The role of mammals as carriers of pathogens with zoonotic potential

  • Gloria Tapia-Ramírez Departamento de Conservación de la Biodiversidad, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
  • Itandehui Hernández-Aguilar Laboratorio de Ecología Animal, Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación para el Desarrollo Integral Regional, Unidad Oaxaca, Instituto Politécnico Nacional
Palabras clave: Murciélagos, México, roedores, Didelphidae, zoonosis


The COVID-19 pandemic, which occurred 4 years ago, left behind a renewed interest in the discussion of the role of mammals as carriers of pathogens with zoonotic potential.  Previously, Han et al. (2016) stated that the mammalian orders with the highest number of species carrying this type of pathogens were Rodentia, Carnivora, and Chiroptera.  It was also noted that the areas of the Earth with the most mammalian carriers matched the areas with high biological biodiversity, i.e., those between latitudes 40° N and 40° S (Morse et al. 2012; Allen et al. 2017).  México is home to a high diversity of mammals (564 species; Sánchez-Cordero et al. 2014), and the orders mentioned above rank in the top 3 places in species richness (Rodentia 254, Chiroptera 144, and Carnivora 41).  So, it is important to know their role as reservoirs or carriers of etiological agents that can spread from animals to humans.  This is especially important because of the current loss rate of the original vegetation cover (for example, México lost 758,000 ha of tropical forest between 2002 and 2023; Global Forest Watch 2024) and because more people are moving into cities, which could make it easier for animals and people to come into contact with each other, potentially leading to a spillover. Given this scenario, this special issue of Therya Notes entitled “The Role of Mammals as Carriers of Pathogens with Zoonotic Potential” presents advances on the topic in the American continent through 11 notes focused on rodents, bats, and marsupials.

Cómo citar
Tapia-Ramírez, G., & Hernández-Aguilar, I. (2024). The role of mammals as carriers of pathogens with zoonotic potential. Therya Notes, 5, 84-85.

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