Although the interactions between human and animal health are not a new phenomenon (initiated mainly since the Neolithic period and the domestication of animals), the zoonoses we face have a global importance and impact unique in human history. The emergence of factors such as globalisation, industrialisation, the redesign of agrarian systems and consumerism, provide potential pathogens with even more favourable conditions to adapt, mutate and be transported to new hosts and ecosystems, often with disastrous effects. Climate change, as well as changes in our ecosystem, farming patterns and land use, are constantly altering and evolving the dynamics created between hosts, vectors and microbes. The Covid 19 news will not deny this fact.

Most of the recent emerging diseases are of animal origin and almost all of them have a zoonotic potential (some 75% of these diseases are zoonotic in nature). Recent epidemics, such as East Nile fever, avian influenza and rabies, demonstrate the vitality of emerging diseases worldwide and the importance of the role of veterinary services in early detection and response, diagnosis, surveillance, intervention, research and prevention. In this context, we should certainly not forget the One Health/One World approach of which veterinarians are the main instigators.

In view of this, the course will be divided into two parts after an introduction. The first part (part A) will focus on the so-called classical zoonotic diseases (of veterinary and human importance) transmitted by domestic and companion animals. Representative examples of bacterial, viral and parasitic zoonoses include brucellosis, tuberculosis, rabies and echinococcosis. The other part (part B) will be devoted to zoonotic diseases of human importance, which originate in wildlife and have less of an impact on domestic or pet animals. These include Ebola, Zika, bubonic plague and even Covid.