Animaux humains
Special feature
2 min

Animal health - it’s our health too.

Animals and humans share the same ecosystems. Ensuring animal health and well-being also means protecting our health. The circulation of viruses, bacteria and parasites between animals and humans, interactions between wildlife and livestock, the emergence of potentially zoonotic diseases, pathogens transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes, and resistance to antibiotics: read our analyses for insights into all these topics.

Portrait de Gilles Salvat“It is impossible to treat human health issues without understanding animal health, and vice versa.” 

Gilles Salvat, Managing Director General of the Research and Reference Division

“Today, 60% of infectious diseases are shared by humans and animals alike, and 75% of emerging infectious diseases originate in animals.” The COVID-19 epidemic has highlighted these interactions and the fact that it is impossible to treat human health issues without an understanding of animal health, and vice versa.

Most of the current emerging threats originate in the tropics, where human intrusion into complex ecosystems has resulted in new viruses crossing over from animals to humans. Moreover, climate change and the international animal trade could lead to the emergence or re-emergence of zoonotic pathogens in Europe. Pathogens such as avian influenza viruses should be especially monitored. The emergence of infectious diseases, especially from wildlife, has placed a spotlight on the concept of "One Health", which posits that we share the same planet and the same pathogens and infectious diseases with animals.

Because we work at the interface of animal health, food safety and environmental health, we place great emphasis on the continuum between humans, animals and our shared environment. This includes studying the complex interactions between pathogens, human and animal organisms and their roles in cross-species transmission. Science must talk to science. This means strengthening exchanges between specialists in animal health and human medicine. It is in the interest of the scientific communities to share their knowledge on the pathogens that are their common concern. 

3 to 5
new diseases cross over to humans from the animal world every year

Ten key points on the interactions between animal and human health

A better understanding of the pathogens circulating in animals helps us prepare for future epidemics in humans. Zoonoses, transmission of diseases between species, emerging threats, epizootics and epidemics... >> Our review of these key concepts 

Wildlife, a reservoir for pathogens

Faune Sauvage

Natural environments are home to a wide variety of animal species. Some of them carry pathogens that domestic animals and humans do not normally come into contact with. How can we better understand and combat such transmission? >> Decoding the issues surrounding wildlife

Ticks and mosquitoes: growing concerns for these disease vectors


Lyme disease, chikungunya, dengue, etc. The pathogens responsible for these diseases are transmitted by vectors such as ticks and mosquitoes. International trade, climate change and urbanisation favour the spread of these vectors and diseases beyond their usual areas of distribution. > Learn all about vectors and the issues associated with their control

The challenges of antibiotic resistance


The frequent and sometimes unjustified use of antibiotics, both in human and veterinary medicine, has led to the proliferation of bacteria resistant to these treatments. And yet, these resistant bacteria can be transmitted from animals to humans, and vice versa. >> Eleven questions on antimicrobial resistance in animal health

"Agent tous risques": a mysterious disease has come to light, and you are the scientist in charge! (in French)

Zootopique, the podcast that looks at the links between human and animal health (in French)



In its “Zootopique” podcast series, ANSES invites listeners to take a trip into the future for a close-up look at the relationship between human and animal health. Listen, or re-listen, to season 1 (in French)

Season 2… coming soon (in French)