This course prepares veterinary students to understand the basic principles of zoonotic diseases. The course will cover the ecological and epidemiological relationships between zoonotic infectious agents, their hosts (animals, humans) and the environment. This will enable the students to become familiar with measures related to disease prevention and mitigation (including outbreak investigation), in order to protect animal and public health.
Rabies will be used as a model for zoonoses transmitted directly to humans. Avian influenza will be discussed with emphasis on local and regional epidemiology. Emerging and re-emerging diseases to be addressed include MERS, SARS, Q fever and Henipavirus infections. Other zoonoses transmitted by animal bites and scratches will also be presented, as well as rodent-borne zoonoses such as those caused by Hantaviruses and leptospirosis. Vector-borne diseases will cover mosquito-borne pathogens (viral encephalitides, Rift Valley fever etc.), tick-borne pathogens (Lyme disease, tularemia) or flea-borne pathogens (typhus, plague), and will include principles on the relationships between vectors and their vertebrate hosts, such as vectorial capacity. Other zoonoses such as brucellosis, anthrax, tuberculosis and some parasitic infestations such as leishmaniasis will also be discussed. Special emphasis will be given on the multiple factors driving the emergence and transmission of zoonotic diseases. The burden of zoonoses globally, as well as preventive measures, surveillance systems and the concept of notifiable diseases will also be addressed.