Conservation Medicine: Ecological Health in Practice

By A. Alonso Aguirre; Richard S. Ostfeld et al. | Go to book overview

17
Zoonotic Infections and
Conservation
Thaddeus K. Graczyk

In 1967, the Joint FAO/WHO Experts Committee defined zoonoses as “diseases and infections naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and humans” (Soulsby 1974). Since then it has been recognized that zoonoses are problems in every country; they are no longer associated with rural and sylvatic environments, and represent the most frequent public health risk (Soulsby 1974). The term “anthropozoonoses” defines infections transmitted from man to animals (Soulsby 1974), for example, streptococcal meningitis (Graczyk et al. 1995), and “zooanthroponoses, ” infections transmitted from animals to man (Soulsby 1974). Both terms have been used interchangeably in the literature, which has generated considerable confusion; and therefore, the term “zoonoses” is commonly preferred. Zoonoses are classified into parasitic zoonoses, that is, protozooses and metazooses (trematodiases, cestodiases, nematodiases, pentastomidiases, and arthropodiases); microbial zoonoses: bacterioses, chlamydioses, rickettsioses, and viroses; and fungal zoonoses: mycoses. Obligate zoonoses include zoonoses transmitted from animals to humans, and facultative zoonoses include zoonotic infections transmitted predominantly among people or among animals (Soulsby 1974). Epidemiologically, zoonoses can be classified as (1) directly transmitted: food or water borne (Graczyk et al. 1997), contamination derived, transplacental transmitted, and blood borne (hepatitis E virus, human granulocytic ehrlichliosis [HGE]; Adachi et al. 1997; Balayan 1997); and (2) indirectly transmitted: vector borne (Strelkova 1996). Parasitic, microbial, and fungal zoonoses are common and increasingly more recognized as a significant threat to public health on a local and worldwide scale. There are several factors responsible for intensified transmission, and better detection, of life-threatening

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