This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word I came across that I have never previously used.
n., adj. an epizootic is the nonhuman equivalent of a disease epidemic, meaning that significantly higher numbers of animals are infected with a given disease than would normally be expected. As is the case with human epidemics, high population density is an enabling factor in epizootics.
Modern bioengineering research is focused on harnessing the microbes that cause epizootics and manipulating them to become living agents of pest control. Due to the pathogen's specificity to a particular host, the risk from these modified microbes to humans and other non-specific life forms in the environment is minimal.
The word is derived from the Greek epi- "upon" and zoos - "animals."