A qualitative study of state-level zoonotic disease surveillance in new England

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; Databases, Factual; Humans; *Information Dissemination; *Interprofessional Relations; New England; Public Health; *Sentinel Surveillance; *Zoonoses


Diseases | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Investigative Techniques


Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases transmittable between animals and humans and outbreaks of these diseases in animals can signify that humans are also infected (or vice versa). Thus, communication between animal and human health agencies is critical for surveillance. Understanding how these agencies conduct surveillance and share information is important for the development of successful automated zoonotic monitoring systems. Individual interviews were conducted with 13 professionals who perform animal or human zoonotic disease surveillance in one of the New England states. Questions centred on existing surveillance methods, collaborations between animal and human health agencies, and technological and data needs. The results showed that agencies routinely communicate over suspected zoonotic disease cases, yet there are barriers preventing automated electronic linking of health data of animals and humans. These include technological barriers and barriers due to sensitivity and confidentiality of information. Addressing these will facilitate the development of electronic systems for integrating animal and human zoonotic disease surveillance data.

DOI of Published Version



10.1111/j.1863-2378.2009.01319.x. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Zoonoses and public health


At the time of publication, Kristin Mattocks was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID