Goats in Mozambique awaiting sale (photo credit: ILRI/Yvane Marblé).

World Zoonoses Day, celebrated annually on 6 July, commemorates the day in 1885 when Louis Pasteur successfully administered the first vaccine against a zoonotic disease. It is also a day to raise public awareness of the risk of zoonotic diseases and how to effectively prevent and control them.

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has a wealth of research expertise on zoonoses. Through its Animal and Human Health program, ILRI works with national and international partners to improve the control of zoonotic diseases through various approaches such as risk mapping and risk targeting, modelling of zoonotic pandemics, decision-support tools and advice on vaccination strategies. The program also generates evidence for policymakers on the cost and impact of zoonoses and the benefits of their prevention.

Our collaborative research projects on zoonoses include examining zoonotic infections among livestock and the farmers who keep them; developing optimal vaccination strategies for Rift Valley fever in East Africa; studying the epidemiology, ecology and socio-economics of disease emergence in Nairobi; developing a surveillance program for zoonoses in livestock in Kenya; identifying anthrax hotspots and ecological risk factors in Kenya and determining the burden of Rift Valley fever, brucellosis and Q fever co-infection in people, livestock and wildlife in Kenya.

To explore our research in more detail, below is a list of recent peer-reviewed articles on zoonoses by ILRI scientists and partners.

  • Akoko, J.M., Pelle, R., Lukambagire, A.S., Machuka, E.M., Nthiwa, D., Mathew, C., Fèvre, E.M., Bett, B., Cook, E.A.J., Othero, D., Bonfoh, B., Kazwala, R.R., Shirima, G., Schelling, E., Halliday, J.E.B. and Ouma, C. 2021. Molecular epidemiology of Brucella species in mixed livestock-human ecosystems in Kenya. Scientific Reports 11: 8881.https://hdl.handle.net/10568/113566
  • Alumasa, L., Thomas, L.F., Amanya, F., Njoroge, S.M., Moriyón, I., Makhandia, J., Rushton, J., Fèvre, E.M. and Falzon, L.C. 2021. Hospital-based evidence on cost-effectiveness of brucellosis diagnostic tests and treatment in Kenyan hospitals. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 15(1): e0008977. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/110774
  • Deka, R.P., Shome, R., Dohoo, I., Magnusson, U., Randolph, D.G. and Lindahl, J.F. 2021. Seroprevalence and risk factors of Brucella infection in dairy animals in urban and rural areas of Bihar and Assam, India. Microorganisms 9(4): 783. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/113277
  • Gilbert, W., Thomas, L., Coyne, L. and Rushton, J. 2021. Review: Mitigating the risks posed by intensification in livestock production: the examples of antimicrobial resistance and zoonoses. Animal 15(2): 100123. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/111132
  • Henriksson, E., Söderberg, R., Ström Hallenberg, G., Kroesna, K., Ly, S., Sear, B., Unger, F., Tum, S., Hung Nguyen-Viet and Lindahl, J.F. 2021. Japanese encephalitis in small-scale pig farming in rural Cambodia: Pig seroprevalence and farmer awareness. Pathogens 10(5): 578. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/113720
  • Muturi, M., Akoko, J., Nthiwa, D., Chege, B., Nyamota, R., Mutiiria, M., Maina, J., Thumbi, S.M., Nyamai, M., Kahariri, S., Sitawa, R., Kimutai, J., Kuria, W., Mwatondo, A. and Bett, B. 2021. Serological evidence of single and mixed infections of Rift Valley fever virus, Brucella spp. and Coxiella burnetii in dromedary camels in Kenya. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 15(3): e0009275. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/113148
  • Naguib, M.M., Li, R., Ling, J., Grace, D., Hung Nguyen-Viet and Lindahl, J.F. 2021. Live and wet markets: Food access versus the risk of disease emergence. Trends in Microbiology 29(7): 573–581. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/113015
  • Nderitu, L.M., Gachohi, J., Otieno, F., Mogoa, E.G., Muturi, M., Mwatondo, A., Osoro, E.M., Ngere, I., Munyua, P.M., Oyas, H., Njagi, O., Lofgren, E., Marsh, T., Widdowson, M.-A., Bett, B. and Njenga, M.K. 2021. Spatial clustering of livestock anthrax events associated with agro-ecological zones in Kenya, 1957-2017. BMC Infectious Diseases 21(1): 191. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/111487
  • Ngwili, N., Johnson, N., Wahome, R., Githigia, S., Roesel, K. and Thomas, L. 2021. A qualitative assessment of the context and enabling environment for the control of Taenia solium infections in endemic settings. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 15(6): e0009470. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/113942
  • Otieno, F.T., Gachohi, J., Gikuma-Njuru, P., Kariuki, P., Oyas, H., Canfield, S.A., Bett, B., Njenga, M.K. and Blackburn, J.K. 2021. Modeling the potential future distribution of anthrax outbreaks under multiple climate change scenarios for Kenya. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18(8): 4176. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/113625
  • Otieno, F.T., Gachohi, J., Gikuma-Njuru, P., Kariuki, P., Oyas, H., Canfield, S.A., Blackburn, J.K., Njenga, M.K. and Bett, B. 2021. Modeling the spatial distribution of anthrax in southern Kenya. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 15(3): e0009301. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/113180
  • Ouma, E., Dione, M., Mtimet, N., Lule, P., Colston, A., Adediran, S. and Grace, D. 2021. Demand for Taenia solium cysticercosis vaccine: Lessons and insights from the pig production and trading nodes of the Uganda pig value chain. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8: 611166. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/113629
  • Söderberg, R., Lindahl, J.F., Henriksson, E., Kroesna, K., Ly, S., Sear, B., Unger, F., Tum, S., Hung Nguyen-Viet and Ström Hallenberg, G. 2021. Low prevalence of cysticercosis and Trichinella infection in pigs in rural Cambodia. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease 6(2): 100. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/114058
  • Thomas, L.F., Rushton, J., Bukachi, S.A., Falzon, L.C., Howland, O. and Fèvre, E.M. 2021. Cross-sectoral zoonotic disease surveillance in western Kenya: Identifying drivers and barriers within a resource constrained setting. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8: 658454. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/113931
  • Widiasih, D.A., Lindahl, J.F., Artama, W.T., Sutomo, A.H., Kutanegara, P.M., Mulyani, G.T., Widodo, E., Djohan, T.S. and Unger, F. 2021. Leptospirosis in ruminants in Yogyakarta, Indonesia: A serological survey with mixed methods to identify risk factors. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease 6(2): 84. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/113899
  • Youssef, D.M., Wieland, B., Knight, G.M., Lines, J. and Naylor, N.R. 2021. The effectiveness of biosecurity interventions in reducing the transmission of bacteria from livestock to humans at the farm level: A systematic literature review. Zoonoses and Public Health. https://hdl.handle.net/10568/111192

For more information on ILRI’s research on zoonoses, contact Bernard Bett, senior scientist at ILRI (b.bett@cgiar.org) or Eric Fèvre, professor of veterinary infectious diseases, Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool on joint appointment at ILRI (eric.fevre@liverpool.ac.uk).

Photo credit: Goats in Mozambique awaiting sale (ILRI/Yvane Marblé)

A pastor and his dog, Yabello, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Camille Hanotte).

World Zoonoses Day is commemorated on 6 July every year to mark the day in 1885 when Louis Pasteur successfully administered the first vaccine against rabies, a deadly zoonotic disease. The day is also an occasion to raise awareness of the risk of zoonoses, infectious diseases that can be spread between animals and people.

On this year’s World Zoonoses Day, we highlight a new research study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (July 2020) that reports on the development, implementation and effectiveness of grassroots mass dog vaccination campaigns against rabies conducted in 2015, 2016 and 2017 in Laikipia County, Kenya.

According to the World Health Organization, rabies kills tens of thousands of people every year, mainly in Asia and Africa. Globally, rabies causes an estimated cost of US$ 8.6 billion per year. Dog bites are responsible for 99% of all cases of human rabies. Therefore, vaccinating dogs is the most cost-effective way to prevent rabies in people.

The research study found that while grassroots volunteer-based dog vaccination campaigns against rabies can be useful, these efforts need to be supported at a larger scale by county and national governments for a more sustainable approach towards eradicating the disease. Below is the author summary.

“Given the importance of mass vaccinations of domestic dogs towards eliminating human rabies in Africa and the site-specific challenges facing such campaigns, additional studies on the development and implementation of such efforts are needed.

One mechanism of mass vaccination lies in grassroots efforts that often begin at a very local scale and either develop into larger campaigns, remain local, or cease to persist past several years once interest and funding is exhausted.

Here, we discuss the development of a grassroots campaign in Laikipia County, Kenya from its local inception to its development into a county-wide rabies elimination effort.

Our results highlight challenges associated with achieving the targeted 70% coverage rate, including a need for consistent and systematic demographic monitoring of dog populations, limitations of the central point method, and logistical and financial challenges facing a volunteer-based effort.

Serious political commitment from both the local and national governments are necessary to take the budget beyond what a crowdfunded campaign can raise, including availability and access to quality dog rabies vaccines.

Without such outside support and substantial time to grow, grassroots campaigns might be better relegated to raising awareness and vaccinating dogs in small communities to protect those communities directly, without contributing to the broader ecosystem-wide transmission-stopping aim often sought by government human health and veterinary organizations.”

Citation

Ferguson, A.W., Muloi, D., Ngatia, D.K., Kiongo, W., Kimuyu, D.M., Webala, P.W., Olum, M.O., Muturi, M., Thumbi, S.M., Woodroffe, R., Murugi, L., Fèvre, E.M., Murray, S. and Martins, D.J. 2020. Volunteer based approach to dog vaccination campaigns to eliminate human rabies: Lessons from Laikipia County, Kenya. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 14(7): e0008260.

Photo credit: A pastor and his dog, Yabello, Ethiopia (ILRI/Camille Hanotte)

Taking sheep for disease testing in Bako, Ethiopia
Taking sheep for disease testing in Bako, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Barbara Wieland).

World Zoonoses Day is marked annually on 6 July to commemorate the day in 1885 when Louis Pasteur successfully administered the first vaccine against a zoonotic disease when he treated a young boy who had been mauled by a rabid dog. The day is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the risk of zoonoses, infectious diseases that are spread between animals and people. 

Scientists estimate that 60% of known infectious diseases in people and 75% of new or emerging infectious diseases in people are transmitted from animals. Neglected zoonoses associated with livestock, such as brucellosis and cysticercosis, impose a huge health burden on poor people and reduce the value of their livestock assets.

Through its Animal and Human Health program, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) carries out research with national and international partners towards improving the control of zoonotic diseases through a range of tools and approaches such as risk mapping and risk targeting, modelling of zoonotic pandemics, decision-support tools and advice on vaccination strategies. The program also generates evidence for policymakers on the cost and impact of zoonoses and the benefits of their prevention.

Some of our collaborative research on zoonoses includes work on developing optimal vaccination strategies for Rift Valley fever in East Africa, studying the epidemiology, ecology and socio-economics of disease emergence in Nairobi and developing an effective surveillance program for zoonoses in livestock in Kenya.

For an in-depth look, listed below are some of our research publications on zoonoses:

For more information on ILRI’s research on zoonoses, contact Bernard Bett, senior scientist at ILRI (b.bett@cgiar.org) or Eric Fèvre, professor of veterinary infectious diseases, Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool on joint appointment at ILRI (eric.fevre@liverpool.ac.uk).