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Compendium October 2008 (Vol 30, No 10)

The Companion Animal Parasite Council and the CDC Meet to Discuss Selected Zoonoses

    BEL AIR, Md. — Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) Executive Director Mike Paul, DVM, and members of the CAPC board announce that subject matter experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) met with internationally recognized parasitologists and infectious disease epidemiologists at the CDC offices in Atlanta on August 14 and 15 to discuss the human health impact of selected zoonoses of dogs and cats.

    The event represents the first joint roundtable since the CDC and the CAPC signed a memorandum of agreement in June 2008 to work together to help further define the risk of selected zoonoses of companion animals.

    Following the "One Health" concept of human and veterinary health practitioners working together for the benefit of public health, discussions at the August roundtable focused on the significance of zoonotic disease and control and prevention measures. The group discussed gaps in disease reporting and other barriers to better understanding the impact or potential impact regarding selected zoonoses, particularly giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis; tick-associated diseases; toxoplasmosis; toxocariasis; and heartworms.

    "We are very appreciative of the pioneering work of the CAPC in dedicating itself to the preservation of the human-animal bond by protecting both dog and cat health and the public's health. We look forward to our continued collaboration with CAPC to investigate and reduce the risks of zoonotic diseases that can threaten this vital relationship," said Lonnie King, DVM, senior veterinarian at the CDC and director of the newly formed National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne and Enteric Diseases. "By working together, CDC and CAPC embody the principles of the recent AVMA's One Health Initiative Report - that is, veterinary medicine engaging with human medicine in order to ensure and improve public health. This is an exciting partnership and our Center at CDC is committed to its success."

    Representatives from the CDC and the CAPC identified potential areas for further investigation and will release highlights of the meeting to veterinary and human health care practitioners later this year. The group will continue to work together and exchange information from both the animal and human perspectives of zoonoses that can threaten the invaluable human-animal bond.

    "The CAPC is proud to have played a role in very successful meetings with experts who are dedicated to the study, control and prevention of selected zoonoses of dogs and cats. We believe that the exchange of ideas and knowledge among the attendees will do much to broaden our understanding of these diseases and will help us to educate veterinarians, human health care providers and the public at large," said Paul. "Our ultimate goal is the health of animals and people, and so we continue to support the One Health concept."

    Those participating in the CDC-CAPC meetings included J. P. Dubey, PhD, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Md.; Edward Breitschwerdt, PhD, MS, University of North Carolina, Raleigh; Pat Conrad, DVM, PhD, University of California, Davis; Ann Zajac, DVM, PhD Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.; David Lindsay, DVM, PhD, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.; Jeffrey Griffiths, MD, Tufts University, Boston; Jerry Theis, DVM, PhD, University of California, Davis; Steven Callister, PhD, Gundersen Lutheran Health Sciences Center, La Crosse, Wis.; Kevin Kazacos, DVM, PhD, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.; and Peter Schantz, VMD, PhD, CAPT (Ret.) U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta.

    CDC Atlanta staff participants included Susan Montgomery, DVM, MPH; Mark Eberhard, PhD; Vitaliano Cama, DVM, PhD; Lihua Xiao, DVM, PhD; Jennifer McQuiston, DVM, MPH; William Nicholson, PhD; Jeffrey Jones, MD, MPH; Lonnie King, DVM, MS; Christopher Braden, MD, MPH; Tracee Treadwell, DVM, MPH; Erin Kennedy, DVM, MPH; and Heather Bair-Brake, DVM, MS. Paul Mead, MD, MPH, from the CDC office in Ft. Collins, Colo., also attended the meetings.

    CAPC members who participated were Dwight Bowman, PhD, MS, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Byron Blackburn, PhD, MS, Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; Susan Little, DVM, PhD, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla.; and Sharon Patton, PhD, MS, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.

    The CAPC (www.capcvet.org) is an independent group of veterinary and public health experts established in 2002 to promote best practices for protecting companion animals and people from parasitic infections. CAPC brings together broad expertise in parasitology, internal medicine, public health, veterinary law, private practice and association leadership.

    CDC (www.cdc.gov) is the nation's premiere public health agency, working to ensure healthy people in a healthy world. An operating unit of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC seeks to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. CDC seeks to accomplish its mission by working with partners throughout the nation and the world.

    This collaboration does not imply endorsement of any product, activities, or service from CDC, Department of Health and Human Services, or the U.S. Government.

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