Animal movements and the spread of infectious diseases

Eric M Fèvre, Barend M de C Bronsvoort, Katie A Hamilton, Sarah Cleaveland
Trends in Microbiology 2006, 14 (3): 125-31
Domestic and wild animal population movements are important in the spread of disease. There are many recent examples of disease spread that have occurred as a result of intentional movements of livestock or wildlife. Understanding the volume of these movements and the risks associated with them is fundamental in elucidating the epidemiology of these diseases, some of which might entail zoonotic risks. The importance of the worldwide animal trade is reviewed and the role of the unregulated trade in animals is highlighted. A range of key examples are discussed in which animal movements have resulted in the introduction of pathogens to previously disease-free areas. Measures based on heightened surveillance are proposed that mitigate the risks of new pathogen introductions.

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