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Rev Sci Tech. 2000 Apr;19(1):240-58.

Parasitic food-borne and water-borne zoonoses.

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Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation, St George's University, P.O. Box 7, St George's, Grenada, West Indies.


Estimates suggest that almost half of the population of the world is affected by water-borne and food-borne infections. Parasitic food-borne and water-borne zoonoses contribute to this statistic by inflicting a heavy toll on human health and causing serious direct and indirect losses to the agricultural industry. The inability of non-industrialised countries to keep pace with population growth, migration from rural to urban areas and the demand for clean, safe drinking water and proper sanitation means that water-borne zoonoses will continue to exact an increasing burden of ill health in these countries. The consumption of raw or undercooked meat, crustaceans, and fresh-water fish and vegetables facilitates transmission of large numbers of zoonotic infections. The burgeoning tourist industry, emigration and the importation of food from endemic regions has resulted in increasing diagnosis of these infections in non-endemic countries. The authors examine the epidemiology, medical and veterinary public health importance and recent developments in diagnosis, treatment and control of the most important parasitic food-borne and water-borne infections.

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