Portrait of zoonoses prioritized by Quebec’s observatory on zoonoses and climate change adaptation in 2015

  • In Québec like elsewhere, diseases transmitted from animals to humans (zoonoses), representing about 60% of communicable diseases to humans, are emerging. Zoonoses complex dynamic can be influenced by climate changes. To address this complexity, Québec’s Observatory on zoonoses and climate change adaptation initiated in 2015 a prioritization approach of zoonoses to document Québec’s situation progression to foresee emerging issues. This work also allowed a better identification of challenges and knowledge gaps specifics to prioritized zoonoses, which can now serve as a tool to orient and improve research activities, as well as surveillance, prevention and control of zoonoses.
  • Twelve zoonoses were prioritized: foodborne botulism in Nunavik, campylobacteriosis, cryptosporidiosis, eastern equine encephalitis, VETC, Q fever, avian and porcine influenza, Lyme disease, rabies, salmonellosis and west nile virus.
  • To document prioritized zoonoses, factsheets for were developed in a standardized and brief format, aiming to simplify users access to information. For each zoonosis, the number of human cases in Québec, the public health and animal health burden, the transmission potential of the pathogen, the link(s) with climate change, surveillance or early detection measures in Québec, prevention and control measures in Québec, other potential measures and knowledge gaps and associated challenges are presented. The documentation approach was done in two steps: 1) production of factsheets content by a synthesis of information from diverse sources (scientific articles, governmental reports, and thesis) and 2) validation and enhancement by experts, under an iterative mode.
  • This exercise allowed the following acknowledgement: given the actual state of scientific knowledge, evidence base data about climate change impact on zoonoses are scarce. This main conclusion should be further and refined by the Observatory.

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