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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #213591

Title: Vaccination in Conservation Medicine

item PLUMB, G
item BABIUK, L
item MAZET, J
item Olsen, Steven
item SLATE, D

Submitted to: Electronic Publication
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/13/2007
Publication Date: 6/1/2007
Citation: Plumb, G., Babiuk, L., Mazet, J., Olsen, S.C., Pastoret, P.P., Rupprecht, C., Slate, D. 2007. Vaccination in Conservation Medicine. Electronic Publication. Available:

Interpretive Summary: These social and population changes around the world are encroaching upon and threatening habitats of wildlife, including endangered species. These changes are increasing interactions of people with wildlife or semi-domestic animals which may harbor zoonotic diseases. Emerging human diseases are increasingly tied to transmission either directly or indirectly from wildlife reservoirs. Vaccination offers an opportunity for addressing emerging diseases in their host species. However, immunization of free-ranging wildlife offers numerous challenges and will probably require combination with other management strategies to maximum the benefits to public health and conservation medicine.

Technical Abstract: Unprecedented human population growth and anthropogenic environmental changes have resulted in increased numbers of people living in closer contact with more animals (wild, domestic, and peridomestic) than at any other time in history. Intimate linkage of human and animal health is not a new phenomenon. However, the global scope of contemporary zoonoses has no historical precedent. Indeed, most human infectious diseases classed as emerging are zoonotic, and many of these have spilled over from natural wildlife reservoirs into humans either directly or via domestic or peridomestic animals. Conservation medicine has recently emerged as a meaningful discipline to address the intersection of animal, human, and ecosystem health. Interest in the development of novel vaccines for wildlife encounters important challenges that may prevent progress beyond the conceptual phase. Although notable examples of successful wildlife immunization programmes exist, depending upon key considerations, vaccination may or may not prove to be effective in the field. When implemented, wildlife vaccination requires a combination of novel zoonosis pathogen management strategies and public education to balance conservation, economic, and public health issues.