Wildlife diseases

There is more and more interesting information available on wildlife diseases and zoönoses. However, a lot of papers on these subjects are not published in scientific literature but in magazines of national and international associations, in the so called ‘grey literature’. Although these articles may report interesting information about wildlife health in specific regions, they may not be easy to access since they are often not available through the internet. Therefore in this section, we will include valuable articles form the grey literature and relate this to information from scientific literature as appropriate

Emerging diseases

Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) of free-living wild animals can be classified into three major groups on the basis of key epizootiological criteria: (i) EIDs associated with “spill-over” from domestic animals to wildlife populations living in proximity; (ii) EIDs related directly to human intervention, via host or parasite transocations; and (iii) EIDs with no overt human or domestic animal involvement. These phenomena have two major biological implications: first, many wildlife species are reservoirs of pathogens that threaten domestic animal and human health; second, wildlife EIDs pose a substantial threat to the conservation of global biodiversity (Daszak et al., Science 287, 2000).

One Health

The majority of emerging infectious diseases in humans have their source in animals. The response is frequently characterized by a series of emergency activities to contain and manage the infection in human populations, and at the same time to identify the source of the infection in nature. If infection is found to have a source in animals, and if animals cause a continuous threat of human infection, culling is often considered with severe economic impact. Currently, efforts are being undertaken for closer interaction at the animal/human interface through joint surveillance and risk assessment between the animal and human medicine sectors. The Dutch Society for Wildlife Health aims to provide a platform for scientists and other people interested in wildlife health features in order to contribute to wildlife conservation and the One Health initiative.