Feature Article

Zoonoses in Australia. Established and emerging risks

Feature Article

Zoonoses in Australia. Established and emerging risks

Jennifer Robson, EVAN BURSLE

Figures

© CRAIGRJD/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM
© CRAIGRJD/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

Abstract

Zoonoses are an important group of infections transmissible between animals and humans and the source for potential new and re-emerging diseases, some with pandemic potential.

Key Points

  • Zoonoses are an important group of infectious diseases that are transmissible between vertebrates and humans.
  • Zoonoses are the source for new and re-emerging infectious diseases, some with pandemic potential, and their control requires a ‘one health’ approach.
  • Q fever is the most common classic zoonosis in Australia today (excluding foodborne zoonoses).
  • Q fever, with its protean manifestations, should be considered in the differential diagnosis in patients from rural NSW and Queensland even where there is no direct animal contact.
  • Improved diagnostics incorporating molecular techniques (polymerase chain reaction tests) have enhanced the detection of these pathogens, particularly for Q fever and leptospirosis.
  • The foodborne pathogens Salmonella and Campylobacter, also have significant health and productivity impacts.