Research theme : Emerging infectious diseases
An emerging disease is defined by OIE as "a new infection resulting from the evolution or change of an existing pathogen or parasite resulting in a change of host range, vector, pathogenicity or strain; or the occurrence of a previously unrecognised infection or disease. A re-emerging disease is an already known disease that either shifts its geographical setting or expands its host range, or significantly increases its prevalence."
Most of recent emerging diseases have animal origin.
The overall increase in global human population and all the attendant implications of that increase are reasons for the emergence of many new animal diseases :
First the increasing traffic of people and animals is bringing bodily ecosystems with all their microflora and potential pathogens to new areas and hosts.
Second, there is a considerable disruption of the habitat.
Third, new species are brought into contact with one another.
Fourth, there are husbandary situations that maximize efficiency.
The rapid detection and response to an emerging or re-emerging disease is crucial. From the time this new disease develops until it is detected, a critical time period elapses.
The rapid detection of such a new epidemiological event is therefore a key element for all policies to be developed.
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