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Drivers of zoonotic disease risk in the Indian subcontinent: a scoping review

Drivers of zoonotic disease risk in the Indian subcontinent: a scoping review

Durrance-Bagale, Anna, Rudge, James W., Singh, Nanda Bahadur, Belmain, Steven R. ORCID: 0000-0002-5590-7545 and Howard, Natasha (2021) Drivers of zoonotic disease risk in the Indian subcontinent: a scoping review. One Health, 13:100310. ISSN 2352-7714 (doi:

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Literature on potential anthropogenic drivers of zoonotic disease risk in the Indian subcontinent is sparse. We conducted a scoping review to identify primary sources, published 2000–2020, to clarify what research exists and on which areas future research should focus. We summarised findings thematically by disease. Of 80 sources included, 78 (98%) were original research articles and two were conference abstracts. Study designs and methods were not always clearly described, but 74 (93%) were quantitative (including one randomised trial), five (6%) were mixed-methods, and one was qualitative. Most sources reported research from India (39%) or Bangladesh (31%), followed by Pakistan (9%), Nepal (9%), Bhutan and Sri Lanka (6% each). Topically, most focused on rabies (18; 23%), Nipah virus (16; 20%) or leptospirosis (11; 14%), while 12 (15%) did not focus on a disease but instead on knowledge in communities. People generally did not seek post-exposure prophylaxis for rabies even when vaccination programmes were available and they understood that rabies was fatal, instead often relying on traditional medicines. Similarly, people did not take precautions to protect themselves from leptospirosis infection, even when they were aware of the link with rice cultivation. Nipah was correlated with presence of bats near human habitation. Official information on diseases, modes of transmission and prevention was lacking, or shared informally between friends, relatives, and neighbours. Behaviour did not correspond to disease knowledge. This review identifies various human behaviours which may drive zoonotic disease risk in the Indian subcontinent. Increasing community knowledge and awareness alone is unlikely to be sufficient to successfully change these behaviours. Further research, using interdisciplinary and participatory methods, would improve understanding of risks and risk perceptions and thus help in co-designing context-specific, relevant interventions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Zoonoses, Zoonotic disease, Indian subcontinent, Leptospirosis, Rabies, Nipah virus
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Pest Behaviour Research Group
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 13:47
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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