Zoonosis

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Zoonosis is where an infectious disease spreads from one species to another. Zoonosis occurs when an infectious disease spreads from an animal to a human, or vice versa: 'reverse zoonosis'.

Sometimes an animal with the disease may not be effected by the pathogen. It may just carry the pathogen, and is then a vector for the disease.

Many serious epidemics have been caused by pathogens which were originally transmitted by zoonosis. They include bubonic plague, Ebola virus and rabies. In one test, of 1415 pathogens known to infect humans, 61% used zoonosis.[1]

Some parasites may be transmitted by animals, but are not 'zoonotic' diseases, because they require a human for part of their life cycle.

References[change | change source]

  1. Taylor L.H; Latham S.M. & Woolhouse M.E.J. 2001. Risk factors for human disease emergence. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 356 (1411): 983–989. [1]