Mapping of poverty and likely zoonoses hotspots


This report presents data and expert knowledge on poverty and zoonoses hotspots to inform prioritisation of study areas on the transmission of disease in emerging livestock systems in the developing world, where prevention of zoonotic disease might bring greatest benefit to poor people. Mapping and measuring the burden of zoonoses, the density and number of poor livestock keepers, and the emerging markets for livestock products can help to identify ‘hotspots’: places where zoonoses impose significant burdens and where zoonoses management is likely to be pro-poor (targeted at poor livestock keepers and poor consumers of livestock products) and have most impact on helping small farmers reach emerging markets.

The first step of the study was to categorise zoonoses into three groups according to epidemiology and impact:

  • endemic zoonoses are present in many places and affect many people and animals;
  • outbreak or epidemic zoonoses are sporadic in temporal and spatial distribution;
  • emerging zoonoses newly appear in a population or have existed previously but are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographical range; many occur as outbreaks.

An initial review of the literature identifies prioritisation criteria relevant to this study: burden of human disease; impacts on livestock production and productivity; amenability to agricultural intervention; and, concern because of emergence or severity. This revealed 24 zoonoses of high importance to poor people, 13 of which were investigated in depth.

The next chapter reviews evidence on poverty, livestock and zoonoses and how they are currently mapped. We update the map of poor livestock keepers of Thornton et al (2002) and present an additional map based on sub-national data. Maps of livestock systems that are changing most rapidly in response to emerging markets are taken from Herrero et al (2009) and Notenbaert et al (2009), and vulnerability to climate change from Ericksen et al (2011). The strengths and weaknesses of different maps are noted and quantitative examples provided on the massive under-reporting of zoonoses and animal diseases in poor countries.

Evidence is presented from a systematic review of over 1000 studies on the prevalence of the 13 priority zoonoses in people and animals. It focuses on the endemic zoonoses that impose greatest burden and a ‘top 20’ list is given of geographical hotspots. Data on zoonoses are also extracted from the WHO Global Burden of Disease and the ‘top 20’ countries identified. A case study compares our systematic review with an ‘in-country review’ focusing on grey literature and literature in a language other than English. The next chapter updates the map of emerging disease events of Jones et al (2008). For the first time emerging zoonoses are mapped as distinct from other emerging disease events, and a ‘top 20’ of geographical hotspots is given. The final chapter provides maps of regional agroecosystems and summarises numbers of livestock, people and poor livestock keepers by system as well as the zoonoses context.

Annexes provide references for the papers in the systematic review of endemic zoonoses, the in-country review, and the systematic review of emerging zoonotic events. They provide information on the long list of zoonoses and the selection of the 13 most important to poor people in terms of burden and economic impacts.


Grace, D.; Mutua, F.; Ochungo, P.; Kruska, R.; Jones, K.; Brierley, L.; Lapar, L.; Said, M.; Herrero, M.; Pham Duc Phuc; Nguyen Bich Thao; Akuku, I.; Ogutu, F. Mapping of poverty and likely zoonoses hotspots. ILRI, Kenya (2012) 119 pp.

Mapping of poverty and likely zoonoses hotspots

Published 1 January 2012