Med. Weter. 73 (3), 144-151, 2017

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Jacek Żmudzki
Free-living animals as a source of zoonotic microorganisms
Free-living animals mainly representing Chioptera (particularly bats), Rodentia, Aves and Carnivora are a source of a number of zoonotic pathogens responsible for significant worldwide human morbidity and mortality. The role of bats and rodents as the primary hosts of zoonotic microorganisms has been extensively characterized. The next important group represented by Paramyxoviridae, followed by Filoviridae (Marburg and Ebola viruses), as well as SARS coronavirus have been also reviewed. Avian influenza viruses are precursors of human influenza A viruses. They might be transmitted directly from free-ranging birds and poultry to humans. The importance of vectors in pathogen transmission from free-living animals to humans has been presented.
Key words: Reservoir of zoonotic microorganisms, free-living animals