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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2017 Jul 19;372(1725). pii: 20160163. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2016.0163.

Local disease-ecosystem-livelihood dynamics: reflections from comparative case studies in Africa.

Author information

1
Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RE, UK m.leach@ids.ac.uk.
2
International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya.
3
University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya.
4
Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya.
5
Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
6
College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
7
Geography and Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
8
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
9
Applied Social Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe.
10
University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe.
11
University of Ghana, Legon, Greater Accra, Ghana.
12
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA.
13
Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RE, UK.
14
Kenema Government Hospital, Kenema, Sierra Leone.

Abstract

This article explores the implications for human health of local interactions between disease, ecosystems and livelihoods. Five interdisciplinary case studies addressed zoonotic diseases in African settings: Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Kenya, human African trypanosomiasis in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Lassa fever in Sierra Leone and henipaviruses in Ghana. Each explored how ecological changes and human-ecosystem interactions affect pathogen dynamics and hence the likelihood of zoonotic spillover and transmission, and how socially differentiated peoples' interactions with ecosystems and animals affect their exposure to disease. Cross-case analysis highlights how these dynamics vary by ecosystem type, across a range from humid forest to semi-arid savannah; the significance of interacting temporal and spatial scales; and the importance of mosaic and patch dynamics. Ecosystem interactions and services central to different people's livelihoods and well-being include pastoralism and agro-pastoralism, commercial and subsistence crop farming, hunting, collecting food, fuelwood and medicines, and cultural practices. There are synergies, but also tensions and trade-offs, between ecosystem changes that benefit livelihoods and affect disease. Understanding these can inform 'One Health' approaches towards managing ecosystems in ways that reduce disease risks and burdens.This article is part of the themed issue 'One Health for a changing world: zoonoses, ecosystems and human well-being'.

KEYWORDS:

Africa; disease; ecosystem; livelihoods; zoonosis

PMID:
28584171
PMCID:
PMC5468688
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2016.0163
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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