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

Elephants_Living Planet_2016

New data released by WWF and ZSL reveals that urgent action is needed by governments on conservation, climate change and sustainable development...

Common frog

UK study suggests human activity may be helping fuel an outbreak of a deadly frog disease

Badger tracking release

New study raises important questions for policymakers and farmers working to control bovine TB.