Endemic zoonoses are found throughout the developing world, wherever people live in close proximity to their animals, affecting not only the health of poor people but often also their livelihoods through the health of their livestock. Unlike newly emerging zoonoses that attract the attention of the developed world, these endemic zoonoses are by comparison neglected. This is, in part, a consequence of under-reporting, resulting in underestimation of their global burden, which in turn artificially downgrades their importance in the eyes of administrators and funding agencies. The development of cheap and effective vaccines is no guarantee that these endemic diseases will be eliminated in the near future. However, simply increasing awareness about their causes and how they may be prevented—often with very simple technologies—could reduce the incidence of many endemic zoonoses. Sustainable control of zoonoses is reliant on surveillance, but, as with other public-sector animal health services, this is rarely implemented in the developing world, not least because of the lack of sufficiently cheap diagnostics. Public–private partnerships have already provided advocacy for human disease control and could be equally effective in addressing endemic zoonoses.
Maudlin, I.; Eisler, M.C.; Welburn, S.C. Neglected and endemic zoonoses. Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences (2009) 364 (1530) 2777-2787. [Theme Issue ‘Livestock diseases and zoonoses’ compiled and edited by Fiona M. Tomley and Martin W. Shirley] [DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2009.0067]