Zoonoses are the "diseases and infections that are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and man," as defined in 1951 by the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Zoonoses. The word zoonosis (plural zoonoses) is the combination of two Greek words (zoon, animals and noson, disease), and was coined at the end of the nineteenth century by Rudolph Virchow to designate human diseases caused by animals. Nevertheless, the term should also include vertebrate animal diseases caused by exposure to humans, such as measles in nonhuman primates, which is of major concern in any major primate center. The term 'zoonosis' is also considered to be shorter and more convenient than 'anthropozoonosis' (animals to humans) and 'zooanthroponosis' (humans to animals), which are based on the prevailing direction of transmission between humans and other vertebrates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)