If you cannot see images at all on my site click here for an explanation
Medical Index
First Posted Dec 3, 2008
Jul 30, 2010

Medical Terms/Infectious/Noninfectious/Zoonotic?

What exactly is infection? Are there different types of infections? Infections are caused by infectious agents. There are different types of infections and causes. They are caused by microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungus and parasites.

What Does Noninfectious Mean?

If a disease is called noninfectious that means that it is not transmitted. It cannot be contracted from one party to another. For example, a horse cannot give it to another horse or to a human. Noninfectious diseases include those that are metabolic such as Cushing's Disease, nutritional such as tying up or enteroliths, musculoskeletal such as Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Desmatis (DSLD)or other lameness, although nutrition can also be a factor here, autoimmune (lupus erythematosus), or neoplastic such as something caused by a tumor.

What Does Infectious Mean?

If a disease is infectious it means that it can cause infection, be caused by or capable of being transmitted by infection, caused by a pathogenic microorganism or agent, or be easily or readily communicated. Equine influenza is a transmissible or contagious disease. It is passed from one horse to another through respiratory droplets much like our common cold. Other avenues of transmission are through inhalation, ingestion, skin or conjunctival contact, and bites or inoculation.

What Is a Zoonotic Disease?

Zoonoses are infections that are transmitted from one animal species to another such as a horse to a human. The infection can be transmitted in various ways such as by direct contact, mosquitos, ticks, mites or flies (vectors). An example of this type of infection would be West Nile Virus or Lyme Disease. It is transmitted from birds to people by mosquitoes. It can also be transmitted to horses and other mammals.

Zoonosis or a zoonose is any infectious disease that is able to be transmitted (by a vector) from other animals, both wild and domestic, to humans or from humans to animals (the latter is sometimes called reverse zoonosis). The word is derived from the Greek words zòon (animal) and nosos (ill). Many serious diseases fall under this category.

The simplest definition of a zoonosis is a disease that can be transmitted from other vertebrate animals to humans. A slightly more technical definition is a disease that normally exists in other animals, but also infects humans. The emerging interdisciplinary field of conservation medicine, which integrates human and veterinary medicine, and environmental sciences, is largely concerned with zoonoses.

What Is Meant By Indirect Transmission?

"Indirect transmission includes transfer of the pathogen from the horse to human via vectors such as ticks, mosquitoes, and other ectoparasites (a parasite that lives outside the body). Indirect transmission can occur due to contact with materials that the horse or its excretions have touched, such as towels, bits, saddle pads, or contaminated bedding. These inanimate objects are known as fomites." (Roberta Dwyer, DVM, Dipl. ACVPM) Horse Diseases and Humans is an excellent article discussing many of the diseases that can be transmitted from horse to human. It was published in theHorse.com, September 01 2008, Article #12079 Follow the link.

Medical Index
Horse Facts, Terminology and Tips Index