Cross-species infections threaten both human health and biodiversity

Sep 11, 2012
Cross-species infections threaten both human health and biodiversity
Credit: Alison Peel

The spread of disease between species is a "one health" issue affecting both human health and wildlife conservation according to a new set of papers published today by scientists from the Royal Society and ZSL.

The special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B looks at the spread of infectious diseases, such as SARS, and , from one species to another and how it is not only causing problems for humans but is threatening wildlife conservation and the survival of large and robust populations.

The papers state that most of the threatening diseases are caused by infections that move between species, where one species acts a reservoir and then infects another, more-vulnerable, species that may suffer high .

ZSL's Dr Andrew Cunningham writes that the issue requires a holistic, trans-disciplinary solution. New ways of approaching disease investigation and control of are discussed, as are recommendations for policy makers.

Explore further: Stanford researchers rethink 'natural' habitat for wildlife

More information: Disease invasion: impacts on biodiversity and human health, rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/site/2012/disease_invasion.xhtml

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