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Special Issue "Zoonotic Diseases of Companion Animals"

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A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Philip H. Kass (Website)

Department of Population Health and Reproduction, 1089 Health Sciences Drive, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, Davis,CA 95616, USA
Interests: cancer research; quantitative epidemiology (companion animal, laboratory animal, primate); non-experimental inference; epidemiologic methodology and analysis; epidemiology of environmental hazards of animals and humans; companion animal epidemiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With each passing year the world grows smaller and more dangerous. Environmental changes alter the ecology of pathogens and create new niches; global movement of animals allows the spread of diseases that mountain ranges, deserts, and oceans previously arrested; as growing human populations intrude on the dominions of animals, what they sometimes share besides habitat is far more insidious.

Companion animals strike an extraordinary balance in our lives, as both an interface to us and a conduit to the outside world. By co-sharing our living space, we manage to defeat what nature always intended: a healthy but distant respect for our species boundaries. We share our time, our food, our quarters, and our pathogens. Some, such as ringworm, are relatively benign. Others, like rabies, kill more than 50,000 people every year.

Thus the motivation for an issue of Animals devoted to the unique relationship of diseases shared between humans and their companion animals. Manuscripts of original research should advisedly address one of the following cogent and urgent topics and focus on population-level effects: the impact of such companion animal zoonotic diseases on human society; new strategies for disease control and prevention; and how environmental changes impact disease epidemiology and spread.

Prof. Dr. Philip H. Kass
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 600 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


Keywords

  • zoonoses
  • companion animals
  • global warming
  • climate change
  • disease ecology
  • infectious disease
  • epidemiology

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Leptospira spp. in Domestic Cats from Different Environments: Prevalence of Antibodies and Risk Factors Associated with the Seropositivity
Animals 2014, 4(4), 612-626; doi:10.3390/ani4040612
Received: 30 June 2014 / Revised: 19 August 2014 / Accepted: 25 August 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
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Abstract
Leptospirosis is an emerging zoonotic disease of worldwide distribution. A cross-sectional study was conducted in urban and rural environments in southern Chile (1) to detect domestic cats with serologic evidence of exposure to Leptospira spp.; (2) to determine the prevalence of anti- [...] Read more.
Leptospirosis is an emerging zoonotic disease of worldwide distribution. A cross-sectional study was conducted in urban and rural environments in southern Chile (1) to detect domestic cats with serologic evidence of exposure to Leptospira spp.; (2) to determine the prevalence of anti-Leptospira antibodies; (3) to describe seroprevalences according to different characteristics of the animals, and (4) to identify risk factors associated with the seropositivity in the Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT). Blood samples were taken from 124 owned cats. A frequentist and Bayesian approach were applied for prevalence estimation. The overall apparent prevalence of anti-Leptospira antibodies was 8.1% (95% Confident Interval = 3.9–4.3). With the Bayesian approach, the overall True Prevalence (TP) was 5.2% (95% Credibility Interval (CrI) = 0.6–12.4). The TP for urban cats was 1.8% (95% CrI = 0.1–7.2) and the TP for rural felines was 25.2% (95% CrI = 9.3–46.6). Cats that live in a place where agricultural activities are performed with water that flows in streams or backwater and cats that live in places near flooded areas had a higher risk of seropositivity in MAT. The exposure to Leptospira spp. in domestic cats of urban and rural origin in Southern Chile is a public health concern that requires an increased awareness and the implementation of preventive measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Diseases of Companion Animals)
Open AccessArticle Signs Observed Among Animal Species Infected with Raccoon Rabies Variant Virus, Massachusetts, USA, 1992–2010
Animals 2011, 1(4), 396-401; doi:10.3390/ani1040396
Received: 26 September 2011 / Revised: 16 November 2011 / Accepted: 16 November 2011 / Published: 18 November 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (167 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We analyzed signs occurring among domestic and wild terrestrial animal species infected with raccoon rabies variant virus (RRV) in Massachusetts, 1992–2010. The clinical sign of aggression was significantly associated with rabid stray cats (odds ratio, OR = 2.3) and RRV affected major wild terrestrial animal species individually, which included raccoons (OR = 2.8), skunks (OR = 8.0), gray foxes (OR = 21.3), red foxes (OR = 10.4), woodchucks (OR = 4.7) and coyotes (OR = 27.6). While aggression is a useful predictor of rabies among wild animals, combinations of other signs such as ataxia, disorientation, and salivation are useful predictors of rabies among domestic animals. Pets reported with multiple clinical signs had significantly higher rabies positive testing result than those reported with single clinical sign (p < 0.001). The result suggested the importance of avoiding aggressive terrestrial wild animals and giving additional attention to pets with multiple clinical signs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Diseases of Companion Animals)
Open AccessArticle Investigation of an Imported Case of Rabies in a Juvenile Dog with Atypical Presentation
Animals 2011, 1(4), 402-413; doi:10.3390/ani1040402
Received: 8 October 2011 / Revised: 2 November 2011 / Accepted: 15 November 2011 / Published: 18 November 2011
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Abstract
Movement of dogs between rabies-endemic and rabies-free countries carries the inherent risk of introducing the disease. In April of 2008, a juvenile dog was imported to the UK from Sri Lanka. It died shortly after transfer to a quarantine facility in the [...] Read more.
Movement of dogs between rabies-endemic and rabies-free countries carries the inherent risk of introducing the disease. In April of 2008, a juvenile dog was imported to the UK from Sri Lanka. It died shortly after transfer to a quarantine facility in the south-east of England following a short history of diarrhoea and convulsions but no overt signs of aggression. Subsequent investigation confirmed that rabies was the cause of death. Rabies virus was isolated from brain samples taken from the dog and the subsequent phylogenetic investigation confirmed that the genomic sequence from this virus shared over 99% homology with endemic rabies viruses from Sri Lanka. Histological examination of the brain demonstrated clear signs of encephalitis and rabies antigenic labeling in numerous neurons. In this particular case, Negri bodies were absent. As this case was diagnosed in a quarantine facility, the ‘rabies-free’ status of the UK was un-affected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Diseases of Companion Animals)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Emerging and Re-Emerging Zoonoses of Dogs and Cats
Animals 2014, 4(3), 434-445; doi:10.3390/ani4030434
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 4 July 2014 / Accepted: 4 July 2014 / Published: 15 July 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (86 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the middle of the 20th century, pets are more frequently considered as “family members” within households. However, cats and dogs still can be a source of human infection by various zoonotic pathogens. Among emerging or re-emerging zoonoses, viral diseases, such as [...] Read more.
Since the middle of the 20th century, pets are more frequently considered as “family members” within households. However, cats and dogs still can be a source of human infection by various zoonotic pathogens. Among emerging or re-emerging zoonoses, viral diseases, such as rabies (mainly from dog pet trade or travel abroad), but also feline cowpox and newly recognized noroviruses or rotaviruses or influenza viruses can sicken our pets and be transmitted to humans. Bacterial zoonoses include bacteria transmitted by bites or scratches, such as pasteurellosis or cat scratch disease, leading to severe clinical manifestations in people because of their age or immune status and also because of our closeness, not to say intimacy, with our pets. Cutaneous contamination with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Leptospira spp., and/or aerosolization of bacteria causing tuberculosis or kennel cough are also emerging/re-emerging pathogens that can be transmitted by our pets, as well as gastro-intestinal pathogens such as Salmonella or Campylobacter. Parasitic and fungal pathogens, such as echinococcosis, leishmaniasis, onchocercosis, or sporotrichosis, are also re-emerging or emerging pet related zoonoses. Common sense and good personal and pet hygiene are the key elements to prevent such a risk of zoonotic infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Diseases of Companion Animals)
Open AccessReview Social Environment and Control Status of Companion Animal-Borne Zoonoses in Japan
Animals 2012, 2(1), 38-54; doi:10.3390/ani2010038
Received: 23 January 2012 / Revised: 7 February 2012 / Accepted: 13 February 2012 / Published: 15 February 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Changing social and environmental factors have been the cause of an increase in the number and variety of animals are being imported into Japan. Moreover, the number of Japanese households are keeping companion animals has also risen. These factors, along with the [...] Read more.
Changing social and environmental factors have been the cause of an increase in the number and variety of animals are being imported into Japan. Moreover, the number of Japanese households are keeping companion animals has also risen. These factors, along with the high density of the Japanese population and the low percentage of registered dogs, have increased the risk of animal-to-human transmission of zoonoses. To control zoonosis outbreaks, the Japanese government has implemented a three-stage approach for the border control of zoonoses and has stipulated the monitoring and reporting of eight companion animal-borne zoonoses under the Rabies Prevention Law and the Infectious Diseases Control Law. The fact that no case of human and animal rabies has been reported over the past 50 years indicates that these measures are highly effective in preventing rabies transmission. Although it is known that the total number of possible companion animal-borne zoonosis outbreaks decreased between 2005 and 2009 when compared with numbers between 2001 and 2004, the number of zoonosis cases that can be attributed to transmission by companion animals remains unclear. Active surveillance should be conducted on a national level to collect the data necessary to determine this number and identify trends in companion-animal transmitted diseases. Using the data collected, regulation systems should be evaluated to determine whether they have met reasonable goals and policy planning conducted for the control of emerging diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Diseases of Companion Animals)
Open AccessReview Zoonotic Poxviruses Associated with Companion Animals
Animals 2011, 1(4), 377-395; doi:10.3390/ani1040377
Received: 13 October 2011 / Revised: 2 November 2011 / Accepted: 15 November 2011 / Published: 17 November 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (469 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Understanding the zoonotic risk posed by poxviruses in companion animals is important for protecting both human and animal health. The outbreak of monkeypox in the United States, as well as current reports of cowpox in Europe, point to the fact that companion [...] Read more.
Understanding the zoonotic risk posed by poxviruses in companion animals is important for protecting both human and animal health. The outbreak of monkeypox in the United States, as well as current reports of cowpox in Europe, point to the fact that companion animals are increasingly serving as sources of poxvirus transmission to people. In addition, the trend among hobbyists to keep livestock (such as goats) in urban and semi-urban areas has contributed to increased parapoxvirus exposures among people not traditionally considered at high risk. Despite the historic notoriety of poxviruses and the diseases they cause, poxvirus infections are often missed. Delays in diagnosing poxvirus-associated infections in companion animals can lead to inadvertent human exposures. Delays in confirming human infections can result in inappropriate treatment or prolonged recovery. Early recognition of poxvirus-associated infections and application of appropriate preventive measures can reduce the spread of virus between companion animals and their owners. This review will discuss the epidemiology and clinical features associated with the zoonotic poxvirus infections most commonly associated with companion animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Diseases of Companion Animals)
Open AccessReview Canine Rabies: A Looming Threat to Public Health
Animals 2011, 1(4), 326-342; doi:10.3390/ani1040326
Received: 15 August 2011 / Revised: 13 September 2011 / Accepted: 22 September 2011 / Published: 26 September 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (191 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rabies is an acute, fatal viral disease that infects domestic and wild animals and is transmissible to humans. Worldwide, rabies kills over 55,000 people every year. The domestic dog plays a pivotal role in rabies transmission. Domestic dogs are not only part [...] Read more.
Rabies is an acute, fatal viral disease that infects domestic and wild animals and is transmissible to humans. Worldwide, rabies kills over 55,000 people every year. The domestic dog plays a pivotal role in rabies transmission. Domestic dogs are not only part of our daily lives but also of our immediate surroundings, and this is reflected in the rise in pet dog ownership in developed and developing countries. This is important given that more frequent exposures and interactions at the animal-human interface increases the likelihood of contracting zoonotic diseases of companion animals. Despite existing vaccines and post-exposure prophylactic treatment, rabies remains a neglected disease that is poorly controlled throughout much of the developing world, particularly Africa and Asia, where most human rabies deaths occur. It is believed that with sustained international commitments, global elimination of rabies from domestic dog populations, the most dangerous vector to humans, is a realistic goal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Diseases of Companion Animals)

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