Southeast Asia was substantial. e South Korean
Ministry of Health and Welfare estimated that the cost of avian influenza to Asian coun-
tries at about $130 billion. Unlike SARS, influenza is a potentially greater problem with
a common wildlife reservoir (e.g. aquatic birds). is is complicated by minimal public-
health and medical infrastructure and large numbers of other potential reservoirs, such as
pigs and domestic poultry commingling with humans in village settings. Avian influenza
demonstrates the immediate need for international cooperation and interdisciplinary
interventions for disease detection, control, and prevention. It also illustrates the need to
engage local farmers in the development of sustainable strategies to identify suspect cases
and prevent the commingling of domestic and wild-bird populations.
We face some critical needs as we combat emerging diseases. We must understand the
global consequences of moving animals and animal products around the world and assess
the impact of an increasing human population on the environment. is combination
sets the stage for potential mixing of microorganisms around the globe in contact with
susceptible populations. e influenza epidemic of 1918–1919 killed 50 to 100 million
people worldwide, but since the 1960s, many of us have had the luxury of forgetting
about the enormous death toll brought by outbreaks of infectious diseases (Osterholm,
2005). Even today, however, we cannot disregard the possible catastrophic effects of cur-
rently emerging diseases.
To control emerging diseases requires early detection and intervention. e phenomenal
speed in the diagnosis and identification of the SARS-CoV demonstrates how technologies
have improved our response and mitigation efforts. ese rapid diagnostic tests need to be
incorporated in the field to shorten detection and response times. is is especially true
for exotic animal diseases that can harm our domestic livestock. ese tests could also
be used to quickly identify exposed individuals for early treatment or isolation. Another
important learning point from both SARS and avian influenza is that agricultural work-
ers may often be the first to acquire these new or re-emerging diseases. erefore, it is
imperative to have adequate healthcare for workers. With healthcare, timely information
needs to be collected by public-health personnel to also assess the population health of
agricultural workers.
Our public-health and veterinary infrastructure needs to be improved. We must build
the expertise, resources, and tools necessary for developing the capacity to respond to
threats posed by vector-borne and zoonotic diseases (Smolinski et al., 2003). Our uni-
versities need to train more medical entomologists, vector ecologists, mammologists and
ornithologists who have a thorough understanding of the interactions among human,
animal, and ecosystem health. ere is a need to develop interdisciplinary infectious-
Bender, Hueston and Osterholm
144 Food Security: e Intersection of Sustainability, Safety and Defense
disease centers for training, research, diagnostic systems and data sharing. Furthermore,
public-health authorities should look beyond traditional disciplines and training when
hiring new epidemiologists and microbiologists. ese and other recommendations have
been clearly outlined (Smolinski et al., 2003; NRC, 2005).
In the 19th century, Rudolf Virchow stated that animal and human health are in-
extricably intertwined. Our common environment is where this weaving of lives takes
place, hence, we must guard the health of our ecosystems. Recent examples include
decreasing wetlands and the subsequent congregation of waterfowl in smaller areas,
resulting in outbreaks such as avian influenza and Newcastle disease. Deforestation and
the greater interaction of wildlife with domestic animals and humans are likely factors
for the emergence of novel viruses such as hendra, lyssavirus, and Nipah (Parashar et al.,
2000). Conversely, reforestation and suburbanization are likely contributing factors for the
emergence of Lyme disease in the northeastern portion of the United States (LoGiudice et
al., 2003). Dramatic weather events have also been linked to disease emergence. is was
documented with the outbreaks of Rift Valley fever among ruminants and people in East
Africa and the Arabian peninsula (CDC 1998, 2000), following periods of above-normal
precipitation and subsequent increases in mosquitoes. We can be sure that diseases will
continue to emerge, and the complex relationship between animals, plants, and humans
will require the interaction and cooperation of a broader range of scientists and medical
professionals. e time to train them is now.
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Jeff Bender is an associate professor in the University of
Minnesotas College of Veterinary Medicine and has an ad-
junct-professor appointment in the School of Public Health.
From 1995 through 2000, he served in the Acute Disease
Epidemiology Section of the Minnesota Department of
Health, as an infectious-disease epidemiologist.
Dr. Benders primary teaching and research interests include emerging zoonotic
diseases, disease surveillance, food safety and antimicrobial resistance. He has
served as the chair for the National Association of State Public Health Veteri-
narians Compendium, examining measures to prevent diseases associated with
animals in public settings, and as the division head of Veterinary Public Health
at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Currently, he is principle investigator on
a CDC-funded Cooperative Agreement on Zoonotic Influenza Infections and
is director of the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety at the University
of Minnesota.
Bender, Hueston and Osterholm
... Pathogens that originate from animals and spill over to infect humans are increasing and represent 75% of emerging human pathogens (Jones et al., 2008;Taylor et al., 2001). Zoonotic pathogen spillover and subsequent disease emergence have widespread and long-lasting impacts on environmental, social, economic and political systems (Bender et al., 2006;Huber et al., 2018;Martins et al., 2015). For example, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a major public health crisis that has caused more than 160 million cases and more than 3.3 million deaths, as of 13 May 2021. ...
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Zoonotic spillover and subsequent disease emergence cause significant, long-lasting impacts on our social, economic, environmental and political systems. Identifying and averting spillover transmission is crucial for preventing outbreaks and mitigating infectious disease burdens. Investigating the processes that lead to spillover fundamentally involves interactions between animals, humans, pathogens and the environments they inhabit. Accordingly, it is recognized that transdisciplinary approaches provide a more holistic understanding of spillover phenomena. To characterize the discourse about spillover within and between disciplines, we conducted a review of review papers about spillover from multiple disciplines. We systematically searched and screened literature from several databases to identify a corpus of review papers from ten academic disciplines. We performed qualitative content analysis on text where authors described either a spillover pathway, or a conceptual gap in spillover theory. Cluster analysis of pathway data identified nine major spillover processes discussed in the review literature. We summarized the main features of each process, how different disciplines contributed to them, and identified specialist and generalist disciplines based on the breadth of processes they studied. Network analyses showed strong similarities between concepts reviewed by 'One Health' disciplines (e.g. Veterinary Science & Animal Health, Public Health & Medicine, Ecology & Evolution, Environmental Science), which had broad conceptual scope and were well-connected to other disciplines. By contrast, awas focused on processes that are relatively overlooked by other disciplines, especially those involving food behaviour and livestock husbandry practices. Virology and Cellular & Molecular Biology were narrower in scope, primarily focusing on concepts related to adaption and evolution of zoonotic viruses. Finally, we identified priority areas for future research into zoonotic spillover by studying the gap data.
... In recent years, there have been increased concerns on the spread of animal infectious diseases due to their overwhelming impact on animal welfare [1], international trade [2], public health, ecosystem health and economic well-being of people who depend on animals as a source of livelihood [3,4]. These overwhelming challenges highlight the need for more effective and efficient animal health surveillance systems. ...
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Background Effective animal health surveillance systems require reliable, high-quality, and timely data for decision making. In Tanzania, the animal health surveillance system has been relying on a few data sources, which suffer from delays in reporting, underreporting, and high cost of data collection and transmission. The integration of data from multiple sources can enhance early detection and response to animal diseases and facilitate the early control of outbreaks. This study aimed to identify and assess existing and potential data sources for the animal health surveillance system in Tanzania and how they can be better used for early warning surveillance. The study used a mixed-method design to identify and assess data sources. Data were collected through document reviews, internet search, cross-sectional survey, key informant interviews, site visits, and non-participant observation. The assessment was done using pre-defined criteria. Results A total of 13 data sources were identified and assessed. Most surveillance data came from livestock farmers, slaughter facilities, and livestock markets; while animal dip sites were the least used sources. Commercial farms and veterinary shops, electronic surveillance tools like AfyaData and Event Mobile Application (EMA-i) and information systems such as the Tanzania National Livestock Identification and Traceability System (TANLITS) and Agricultural Routine Data System (ARDS) show potential to generate relevant data for the national animal health surveillance system. The common variables found across most sources were: the name of the place (12/13), animal type/species (12/13), syndromes (10/13) and number of affected animals (8/13). The majority of the sources had good surveillance data contents and were accessible with medium to maximum spatial coverage. However, there was significant variation in terms of data frequency, accuracy and cost. There were limited integration and coordination of data flow from the identified sources with minimum to non-existing automated data entry and transmission. Conclusion The study demonstrated how the available data sources have great potential for early warning surveillance in Tanzania. Both existing and potential data sources had complementary strengths and weaknesses; a multi-source surveillance system would be best placed to harness these different strengths.
... In recent years, there have been increased concerns on the spread of animal infectious diseases due to their overwhelming impact on animal welfare [1], international trade [2], public health, ecosystem health and economic well-being of people who depend on animals as a source of livelihood [3,4]. These overwhelming challenges highlight the need for more effective and e cient animal health surveillance systems. ...
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Background: Effective animal health surveillance systems require reliable, quality, and timely data for decision-making. The animal health surveillance system in Tanzania has been relying on a few data sources, which suffer from delays in reporting, underreporting, and high cost of data collection and transmission. The integration of data from multiple sources can enhance early detection and response to animal diseases and consequently facilitate the early control of outbreaks. The study aimed to identify and assess the existing and potential data sources for animal health surveillance system in Tanzania and how they can better be used for early warning surveillance. The study used mixed-method design to identify and assess data sources. Data were collected through document reviews, internet search, cross-sectional survey, key informant interviews, site visits, and non-participant observation. The assessment was done using pre-defined criteria. Results: A total of 13 data sources were identified and assessed. Most surveillance data came from livestock farmers, slaughter facilities, and livestock markets, while animal dip sites were the least used sources. Commercial farms and veterinary shops, electronic surveillance tools like AfyaData and Event Mobile Application (EMA-i) and information systems such as Tanzania National Livestock Identification and Traceability System (TANLITS) and Agricultural Routine Data System (ARDS) show potential to generate relevant data for the national animal health surveillance system. The common variables found across most sources were: the name of the place (12/13), animal type/species (12/13), syndromes (10/13) and number of affected animals (8/13). The majority of the sources had good surveillance data contents and were accessible with medium to maximum spatial coverage. However, there was significant variation in terms of data frequency, accuracy and cost. There were limited integration and coordination of data flow from the identified sources with minimum to non-automated data entry and transmission. Conclusion: The study demonstrated how the available data sources have great potential for early warning surveillance in Tanzania. Both existing and potential data sources had complementary strengths and weaknesses; a multi-source surveillance system would be best placed to harness these different strengths.
... Generalmente, las aves silvestres y de traspatio adultas suelen ser portadoras asintomáticas de NDV de baja patogenicidad (Elmberg et al., 2017); sin embargo, un eventual brote puede afectar negativamente la estructura de las poblaciones, ya que incrementaría la mortalidad en los individuos jóvenes reduciendo la probabilidad de recambio en la población. Por ejemplo, en la epizootia de 1999 de los El contagio de los agentes virales entre aves silvestres y domésticas puede estar facilitado por factores de orden ecológico (cambio climático, alteración del hábitat); inmunológico o biológico (susceptibilidad de las especies, adaptación de los patógenos, contacto con aves infectadas) (Bender et al., 2006;Nallar et al., 2016a). Las evidencias científicas muestran que el hábitat y la susceptibilidad de la especie juegan un rol muy importante; por ejemplo, NDV (Genotipo V) ha sido aislado en aves silvestres (gaviotas, cormoranes y palomas) y aves domésticas (pollos y pavos) de un mismo sector (Diel et al., 2012a), y, en forma similar, mediante técnicas moleculares se ha determinado que los patos migratorios transportan el virus de AI y contagian a las aves domésticas cercanas a los sitios de migración (Jeong et al., 2014). ...
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El objetivo del estudio fue determinar la presencia de anticuerpos séricos frente a cuatro patógenos respiratorios (influenza aviar [AI], enfermedad de Newcastle [NDV], bronquitis infecciosa aviar [IBV] y laringotraqueítis infecciosa aviar [ILTV]) que podrían afectar a las aves acuáticas migratorias y residentes de tres lagunas altoandinas del Ecuador. Se colectaron 153 muestras de sangre de aves de siete especies en las lagunas andinas de Colta, Yambo y Yahuarcocha. La presencia de anticuerpos (Ac) contra IBV e ILTV se detectó por un ELISA indirecto (ELISAi) y por la prueba de inhibición de la hemoaglutinación (HI); para NDV e influenza aviar (H5N1 y H7N3) se usó un ELISAc e HI. La seropositividad a NDV fue de 3.2% (5/153), habiendo tres casos en Yahuarcocha en el cormorán neotropical (Phalacrocorax brasilianus), un caso en Colta en la focha andina (Fulica ardesiaca) y uno en Yambo en el pato rojizo andino (Oxyura ferruginea). La seropositividad contra AI fue de 13% (20/153), mayormente en el pato rojizo andino y el zambullidor plateado (Podicceps occipitalis) en Colta, y en el ánade piquiamarillo (Anas georgica), focha andina y pato rojizo andino en Yambo. Asimismo, se encontró Ac séricos contra IBV en dos cormoranes en Yahuarcocha. No se encontraron anticuerpos contra ILTV.
... However, reliable laboratory services continue to be limited in many low-and middle-income countries (2,3). Although there have been positive examples of laboratory responses to outbreaks (4-6), a number of well-documented events including some at the convergence of human, animal and environmental health have shown how a lack of robust laboratory systems can impede disease detection, control and prevention efforts (7)(8)(9). These circumstances highlight the importance of building sustainable national health laboratory systems including strong linkages and cooperation between sectors and within the health system. ...
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Building sustainable national health laboratory systems requires laboratory leaders who can address complex and changing demands for services and build strong collaborative networks. Global consensus on laboratory leadership competencies is critically important to ensure the harmonization of learning approaches for curriculum development across relevant health sectors. The World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) have partnered to develop a Laboratory Leadership Competency Framework (CF) that provides a foundation for the Global Laboratory Leadership Programme (GLLP). The CF represents the first global consensus from multiple disciplines on laboratory leadership competencies and provides structure for the development of laboratory leaders with the knowledge, skills and abilities to build bridges, enhance communication, foster collaboration and develop an understanding of existing synergies between the human, animal, environmental, and other relevant health sectors.
... Vehicles carrying materials from animal burial sites should therefore be disinfected before they leave site. People who come into contact with infected Table 4 Tentative processing cost for the remediation of groundwater contaminated by carcass burial (Kim, 2015 carcasses can act as mechanical vectors to potentially serve as an ongoing source of further infection to livestock (Bender et al., 2006;Weeks et al., 2016). Moreover, human health is not always entirely safe from animal disease agents. ...
Carcass disposal from livestock disease outbreaks or on-farm, routine mortalities present a number of challenges. Proper management of carcasses can no longer be addressed as an incidental occurrence, as they represent a persistent pathway of infectious agricultural wastes with potential to harm the environment. The long-term management of carcass disposal sites is essential irrespective of the cause of mortality. Critically this ensures eradication of disease and environmental protection from a range of biological and chemical hazards. Strategies for large-scale carcass disposal require preparation and coordinated, proactive planning in advance of emergencies to meet environmental protection guidelines and maximize the efficiency of response. Carcass disposal methods include burial, incineration, composting, alkaline hydrolysis, lactic acid fermentation and anaerobic digestion. Burial techniques include trench burial, landfill, and notably mass burial as one of the most common methods of disposal. However, there are concerns about possible impacts to the environment and subsequent risk to human health regardless of the initial logistical and economic advantages. This review provides an overview of our current understanding of the potential threats of carcass burial and possible management options. The environmental implications of terminating burials is discussed as is the role of biochar and phytoremediation which can contribute to the management of burials. These examples are considered in the case study context of Korea where long-term considerations remain a priority. The outcome of the review is structured to provide information to decision-makers that is of value when equipping themselves with comprehensive guidelines for the sustained management of carcass burials. Finally, recommendations that address future research needs are outlined.
... Livestock production is a very important activity in the livelihoods of many rural households in developing countries. It often contributes to multiple livelihood objectives and is an important source of nutritious food, income and draught power (1,2). Livestock are also a major store of wealth and investment and play a role as a social asset. ...
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This paper presents a summary of findings from a research project that examined institutional arrangements for providing animal health services in Uganda and Kenya. Given the need to find solutions to the pervasive governance challenges encountered in the delivery of veterinary services in Africa, the study applied transaction economics theory to generate recommendations on how to improve the delivery of these services and minimise livestock production risks, including those that pose a risk to human health, e.g. zoonoses. The most notable recommendations are as follows: i) lower- and middle-income countries should invest in creating an enabling environment that supports the relationship between professional veterinarians and para-professionals, to ensure the timely reporting, treatment and control of animal diseases; ii) the provision of veterinary extension services should not focus solely on household ‘heads’, but also on other household members, such as wives and children, and on herdsmen; iii) strong government engagement is required in the provision of veterinary services for pastoral or extensive livestock production systems, because normal market forces have failed to attract professional veterinarians and trained para-professionals from the private sector to work in these sectors; iv) farmers must be empowered to hold service providers accountable, by the development and trialling of tools that would enable them to measure the quality of services that they receive and to verify the qualifications of different service providers; v) investment in veterinary education is vital, to ensure that enough qualified veterinary staff are available to offer veterinary services to farmers.
... The goal of One Health is to encourage collaboration between human, animal and environmental health entities in surveillance, outbreak response and prevention, to achieve an optimal human health outcome [5]. This is important because, of all human pathogens 60% are zoonotic [6]. ...
The aim of this study was to ascertain farmers’ knowledge of the risk of spread of infection from animals to humans, and their transmission prevention practices. This was a survey of farmers who submitted material to Ireland's Regional Veterinary Laboratories in 2015. There was an 84% response rate (1044 farmers). Ninety per cent of farmers were not aware that infection can be acquired from apparently healthy animals. Over half were not aware that disease could be contracted from sick poultry or pets. Conversely, the knowledge of the risk to pregnant women of infection from birthing animals was high (88%). Four-fifths of farmers sourced drinking water from a private well, and of these, 62% tested their water less frequently than once a year. Of dairy farmers, 39% drank unpasteurised milk once a week or more frequently. Veterinarians were the most commonly cited information source for diseases on farms. The survey findings indicate that the level of farmers’ knowledge and awareness of the spread of infection from animals to humans is a concern. Further education of the farming community is needed to increase awareness of both the potential biohazards present on farms and the practical measures that can be taken to mitigate the risk of zoonoses.
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African swine fever (ASF), classical swine fever (CSF), and foot‐and‐mouth disease (FMD) are considered to be three of the most detrimental animal diseases and are currently foreign to the U.S. Emerging and re‐emerging pathogens can have tremendous impacts in terms of livestock morbidity and mortality events, production losses, forced trade restrictions, and costs associated with treatment and control. The U.S. is the world's top producer of beef for domestic and export use and the world's third‐largest producer and consumer of pork and pork products; it has also recently been either the world’s largest or second largest exporter of pork and pork products. Understanding the routes of introduction into the U.S. and the potential economic impact of each pathogen are crucial to 1) allocate resources to prevent routes of introduction that are believed to be more probable, 2) evaluate cost and efficacy of control methods, and 3) ensure that protections are enacted to minimize impact to the most vulnerable industries. With two scoping literature reviews, pulled from global data, this study assesses the risk posed by each disease in the event of a viral introduction into the United States, and illustrates what is known about the economic costs and losses associated with an outbreak.
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The transmission of airborne diseases in animals poses great risks to animal safety with potential significant economic losses. In this study, we report on the use of a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) for in‐flight inactivation of an airborne aerosolized porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. The infectivity of the sampled virus downstream compared to upstream of the DBD reactor as determined by the TCID50 method showed a ∼3.5 log10 reduction in the virus titer. Independent testing of the viral genome by the reverse‐transcription quantitative real‐time polymerase chain reaction method confirmed the inactivation with minimal filtering effects. Both short‐lived species such as and and peroxynitrous acid (ONOOH) chemistry at low pH in the virus‐laden droplets are suggested to be responsible for the observed inactivation. Aerosolized porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus in a wind tunnel is inactivated by a flow‐through volumetric dielectric barrier discharge with a gas residence time of 15 ms. A reduction in the virus titer is achieved. An analysis of the results partially based on previously reported modeling of plasma aerosol treatments suggests that both short‐lived and long‐lived reactive species can be responsible for the observed inactivation.
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Canine distemper virus (CDV) is thought to have caused several fatal epidemics in canids within the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem of East Africa, affecting silver-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas) and bat-eared foxes (Otocyon megalotis) in 1978 (ref. 1), and African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in 1991 (refs 2, 3). The large, closely monitored Serengeti lion population was not affected in these epidemics. However, an epidemic caused by a morbillivirus closely related to CDV emerged abruptly in the lion population of the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, in early 1994, resulting in fatal neurological disease characterized by grand mal seizures and myoclonus; the lions that died had encephalitis and pneumonia. Here we report the identification of CDV from these lions, and the close phylogenetic relationship between CDV isolates from lions and domestic dogs. By August 1994, 85% of the Serengeti lion population had anti-CDV antibodies, and the epidemic spread north to lions in the Maasai Mara National reserve, Kenya, and uncounted hyaenas, bat-eared foxes, and leopards were also affected.
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In late summer 1999, an outbreak of human encephalitis occurred in the northeastern United States that was concurrent with extensive mortality in crows (Corvusspecies) as well as the deaths of several exotic birds at a zoological park in the same area. Complete genome sequencing of a flavivirus isolated from the brain of a dead Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis), together with partial sequence analysis of envelope glycoprotein (E-glycoprotein) genes amplified from several other species including mosquitoes and two fatal human cases, revealed that West Nile (WN) virus circulated in natural transmission cycles and was responsible for the human disease. Antigenic mapping with E-glycoprotein–specific monoclonal antibodies and E-glycoprotein phylogenetic analysis confirmed these viruses as WN. This North American WN virus was most closely related to a WN virus isolated from a dead goose in Israel in 1998.
If an influenza pandemic struck today, borders would close, the global economy would shut down, international vaccine supplies and health-care systems would be overwhelmed, and panic would reign. To Emit the fallout, the industrialized world must create a detailed response strategy involving the public and private sectors.
There have been fewer notifications received by the Epidemiology Branch in the period February 25 to April 21 (reporting periods 3 and 4) this year, compared with 1989. There are, however, some exceptions - notably malaria, measles and pertussis
Purpose Aims to highlight how food contamination, whether accidental or deliberate, can have far‐reaching impact on individuals, organisations and the food supply chain. Design/methodology/approach This paper focuses on the use of agents such as foreign animal disease (FAD). The research included a literature review and evaluation to determine the mechanisms currently in place to counter‐act bioterrorism in the food supply chain with particular emphasis on poultry. Findings Food terrorism, where the contaminant is a FAD, would cause severe economic disruption by direct costs due to the culling of livestock and the compensation paid to growers. It could also lead to consequential loss to the local or national economy, loss of consumer confidence in the food supply chain and loss of political confidence and support following the mass culling of livestock, with some agents having the ability to impact directly on human health. Originality/value This paper analyses the current state of preparedness for food terrorism in the food supply chain and is of relevance to a cross‐section of the industry.
The impact of pet ownership on depression was tested among a sample of gay and bisexual men (n = 1,872). Multivariate analyses, controlling for demographics and baseline depressive symptomatology, showed that neither pet ownership nor the presence of HIV infection was associated with depression. Depression was influenced by the presence of AIDS and by having relatively few confidants. Analyses among HIV-infected men only showed that persons with AIDS who owned pets reported less depression than persons with AIDS who did not own pets. This beneficial effect of pet ownership occurred principally among persons who reported fewer confidants. These results suggest that by enhancing companionship for some HIV-infected persons, pets may buffer the stressful impact of AIDS.
Grain feeding seems to promote the growth and acid resistance of Escherichia coli in fattening beef cattle, and acid-resistant E. coli are more likely to survive the human gastric stomach. When cattle were fed hay for only five days, the number and acid resistance of E. coli decreased dramatically.