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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2008 Spring;8(1):85-92.

Zoonoses associated with petting farms and open zoos.

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  • 1Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Department of Bacteriology, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.


The popularity of open farms and petting zoos has increased markedly over the last 5 years, with most children in developed countries now having the opportunity to visit such a facility at some stage in their childhood, either through school or family visits. The open access policy of these establishments allows visitors to be in direct contact with animals such as sheep (lambs), goats, cats (kittens), dogs (puppies), and birds and to have the opportunity to feed such animals. This contact may lead to the transmission of microbial pathogens from animals to humans, e.g., Escherichia coli O157:H7, resulting in human disease. This review outlines the causal organisms associated with such zoonoses, a description of previous outbreaks at farms and zoos, as well as infection control measures to help prevent such zoonotic infections.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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