Endemic zoonoses: a one health approach

Ekwem, Divine Ejikeme (2016) Endemic zoonoses: a one health approach. MRes thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Endemic zoonotic diseases remain a serious but poorly recognised problem in affected communities in developing countries. Despite the overall burden of zoonoses on human and animal health, information about their impacts in endemic settings is lacking and most of these diseases are continuously being neglected. The non-specific clinical presentation of these diseases has been identified as a major challenge in their identification (even with good laboratory diagnosis), and control. The signs and symptoms in animals and humans respectively, are easily confused with other non-zoonotic diseases, leading to widespread misdiagnosis in areas where diagnostic capacity is limited. The communities that are mostly affected by these diseases live in close proximity with their animals which they depend on for livelihood, which further complicates the understanding of the epidemiology of zoonoses. This thesis reviewed the pattern of reporting of zoonotic pathogens that cause febrile illness in malaria endemic countries, and evaluates the recognition of animal associations among other risk factors in the transmission and management of zoonoses. The findings of the review chapter were further investigated through a laboratory study of risk factors for bovine leptospirosis, and exposure patterns of livestock coxiellosis in the subsequent chapters.

A review was undertaken on 840 articles that were part of a bigger review of zoonotic pathogens that cause human fever. The review process involves three main steps: filtering and reference classification, identification of abstracts that describe risk factors, and data extraction and summary analysis of data. Abstracts of the 840 references were transferred into a Microsoft excel spread sheet, where several subsets of abstracts were generated using excel filters and text searches to classify the content of each abstract. Data was then extracted and summarised to describe geographical patterns of the pathogens reported, and determine the frequency animal related risk factors were considered among studies that investigated risk factors for zoonotic pathogen transmission. Subsequently, a seroprevalence study of bovine leptospirosis in northern Tanzania was undertaken in the second chapter of this thesis. The study involved screening of serum samples, which were obtained from an abattoir survey and cross-sectional study (Bacterial Zoonoses Project), for antibodies against Leptospira serovar Hardjo. The data were analysed using generalised linear mixed models (GLMMs), to identify risk factors for cattle infection. The final chapter was the analysis of Q fever data, which were also obtained from the Bacterial Zoonoses Project, to determine exposure patterns across livestock species using generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs).

Leptospira spp. (10.8%, 90/840) and Rickettsia spp. (10.7%, 86/840) were identified as the most frequently reported zoonotic pathogens that cause febrile illness, while Rabies virus (0.4%, 3/840) and Francisella spp. (0.1%, 1/840) were least reported, across malaria endemic countries. The majority of the pathogens were reported in Asia, and the frequency of reporting seems to be higher in areas where outbreaks are mostly reported. It was also observed that animal related risk factors are not often considered among other risk factors for zoonotic pathogens that cause human fever in malaria endemic countries. The seroprevalence study indicated that Leptospira serovar Hardjo is widespread in cattle population in northern Tanzania, and animal husbandry systems and age are the two most important risk factors that influence seroprevalence. Cattle in the pastoral systems and adult cattle were significantly more likely to be seropositive compared to non-pastoral and young animals respectively, while there was no significant effect of cattle breed or sex. Exposure patterns of Coxiella burnetii appear different for each livestock species. While most risk factors were identified for goats (such as animal husbandry systems, age and sex) and sheep (animal husbandry systems and sex), there were none for cattle. In addition, there was no evidence of a significant influence of mixed livestock-keeping on animal coxiellosis.

Zoonotic agents that cause human fever are common in developing countries. The role of animals in the transmission of zoonotic pathogens that cause febrile illness is not fully recognised and appreciated. Since Leptospira spp. and C. burnetii are among the most frequently reported pathogens that cause human fever across malaria endemic countries, and are also prevalent in livestock population, control and preventive measures that recognise animals as source of infection would be very important especially in livestock-keeping communities where people live in close proximity with their animals.

Item Type: Thesis (MRes)
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Endemic zoonoses, one health, Leptospirosis, Coxiellosis, risk factors.
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture > SF600 Veterinary Medicine
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine > Transmission Dynamics
Supervisor's Name: Cleaveland, Prof. Sarah and Halliday, Dr. Jo
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Dr divine ekwem
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7792
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2017 13:03
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2018 15:54
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/7792

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