Chapter

Wildlife and Emerging Zoonotic Diseases: The Biology, Circumstances and Consequences of Cross-Species Transmission

Volume 315 of the series Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology pp 477-509

Surveillance and Response to Disease Emergence

  • Angela MerianosAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response, World Health Organization

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New and emerging infectious diseases affect humans, domestic animals, livestock and wildlife and can have a significant impact on health, trade and biodiversity. Of the emerging infectious diseases of humans, 75% are zoonotic, with wildlife being an increasingly important source of inter-species transmission. Recent animal health emergencies have highlighted the vulnerability of the livestock sector to the impact of infectious diseases and the associated risks to human health. Outbreaks resulting from wildlife trade have resulted in enormous economic losses globally. On a global level, the human health sector lags behind the animal health sector in the assessment of potential threats, although substantive differences exist among countries in the state of national preparedness planning for emerging diseases.