Cross-species infections threaten both human health and biodiversity

The special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B looks at the spread of infectious diseases, such as SARS, Bird Flu and Swine Flu, from one species to another and how it is not only causing problems for humans but is threatening wildlife conservation and the survival of large and robust populations.

The papers state that most of the threatening diseases are caused by infections that move between species, where one species acts a reservoir and then infects another, more-vulnerable, species that may suffer high mortality rates.

ZSL’s Dr Andrew Cunningham writes that the issue requires a holistic, trans-disciplinary solution. New ways of approaching disease investigation and control of are discussed, as are recommendations for policy makers.

Disease invasion: impacts on biodiversity and human health.

More news from ZSL

Swabbing a midwife toad

Joint ZSL/Imperial College London study could open up new avenues in our understanding of wildlife diseases

Sperm whale at Skegness

ZSL-led UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme remit also expands to include stranded sharks

A good quality mosquito net fishing catch

First-ever global assessment reveals full scale of the practice and calls for collaborative solutions.