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New research published in The Lancet Planetary Health has identified a lack of appropriate control tools for many infectious diseases of animals that can have a significant impact upon the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
International efforts should focus on developing control tools for a range of priority infectious diseases of animals, including Nipah Virus infection, African swine Fever, foot and mouth disease and bovine tuberculosis, scientists say, but progress is needed across a wide range of zoonotic, endemic and epidemic (including pandemic) diseases to secure a healthy planet for humans, animals and the environment.
The study, led by Dr. Johannes Charlier, project manager of DISCONTOOLS, and including an international team of animal health experts, assessed the current state of available control tools for 53 major infectious diseases of animals.
The researchers found that while easy to use and accurate diagnostics are available for many animal diseases, there is an urgent need for the development of stable and durable diagnostics that can differentiate infected animals from vaccinated animals and assess other disease characteristics like transmissibility, impact on animal productivity and welfare.
They add that there is also a pressing need to exploit rapid technological advances and to make diagnostics widely available and affordable. The scientists call for further research to improve the convenience of use and duration of immunity, and to establish performant marker vaccines.
The research highlights that the largest gap in animal pharmaceuticals is the threat of pathogens developing resistance to available drugs—particularly for bacterial and parasitic (protozoal, helminth and arthropod) pathogens.