Human Diarrhea Infections Associated with Domestic Animal Husbandry: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Animal-source foods are often promoted as key to improving nutrition for vulnerable populations– particularly for protein and iron. However, there is ongoing debate around the harm of zoonotic diseases associated with raising animals in shared family space. This study, coordinated by Emory University, is a combination of review and meta-analysis, exploring the overall effects of domestic animal husbandry on incidence of human diarrhea, as well as specific animal-pathogen pairs. Of 29 studies included for full qualitative review, 21 reported a harmful effect of at least one animal-pathogen pair. The authors call for more targeted research around identification of specific disease-causing animal pathogens, and behavioral research—likely incorporating WASH—to decrease likelihood of transmission.

Zambrano, L.D., Levy, K., Menezes, N.P., Freeman, M.C. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. (May 2014) Epub ahead of print.