Care and Use of Animals

Zoonotic Diseases


Zoonotic Diseases: Horses

Cryptosporidia: Cryptosporidium species have a worldwide distribution and can be found in many animal species including cats. Cryptosporidiosis is caused by protozoan parasites that live in the intestines of mammals. Cryptosporidiosis is transmitted by the fecal-oral route and can cause diarrhea in humans. Usually the diarrhea is self-limiting but in immunocompromised individuals the disease can have a prolonged course.

Prevention: Appropriate personal-hygiene practices which include washing hands after contact with animals or their waste should prevent spread of this organism.

Salmonellosis: Along with a variety of other species, Salmonella, and other enteric bacteria are capable of causing disease in humans. Salmonellae are transmitted by the fecal-oral route. Infection produces an acute enterocolitis and fever with possible secondary complications such as septicemia.

Prevention: Use of protective clothing, personal hygiene which include hand washing after contact with animals or their waste, and sanitation measures prevent the transmission of the disease.

Rabies: The incidence of rabies in wildlife in the United States has increased in recent years and there is a possibility of transmission to dogs and cats with uncertain vaccination history. Rabies is very rare in the laboratory environment but any random source animal or wild animal showing central nervous system signs must be considered a potentially rabid animal. The rabies virus is most commonly transmitted to other animals or humans by the bite of a rabid animal or by introduction of saliva containing the virus into skin wounds or intact mucous membranes. Rabies produces a fatal acute viral encephalomyelitis.

Prevention: Pre-exposure immunization should be available to personnel working with or caring for animals of uncertain vaccination status or those who work with wildlife known to be reservoirs of rabies.

References:

Risk assessment- UC Davis
http://ehs.ucdavis.edu/animal/risk/index.cfm

Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals, National Research Council; National Academy Press, 1997.

Center for Disease Control- Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/

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