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PLoS One. 2011 Feb 25;6(2):e17120. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017120.

Research options for controlling zoonotic disease in India, 2010-2015.

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Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States of America.



Zoonotic infections pose a significant public health challenge for low- and middle-income countries and have traditionally been a neglected area of research. The Roadmap to Combat Zoonoses in India (RCZI) initiative conducted an exercise to systematically identify and prioritize research options needed to control zoonoses in India.


Priority setting methods developed by the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative were adapted for the diversity of sectors, disciplines, diseases and populations relevant for zoonoses in India. A multidisciplinary group of experts identified priority zoonotic diseases and knowledge gaps and proposed research options to address key knowledge gaps within the next five years. Each option was scored using predefined criteria by another group of experts. The scores were weighted using relative ranks among the criteria based upon the feedback of a larger reference group. We categorized each research option by type of research, disease targeted, factorials, and level of collaboration required. We analysed the research options by tabulating them along these categories. Seventeen experts generated four universal research themes and 103 specific research options, the majority of which required a high to medium level of collaboration across sectors. Research options designated as pertaining to 'social, political and economic' factorials predominated and scored higher than options focussing on ecological, genetic and biological, or environmental factors. Research options related to 'health policy and systems' scored highest while those related to 'research for development of new interventions' scored the lowest.


We methodically identified research themes and specific research options incorporating perspectives of a diverse group of stakeholders. These outputs reflect the diverse nature of challenges posed by zoonoses and should be acceptable across diseases, disciplines, and sectors. The identified research options capture the need for 'actionable research' for advancing the prevention and control of zoonoses in India.

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