Cross-species infections threaten both human health and biodiversity

September 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: No place like home: Africa's big cats show postcode preference

More information: Disease invasion: impacts on biodiversity and human health,

Related Stories

Killer disease decimates UK frog populations

October 7, 2010

( -- Common frog (Rana temporaria) populations across the UK are suffering dramatic population crashes due to infection from the emerging disease Ranavirus, reveals research published in the Zoological Society ...

Recommended for you

Study suggests fish can experience 'emotional fever'

November 25, 2015

(—A small team of researchers from the U.K. and Spain has found via lab study that at least one type of fish is capable of experiencing 'emotional fever,' which suggests it may qualify as a sentient being. In their ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.