importance of wildlife diseases has been increasing in recent
years as a result of several factors including conservation policies.
The sustainability of endangered populations is not only based
on environmental aspects (habitat maintenance, decrease of human
impact....) but also on the health status of the population. In
this sense, infectious and parasitic diseases are recognized as
being an essential factor for wildlife conservation which is currently
captive propagation and reintroduction of endangered species are
one of the most widely used methods for conservation, but the
re-introduction programs may pose a serious risk of transmitting
infectious diseases into native wildlife populations. Moreover,
these conservation procedures could also lead to a number of situations
like reciprocal domestic-wild animals disease transmission and
even zoonotic diseases must be considered at this point. For this
reason animal health as a whole should be considered to be one
of the most relevant factors in any well-designed conservation
policy. Wild animals are known to be reservoirs of a number of
relationship betzeen wildlife diseases and public health is a
reality and should be a matter of concern for sanitary authorities
throughout the world. The control of wildlife diseases is, therefore,
a useful tool for the prevention and control of some zoonoses.
Social awareness on diseases transmitted from wild animals could
even act as a mechanism leading to a minor interaction between
humans and wildlife populations. Wildlife as reservoirs of domestic
is an increasing interest in wildlife diseases because of the
interference of the wild reservoir with Eradication Programs for
livestock diseases (e.g. Brucellosis, Tuberculosis). These problems
did not arise until some Eradication Programs have been almost
completed in several countries; They have led to a remarkable
interest in the role of wild animals as reservoirs of domestic
animals diseases, also those which are not under Eradication Programs.
There are still many unknown or poorly understood aspects about
the role of wildlife as reservoirs of domestic animals diseases.
Any improvement in our knowledge on this particular matter should
therefore be interesting from a dual point of view: as a source
of criteria regarding management of diseases in wildlife populations
and their interaction with domestic animals and, as a consequence,
providing methods of controlling diseases of significative economic
proposed European Network on Wildlife as Reservoirs of Pathogens
is meant to interrelate laboratories, universities. Research centers
and any other organization working on prevention and control of
wild (both captive and free-living) animals diseases, with special
attention to those transmissible to domestic animals and man.
The establishment of such a network should provide both an epidemiologic
and a wildlife diseases laboratory diagnostics systems for wildlife
diseases, but also a mechanism of communication and cooperation
among people involved in wildlife diseases and their implications
in animal and human health.
the first year of the Concerted Action it took place the First
General Meeting of the European Network on Wildlife as Reservoirs
of Pathogens, in which the Partners got agreement on how to develop
the main points of the Network objectives.
The European Catalogue of Wildlife Diseases: to create or establish
a list as the result of a preliminary survey among the potential
participants. It could be used as a previous document to set
up an European Catalogue of Transmissible Diseases of Wildlife
with special emphasis on zoonoses and on a common livestock
and wildlife diseases.
The Epidemiological Alert System: to develop a reporting system
that will permit to give information about diseases of the list
A and B of the OIE affecting wildlife.
The Wildlife Disease Laboratory System: to identificate the
wildlife diseases diagnostic laboratories, techniques, the conservation
institutions and centres related with wildlife within the EU.
The development of the European Wildlife Diseases Catalogue is
in course, after a discussion among the participants, in the first
meeting of the Concerted Action, reaching a final agreement on
which diseases were included and which were not.
are collecting the information about the wildlife diseases laboratory
diagnostic of the EU and creating a database to be including in
the Wildlife Network.
Complutense de Madrid
Puerta de Hierro s/n
+34 91 394 39 10
+34 91 394 39 08
- School of Veterinary Medicine of Madrid
Dpto. Patología Animal I (Sanidad Animal)
Laboratorio de Diagnóstico Microbiológico de Animales
Salvajes y Exóticos (Spain)
of Veterinary Medicine
University of Utrecht
Dpt. of Veterinary Pathology
Section of Zoo and Wildlife
- Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire
Université de Liège
Dpt. de Bactériologie et de Pathologie des Maladies Bactériennes
de Investigación en Sanidad Animal of Valdeolmos
- Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
- The National Veterinary Institute
Dpt of Disease Control and Biosecurity
- Parque Nacional de Doñana
Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre "El Acebuche"
- AFSSA-Alfort / AFSSA-Nancy
Wildlife Health and Management
for Zoo Biology and Wildlife Research
Avian Virology Dpt.
Institute of Public Health and Enviromental Microbiology
Laboratory for Health Protection (RIVM)
- Federal Institute for Health Protection of Consumers and Vet.
Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Vétérinaires