A framework for evaluating animals as sentinels for infectious disease surveillance

Jo E B Halliday, Anna L Meredith, Darryn L Knobel, Darren J Shaw, Mark Bronsvoort, Sarah Cleaveland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dynamics of infectious diseases are highly variable. Host ranges, host responses to pathogens and the relationships between hosts are heterogeneous. Here, we argue that the use of animal sentinels has the potential to use this variation and enable the exploitation of a wide range of pathogen hosts for surveillance purposes. Animal sentinels may be used to address many surveillance questions, but they may currently be underused as a surveillance tool and there is a need for improved interdisciplinary collaboration and communication in order to fully explore the potential of animal sentinels. In different contexts, different animal hosts will themselves vary in their capacity to provide useful information. We describe a conceptual framework within which the characteristics of different host populations and their potential value as sentinels can be evaluated in a broad range of settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-84
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Royal Society, Interface
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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