The HABRI Central Team continues to monitor emerging research and information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit our collection of resources, close

You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Animal influence on water, sanitation and hygiene measures for zoonosis control at the household level: A systematic literature review / About

Animal influence on water, sanitation and hygiene measures for zoonosis control at the household level: A systematic literature review

By Francisco Matilla, Yael Velleman, Wendy Harrison, Mandy Nevel

Category Journal Articles

Neglected zoonotic diseases (NZDs) have a significant impact on the livelihoods of the world’s poorest populations, which often lack access to basic services. Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes are included among the key strategies for achieving the World Health Organization’s 2020 Roadmap for Implementation for control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). There exists a lack of knowledge regarding the effect of animals on the effectiveness of WASH measures.

This review looked to identify how animal presence in the household influences the effectiveness of water, hygiene and sanitation measures for zoonotic disease control in low and middle income countries; to identify gaps of knowledge regarding this topic based on the amount and type of studies looking at this particular interaction.

Studies from three databases (Medline, Web of Science and Global Health) were screened through various stages. Selected articles were required to show burden of one or more zoonotic diseases, an animal component and a WASH component. Selected articles were analysed. A narrative synthesis was chosen for the review.

Only two studies out of 7588 met the inclusion criteria. The studies exemplified how direct or indirect contact between animals and humans within the household can influence the effectiveness of WASH interventions. The analysis also shows the challenges faced by the scientific community to isolate and depict this particular interaction.

The dearth of studies examining animal-WASH interactions is explained by the difficulties associated with studying environmental interventions and the lack of collaboration between the WASH and Veterinary Public Health research communities. Further tailored research under a holistic One Health approach will be required in order to meet the goals set in the NTDs Roadmap and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Publication Title PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume 12
Issue 7
Pages 30
DOI 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006619
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Cats
  4. Health
  5. Hygiene
  6. Infectious diseases
  7. open access
  8. peer-reviewed
  9. sanitation
  10. Swine
  11. Zoonoses
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed