ground of all potential pathogens to analyzing transmission dynamics among novel hosts. “Ultimately the only way we can quantify the risk of novel microbes to humans (and domestic livestock) is to create a huge phylogeny of all pathogens and their hosts,” they write. “We then need to examine the pathology of closely related pathogens, in their reservoir hosts and other host species they infect and examine the factors that modify virulence and transmissibility.” Such an effort “will require considerable capacity-building in areas that are woefully underfunded,” they acknowledge.
Nina N. Marano, D.V.M., M.P.H.,1 G. Gale Galland, D.V.M., M.S.,1 Jesse D. Blanton, M.S.,2 Charles E. Rupprecht, D.V.M., Ph.D.,2 James N. Mills, Ph.D.,2 Heather Bair-Brake, D.V.M., M.P.H.,1 Betsy Schroeder, M.P.H.,1 Martin S. Cetron, M.D.1
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Zoonoses are diseases that are transmissible from animals to people. The prevention and management of zoonoses in humans pose unique considerations for surveillance and detection of these diseases and require acknowledgment of the role of animals in disease transmission. Wildlife and animals intended for the pet trade can serve as hosts for a variety of well-known and emerging zoonotic pathogens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) regulations exist to prevent the importation of animals and animal by-products that pose a risk to public health. However, globalization of the food supply, consumer goods, and live animals—combined with human behaviors and preferences for the exotic—are ever-growing risk factors for translocation to the United States of zoonotic diseases from parts of the world where they are endemic (or exist in a reservoir state) (Smith et al., 2009). This paper describes the CDC’s regulatory framework for mitigating response to the introduction of zoonotic diseases, which has traditionally been reactive. The challenges of the twenty-first century call for a more proactive approach rooted in a risk-based strategy to prevent the introduction of animals and vectors that pose a risk to public health.