Of all known human pathogens 60% are zoonotic, meaning they are naturally transmissible from vertebrate or invertebrate animals to humans and vice-versa. Emerging infectious diseases are those that are newly discovered, newly evolved, or experiencing recent expansion of incidence, geography, host or vector range (Chomel, 2008). Viruses and bacteria are the most numerous of emerging pathogens, however parasites and particularly protozoa more so that helminths have also become adept at finding new ways to prosper.
In the fight for resource prioritisation, the ‘Emerging Infectious Diseases’ have often demanded attention, leaving behind a group of ancient diseases collectively known as the ‘Neglected Tropical Diseases’ which almost…show more content… The relative importance of a disease on a global scale is best quantified with either a validated public health tool like the Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY) or a financial value, the dollar ($USD). The DALY combines years of expected life lost due to death with years of life lived at a fraction of full capacity due to disability. Shifting interactions between humans and other animals is thought to be the main driver behind emerging zoonotic parasites. The following five zoonotic parasites are outlined because of their significant public health burden and financial impact in agriculture and society in general, but also the changing human-animal interface that is allowing their resurgence.
Top 5 globally impacting zoonotic parasites
1. Schistosomiasis in humans is caused by 5 species of parasitic trematode helminths. The three zoonotic species, S.mekongi in pigs, and S.mansoni in baboons and rodents, and S.japonicum, can all cause progressive liver fibrosis, portal hypertension, and ascites. S.japonicum is responsible for the most zoonotic cases and has at least 40 domestic and wild definitive hosts. Whilst zoonotic schistosomiasis is only 14% of the global schistosomiasis burden this still accounts for approximately 10 million DALYs and one of the highest global burdens of any parasitic zoonoses. Direct economic losses from livestock infections are also thought to be substantial (Torgerson, et al. 2011).
China has seen great success with