"Enhanced understanding of the ecology of diseases of wildlife has direct importance for combating many infectious diseases of humans. According to Dr. Mark Woolhouse from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), humans are plagued by 1,709 known pathogens, 832 of which are zoonotic (49 percent). Of the 156 of these diseases that are considered 'emerging,' 114 are zoonotic (73 percent). On the list of high-priority agents of concern for bioterrorism activities from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 80 percent are zoonoses (CDC A and B lists). Therefore, the wildlife-human-domestic animal connections are nearly impossible to ignore when investigating wildlife disease. […] This book is about the wildlife component of emerging diseases. It is intended to enhance the reader's awareness of the role of wildlife in disease emergence. By doing so, perhaps a more holistic approach to disease prevention and control will emerge for the benefit of human, domestic animal, and free-ranging wildlife populations alike. The perspectives offered are influenced by more than four decades of my experiences as a wildlife disease practitioner. Although wildlife are victims to many of the same disease agents affecting humans and domestic animals, many aspects of disease in free-ranging wildlife require different approaches than those commonly applied to address disease in humans or domestic animals. Nevertheless, the broader community of disease investigators and health care professionals has largely pursued a separatist approach for human, domestic animal, and wildlife rather than embracing the periodically proposed concept of 'one medicine.' We especially need to embrace this concept as the human population increases because there will be more contact, direct and indirect, among humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. An 'Ecology for a Crowded Planet' will be an even more pressing concern, and that includes increasing our understanding of disease ecology, especially that of the zoonoses.
USGS Circular 1285
United States Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center: http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/