Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Infectious or communicable diseases of humans can be divided into those that are communicable only between humans and those that are communicable to humans by nonhuman vertebrate animals (those with backbones such as mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, referred to in this entry simply as ‘animals’). The latter diseases are called zoonoses or zoonotic diseases. Because of the large number of domestic and wild animals that can serve as a source of zoonotic diseases, and the numerous means of transmission including vectors, zoonotic diseases are often difficult to control. Public health veterinarians have a critical role in zoonotic disease surveillance, prevention, and control, but risk reduction increasingly requires application of multidisciplinary teams and a unified concept of medicine across human and animal species lines. All classes of disease agents cause zoonotic disease. These include bacteria (e.g., listeriosis), chlamydia (e.g., psittacosis), rickettsia (e.g., Rocky Mountain spotted fever), viruses (e.g., Hendra), ...