Factors determining human-to-human transmissibility of zoonotic pathogens via contact

Mathilde Richard, Sascha Knauf, Philip Lawrence, Alison E Mather, Vincent J Munster, Marcel A Müller, Derek Smith, Thijs Kuiken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The pandemic potential of zoonotic pathogens lies in their ability to become efficiently transmissible amongst humans. Here, we focus on contact-transmitted pathogens and discuss the factors, at the pathogen, host and environmental levels that promote or hinder their human-to-human transmissibility via the following modes of contact transmission: skin contact, sexual contact, respiratory contact and multiple route contact. Factors common to several modes of transmission were immune evasion, high viral load, low infectious dose, crowding, promiscuity, and co-infections; other factors were specific for a pathogen or mode of contact transmission. The identification of such factors will lead to a better understanding of the requirements for human-to-human spread of pathogens, as well as improving risk assessment of newly emerging pathogens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Virology
Volume22
Early online date28 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

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