Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

10 million people a year are affected by zoonotic viruses spread by non-human hosts

08.11.2006
Doctors and veterinarians need to work together to tackle the increasing global threat of zoonotic viral diseases spread by non-human vertebrate hosts – including dogs, cattle, chickens and mosquitoes - according to a review in the November issue of Journal of Internal Medicine.

An estimated 50 million people acquired zoonotic diseases between 2000 and 2005 and up to 78,000 have died, reports Dr Jonathan Heeney, Chair of the Department of Virology at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre in the Netherlands.

And the diseases responsible for the majority of zoonotic illnesses, and a third of the deaths in the study period, appear to be increasing. This is particularly worrying because there are no effective vaccines for some of the most common zoonotic viruses.

“For instance there has been a global resurgence in the Dengue virus – which is transmitted between monkeys in the jungle by the mosquitoes that feed on them. The cycle can move into nearby urban areas where it can then be transmitted from person to person by mosquitoes” says Dr Heeney.

“This has been attributed to regional population growth around large cities, increased transportation and failing public control measures.”

Recent publicity about the risk of an H5N1 (bird flu) epidemic – which killed just over half of the 145 people infected during the study period – has centered on the risk of human-to-human transmission. It has also stressed the increased risk that humans face from living in close proximity to large concentrations of birds.

“Viral infections with zoonotic potential can become serious killers once they are able to establish the necessary adaptations for efficient human-to-human transmission under conditions sufficient to reach epidemic proportions” says Dr Heeney.

“That is why it is so important for experts from all walks of medicine to work more closely together.

“Vaccines have been very successful at eradicating devastating human disease such as smallpox. But we need to be vigilant and ensure that emerging diseases such as monkeypox don’t find immunological niches in generations who are no longer vaccinated against diseases like smallpox.

“The early identification, control and prevention of re-emerging viral zoonotics lie not only with clinicians and public health experts, but more importantly with veterinarians, animal scientists and wildlife ecologists.

“They are in the best position to identify trends and patterns, such as increases in the number of deaths of wild or domestic animals. Awareness and surveillance of eco systems will play a key role in identifying and controlling new, emerging and re-emerging viral zoonotics.”

Zoonotic killers between 2000 and 2005 included:

- Rabies, which killed an estimated 30,000 people

- Dengue Virus, which affected 50 million people and killed approximately 25,000

- Japanese Encephalitis Virus, with up to 50,000 estimated cases and up to 15,000 estimated deaths

- Lassa Fever, which affected up to 300,000 people and killed about 5,000

- SARS Corona virus, which killed 774 of the 8102 people infected

Even a zoonotic virus like Yellow Fever – for which an effective vaccine exists – is estimated to affect 200,000 people, according to the World Health Organization.

“It should be stressed that only about a quarter of zoonotic pathogens are readily spread from humans to humans” says Dr Heeney.

“But it is believed that in extreme situations when certain animal viruses transmit to humans they may mutate and adapt to the new host so effectively that they may become almost exclusively spread from humans to humans. This seems to have already happened with measles and the HIV virus.

“Although the number of cases of human bird flu deaths is relatively small when compared with diseases such as Rabies and Dengue, the publicity generated by those deaths has helped to raise awareness of zoonotic diseases.

“We now need to build on that awareness and ensure that the international medical community monitors changes in animal and human health very carefully to ensure that we identify and control any new, emerging and re-emerging zoonotic viruses.”

Annette Whibley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.jim.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

nachricht The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>