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Trends Parasitol. 2014 Apr;30(4):205-14. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2014.02.003. Epub 2014 Mar 11.

Effects of environmental change on zoonotic disease risk: an ecological primer.

Author information

1
Department of Animal Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Miguel Servet, 177, 50013-Zaragoza, Spain. Electronic address: aestrada@unizar.es.
2
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY 12545-0129, USA.
3
The University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute, Lawrence, KS 66045-7593, USA.
4
Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand.
5
SaBio, IREC, Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain; Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA.

Abstract

Impacts of environmental changes on zoonotic disease risk are the subject of speculation, but lack a coherent framework for understanding environmental drivers of pathogen transmission from animal hosts to humans. We review how environmental factors affect the distributions of zoonotic agents and their transmission to humans, exploring the roles they play in zoonotic systems. We demonstrate the importance of capturing the distributional ecology of any species involved in pathogen transmission, defining the environmental conditions required, and the projection of that niche onto geography. We further review how environmental changes may alter the dispersal behaviour of populations of any component of zoonotic disease systems. Such changes can modify relative importance of different host species for pathogens, modifying contact rates with humans.

KEYWORDS:

abiotic niche; biotic factors; interspecific transfer barrier; zoonotic diseases

PMID:
24636356
DOI:
10.1016/j.pt.2014.02.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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