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Drivers and Causes of Zoonotic Diseases: An Overview

Mariana Napolitano Ferreira, Wendy Elliott, Rachel Golden Kroner, Margaret F. Kinnaird, Paula R. Prist, Paula Valdujo and Mariana M. Vale

Parks, 27, 15-24

March 11, 2021

Diseases transmitted between animals and humans are known as zoonotic diseases. The direct and indirect drivers that affect the emergence of zoonotic diseases are numerous and interacting, and their relative impact on the emergence of new diseases differs geographically with natural, cultural, social and economic conditions. In this article, we provide an overview of the concept, status and trends of zoonotic diseases. We focus on the direct drivers with the greatest potential influence on zoonotic disease emergence and which thereby increase the risk of epidemics and pandemics – land-use change, especially resulting from intensified agriculture and livestock production, the trade in wildlife, and wild meat consumption. We also explore evidence accumulated over recent decades that suggests that protected and conserved areas play a measurable and significant role in avoiding land-use change and thus potentially have a role in reducing the exposure to new zoonotic emerging infectious diseases.

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Napolitano Ferreira, M., Ellio, W., Golden Kroner, R., Kinnaird, M. F., Prist, P. R., Valdujo, P., & Vale, M. M. (2021). Drivers and causes of zoonotic diseases: an overview. PARKS, 27, 15–24.