The burden of zoonoses on public health: predicting zoonotic outbreaks usind different measures of pathogen richness
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Zoonotic pathogens shared with wild or domesticated animals are the cause of more than 60% of human infectious diseases. These pathogens are responsible for millions of deaths annually and have resulted in costs of over a hundred billion U.S. dollars in the past three decades. Investigating different aspects of zoonotic pathogens can help inform policy decisions on public health, agriculture, and conservation of biodiversity. Because pathogens play essential roles in natural communities, studying the variables that influence pathogen richness is important in determining the biological principles governing biodiversity. Gaining a better understanding of the factors that influence these pathogens can allow for the development of effective and targeted action plans to deal with zoonotic disease outbreaks. The aims of this work were twofold: (1) to review the current literature and identify statistically significant predictors of pathogen richness, and (2) to analyze responses by public health agencies to recent zoonotic outbreaks. This work also discussed current gaps in the literature and suggested future areas of proposed funding and research.