Special Issue "Animals as Environmental Sentinels of Humans Infections"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Infectious Disease Epidemiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Natale Alda
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, viale dell’Università 10, 35020 Legnaro, Padova, Italy
Interests: infectious diseases and zoonoses. main topics: leptospirosis; Q fever; leishmaniosis; chlamydioses; other topics: hepatitis E; brucellosis; vector borne diseases; toxoplasmosis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Marcella Mori
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Sciensano, Rue Juliette Wytsmanstraat 14 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Interests: bacterial zoonoses; human-animal-interfase; intracellula bacterial pathogens; host-pathogen interaction; refernce diagnosis. main topics: coxiella burnetii; Leptospira spp.; Brucella spp.; tularemia, ticks
Dr. Patrizia Danesi
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, viale dell’Università 10, 35020 Legnaro, Padova, Italy
Interests: fungal diseases, parasites and zoonoses. main topics: dermatophytes; cryptococcus and pneumocystis in pet and wid animals. other topics: echinococcus moltilocularis; trichinella; giardia and cryptosporidium.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The “One Health” concept, introduced at the beginning of the 2000s, summarises the idea that human and animal health are interdependent functions. Diseases of animal origin, such as avian influenza, rabies, and brucellosis, can be transmitted to humans. Other diseases which are mainly transmitted from person to person can also infect animals or have an animal source or reservoir, and can cause serious health emergencies. Other infectious and non-infectious human diseases are mainly due to the environmental contamination (e.g., fungal infections, leptospirosis) or pollution (e.g., cancer, poisoning). Animals living in close contact with people can act as sentinels of the human risk. The risks increase with globalisation, climate change, and changes in human behaviour, giving pathogens numerous opportunities to colonise new territories and evolve into new forms.

Studies of the effects of environmental exposures on domestic and wild animals can corroborate or inform epidemiologic studies in humans. Animals may be sensitive indicators of environmental hazards and provide an early warning system for public health intervention.

Focusing both on environmental issues and on the role of animals as sentinels of the human risk, this Special Issue of The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health will bring together papers encompassing exposures to infectious and fungal diseases, toxic substances, and their associations with acute/chronic poisoning and other diseases.

Dr. Natale Alda
Dr. Marcella Mori
Dr. Patrizia Danesi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Zoonoses
  • One Health
  • Infectious diseases
  • Fungal diseases
  • Parasitic diseases
  • Animal Sentinels
  • Epidemiology
  • Poisoning
  • Cancer

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Co-Circulation of Bovine Leukemia Virus Haplotypes among Humans, Animals, and Food Products: New Insights of Its Zoonotic Potential
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4883; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094883 - 04 May 2021
Viewed by 434
Abstract
Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is the causative agent of leukemia/lymphoma in cattle. It has been found in humans and cattle-derived food products. In humans, it is described as a potential risk factor for breast cancer development. However, the transmission path remains unclear. Here, [...] Read more.
Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is the causative agent of leukemia/lymphoma in cattle. It has been found in humans and cattle-derived food products. In humans, it is described as a potential risk factor for breast cancer development. However, the transmission path remains unclear. Here, a molecular epidemiology analysis was performed to identify signatures of genetic flux of BLV among humans, animals, and food products. Sequences obtained from these sources in Colombia were used (n = 183) and compared with reference sequences available in GenBank. Phylogenetic reconstruction was performed in IQ-TREE software with the maximum likelihood algorithm. Haplotype (hap) distribution among the population was carried out with a median-joining model in Network5.0. Recombination events were inferred using SplitsTree4 software. In the phylogenetic analysis, no specific branches were identified for the Colombian sequences or for the different sources. A total of 31 haps were found, with Hap 1, 4, 5 and 7 being shared among the three sources of the study. Reticulation events among the different sources were also detected during the recombination analysis. These results show new insights about the zoonotic potential of BLV, showing evidence of genetic flux between cattle and humans. Prevention and control strategies should be considered to avoid viral dissemination as part of the One Health program policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals as Environmental Sentinels of Humans Infections)
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Open AccessCommunication
Environmental Exposure of Wild Carnivores to Zoonotic Pathogens: Leptospira Infection in the First Free Living Wolf (Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758) Found Dead in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2512; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052512 - 03 Mar 2021
Viewed by 542
Abstract
Leptospirosis is a worldwide-spread zoonosis causing disease and death in dogs and in humans. A Leptospiral infection has been recorded in several wild carnivore species in Europe, but tissue pathological changes were not commonly described. The Grey wolf (Canis lupus) has [...] Read more.
Leptospirosis is a worldwide-spread zoonosis causing disease and death in dogs and in humans. A Leptospiral infection has been recorded in several wild carnivore species in Europe, but tissue pathological changes were not commonly described. The Grey wolf (Canis lupus) has been expanding its distribution range in north-eastern Italy during the last decade. A young wolf, representing the first individual handled in the region, was found road-killed and then submitted to necropsy. Pathological changes included erosive lesions of gingival mucosa, mild liver enlargement, and multifocal degenerative-necrotic areas along with hyperemic reactive lesions; multifocal interstitial nephritis and multifocal lung hemorrhages were observed. A Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) able to detect pathogenic species of Leptospira performed on a kidney sample was positive. Serological reactions for serogroup Gryppotyphosa (1:6400), Pomona (1:800), and Icterohaemorrhagiae (1:200) were evidenced by MAT. Genotyping by Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) performed on detected Leptospira characterized it as belonging to Sequence Type (ST) 117, which refers to L. kirschneri, serogroup Pomona, serovar Mozdok. Regardless of the role of Leptospira infection as an eventual predisposing factor to the road killing of this wolf, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report of Leptospira-induced pathology in a wolf in Europe. Surveys on Leptospira infection in free-ranging wildlife species should be pursued in order to achieve further epidemiological knowledge on the circulation of the Leptospira strain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals as Environmental Sentinels of Humans Infections)
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Open AccessArticle
The Gut Microbiota of the Egyptian Mongoose as an Early Warning Indicator of Ecosystem Health in Portugal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3104; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093104 - 29 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1033
Abstract
The Egyptian mongoose is a carnivore mammal species that in the last decades experienced a tremendous expansion in Iberia, particularly in Portugal, mainly due to its remarkable ecological plasticity in response to land-use changes. However, this species may have a disruptive role on [...] Read more.
The Egyptian mongoose is a carnivore mammal species that in the last decades experienced a tremendous expansion in Iberia, particularly in Portugal, mainly due to its remarkable ecological plasticity in response to land-use changes. However, this species may have a disruptive role on native communities in areas where it has recently arrived due to predation and the potential introduction of novel pathogens. We report reference information on the cultivable gut microbial landscape of widely distributed Egyptian mongoose populations (Herpestes ichneumon, n = 53) and related antimicrobial tolerance across environmental gradients. The panel of isolated species is consistent with the typical protein-based diet of a carnivore: Firmicutes predominate (89% of individuals), while Clostridiales, Enterobacteriales, and Lactobacillales are the major classes. Forty-one individuals (77.4%) harbour Clostridium spp. A spatial influence on mongooses’ microbiota is confirmed by nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis, with a significant contribution of municipality to their microbiota composition. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of mongoose commensal bacteria to 28 compounds evidences xenobiotic tolerance of Escherichia coli (E. coli), enterococci, Salmonella Spartel and Mbandaka serotypes and Pseudomonas bacteria, among others. The common isolation of antimicrobial tolerant microbiota from the mongoose’s gut suggests this species is exposed to anthropogenic influence and is affected by forestry and agricultural-related practices, reflecting its easy adaptation to ecological gradients across agroecosystems. We thus propose regular microbial and phenotypic resistance profiling of widely distributed mongooses as a sentinel tool for xenobiotics’ lifecycle and ecosystem health in Portugal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals as Environmental Sentinels of Humans Infections)
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