Environmental changes caused by humans are driving the emergence of infectious diseases throughout the world. In most cross-species host switches, pathogens were established as enzootic but unknown before their emergence into humans such as HIV/AIDS. Similarly in recent years also, viruses from wildlife hosts have caused emerging high-impact disease outbreaks such as SARS, Ebola and recent COIVD-19 pandemic. Illegal wildlife trade, bush meat hunting and human population expansion have resulted into loss of biodiversity which is the principle reason behind several EIDs. Extinction/loss of any species makes the whole ecosystem vulnerable to unexpected epidemics and hence, emergence of epizootics needs to be considered as biological disaster and the welfare of wild animals in controlling the disease emergence should be highlighted. Man-made disturbances at the human-livestock-wildlife interface provide an opportunity for the transmission of many such pathogens which can have fatal outcome in livestock or even in the human population i.e. Nipah virus. Hence, detection of pathogens in wildlife prior to the detection of the same in domestic animal-humans can help to build-up a rapid response system which can go further to address the wildlife crime so as to keep the ecosystem intact to prevent any such biological disaster in future.
Dr. Nidhi Rajput is an Assistant Professor (Wildlife Health Management) at Nanaji Deshmukh Veterinary Science University, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh (India). She is working on managing the wildlife health in free-range as well as under captivity in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Her work includes disease investigations in wild animals based on the surveillance and also by using the pathological and molecular techniques. She has attended trainings on wildlife health interventions organized by Wildlife Institute of India, University of Edinburgh, Zoological Society of London and University of Rwanda. She has scientific publications on wildlife health management and has presented research papers in National and International Conferences. She has a keen interest in working on the changing disease pattern in wild animals and its possible impact on the environmental health.