Zoonotic fungal diseases and animal ownership in Nigeria
Background: The growing interest in keeping animals as pets in Nigeria and other resource-poor countries highlights the possibility of transmission of zoonotic infections to humans. These zoonoses which are usually caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi, are naturally transmitted to humans, causing various degrees of morbidity and mortality with attendant economic and or public health consequences.
Materials and method: In the present review, a computerized search of existing literature was conducted using the Google search engine and PubMed electronic database to identify and download relevant publications on zoonotic fungal infections in Nigeria. The key words used were zoonotic fungal disease and Nigeria while the Boolean operator ‘AND’ was used to combine and narrow the searches. Additional information was obtained by searching the medical and veterinary libraries for journals not listed in the database. The available publications were thereafter reviewed and findings qualitatively described.
Results: Our findings revealed that fungal diseases with zoonotic potential lack sufficient attention in Nigeria. This suggests that fungi are yet to be considered as major causes of morbidity and mortality in animals and humans in Nigeria, and may account for the few reports available on zoonotic fungal diseases in the country.
Conclusion: There is a need to raise awareness of the extent of health problems caused by zoonotic fungal diseases in Nigeria in order to better appreciate their burden and public health consequences, and also provide an integrated platform for development of effective prevention and control strategies.
Keywords: Zoonoses, Fungal disease, Humans, Animals, Nigeria