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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE VIRUS (FMDV) HOST-PATHOGEN INTERACTIONS Title: Agricultural diseases on the move early in the third millennium

Authors
item Arzt, Jonathan
item White, William -
item Thomsen, Bruce -
item Brown, Corrie -

Submitted to: Veterinary Pathology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: October 4, 2009
Publication Date: January 20, 2010
Citation: Arzt, J., White, W.R., Thomsen, B.V., Brown, C.C. 2010. Agricultural diseases on the move early in the third millennium. Veterinary Pathology. 47(1):15-27.

Interpretive Summary: As the population of the Earth continuously increases causing progressive decrease of the quantity of land available for agriculture, the ability to “feed the world” becomes more precarious. Infectious diseases of animals have constrained agricultural endeavors for as long as humans have maintained animals for food, fiber, or draft. The diseases create a major limitation on the net food obtainable for human sustenance. The current trend of ever - increasing globalization of trade of animals and animal products ensures that agricultural diseases will continue to follow legal trade patterns and illicit transfer of animal materials with increasing rapidity. Global climate changes have already had profound effects on the distribution of veterinary diseases and it is an inevitable reality that continually evolving climatic parameters will further transform the ecology of numerous pathogens. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the agricultural diseases which, in recent years, have given cause for concern regarding changes in distribution or severity. Epidemiological trends for the following diseases are discussed: foot – and –mouth disease, avian influenza, peste des petits ruminants, Ebola – Reston, bluetongue, Newcastle disease, Rift Valley fever, classical swine fever, and African swine fever.

Technical Abstract: With few exceptions, the diseases that present the greatest risk to food animal production have been largely similar throughout the modern era of veterinary medicine. The current trend of ever - increasing globalization of trade of animals and animal products ensures that agricultural diseases will continue to follow legal trade patterns and illicit transfer of animal materials with increasing rapidity. Global climate changes have already had profound effects on the distribution of veterinary diseases and it is an inevitable reality that continually evolving climatic parameters will further transform the ecology of numerous pathogens. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the agricultural diseases which, in recent years, have given cause for concern regarding changes in distribution or severity. Foot – and –mouth disease, avian influenza, and African swine fever continue to be of significant concern. The expected announcement of the global eradication of rinderpest is one of the greatest successes of veterinary preventative medicine; yet peste des petits ruminants still spreads throughout the Middle East and Asia. The spread of novel strains of bluetongue virus across Europe is an ominous indicator that climate change is sure to influence trends in movement of agricultural diseases. Overall, veterinary practitioners and investigators are advised to maintain vigilance against the staple disease threats, but also to always be sufficiently broad-minded to expect the unexpected.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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