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Communicable diseases used to be important in HIC but the burden reduced due to better sanitation, medical care including antimicrobials Non-communicable diseases dominated in HICs countries and medical doctors neglected infectious diseases (these persisted in LMICs) Zoonoses often explained to be as diseases transmitted between animals and people but it is only a partial truth – people are also vertebrate animals, and people can be reservoirs for diseases that are causing disease in other vertebrate animals (reverse zoonoses or zoo-anthropozoonoses)
The spillover event and the pace of transmission: mutation and virulence factors are part of natural evolution, has been there forever. But selection pressure was more localized and at a much slower pace (fewer interfaces, slow pace) – video global air traffic
Rapid population growth (up to 11 bn until 2100) Currently: China (1.4 bn) and India (1.3 bn) More than half of population growth expected in Africa (doubling between 2010-2030)
More people + increased income
Little change of meat consumption in HICs over past 50 decades Rapid increase in SE Asia since 1960s (doubled daily protein intake from ASF) Sub-Saharan Africa followed the pattern but less marked.
strong growth in meat production (+260 %), milk (+90 %), and eggs (+340 %) over the last 50 years. This trend is predicted to continue in Compared: trend for pulses is of sustained consumption levels.
Increasing demand for animal-source foods intensification and industrialization of animal production. large numbers of genetically similar animals in close proximity genetically homogenous host populations are more vulnerable to infection than genetically diverse populations, because the latter are more likely to include some individuals that better resist disease.
In poorer countries, there are additional risk factors in that livestock production often occurs close to cities, while biosecurity and basic husbandry practices are often inadequate, animal waste is often poorly managed Since 1940, agricultural intensification measures such as dams, irrigation projects and factory farms have been associated with more than 25 per cent of all—and more than 50 per cent of zoonotic—infectious diseases that have emerged in humans. Moreover, around one third of croplands are used for animal feed. In some countries, this is driving deforestation.
Better diagnostics but also more clinical cases that warranted diagnostics RNA viruses
>> increased close contact >> increased income >> infrastructural development
In communities of higher biodiversity, disease-transmitting vectors feed on a larger variety of hosts that are poor reservors for a pathogen (e.g. West Nile virus, Lyme disease) -- Ostfeld counties in the USA with high avian diversity should have a low human incidence of WNV disease, whereas those with low avian diversity should have a high WNV incidence
Spillover is normal but due to ecosystem fragmentation it happens concurrently, several spillover events at a given time locally, regionally or globally
Dilution effect WNV: mosquitoes in areas of low avian diversity have a high probability of encountering a competent reservoir for WNV, and therefore a high probability of acquiring infection during blood meals. In contrast, mosquitoes occurring in areas of high avian diversity should have a higher probability of taking a blood meal from one of the many species that are less competent or incompetent as reservoirs for WNV. (other diseases: Lyme disease and JE)
In nature, West Nile virus cycles between mosquitoes (especially Culex species) and birds. Some infected birds, can develop high levels of the virus in their bloodstream and mosquitoes can become infected by biting these infected birds. After about a week, infected mosquitoes can pass the virus to more birds when they bite. Mosquitoes with West Nile virus also bite and infect people, horses and other mammals. However, humans, horses and other mammals are ‘dead end’ hosts. This means that they do not develop high levels of virus in their bloodstream and cannot pass the virus on to other biting mosquitoes.
Diseases can now move around the world in periods shorter than their incubation periods (the time between exposure to a pathogen and the first clinical sign of illness).
1. increased opportunities for cross contamination. 2. more difficult to identify where a given food comes from. Traceability challenges make it harder for officials to follow up 3. Changes in processing can encourage the proliferation of zoonotic diseases (e.g., biofilms—microbial ecosystems—in food processing plants). 4. Rapidly expanding and poorly managed informal wildlife and fresh produce markets (including so called “wet” markets) bring products along poorly regulated supply chains to supply rapidly growing cities. convenience, lower costs, sales of traditional foods, livelihoods (especially women) their levels of hygiene are often low, and biosecurity is poor, increasing the risks of disease. 5. Industrial meat processing plants can also be sites of disease transmission. For example, there have been many outbreaks of COVID-19 from the massive, crowded, artificially chilled industrial meat plants in Europe and America, but much fewer from smaller, naturally ventilated meat plants in many LMICs. Thus, it cannot always be assumed that the modernization of food value chains will reduce risk. Moreover, especially in LMICs, people are consuming more animal-source foods than in the past, which results in potential exposure to pathogens, including zoonotic pathogens.
Many zoonoses are climate sensitive and a number of them will thrive in a warmer, wetter, more disaster-prone world foreseen in future scenarios. Some pathogens, vectors and host animals probably fare more poorly under changing environmental conditions, disappearing in places and resulting in the loss of their population-moderating effects or the establishment of other species in the new ecological niches created by their departure.
COVID-19 Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus disease Lassa fever Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Nipah and henipaviral diseases Rift Valley fever Zika virus „Disease X“
Preventing the next pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission
Better lives through livestock
Preventing the next pandemic:
Zoonotic diseases and how to break
the chain of transmission
Kristina Roesel on behalf of
Animal and Human Health program
International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya
International Student Week in Ilmenau (ISWI)
31 May 2021
1. Who is ILRI?
2. Crash course infectious disease terminology
3. What are drivers of pandemics?
4. Recommendations to break the chain of transmission
5. ILRI‘s One Health approach
Who is ILRI?
CGIAR global partnership for a food
Poverty alleviation through agricultural
15 research centres
More than 8,000 scientists, researchers,
technicians and support staff
Who is ILRI?
Livestock contributes >40% to the global
At least 1.3 bn people depend on
livestock for their livelihoods
Our impact pathways:
(1) securing the assets of the poor,
(2) improving smallholder and pastoral
(3) increasing market participation by
(c) ILRI/Phil Thornton, adapted by Delia Grace
Opportunities and challenges
in the livestock sector
Human health Economies Environment
Opportunities Population growth: food and
Regional and global demand for
Challenges overconsumption, food safety,
Equity, urbanization, trans-
pollution, GHG emissions
Source: ILRI Flickr
Source: ILRI Flickr
Red Maasai sheep x Dorper for improved helminth resistance
(vegetation) Index-Based Livestock Insurance for resilient pastoralism in drought-prone systems:
co-hosted by both the
governments of Ethiopia
and Kenya, with offices in
12 other countries.
ILRI offices and
Location of program partners
Location of projects
Crash course infectious disease terminology
• Communicable vs.
• Zoonoses: communicable diseases
transmitted between vertebrate
animals („respect nature“)
• The spillover event and the
pace of transmission:
mutation (“I change”)
and virulence factors
• Endemic, epidemic, pandemic
Source: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
When zoonoses become an epidemic.... and a pandemic
Source: Reprinted from The Lancet, Vol.380, Karesh et al., Ecology of zoonoses: natural and unnatural histories, Page 1942, Copyright (2012).
zoonotic disease transmission
Preventing the Next Pandemic:
Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission.
Lead Author: Delia Grace Randolph (NRI & ILRI)
Co-Authors: Johannes Refisch (UNEP), Susan MacMillan (ILRI), Caradee Yael Wright (South
African Medical Research Council), Bernard Bett (ILRI), Doreen Robinson (UNEP),
Bianca Wernecke (South African Medical Research Council), Hu Suk Lee (ILRI), William B. Karesh
(EcoHealth Alliance), Catherine Machalaba (EcoHealth Alliance), Amy Fraenkel (Secretariat of
the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animal), Marco Barbieri
(Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of
Wild Animals) and Maarten Kappelle (UNEP).
Driver 1: increasing demand for animal protein
Asia: 4.4 bn (60%)
Africa: 1.2 bn (16%)
Europe: 738 Mio (10%)
358 Mio (4.9%)
39 Mio (0.1%)
1900: 1.6 bn
South America and
the Caribbean: 634 Mio (9%)
Driver 1: increasing demand for animal protein
Coronaviruses have been around for a while!
1920 1930 1940 1950-1970 1980-1990 2000 2010 2020
Source: ILRI/UNEP report 2020
Driver 3: Increased use and exploitation of wildlife
Change in weight of vertebrate land animals from 10,000 years ago to today.
(Source: Optimum Population Trust, Smil 2011 via
• Harvesting meat (low input)
• Recreational: hunting, status
• Trade in live animals: pets, zoos, research/medical
• decorative, medicinal and other commercial products
Driver 4: Unsustainable use of natural resources
of 10 mio
ha per year
Disturbance of habitats of ticks, mosquitoes, bats,
monkeys, other wildlife
19th century: 1 bn
21st century: 8 bn
Opportunistic/generalist species need
to find new habitats for food and
More animals, less genetically
Source: ILRI/UNEP report 2020
Co-evolution effect Dilution effect
Zohdy et al., 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pt.2019.03.010
Generalists: blue jay, western scrub jay, common grackle, house finch,
American crow, house sparrow and American robin
Osfeld RS. Biodiversity loss and the rise of zoonotic pathogens.
Clin Microbiol Infect 2009; 15 (Suppl. 1): 40–43
Driver 5: Travel and transportation
James Horner; Source: YouTube https://youtu.be/yx7_yzypm5w (UMG (on behalf of Varese Sarabande); ASCAP, Sony ATV Publishing, Polaris Hub AB, and 11 Music Rights Societies)
Driver 7: Climate change
Ixodes ricinus (c) ECDC
Liu-Helmersson et al. 2019. Estimating Past, Present, and
Future Trends in the Global Distribution and Abundance of
the Arbovirus Vector Aedes aegypti Under Climate Change
Scenarios. Front. Public Health 7:148.
Drivers of disease emergence
1. Increasing demand for animal protein
2. Unsustainable agricultural intensification
3. Increased use and exploitation of wildlife
4. Unsustainable use of natural resources accelerated by
urbanization, land use change and extractive industries
5. Travel and transportation
6. Changes in food supply systems
7. Climate change Predominantly anthropogenic
(= made by humans)
Adopt a One Health approach
• Inter- and transdisciplinary
• Collaborative local, regional, global
• Towards a common goal
United Nations Environment Programme and International Livestock Research Institute (2020).
Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission. Nairobi, Kenya.
2. Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
3. Ebola virus disease and Marburg
4. Lassa fever
5. Middle East respiratory syndrome
coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe
Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
6. Nipah and henipaviral diseases
7. Rift Valley fever
8. Zika virus
9. „Disease X“
Food for thought
COVID-19 was a warning sign by
Top 9 infectious diseases with a
potential for a pandemic
Antimicrobial resistance, a silent
ILRI One Health Research Education and Outreach Center
Gender and socio-economics: incentives, value chains, impacts, livelihoods, etc.
Graduate Fellowships: fellowship program; Science communication
Field practitioners: community-based surveillance; value chain actors; lab technicians
Policy makers and mitigation agents: simulation exercises (link to international health
regulations; action plans, contingency plans, disease control policies
Biomedical science: epidemiology, surveillance and diagnostics, disease control, etc.
Environment: climate and other environment drivers, animal waste management, etc.
ONE-HEALTH INVESTMENT REPORT
REPORT TO BE PUBLISHED BY JULY 2021
SEVEN ‘why it matters’ fact
Seven messages + 22 Action Areas
‘what works, what delivers’ case
• Animal Research Facilities:
o Biological Safety Level 2 plus animal containment facility
• High end molecular laboratory facilities, BSL2 & BLS 3 labs
for CGIAR researchers and NARS
o Azizi liquid nitrogen biorepository
Mazingira environmental research centre
• Greenhouse gas emission & climate change studies in
crops, livestock and land-use changes in Africa
One Health Centre in Africa
• Improving the health of humans, animals and ecosystems
o Capacity building
o Strengthening local, regional and global networks
o Evidence-based policy advice
CGIAR Antimicrobial Resistance Hub
• Evidence linking antimicrobial resistance in agriculture and
public health outcomes
• Development of locally relevant and applicable evidence-
• 66 hectares (167 acres or 660,000 m2)
• 116 buildings
• 7,342 m2 office space
ILRI Nairobi facilities
ILRI’s Kapiti Research Station and
Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya
Run as a livestock research station, commercial
livestock ranch and wildlife conservancy
13,000 hectares (32,000 acres)
85 km east of Nairobi in Machakos County
3288 cattle, 1474 sheep, 607 goats, 34 camels
Thousands of wildlife species including various
species of carnivores and herbivores as well as
birds and reptiles
Conservancy plans with Kenya Wildlife Service
ILRI sequencing and bioinformatics capacity
Sanger capillary sequencing
Illumina - two MiSeq and one NextSeq 550
Oxford Nanopore Technology - MinION
• Computer nodes: 11
• Number of CPU cores: 220
• Total RAM: 2.6 TB
• Storage capacity: 317 TB
Whole genome sequencing; amplicon sequencing; meta-genomics;
RNAseq; single cell; de novo assembly; ref mapping; annotation