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National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases

  • Did You Know...?

  • Zoonotic Diseases: Approximately 75% of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans are diseases of animal origin; approximately 60% of all human pathogens are zoonotic.
  • Foodborne Illness: Each year, foodborne pathogens cause an estimated 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States.
  • Vectorborne Diseases: There have been 1.5 million West Nile virus infections since 1999. 2.5 billion people are at risk for dengue in more than 100 endemic countries with 50 million cases of dengue fever each year.
  • Malaria: There are between 300 and 500 million cases of malaria worldwide, and one million malaria deaths each year. Approximately 1,300 U.S. travelers contract malaria each year.
  • Healthy Water: One billion people in the world lack access to safe water for drinking, personal hygiene, and domestic use.
  • The Threat of Bioterrorism: ZVED scientists and researchers work on bioterrorism critical agents, including anthrax, plague, tularemia, and hemorrhagic viruses.
The National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (ZVED) was newly organized in April 2007 under CDC’s Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases. ZVED provides leadership, expertise, and service in laboratory and epidemiological science, bioterrorism preparedness, applied research, disease surveillance, and outbreak response for infectious diseases. This new Center brings together some of the oldest components of the agency – those dealing with viral, bacterial, parasitic, and other communicable diseases. ZVED combines these functions in a multidisciplinary strategy to understand, prevent, control and – where possible – eliminate infectious diseases within a larger ecologic context.

This ecological context includes humans, animals, and plants interacting in the complex, ever-changing natural environment.

ZVED’s Compelling Vision

ZVED’s vision is to improve health by reducing the impact of infectious diseases using a comprehensive approach to ensure that human interactions with animals, animal products, wildlife, and the natural environment are healthier and safer.

Director of ZVED

Lonnie J. King, DVM
The center is led by Lonnie J. King, DVM, whose training and background is as a veterinarian. Dr. King’s expertise lies in food safety and security, emerging diseases, new zoonoses, and bioterrorism. “We are in a new era of emerging and reemerging zoonotic diseases. Episodes of emerging zoonoses are increasingly recognized around the world, and the confluence of people, animals, and animal products today is unprecedented. Our center recognizes the inextricable link between humans, animals, and the environment.”

ZVED’s multidisciplinary approaches for understanding the dynamic world of infectious disease ecology and zoonotic diseases are accomplished within four divisions.

ZVED´s Four Divisions

Bacillus anthracis bacteria.

An electron micrograph of spores from the Sterne strain of Bacillus anthracis bacteria.

Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases

  • Bacterial zoonoses such as anthrax, brucellosis, and leptospirosis
  • Botulism
  • Fungal infections
  • FoodNet: the foodborne disease active surveillance network
  • PulseNet: the national molecular subtyping network for foodborne disease surveillance
  • Safe Water System: developing simple and inexpensive technologies for the developing world

Mosquito biting a human.

This female Anopheles freeborni is taking a blood meal from a human host by pumping the ingested blood through her "labrum".

Division of Parasitic Diseases

  • Guinea worm eradication
  • Control of neglected tropical diseases
  • Malaria surveillance, prevention, and control
  • Chagas disease prevention and safeguarding the blood supply
  • Healthy water

Brain tissue from a West Nile encephalitis patient.

Brain tissue from a West Nile encephalitis patient.

Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases

Ebola virions.

This scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicts a number of Ebola virions.

Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases

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Page last modified: July 11, 2008
Content Source: National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (ZVED)