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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(5): 538-550, 2021 05 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1169691


BACKGROUND: Zoonoses pose major threats to the health of humans, domestic animals and wildlife, as seen in the COVID-19 pandemic. Zoonoses are the commonest source of emerging human infections and inter-species transmission is facilitated by anthropogenic factors such as encroachment and destruction of wilderness areas, wildlife trafficking and climate change. South Africa was selected for a 'One Health' study to identify research priorities for control of zoonoses due to its complex disease burden and an overstretched health system. METHODS: A multidisciplinary group of 18 experts identified priority zoonotic diseases, knowledge gaps and proposed research priorities for the next 5 y. Each priority was scored using predefined criteria by another group of five experts and then weighted by a reference group (n=28) and the 18 experts. RESULTS: Seventeen diseases were mentioned with the top five being rabies (14/18), TB (13/18), brucellosis (11/18), Rift Valley fever (9/11) and cysticercosis (6/18). In total, 97 specific research priorities were listed, with the majority on basic epidemiological research (n=57), such as measuring the burden of various zoonoses (n=24), followed by 20 on development of new interventions. The highest research priority score was for improving existing interventions (0.77/1.0), followed by health policy and systems research (0.72/1.0). CONCLUSION: Future zoonotic research should improve understanding of zoonotic burden and risk factors and new interventions in public health. People with limited rural services, immunocompromised, in informal settlements and high-risk occupations, should be the highest research priority.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Research , Zoonoses/prevention & control , Aged , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Cost of Illness , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology , Zoonoses/epidemiology