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Systematic Review Open Access
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Abstract

Background

To be better prepared for emerging wildlife-borne zoonoses, we need to strengthen wildlife disease surveillance.

Aim

The aim of this study was to create a topical overview of zoonotic pathogens in wildlife species to identify knowledge gaps and opportunities for improvement of wildlife disease surveillance.

Methods

We created a database, which is based on a systematic literature review in Embase focused on zoonotic pathogens in 10 common urban wildlife mammals in Europe, namely brown rats, house mice, wood mice, common voles, red squirrels, European rabbits, European hedgehogs, European moles, stone martens and red foxes. In total, we retrieved 6,305 unique articles of which 882 were included.

Results

In total, 186 zoonotic pathogen species were described, including 90 bacteria, 42 helminths, 19 protozoa, 22 viruses and 15 fungi. Most of these pathogens were only studied in one single animal species. Even considering that some pathogens are relatively species-specific, many European countries have no (accessible) data on zoonotic pathogens in these relevant animal species. We used the Netherlands as an example to show how this database can be used by other countries to identify wildlife disease surveillance gaps on a national level. Only 4% of all potential host–pathogen combinations have been studied in the Netherlands.

Conclusions

This database comprises a comprehensive overview that can guide future research on wildlife-borne zoonotic diseases both on a European and national scale. Sharing and expanding this database provides a solid starting point for future European-wide collaborations to improve wildlife disease surveillance.

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/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2024.29.25.2300617
2024-06-20
2024-07-22
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2024.29.25.2300617
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