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Controlling emerging zoonoses at the animal-human interface


For many emerging or re-emerging pathogens, cases in humans arise from a mixture of introductions (via zoonotic spillover from animal reservoirs or geographic spillover from endemic regions) and secondary human-to-human transmission. Interventions aiming to reduce incidence of these infections can be focused on preventing spillover or reducing human-to-human transmission, or sometimes both at once, and typically are governed by resource constraints that require policymakers to make choices. Despite increasing emphasis on using mathematical models to inform disease control policies, little attention has been paid to guiding rational disease control at the animal-human interface.

In this thesis, I introduce a modeling framework to analyze the impacts of different disease control policies, focusing on pathogens exhibiting subcritical transmission among humans. We quantify the relative effectiveness of measures to reduce spillover (e.g. reducing contact with animal hosts), human-to-human transmission (e.g. case isolation), or both at once (e.g. vaccination), across a range of epidemiological contexts.

This analysis provides guidelines for choosing which mode of control to prioritize in different epidemiological scenarios and considering different levels of resource and relative costs. We contextualize our analysis with current zoonotic pathogens and other subcritical pathogens, such as post-elimination measles, and control policies that have been applied. This work provides a model-based, theoretical foundation to understand and guide policy for subcritical zoonoses, integrating across disciplinary and species boundaries in a manner consistent with One Health principles.

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