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Zoonotic disease transmission from people to animals

A. M. Messenger, A. N. Barnes, G. C. Gray

IN an increasingly interconnected and populous world, the threat of zoonotic transmission of diseases from animals to people is receiving more attention. The transmission of diseases from people to animals (known as reverse zoonosis or anthroponosis) is less well studied. The aim of this systematic literature review was to investigate reports of human-derived pathogens affecting animal populations.

Several scientific databases were systematically searched for entries containing terms that related to the transmission of disease from people to animals. Only original clinical and observational studies were included and review articles were not considered.

A total of 56 relevant articles were included in the final analysis. These reports of human to animal disease transmission were based in 56 different countries and were published between 1988 and 2012. Twenty-one (38 per cent) of the studies discussed human-to-animal transmission of bacterial pathogens; 16 (29 per cent) reported transmission of viral pathogens; 12 (21 per cent) the transmission of human parasites; and seven (13 per cent) the transmission of fungi, other pathogens or diseases of multiple aetiologies. Types of animal reported as being …

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