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Mapping of poverty and likely zoonoses hotspots. Zoonoses Project 4. Report to Department for International Development, UK.

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  Systematic Review
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Peer Reviewed
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  ILRI. Mapping of poverty and likely zoonoses hotspots. Zoonoses Project 4. Report to Department for International Development, UK. ILRI, Nairobi, Kenya (2012) 119 pp.


The objective of this report is to present data and expert knowledge on poverty and zoonoses hotspots to inform prioritisation of study areas on the transmission of disease in emerging livestock systems in the developing world, where prevention of zoonotic disease might bring greatest benefit to poor people.

Mapping and measuring the burden of zoonoses, the density and number of poor livestock keepers and emerging markets for livestock products can help identify the ‘hotspots’ where zoonoses not only impose significant burdens but where zoonoses management is likely to be pro-poor (targeted at poor livestock keepers and poor consumers of livestock products) and have most impact on helping small farmers reach emerging markets.

All zoonoses are not equal and a first step of the study was to categorise zoonoses according to epidemiology and impact. Three groups of zoonoses were considered:

  • Endemic zoonoses are present in many places and affect many people and animals.
  • Outbreak or epidemic zoonoses are sporadic in temporal and spatial distribution.
  • Emerging zoonoses newly appear in a population or have existed previously but are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographical range. Many occur as outbreaks.

The first chapter reviews the substantial literature on prioritising disease and identifies prioritisation criteria relevant to this study, namely: burden of human disease; impacts on livestock production and productivity; amenability to agricultural intervention; and, concern because of emergence or severity. Twenty-four zoonoses of high importance to poor people were identified, 13 of which were investigated in depth.

The next chapter reviews current evidence on poverty and livestock, on livestock systems and their dynamics, and on zoonoses and how they are currently mapped.

The next chapter presents evidence from a systematic review of over 1,000 studies on the prevalence of the 13 priority zoonoses in people and animals. It focuses on the endemic zoonoses that impose greatest burden and a ‘top 20’ list is given of geographical hotspots. Data on zoonoses are also extracted from the WHO Global Burden of Disease and the ‘top 20’ countries identified. A case study comparing this systematic review with an ‘in-country review’ focusing on grey literature and literature in a language other than English is included. Finally, some of the challenges of the study and need for caution in interpreting the results are discussed. Maps are presented.

The next chapter updates the map of emerging disease events of Jones et al. (2008). For the first time, it maps emerging zoonoses as distinct from other emerging disease events. A ‘top 20’ of geographical hotspots is given. Maps are presented. The last chapter provides maps of regional agroecosystems and summarises numbers of livestock, people and poor livestock keepers by system as well as the zoonoses context. It also draws some global conclusions from the study.

Annexes provide references for the papers in the systematic review of endemic zoonoses, the incountry review, and the systematic review of emerging zoonotic events. They provide information on the long list of zoonoses and the selection of the 13 most important to poor people in terms of burden and economic impacts.