Research priorities identified for zoonoses
Over 600 million people are estimated to be dependent on livestock, with up to 70% of them in poor, rural areas. They are the most at risk for infectious diseases caused by zoonotic pathogens, which affect both animals and humans.
The TDR Disease Reference Group on Zoonoses and Marginalised Infectious Diseases looked at this problem, and a summary of their findings and recommendations has been published in Parasites & Vectors. The authors identify four reasons why zoonotic diseases have been even more neglected than other neglected tropical diseases:
- Lack of reliable qualitative and quantitative data on disease burden in endemic countries;
- Little knowledge of zoonotic causes of human disease by clinicians and policy makers;
- Lack of diagnostic capacity beyond referral hospitals and reference laboratories;
- Fragmentary data collection systems collected independently and recorded and reported separately.
Research priorities identified include developing and using a new metric that incorporates social and economic outcomes to help assess the societal impact of these diseases, and using a "one health" philosophy that brings together human and animal health professionals and related environment and agricultural disciplines.
For more information, contact Dr Deborah Kioy