With this information sheet FVE aims to help people better understand how infectious diseases emerge and spread between individuals of the same species and between different species.
Furthermore, it provides evidence-based information on infectious diseases and their relationship with animal husbandry and food production systems.
Animals and humans share environments. Potentially infectious agents are present in all living creatures: from single-celled protozoa to human beings. Well-known examples of infectious agents are viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites.
When infectious agents break down the animals’ natural defences and invade their tissues, infections occur. Sometimes infections do not progress to disease, while there are pathogens that have the ability to cause clinical or subclinical disease.
- Genetic modifications are fundamental mechanisms in the evolution and development of all living beings, including pathogens and their hosts
- Animals and humans share environments and exchange infectious agents therefore a One Health approach is key to the prevention and control of infectious diseases
- Veterinarians help to reduce the spread of diseases through the provision of essential services
- We now have an opportunity for a systemic policy change
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to drive a systemic policy change in the food production systems and better preventing the spread of diseases by using all the available and future scientific evidence properly.