Population biology of emerging and re-emerging pathogens

Trends Microbiol. 2002;10(10 Suppl):S3-7. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(02)02428-9.


Emerging and re-emerging pathogens present a huge challenge to human and veterinary medicine. Emergence is most commonly associated with ecological change, and specific risk factors are related to the type of pathogen, route of transmission and host range. The biological determinants of host range remain poorly understood but most pathogens can infect multiple hosts, and three-quarters of emerging human pathogens are zoonotic. Surveillance is a key defence against emerging pathogens but will often need to be integrated across human, domestic animal and wildlife populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / classification
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / epidemiology*
  • Disease Outbreaks / statistics & numerical data
  • Disease Reservoirs
  • Disease Vectors
  • Humans
  • Population Dynamics
  • Risk Factors
  • Zoonoses / epidemiology
  • Zoonoses / etiology