The role of invasive alien species in the emergence and spread of zoonoses

Roy, Helen E. ORCID:; Tricarico, Elena; Hassall, Richard; Johns, Charlotte A.; Roy, Katy A.; Scalera, Riccardo; Smith, Kevin G.; Purse, Bethan V. ORCID: 2023 The role of invasive alien species in the emergence and spread of zoonoses. Biological Invasions, 25 (4). 1249-1264.

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The role of invasive alien species in the transmission dynamics of zoonotic pathogens is often overlooked, despite the rapid escalation in biological invasions globally. Here we synthesise available information on the influence of invasive alien species on zoonotic pathogen dynamics in invaded ranges, focussing on Europe, and identify key associated knowledge gaps. We identified 272 documented interactions between alien species and zoonotic pathogens within invaded ranges. The majority of these involved invasive alien mammals followed by birds with only a few occurrences of other taxa documented. A wide range of potential interactions between invasive alien species and zoonotic pathogens were identified but few studies considered transmission to humans and so there was limited evidence of actual impacts on human health. However, there is an urgent need to raise awareness of the potential risks posed to human health by the transmission of zoonotic diseases by invasive alien species; the role of invasive alien species in zoonotic disease transmission may exceed that of native wildlife and occur in a relatively short period following the arrival of an invasive alien species within a new region. Ecological and social mechanisms govern the dynamics of zoonotic disease transmission but wildlife diseases are not consistently included within animal, plant and human policies. Rapid advances in the development of systems frameworks that integrate the ecological, economic and social processes promoting spillover in rapidly changing environments will increase understanding to inform decision-making.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1387-3547
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: zoonotic pathogens, invasive non-native species, disease, spillover, one health
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 31 Oct 2023 16:05 +0 (UTC)

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