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      Pathogenic landscapes: Interactions between land, people, disease vectors, and their animal hosts

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          Abstract

          Background

          Landscape attributes influence spatial variations in disease risk or incidence. We present a review of the key findings from eight case studies that we conducted in Europe and West Africa on the impact of land changes on emerging or re-emerging vector-borne diseases and/or zoonoses. The case studies concern West Nile virus transmission in Senegal, tick-borne encephalitis incidence in Latvia, sandfly abundance in the French Pyrenees, Rift Valley Fever in the Ferlo (Senegal), West Nile Fever and the risk of malaria re-emergence in the Camargue, and rodent-borne Puumala hantavirus and Lyme borreliosis in Belgium.

          Results

          We identified general principles governing landscape epidemiology in these diverse disease systems and geographic regions. We formulated ten propositions that are related to landscape attributes, spatial patterns and habitat connectivity, pathways of pathogen transmission between vectors and hosts, scale issues, land use and ownership, and human behaviour associated with transmission cycles.

          Conclusions

          A static view of the "pathogenecity" of landscapes overlays maps of the spatial distribution of vectors and their habitats, animal hosts carrying specific pathogens and their habitat, and susceptible human hosts and their land use. A more dynamic view emphasizing the spatial and temporal interactions between these agents at multiple scales is more appropriate. We also highlight the complementarity of the modelling approaches used in our case studies. Integrated analyses at the landscape scale allows a better understanding of interactions between changes in ecosystems and climate, land use and human behaviour, and the ecology of vectors and animal hosts of infectious agents.

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          Most cited references 54

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          Effects of environmental change on emerging parasitic diseases.

          Ecological disturbances exert an influence on the emergence and proliferation of malaria and zoonotic parasitic diseases, including, Leishmaniasis, cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, trypanosomiasis, schistosomiasis, filariasis, onchocerciasis, and loiasis. Each environmental change, whether occurring as a natural phenomenon or through human intervention, changes the ecological balance and context within which disease hosts or vectors and parasites breed, develop, and transmit disease. Each species occupies a particular ecological niche and vector species sub-populations are distinct behaviourally and genetically as they adapt to man-made environments. Most zoonotic parasites display three distinct life cycles: sylvatic, zoonotic, and anthroponotic. In adapting to changed environmental conditions, including reduced non-human population and increased human population, some vectors display conversion from a primarily zoophyllic to primarily anthrophyllic orientation. Deforestation and ensuing changes in landuse, human settlement, commercial development, road construction, water control systems (dams, canals, irrigation systems, reservoirs), and climate, singly, and in combination have been accompanied by global increases in morbidity and mortality from emergent parasitic disease. The replacement of forests with crop farming, ranching, and raising small animals can create supportive habitats for parasites and their host vectors. When the land use of deforested areas changes, the pattern of human settlement is altered and habitat fragmentation may provide opportunities for exchange and transmission of parasites to the heretofore uninfected humans. Construction of water control projects can lead to shifts in such vector populations as snails and mosquitoes and their parasites. Construction of roads in previously inaccessible forested areas can lead to erosion, and stagnant ponds by blocking the flow of streams when the water rises during the rainy season. The combined effects of environmentally detrimental changes in local land use and alterations in global climate disrupt the natural ecosystem and can increase the risk of transmission of parasitic diseases to the human population.
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            Climate and satellite indicators to forecast Rift Valley fever epidemics in Kenya.

            All known Rift Valley fever virus outbreaks in East Africa from 1950 to May 1998, and probably earlier, followed periods of abnormally high rainfall. Analysis of this record and Pacific and Indian Ocean sea surface temperature anomalies, coupled with satellite normalized difference vegetation index data, shows that prediction of Rift Valley fever outbreaks may be made up to 5 months in advance of outbreaks in East Africa. Concurrent near-real-time monitoring with satellite normalized difference vegetation data may identify actual affected areas.
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              Effect of Forest Fragmentation on Lyme Disease Risk

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Health Geogr
                International Journal of Health Geographics
                BioMed Central
                1476-072X
                2010
                27 October 2010
                : 9
                : 54
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research, Earth and Life Institute, University of Louvain, 3 place Pasteur, Louvain-la-Neuve, B-1348, Belgium
                [2 ]School of Earth Sciences and Woods Institute, Stanford University, 473 Via Ortega, Stanford, CA 94305-4216, USA
                [3 ]CIRAD, Animal et gestion intégrée des risques (Agirs), CIRAD, Montpellier, France
                [4 ]CIRAD, UMR Territoires, environnement, télédétection et information spatiale (TETIS), CIRAD, Montpellier, France
                [5 ]SAS Nevantropic, Cayenne, French Guiana, France
                [6 ]Spatial Ecology and Epidemiology Group, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Tinbergen Building, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PS, UK
                Article
                1476-072X-9-54
                10.1186/1476-072X-9-54
                2984574
                20979609
                Copyright ©2010 Lambin et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research

                Public health

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