Special Issue "Prevention and Control of Diseases at the Interface of Livestock, Wildlife, and Humans"

A special issue of Veterinary Sciences (ISSN 2306-7381).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Cord Heuer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Director EpiCentre
OIE Collaborating Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health
(from Jan 2018:) School of Veterinary Sciences
(currently:) Institute of Vet, Animal and Biomedical Sciences
Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North, 4442, New Zealand
Tel. +64 6 3505948
Interests: epidemiology, public health and production economics of infectious diseases in temperate and tropical livestock farming environments; special interests are field investigations and mathematical modelling of the transmission, economics and control of infectious diseases in human and animal populations
Prof. Dr. Richard Kock
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Royal Veterinary College University of London Hawkshead Lane North Mymms Hatfield Hertfordshire AL9 7TA United Kingdom
Interests: wildlife diseases and epidemiology; food systems and environment; wildlife livestock interface and emerging diseases; mass mortality diseases particularly morbilliviruses which are a food security issue and wildlife conservation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Evidence suggests that at least 335 new human pathogens have emerged in the past 60 years with an increasing trend of emergence and re-emergence. About two thirds of them have a zoonotic origin, which is not a surprise, as where else would new pathogens arise from? The majority of the directly contracted zoonotic infections arise from domestic animals and peridomestic wildlife, whilst such events are generally extremely rare from wildlife in natural settings, except where vectors are concerned. The most important mechanism for establishment of novel infections in humans is through what is known as pathogen jumping, where a microbial organism adapts to the human or non- maintenance host species resulting in disease which persists. Most of the drivers for these periodic events are attributed to changes in socio-economic, environmental and ecological factors. The rising trend is ascribed to human destabilising effects on the natural environment, coupling disease emergence with landscape engineering, growth in human and domestic animal populations, climate change, species extinction and habitat change and degradation. Domestication of animals (and the trend continues), increases the potential for emergence as the genetic selection tends to reduce immunocompetence whilst selecting for production characteristics. Diminishing profit margins per animal lead to increasingly intensive livestock production systems and larger herds, both being recognized stressors for the transmission and severity of infectious diseases. Hence, the management of modern livestock production systems is associated with an increasing need for pathogen eradication or control, costly biosecurity measures and monitoring of disease, food quality and environmental impacts. In addition, the accelerating global trade causes more refined phyto-sanitary regulations and stringent cross-border risk management of livestock diseases and animal products. Primary producers have to account for these conditions by adopting management changes at a rapidly increasing rate, not only to control production animal diseases but also to protect farm workers against occupational health risks and consumers against food borne diseases. Whether the predictions for livestock production growth will reach the giddy heights proposed with over 26 billion livestock feeding 9 billion people in 2050 is debatable but trends towards diet change and less reliance on animal products are gathering pace. Preparing for the uncertainties, creating more sustainable agricultural practices, which are not pathogen factories nor destructive to the environment is vital to humans, their well-being and their future health.

This Special Issue on "Prevention and Control of Diseases at the Interface of Livestock, Wildlife, and Humans" intends to address these changing trends and contribute new knowledge to pathogen control in livestock farming and its interaction with wildlife, environment and public health.

Prof. Dr. Cord Heuer
Prof. Dr. Richard Kock
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.

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Keywords

  • emerging pathogens
  • disease control
  • biosecurity
  • food safety
  • domestic livestock
  • wildlife
  • public health

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Prevention and Control of Diseases at the Interface of Livestock, Wildlife and Humans
Vet. Sci. 2019, 6(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci6010011 - 22 Jan 2019
Abstract
Relatively few scientists are investigating health at the wildlife–livestock interface [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessCommunication
Isolation of Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis from Seronegative Cows is a Serious Impediment in Brucellosis Control
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010028 - 09 Mar 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Brucellosis is a zoonosis occurring worldwide, with economic and public health impacts. Its diagnosis remains a challenge in endemic countries and basically relies on serology. The present study was carried out on two dairy cattle farms allegedly free from brucellosis, but with sporadic [...] Read more.
Brucellosis is a zoonosis occurring worldwide, with economic and public health impacts. Its diagnosis remains a challenge in endemic countries and basically relies on serology. The present study was carried out on two dairy cattle farms allegedly free from brucellosis, but with sporadic cases of abortion. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of Brucella (B.) spp. in uterine discharge of seronegative cows after abortion. In farm I, B. melitensis biovar (bv) 3 was cultured from two of five cows after abortion, while in farm II, B. abortus bv 1 was cultured from three of eleven cows after abortion. These cows had been intrauterinely infected but remained seronegative until abortion and seroconverted only thereafter. Shedding of brucellae in uterine discharge of culture positive/seronegative aborting cows is a serious problem resulting in maintenance and further spread of infection. Thus, serosurveys in endemic countries have to be accompanied by molecular detection and/or culture of aborted material to close the diagnostic window and to hinder uncontrolled spread. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Knowledge, Awareness and Practices Regarding Cystic Echinococcosis among Livestock Farmers in Basrah Province, Iraq
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010017 - 06 Feb 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is an endemic neglected parasitic zoonosis in many of the countries of the Middle East. The disease poses a remarkable economic burden for both animals and humans. In this study, we conducted a questionnaire survey among livestock farmers in Basrah [...] Read more.
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is an endemic neglected parasitic zoonosis in many of the countries of the Middle East. The disease poses a remarkable economic burden for both animals and humans. In this study, we conducted a questionnaire survey among livestock farmers in Basrah province, southern Iraq, in order to evaluate their knowledge and awareness about CE, and to understand some of the risky practices that could contribute to spread and persistence of such disease. Of the interviewed participants (N = 314), 27.4% owned dogs on their farms. Among farmers owning dogs, 76.7% (66/86) never tied up their dogs, and 43% (37/86) indicated feeding uncooked animal viscera to their dogs. The majority (96.5%) of the farmers indicated that they did not de-worm their dogs at all. Only 9.8% (31/314) of the respondents indicated eating raw leafy vegetables without washing. Added to that, 32% of the interviewees indicated that they source water for domestic use from a river; meanwhile 94.3% (296/314) of them do not boil water before using it for domestic purposes. Half of the interviewed livestock farmers in Basrah were not aware about how humans get infected with CE disease, and 41.4% (130/314) did not even realize that CE is a dangerous disease to human health. Almost one in three of the respondents who owned dogs on their farms viewed de-worming of their dogs as a low priority practice. This study highlights the gap in knowledge and awareness about CE among the study population. Risky practices associated with dog keeping management and food and water handling practices were identified. The insight from this research could be used to improve the delivery of a health education message relevant to cystic echinococcosis control at the human-animal interface in Iraq. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview
Challenges and Opportunities Developing Mathematical Models of Shared Pathogens of Domestic and Wild Animals
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(4), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5040092 - 30 Oct 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Diseases that affect both wild and domestic animals can be particularly difficult to prevent, predict, mitigate, and control. Such multi-host diseases can have devastating economic impacts on domestic animal producers and can present significant challenges to wildlife populations, particularly for populations of conservation [...] Read more.
Diseases that affect both wild and domestic animals can be particularly difficult to prevent, predict, mitigate, and control. Such multi-host diseases can have devastating economic impacts on domestic animal producers and can present significant challenges to wildlife populations, particularly for populations of conservation concern. Few mathematical models exist that capture the complexities of these multi-host pathogens, yet the development of such models would allow us to estimate and compare the potential effectiveness of management actions for mitigating or suppressing disease in wildlife and/or livestock host populations. We conducted a workshop in March 2014 to identify the challenges associated with developing models of pathogen transmission across the wildlife-livestock interface. The development of mathematical models of pathogen transmission at this interface is hampered by the difficulties associated with describing the host-pathogen systems, including: (1) the identity of wildlife hosts, their distributions, and movement patterns; (2) the pathogen transmission pathways between wildlife and domestic animals; (3) the effects of the disease and concomitant mitigation efforts on wild and domestic animal populations; and (4) barriers to communication between sectors. To promote the development of mathematical models of transmission at this interface, we recommend further integration of modern quantitative techniques and improvement of communication among wildlife biologists, mathematical modelers, veterinary medicine professionals, producers, and other stakeholders concerned with the consequences of pathogen transmission at this important, yet poorly understood, interface. Full article
Open AccessReview
Dogs (Canis familiaris) as Sentinels for Human Infectious Disease and Application to Canadian Populations: A Systematic Review
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(4), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5040083 - 21 Sep 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
In a world where climate change, vector expansion, human activity, and pathogen dispersal do not respect boundaries, the human–animal–pathogen interface has become less defined. Consequently, a One Health approach to disease surveillance and control has generated much interest across several disciplines. This systematic [...] Read more.
In a world where climate change, vector expansion, human activity, and pathogen dispersal do not respect boundaries, the human–animal–pathogen interface has become less defined. Consequently, a One Health approach to disease surveillance and control has generated much interest across several disciplines. This systematic review evaluates current global research on the use of domestic dogs as sentinels for human infectious disease, and critically appraises how this may be applied within Canada. Results highlighted a bias in research from high- and middle-income-economy countries, with 35% of the studies describing data from the Latin America/Caribbean region, 25% from North America, and 11% from the European/Central Asia region. Bacteria were the most studied type of infectious agent, followed by protozoa, viruses, helminths, and fungi. Only six out of 142 studies described disease in Canada: four researched a variety of pathogens within Indigenous communities, one researched Borrelia burgdorferi in British Columbia, and one researched arboviruses in Quebec. Results from this review suggest that dogs could provide excellent sentinels for certain infectious-disease pathogens in Canada, yet are currently overlooked. Further research into the use of dog-sentinel surveillance is specifically recommended for California serogroup viruses, Chikungunya virus, West Nile virus, Lyme borreliosis, Rickettsia spp., Ehrlichia spp., and Dirofilaria immitis. Full article
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Open AccessConcept Paper
Brucella spp. at the Wildlife-Livestock Interface: An Evolutionary Trajectory through a Livestock-to-Wildlife “Host Jump”?
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(3), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5030081 - 18 Sep 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Brucella infections in wildlife have gained a lot of interest from the scientific community and different stakeholders. These interests are often different and sometimes conflicting. As a result, different management perspectives and aims have been implemented (One Health, public health, veterinary public health, [...] Read more.
Brucella infections in wildlife have gained a lot of interest from the scientific community and different stakeholders. These interests are often different and sometimes conflicting. As a result, different management perspectives and aims have been implemented (One Health, public health, veterinary public health, maintenance of a brucellosis free status in livestock, sustainable wildlife harvesting by hunters, wildlife and environmental health). When addressing Brucella infection in wildlife, the most important features of Brucella infection should be considered and the following questions need to be answered: (1) Is Brucella infection a result of a spillover from livestock or is it a sustainable infection in one or more wildlife host species? (2) Did the epidemiological situation of Brucella infection in wildlife change over time and, if so, what are the main drivers of change and does it impact the wildlife population dynamics? (3) Does Brucella infection in wildlife represent a reservoir of Brucella strains for livestock? (4) Is Brucella infection in wildlife of zoonotic concern? These questions point to the fundamental biological question of how animal (domestic and wildlife)/Brucella spp. partnerships are established. Will we be able to decipher an evolutionary trajectory through a livestock-to-wildlife “host jump”? Whole genome sequencing and new “omics” techniques will help in deciphering the molecular basis of Brucella host preference and open new avenues in brucellosis management aimed at preventing opportunities for Brucella host jumps. Full article
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