Document Type : Original Article


1 Faculty of Medicine, Al-Fayoum University, Al-Fayoum, (*President, Al-Fayoum University), Egypt.

2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

3 Tropical Medicine Unit, The Ministry of Interior Hospitals, Cairo, Egypt.


A zoonosis is an animal disease that is transmissible to humans. Humans are usually an accidental host that acquires disease through close contact with an infected animal, who may or may not be symptomatic. Children are at highest risk for infection because they are more likely to have close contact with pets. Cats are responsible for transmission of an extensive array of bacterial, fungal, and parasitic zoonotic pathogens. The route of transmission can be through the saliva (e.g., bites or contaminated scratches), feces, respiratory secretions, direct contact, or by the cat acting as a vehicle and source of tick or flea exposure. Although cats have been implicated in transmission of zoonosis to their owners, risk of transmission from contact with cats is low and may be further reduced by simple precautions. There is a need for education on zoonotic disease prevention practices for pet-owning households with individuals at higher risk of infection,
and to educate future veterinarians during their early years in veterinary school about the risks associated with their future jobs. Also, zoonotic disease awareness training is a valuable service to animal shelter workers.