Free Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 36, Number 3, May-June 2005
Emerging or re-emerging bacterial zoonoses
Page(s) 493 - 506
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2005) 493-506
Vet. Res. 36 (2005) 493-506
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2005011

Important emerging bacterial zoonotic infections affecting the immunocompromised

Rosalie T. Trevejo, Margaret C. Barr and Robert Ashley Robinson

College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA 91766, USA

(Received 17 September 2004; accepted 17 January 2005)

Abstract - The immunocompromised are at particular risk for infection with zoonotic diseases. Persons can be temporarily immunocompromised due to pregnancy or developmental stage (i.e. infants); longer-term or permanent states of immunosuppression can occur as a result of immunosuppressive treatment following cancer or organ transplant, or from infectious diseases, such as AIDS. The focus of this review article is on emerging bacterial zoonotic diseases that are of particular concern among the immunocompromised. Factors that affect disease emergence can include factors such as human demographics and behavior; technology and industry; economic development and land use; international travel and commerce; microbial adaptation and change; and breakdown of public health measures. The immunocompromised need to take precautions when engaging in seemingly normal activities such as food preparation; caring for companion animals; and recreational or occupational activities. The immunocompromised are not only more susceptible to infection, but often suffer more serious sequelae as a result of infection. This review article provides an overview of the major foodborne, respiratory, and vector-borne bacterial pathogens that affect the immunocompromised. The major categories of immunodeficiency are described. In addition, measures that can be taken to prevent infection, including the role of health education, are discussed.

Key words: zoonoses / emerging diseases / immunocompromised / bacterial / disease prevention

Corresponding author: Rosalie T. Trevejo

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005