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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Disease control tools to secure animal and public health in a densely populated world

Charlier, Johannes; Barkema, Herman W.; Becher, Paul; De Benedictis, Paola; Hansson, Ingrid; Hennig-Pauka, Isabel; La Ragione, Roberto; Larsen, Lars E.; Madoroba, Evelyn; Maes, Dominiek; Marin, Clara M.; Mutinelli, Franco; Nisbet, Alasdair J.; Podgorska, Katarzyna; Vercruysse, Jozef; Vitale, Fabrizio; Williams, Diana J. L.; Zadoks, Ruth N.


Animal health is a prerequisite for global health, economic development, food security, food quality, and poverty reduction, while mitigating against climate change and biodiversity loss. We did a qualitative review of 53 infectious diseases in terrestrial animals with data from DISCONTOOLS, a specialist database and prioritisation model focusing on research gaps for improving infectious disease control in animals. Many diseases do not have any appropriate control tools, but the prioritisation model suggests that we should focus international efforts on Nipah virus infection, African swine fever, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia, peste des petits ruminants, sheeppox and goatpox, avian influenza, Rift Valley fever, foot and mouth disease, and bovine tuberculosis, for the greatest impact on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Easy to use and accurate diagnostics are available for many animal diseases. However, there is an urgent need for the development of stable and durable diagnostics that can differentiate infected animals from vaccinated animals, to exploit rapid technological advances, and to make diagnostics widely available and affordable. Veterinary vaccines are important for dealing with endemic, new, and emerging diseases. However, fundamental research is needed to improve the convenience of use and duration of immunity, and to establish performant marker vaccines. The largest gap in animal pharmaceuticals is the threat of pathogens developing resistance to available drugs, in particular for bacterial and parasitic (protozoal, helminth, and arthropod) pathogens. We propose and discuss five research priorities for animal health that will help to deliver a sustainable and healthy planet: vaccinology, antimicrobial resistance, climate mitigation and adaptation, digital health, and epidemic preparedness.

Published in

The Lancet Planetary Health
2022, volume: 6, number: 10, pages: E812-E824

Authors' information

Charlier, Johannes
Barkema, Herman W.
University of Calgary
Becher, Paul
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo)
De Benedictis, Paola
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie (IZSVe)
Hennig-Pauka, Isabel
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo)
La Ragione, Roberto
University of Surrey
Larsen, Lars E.
University of Copenhagen
Madoroba, Evelyn
University of Zululand
Maes, Dominiek
Ghent University
Marin, Clara M.
University of Zaragoza
Mutinelli, Franco
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie (IZSVe)
Nisbet, Alasdair J.
Moredun Research Institute
Podgorska, Katarzyna
National Veterinary Research Institute (PIWet)
Vercruysse, Jozef
Ghent University
Vitale, Fabrizio
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia
Williams, Diana J. L.
University of Liverpool
Zadoks, Ruth N.
University of Sydney

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Good health and wellbeing
SDG1 End poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

UKÄ Subject classification

Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

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