AVMA Collections: Zoonosis Updates

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Single-topic compilations of the information shaping our profession


Updated December 2010


 
In this collection:
Summary:  Text | Audio 

Potential zoonotic agents of bioterrorism

Other pathogens with human health consequences

Additional resources
 
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Potential zoonotic agents of bioterrorism

 
 

Anthrax

Anthrax Highlights:
•   Agent: Bacillus anthracis bacterium
•   Exposure to air is a key to sporulation
•   Death may be caused by toxins or bacteremia
Disruption of infected carcasses a key to spread
Sean V. Shadomy, Theresa L. Smith
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 Jul 1;233(1):63-72.
 

Arenaviruses

The arenaviruses Highlights:
•   Rodent-borne RNA viruses, e.g. Lassa virus
•   Category A bioterrorism pathogens
•   Viral hemorrhagic fever has high case fatality rate
Veterinarians handling rodents must know risks
Michele T. Jay, Carol Glaser, Charles F. Fulhorst
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2005 Sep 15;227(6):904-15.
 

Brucellosis

More in Additional resources
Brucellosis Highlights:
•   One of the oldest recognized bioterror agents
•   Abortion is most common sign in livestock
•   Typically transmitted via reproductive tissues, milk
Slaughter of infected animals key to control
M. Kathleen Glynn, Tracey V. Lynn
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 Sep 15;233(6):900-8.
 

Filoviruses

Filovirus infections Highlights:
•   Ebola, Marburg viruses make up this group
•   Human infection linked to primates, bats
•   Highly virulent with mortality rate near 90%
Need improved surveillance of outbreaks
Kelly L. Warfield, Emily M. Deal, Sina Bavari
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009 May 1;234(9):1130-9.
 

Glanders

Glanders Highlights:
•   Highly contagious disease of horses, mules
•   Respiratory, cutaneous, lymphatic nodules seen
•   Has been used historically as bioterrorism agent
Caution: Treating animals may create carrier state
Glenda D. Dvorak, Anna R. Spickler
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 Aug 15;233(4):570-7.
 

Hantaviruses

Hantaviruses: etiologic agents of rare, but potentially life-threatening zoonotic diseases Highlights:
•   Rodent-borne viruses, e.g. Sin Nombre Virus
•   In US, causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
•   1993 outbreak: 38% case fatality rate
Take precautions when handling mice, habitats
Charles H. Calisher, James N. Mills, J. Jeffrey Root, Barry J. Beaty
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003 Jan 15;222(2):163-6.
 

Plague

Plague: a veterinary perspective Highlights:
•   Agent: Yersinia pestis bacterium
•   5-15 human cases reported in US each year
•   Cat-associated plague first reported in 1977
Do not send cats home if plague is suspected
Kathleen A. Orloski, Sarah L. Lathrop
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003 Feb 15;222(4):444-8.
 

Psittacosis

Psittacosis/avian chlamydiosis Highlights:
•   Agent: Chlamydophila psittaci bacterium
•   Affects 150 avian, many mammalian species
•   Diverse illnesses possible in human infection
Human infection a serious risk in poultry industry
Millicent Eidson
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002 Dec 15;221(12):1710-2.
 

Q fever

Q fever Highlights:
•   Agent: Coxiella burnetii rickettsial bacterium
•   Key route: Aerosolized infected parturient tissues
•   Chronic disease can be deadly
Livestock workers at greatest risk of exposure
Jennifer H. McQuiston, James E. Childs, Herbert A. Thompson
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002 Sep 15;221(6):796-9.
 

Rift Valley fever virus

Rift Valley fever virus Highlights:
•   Mosquito-borne pathogen of livestock, humans
•   Hallmark: Abortion storms after heavy rain
•   Disease often recognized in humans first
One-medicine approach is critical
Brian H. Bird, Thomas G. Ksiazek, Stuart T. Nichol, N. James MacLachlan
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009 Apr 1;234(7):883-893.
 

Tularemia

Tularemia Highlights:
•   Agent: Francisella tularensis coccobacillus
•   Also known as "rabbit fever"
•   Pneumonic form: 50% untreated fatality rate
Aerosolized form has potential for great harm
Katherine Anne Feldman
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003 Mar 15;222(6):725-30.
 

General

Biological terrorism against animals and humans: a brief review and primer for action Highlights:
•   Veterinarians are key in disease surveillance
•   Agricultural bioterrorism a serious threat
•   Production in livestock should be monitored
CE on foreign animal diseases needed
Donald L. Noah, Harvey R. Crowder
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002 Jul 1;221(1):40-3.
 
 

Other pathogens with human health consequences

 

Animal bites

Animal bites Highlights:
•   Greatest risk: Dogs familiar to victim, home setting
•   Hand wounds most prone to complications
•   Animals with prior biting history more likely to bite
Be aware of potential for occult trauma
Gary J. Patronek, Sally A. Slavinski
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009 Feb 1;234(3):336-45.
 

Aquatic zoonoses

Aquatic zoonoses associated with food, bait, ornamental, and tropical fish Highlights:
•   Bacteria are most common zoonotic agents
•   Mycobacterium spp: "fish handlers' disease"
•   Abrasions are most common means of exposure
Gloves should be worn whenever handling fish
Toby Lowry, Stephen A. Smith
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2007 Sep 15;231(6):876-80.
 

Avian influenza

Avian influenza and Newcastle disease Highlights:
•   Avian influenza viruses pose low risk to humans
•   Newcastle disease in humans mild, self-limiting
•   NDV has potential anticancer activity
Human infections with AIV, NDV are rare
David E. Swayne, Daniel J. King
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003 Jun 1;222(11):1534-40.
 

Bartonellosis

Cat scratch disease and other zoonotic Bartonella infections Highlights:
•   Primary agent: Bartonella henselae bacterium
•   Cats are main reservoir; also rodents
•   B berkhoffii a cause of endocarditis in dogs
Suspect B berkhoffii in dogs with cardiac disease
Bruno B. Chomel, Henri Jean Boulouis, Edward B. Breitschwerdt
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2004 Apr 15;224(8):1270-9.
 

Borreliosis

More in Additional resources
Lyme borreliosis Highlights:
•   Agent: Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete
•   Red, expanding rash early sign in humans
•   Dogs most commonly develop lameness, fever
Prompt removal of ticks important
Curtis L. Fritz, Anne M. Kjemtrup
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003 Nov 1;223(9):1261-70.
 

Campylobacteriosis

Human campylobacteriosis: a challenge for the veterinary profession Highlights:
•   Campylobacter spp causes of foodborne illness
•   Poultry, unpasteurized milk sources of infection
•   5% of infections related to contact with dogs, cats
Fluoroquinolone resistance a challenge
Sean F. Altekruse, Linda K. Tollefson
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003 Aug 15;223(4):445-52.
 

Ehrlichiosis

Ehrlichiosis and related infections Highlights:
•   Agents: Ehrlichia and Anaplasma spp bacteria
•   Transmitted via tick bites
•   German Shepherd Dogs may be severely affected
Delayed treatment may result in serious disease
Jennifer H. McQuiston, Candace L. McCall, William L. Nicholson
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003 Dec 15;223(12):1750-6.
 

Escherichia coli

More in Additional resources
Animal issues associated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 Highlights:
•   1 in 4 cattle at slaughter shedding E coli O157:H7
•   Undercooked beef source of infection in humans
•   Antimicrobial resistance is low
Efforts to reduce fecal shedding in cattle are key
Susan Sanchez, Margie D. Lee, Barry G. Harmon, John J. Maurer, Michael P. Doyle
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002 Oct 15;221(8):1122-6.
 

Leptospirosis

More in Additional resources
Leptospirosis Highlights:
•   Rodents are most important maintenance hosts
•   Water contaminated with urine a common source
•   Cases in dogs have increased in US, Canada
Use gloves, goggles to prevent in-clinic exposure
Marta A. Guerra
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009 Feb 15;234(4):472-8.
 

Prion diseases

More in Additional resources
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies Highlights:
•   Prions: Abnormal isoforms of a cellular protein
•   Cause of progressive, fatal neurodegeneration
•   TSEs identified in various animals, humans
BSE, vCJD show species barrier can be breached
James J. Sejvar, Lawrence B. Schonberger, Ermias D. Belay
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 Dec 1;233(11):1705-12.
 
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy Highlights:
•   Slow-onset, fatal encephalopathy of cattle
•   Transmitted via ingestion of infected CNS tissue
•   Mean incubation period in cattle is 4.5 to 5.5 years
Currently no test available for BSE in living animals
Jane L. Harman, Christopher J. Silva
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009 Jan 1;234(1):59-72.
 

Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever Highlights:
•   Rickettsia rickettsii an intracellular bacterium
•   Dogs and humans have clinical illness
•   Rickettsiae induce vasculitis, thrombosis
Prompt removal of ticks, early diagnosis important
Ronald D. Warner, Wallace W. Marsh
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002 Nov 15;221(10):1413-7.
 

Salmonellosis

Animal sources of salmonellosis in humans Highlights:
•   Salmonella spp causes of foodborne illness
•   Poultry, meat, eggs are most common sources
•   Inapparent carrier state in animals a concern
Prevention of reintroduction is key control strategy
Susan Sanchez, Charles L. Hofacre, Margie D. Lee, John J. Maurer, Michael P. Doyle
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002 Aug 15;221(4):492-7.
 

Screwworms

Screwworms Highlights:
•   Screwworms a threat to US livestock industry
•   Eradicated in 1966, but reintroduction a concern
•   Persons, animals at risk if visit endemic countries
Be alert to wounds, myiasis in animals from Iraq
James L. Alexander
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2006 Feb 1;228(3):357-67.
 

Sporotrichosis

Sporotrichosis Highlights:
•   Sporothrix schenckii a dimorphic fungus
•   Disease often seen in gardeners
•   Cats are key source of transmission to humans
Yeast-like cells on cytologic exam are diagnostic
Ronald D. Welsh
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003 Oct 15;223(8):1123-6.
 

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis Highlights:
•   Mycobacterium bovis can cause human infection
•   M bovis spreads from wild to domestic animals
•   Principal sign: emaciation despite good nutrition
Tuberculin skin test a practical diagnostic method
John B. Kaneene, Charles O. Thoen
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2004 Mar 1;224(5):685-91.
 

West Nile virus

More in Additional resources
West Nile virus Highlights:
•   Top cause of human arboviral encephalitis in US
•   Virus transmitted from wild birds to mosquitoes
•   Horses, humans highly susceptible to disease
Potential zoonotic risk via fecal, oral shedding
Rosalie Trevejo, Millicent Eidson
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 May 1;232(9):1302-9.
 
 

Additional resources

 
 
Sections:   Biosecurity and precautionary measures | Zoonotic diseases | Miscellaneous
 

Biosecurity and precautionary measures

The ABCs of bioterrorism for veterinarians, focusing on Category A agents
Radford G. Davis
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2004 Apr 1;224(7):1084-95.
 
View article   (PDF, 193 KB)
 
The ABCs of bioterrorism for veterinarians, focusing on Category B and C agents
Radford G. Davis
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2004 Apr 1;224(7):1096-104.
 
View article   (PDF, 151 KB)
 
Assessment of laboratory and biosafety practices associated with bacterial culture in veterinary clinics
J. Scott Weese, John F. Prescott
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009 Feb 1;234(3):352-8.
 
View article   (PDF, 381 KB)
 
Characteristics of biosecurity and infection control programs at veterinary teaching hospitals
Katharine M. Benedict, Paul S. Morley, David C. Van Metre
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 Sep 1;233(5):767-73.
 
View article   (PDF, 363 KB)
 
Comparison of published recommendations regarding biosecurity practices for various production animal species and classes
Dale A. Moore, Marcia L. Merryman, Marla L. Hartman; Donald J. Klingborg
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 Jul 15;233(2):249-56.
 
View article   (PDF, 222 KB)
 
Compendium of Veterinary Standard Precautions for Zoonotic Disease Prevention in Veterinary Personnel
National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Veterinary Infection Control Committee
Published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2010 Dec 1;237(12):1403-1422.
 
View article   (PDF, 563 KB)
 
Evaluation of ProMED-mail as an electronic early warning system for emerging animal diseases: 1996 to 2004
Peter Cowen, Tam Garland, Martin E. Hugh-Jones, Arnon Shimshony, Stuart Handysides, Donald Kaye, Lawrence C. Madoff, Marjorie P. Pollack, Jack Woodall
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2006 Oct 1;229(7):1090-9.
 
View article   (PDF, 554 KB)
 
Infection control practices and zoonotic disease risks among veterinarians in the United States
Jennifer G. Wright, Sherry Jung, Robert C. Holman, Nina N. Marano, Jennifer H. McQuiston
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 Jun 15;232(12):1863-72.
 
View article   (PDF, 565 KB)
 
Methods and microbial risks associated with composting of animal carcasses in the United States
Anna Catharina B. Berge, Thomas D. Glanville, Patricia D. Millner, Donald J. Klingborg
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009 Jan 1;234(1):47-56.
 
View article   (PDF, 501 KB)
 
Reports of zoonotic disease outbreaks associated with animal exhibits and availability of recommendations for preventing zoonotic disease transmission from animals to people in such settings
Jeff B. Bender, Stephanie A. Shulman
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2004 Apr 1;224(7):1105-9.
 
View article   (PDF, 114 KB)
 
Risk behaviors for disease transmission among petting zoo attendees
Marcy McMillian, John R. Dunn, James E. Keen, Karen L. Brady, Timothy F. Jones
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2007 Oct 1;231(7):1036-8.
 
View article   (PDF, 380 KB)
 
A survey of veterinarian involvement in zoonotic disease prevention practices
Beth A. Lipton, Sharon G. Hopkins, Jane E. Koehler, Ronald F. DiGiacomo
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 Oct 15;233(8):1242-9.
 
View article   (PDF, 650 KB)
 

Zoonotic diseases

Comparison of clonal relatedness and antimicrobial susceptibility of fecal Escherichia coli from healthy dogs and their owners
Katherine A. Stenske, David A. Bemis, Barbara E. Gillespie, Doris H. D'Souza, Stephen P. Oliver, Francis A. Draughon, Karla J. Matteson, Joseph W. Bartges
Originally published in Am J Vet Res. 2009 Sep;70(9):1108-16.
 
View article   (PDF, 669 KB)
 
Compendium of measures to control Chlamydophila psittaci (formerly Chlamydia psittaci) infection among humans (psittacosis) and pet birds, 2005
Kathleen A. Smith, Kristy K. Bradley, Mary G. Stobierski, Leslie A. Tengelsen
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2005 Feb 15;226(4):532-9.
 
View article   (PDF, 99 KB)
 
Incidence of acquisition of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium difficile, and other health-care–associated pathogens by dogs that participate in animal-assisted interventions
Sandra L. Lefebvre, Richard J. Reid-Smith, David Waltner-Toews, J. Scott Weese
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009 Jun 1;234(11):1404-17.
 
View article   (PDF, 1008 KB)
 
An investigation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization in people and pets in the same household with an infected person or infected pet
Meredith C. Faires, Kathy C. Tater, J. Scott Weese
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009 Sep 1;235(5):540-3.
 
View article   (PDF, 461 KB)
 
Outbreaks of zoonotic enteric disease associated with animal exhibits
Jeffrey T. LeJeune, Margaret A. Davis
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2004 May 1;224(9):1440-5.
 
View article   (PDF, 122 KB)
 
Pathologic changes associated with brucellosis experimentally induced by aerosol exposure in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)
Mark G. Mense, Richard H. Borschel, Catherine L. Wilhelmsen, M. Louise Pitt, David L. Hoover
Originally published in Am J Vet Res. 2004 May;65(5):644-52.
 
View article   (PDF, 450 KB)
 
Prevalence of and risk factors for serum antibodies against Leptospira serovars in US veterinarians
Ellen A. Spotts Whitney, Elizabeth Ailes, Lee M. Myers, Jeremiah T. Saliki, Ruth L. Berkelman
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009 Apr 1;234(7):938-44.
 
View article   (PDF, 1163 KB)
 
AVMA Collections: Rabies
The articles in the Rabies collection have been selected to present an overview of current findings in veterinary medicine related to best practices in rabies prevention and control.
Compiled September 2009
Go to AVMA Collection: Rabies
 
A review of published reports regarding zoonotic pathogen infection in veterinarians
Whitney S. Baker, Gregory C. Gray
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009 May 15;234(10):1271-8.
 
View article   (PDF, 449 KB)
 
Serologic survey of cats and dogs during an epidemic of West Nile virus infection in humans
James C. Kile, Nicholas A. Panella, Nicholas Komar, Catherine C. Chow, Adam MacNeil, Brent Robbins, Michel L. Bunning
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2005 Apr 15;226(8):1349-53.
 
View article   (PDF, 3432 KB)
 
Use of tick surveys and serosurveys to evaluate pet dogs as a sentinel species for emerging Lyme disease
Sarah A. Hamer, Jean I. Tsao, Edward D. Walker, Linda S. Mansfield, Erik S. Foster, Graham J. Hickling
Originally published in Am J Vet Res. 2009 Jan;70(1):49-56.
 
View article   (PDF, 585 KB)
 
A veterinary perspective on the recently published guidelines for animal-assisted interventions in health-care facilities
Sandra L. Lefebvre, Andrew S. Peregrine, Gail C. Golab, Nigel R. Gumley, David Waltner-Toews, J. Scott Weese
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009 Aug 1;233(3):394-402.
 
View article   (PDF, 381 KB)
 
What practitioners should know about bovine spongiform encephalopathy to serve clients and the cattle industry
Jared D. Taylor
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2005 Oct 1;227(7):1070-8.
 
View article   (PDF, 236 KB)
 

Miscellaneous

Legal implications of zoonoses for clinical veterinarians
Sarah Babcock, Antoinette E. Marsh, Jeanie Lin, John Scott
Originally published in J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 Nov 15;233(10):1556-62.
 
View article   (PDF, 227 KB)
 
"Far more than a grouping of articles derived from a keyword search, Collections articles are carefully selected by our journal editors to give you the most helpful picture of current knowledge in a given subject area."


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