Anthroponotic disease

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An anthroponotic disease, or anthroponosis, is an infectious disease in which a disease causing agent carried by humans is transferred to other animals.[1] It may cause the same disease or a different disease in other animals. Since humans do not generally inflict bite wounds on other animals, the method of transmissions is always a "soft" contact such as skin to skin transmission. An example is chytridiomycosis which can be spread by humans with the fungus on their skin handling frogs with bare hands.

The reverse situation, a disease transmitted from animals to humans, is known as zoonotic.

It can also be defined as a human-to-human infection with no animal vector.[2]

Known anthroponotic diseases[edit]

Many human diseases can be transmitted to other primates, due to their extensive biological similarities. As a result, centers that hold, treat, or involve close proximity to primates and some other kinds of animals (for example zoos, researchers, and animal hospitals), often take steps to ensure animals are not exposed to human diseases they can catch. In some cases animals are routinely immunized with the same vaccines given to humans.

  • Leishmaniasis - Both zoonotic and anthroponotic.[3]
  • Influenza, Measles, pneumonia and various other pathogens - Many primates.[4]
  • Tuberculosis - Both zoonotic and anthroponotic, with birds, cows, elephants, meerkats, mongooses, monkeys, and pigs known to have been affected.[5][6]


  1. ^ Miller, Lila; Hurley, Kate (2009-08-24). Infectious Disease Management in Animal Shelters. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 349–. ISBN 978-0-8138-1379-0. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  2. ^ Health, National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Climate, Ecosystems, Infectious Disease, and Human (2001-06-15). Under the weather: climate, ecosystems, and infectious disease. National Academies Press. pp. 30–. ISBN 978-0-309-07278-6. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  3. ^ Connolly, M. A.; Organization, World Health (2005). Communicable disease control in emergencies: a field manual. World Health Organization. pp. 152–. ISBN 978-92-4-154616-4. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Holt, Nathalia (24 March 2015). "The Infected Elephant in the Room". Slate. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  6. ^ Mikota, Susan K. "A Brief History of TB in Elephants" (PDF). APHIS. US Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2017-02-06.