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Ecological Approaches to Studying Zoonoses

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  • Authors: Elizabeth H. Loh1, Kris A. Murray2, Carlos Zambrana-Torrelio3, Parviez R. Hosseini4, Melinda K. Rostal5, William B. Karesh6, Peter Daszak7
  • Editors: Ronald M. Atlas8, Stanley Maloy9
  • VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY 10001; 2: EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY 10001; 3: EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY 10001; 4: EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY 10001; 5: EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY 10001; 6: EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY 10001; 7: EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY 10001; 8: University of Louisville, Louisville, KY; 9: San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
  • Source: microbiolspec December 2013 vol. 1 no. 2 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0009-2012
  • Received 09 October 2012 Accepted 08 December 2012 Published 13 December 2013
  • Elizabeth H. Loh, loh@ecohealthalliance.org
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  • Abstract:

    Concern over emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) and a better understanding of their causes has resulted in increasing recognition of the linkages among human, animal, and ecosystem health. It is now well recognized that human activities can promote the emergence of infectious diseases through the large-scale modification of natural environments and inadvertent vectoring (e.g., international trade and travel). These perturbations can alter the ecological and evolutionary relationships among humans, wildlife, and the pathogens that move between them, resulting in disease emergence. In recent years, the rise in zoonotic EIDs has not only increased our awareness of the need for cross-sectoral collaborations, but has also highlighted the disconnect between current ecological theory and biological reality. As the One Health movement continues to gain steam, further integration of ecological approaches into the One Health framework will be required. We discuss the importance of ecological methods and theory to the study of zoonotic diseases by (i) discussing key ecological concepts and approaches, (ii) reviewing methods of studying wildlife diseases and their potential applications for zoonoses, and (iii) identifying future directions in the One Health movement.

  • Citation: Loh E, Murray K, Zambrana-Torrelio C, Hosseini P, Rostal M, Karesh W, Daszak P. 2013. Ecological Approaches to Studying Zoonoses. Microbiol Spectrum 1(2):OH-0009-2012. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0009-2012.

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Infectious Diseases
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Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
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Human Infectious Diseases
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2013-12-13
2017-11-23

Abstract:

Concern over emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) and a better understanding of their causes has resulted in increasing recognition of the linkages among human, animal, and ecosystem health. It is now well recognized that human activities can promote the emergence of infectious diseases through the large-scale modification of natural environments and inadvertent vectoring (e.g., international trade and travel). These perturbations can alter the ecological and evolutionary relationships among humans, wildlife, and the pathogens that move between them, resulting in disease emergence. In recent years, the rise in zoonotic EIDs has not only increased our awareness of the need for cross-sectoral collaborations, but has also highlighted the disconnect between current ecological theory and biological reality. As the One Health movement continues to gain steam, further integration of ecological approaches into the One Health framework will be required. We discuss the importance of ecological methods and theory to the study of zoonotic diseases by (i) discussing key ecological concepts and approaches, (ii) reviewing methods of studying wildlife diseases and their potential applications for zoonoses, and (iii) identifying future directions in the One Health movement.

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FIGURE 1

The One Health approach recognizes the inherent relationships among human, environmental, and animal health. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0009-2012.f1

Source: microbiolspec December 2013 vol. 1 no. 2 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0009-2012
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Dynamic equilibrium model of island biogeography. The effects of island size (small [S] and large [L]) and island isolation (near [N] and far [F]) on the number of species (S) and the rate of species turnover (T) are represented. From reference 83 . doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0009-2012.f2

Source: microbiolspec December 2013 vol. 1 no. 2 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0009-2012
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