Zoonotic diseases are ailments that can be transmitted between animals to humans. These diseases can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi. They are transmitted though contact (e.g. with fluids such as blood, saliva and urine); through food, or through the bite of an infected arthropod vector, often either ticks or mosquitoes.

Most zoonotic diseases fall under the category of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Also known as the ‘diseases of the poor’, NTDs are a group of infectious diseases that affect populations living in low-income areas of Africa, Asia and the Americas, with serious consequences on public health.