+1 Recommend
2 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Positioning zoonotic disease research in forced migration: A systematic literature review of theoretical frameworks and approaches

      1 , * , 2
      PLoS ONE
      Public Library of Science

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.



          The emergence and transmission of zoonotic diseases are driven by complex interactions between health, environmental, and socio-political systems. Human movement is considered a significant and increasing factor in these processes, yet forced migration remains an understudied area of zoonotic research–due in part to the complexity of conducting interdisciplinary research in these settings.


          We conducted a systematic review to identify and analyze theoretical frameworks and approaches used to study linkages between forced migration and zoonotic diseases.


          We searched within eight electronic databases: ProQuest, SCOPUS, Web of Science, PubMed, PLoSOne, Science Direct, JSTOR, and Google Scholar, to identify a) research articles focusing on zoonoses considering forced migrants in their study populations, and b) forced migration literature which engaged with zoonotic disease. Both authors conducted a full-text review, evaluating the quality of literature reviews and primary data using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) model, while theoretical papers were evaluated for quality using a theory synthesis adapted from Bonell et al. (2013). Qualitative data were synthesized thematically according to the method suggested by Noblit and Hare (1988).


          Analyses of the 23 included articles showed the increasing use of interdisciplinary frameworks and approaches over time, the majority of which stemmed from political ecology. Approaches such as EcoHealth and One Health were increasingly popular, but were more often linked to program implementation and development than broader contextual research. The majority of research failed to acknowledge the heterogeneity of migrant populations, lacked contextual depth, and insufficient acknowledgments of migrant agency in responding to zoonotic threats.


          Addressing the emergence and spread of zoonoses in forced migration contexts requires more careful consideration and use of interdisciplinary research to integrate the contributions of social and natural science approaches. Robust interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks are an important step for better understanding the complex health, environment, and socio-political drivers of zoonotic diseases in forced migration. Lessons can be learned from the application of these approaches in other hard-to-reach or seldom-heard populations.

          Related collections

          Most cited references114

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Book: not found

          Governing the Commons

            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: found

            Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch: report of The Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on planetary health

              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Syndemics and the biosocial conception of health.

              The syndemics model of health focuses on the biosocial complex, which consists of interacting, co-present, or sequential diseases and the social and environmental factors that promote and enhance the negative effects of disease interaction. This emergent approach to health conception and clinical practice reconfigures conventional historical understanding of diseases as distinct entities in nature, separate from other diseases and independent of the social contexts in which they are found. Rather, all of these factors tend to interact synergistically in various and consequential ways, having a substantial impact on the health of individuals and whole populations. Specifically, a syndemics approach examines why certain diseases cluster (ie, multiple diseases affecting individuals and groups); the pathways through which they interact biologically in individuals and within populations, and thereby multiply their overall disease burden, and the ways in which social environments, especially conditions of social inequality and injustice, contribute to disease clustering and interaction as well as to vulnerability. In this Series, the contributions of the syndemics approach for understanding both interacting chronic diseases in social context, and the implications of a syndemics orientation to the issue of health rights, are examined.

                Author and article information

                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: ResourcesRole: SupervisionRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: ResourcesRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                26 July 2021
                26 July 2021
                : 16
                : 7
                : e0254746
                [1 ] Department of Anthropology, University College London, London, United Kingdom
                [2 ] Disease Dynamics Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
                Jhpiego, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Author information
                © 2021 Tasker, Braam

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                : 11 March 2021
                : 27 June 2021
                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 2, Pages: 18
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000865, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation;
                Award ID: OPP1144
                Award Recipient :
                DB is funded by the Gates-Cambridge Trust (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [OPP1144]). The funding body had no involvement in the design, writing, or decision to publish of this manuscript.
                Research Article
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Medical Conditions
                Infectious Diseases
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Health Care
                Socioeconomic Aspects of Health
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Public and Occupational Health
                Socioeconomic Aspects of Health
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Public and Occupational Health
                Global Health
                People and Places
                Social Sciences
                Political Science
                Political Aspects of Health
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Health Care
                Environmental Health
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Public and Occupational Health
                Environmental Health
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Veterinary Science
                Veterinary Diseases
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Health Care
                Health Care Policy
                Health Systems Strengthening
                Custom metadata
                As a systematic review, all data are available through the protocol included in the study text.



                Comment on this article