Companion animals as sources of dangerous zoonotic infections
According to who, in 2000-2001, more than 70 registered emergency major outbreaks of infectious diseases that swept tens of thousands of people. More than half of the foci falls on dangerous and especially dangerous zoonotic diseases, including bacterial nature: it is the plague, anthrax, etc.
Many causative agents of these infections belong to the so-called critical biological agents of category “A” (pathogens of plague, tularemia, anthrax) and “B” (causative agents of brucellosis, rickettsial, Sapa) – potential agents of bioterrorism.
In the recent past zoonotic infection was detected mostly in rural areas, where their main sources were agricultural animals, and many species of wild animals living in natural foci of infection.
Over the past decades in many regions of Russia there is a steady “urbanization” zoonotic diseases: the share of urban population accounts for 80% of reported cases of tularemia, leptospirosis and other infections in this group.
The main reasons are: increase in urban population, high level of clinical and laboratory diagnosis in urban environments, and also expansion of city boundaries with the development of natural-focal areas for parks, landscape gardening associations and etc.
Bunnybrains the extension of such a megalopolis as Moscow, accompanied by the inclusion within its territory and natural foci infections. Preserved in natural biocenoses of forests and forest parks (and them in Moscow about 40) revealed persistent natural microcare leptospirosis and tularemia, in which the main sources of infection are common vole and field mouse. These foci were found in Izmailovo Park, Pokrovskoye-Respectively, Stroginskaya floodplain, and other ecological communities.
An important role in the urbanization of zoonotic diseases plays and the behavioral factor. Recently Russia, like other industrialized countries, experienced a wave of “zoomania”, which dramatically increased the increase in the number of small animals (so-called companion animals).
The number of animals in the cities, including Moscow, both domestic and street, reaches a critical level, which gives reason to consider this situation as a serious social anomaly.
Well known anti-stress emotional impact of Pets on their owners. Communication with them has a beneficial therapeutic impact in hypertension, neurosis and other pathological conditions. However, these friendly relations were, however, overshadowed the fact that Pets can be a source of severe infections protozoal, viral and bacterial nature. Since 1994 recorded cases of human infection from dogs brucellosis and isolation of strains of Brucella canis species, not previously encountered in Russia, but widespread in the USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, etc. Epizootiological data suggest that this new pathogen was imported into Russia from the United States with tribal elite dog – Staffordshire Terrier. The role of this pathogen in the pathology of humans and animals requires study. However, research is hampered by lack of domestic certified diagnostic test kits for detection of this pathogen.
For example, leptospirosis can be traced, as the growth of companion animals affected the epizootic and epidemic manifestations of zoonotic diseases in urban areas. Dogs with clinical forms of the disease and leptospirosis now are the most significant sources of leptospiral infection; in St. Petersburg they account for about 70% of the cases.
The rising incidence of leptospirosis Canicola observed in other countries, so it belongs to the so-called returning infections.
Cats can also be the source of many dangerous infectious diseases. For example, the disease toxoplasmosis women during pregnancy can result in miscarriage or the birth of a baby with severe neurological disorders. The cat scratch disease caused by Bartonella henselae which is accompanied by lymphadenopathy and serious vasoproliferative disorders, especially in patients with immunodeficiencies. In the U.S. this infection each year get sick more than 40 thousand people.
In Russia, its study began recently. In Moscow already diagnosed dozens of cases of bartonellosis. However, to establish the true epidemiological situation it is necessary to introduce the practice of home diagnostic test kits for the detection of bartonellas.
In addition to traditional companion animals (cats and dogs), in the conditions of city apartments contains representatives of many other (exotic) species of birds, reptiles and mammals that can be a source not only studied, but little-known or unknown diseases. This danger increases if the illegal importation of animals into the country.
For most of the “old” and “new” zoonoses one of the most important remains the problem of hypodiagnostics. As experience shows, the true incidence repeatedly (10 times or more) exceeds the registered one. One of the reasons is the inadequate provision of laboratory services certified diagnostic preparations of new generation, including those intended for early diagnosis – immunofermentnogo analysis, polimeraznoi Zelazny reactions, etc.
Meanwhile, the late and especially the wrong diagnosis and consequently delayed and inadequate treatment can lead to the development of chronic forms of the disease and late complications. For example, non-erythematous form of ixodic tick-borne borreliosis in the absence of treatment at an early stage in 78% of cases becomes chronic, manifested in the form of heavy polysystemic lesions – chronic atrofidagi of acrodermatitis, arthrosis and so on.
For the same reason, the high frequency of development of chronic forms of brucellosis, q-fever and bartonellosis leading to the development of endocarditis and hepatitis.
Many of these pathogens can cause opportunistic infections in individuals with immunodeficiency, including HIV-infected. In order to prevent opportunistic infections HIV-infected individuals are advised not to have Pets or to comply with strict hygiene rules in their content. Given the socio-economic and medical importance of the discussed issue, you should pay special attention to the following:
1. The establishment and public certification of medical immunobiological preparations of new generation for diagnostics, specific and nonspecific prevention of zoonoses associated with Pets, companions, their implementation in public health practice.
2. Development of normative documents (together with vets), diagnostics, epidemiological and epizootological surveillance for diseases of companion animals.
3. Preparation, publication and distribution of educational materials for hygienic training of the population to the rules of the safe keeping of companion animals to reduce the risk of infection with a dangerous zoonotic infections.