The correlation between human activities and alterations in animal health patterns

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Anticipating how the increasing intensity of human-environment interactions will affect pathogen transmission is essential in predicting changing disease risks and determining appropriate mitigation strategies.

A new study has shown how changes in the environment lead to the emergence of animal-borne diseases, leading to a better understanding of their transmission mechanism and better ability to predict the risks of transmission.

Measuring clear thresholds for anthropogenic impacts that can lead to increases and decreases in various diseases is the first step of many that allow us to integrate human health impacts into planning and policy to properly place human health alongside biodiversity and ecosystem services.

— Eloise Skinner (@DrEloiseSkinner) March 14, 2023

For the first time, researchers at Griffith University, Stanford University and the University of California used cumulative stress mapping and machine learning to better understand how six vector-borne diseases (borne by stinging insects) in different environments respond to human exposure. stressors.

First, we used a set of variables to predict the emergence of six vector-borne diseases that differed in ecology but placed a huge burden on human health.
Often (but not always) the human footprint was an important predictor of occurrence (sometimes > land class/climate).

— Eloise Skinner (@DrEloiseSkinner) March 14, 2023

The study was published in the journal Nature Sustainability and the results showed that diseases associated with low levels of human stress, including malaria, cutaneous leishmaniasis, and visceral leishmaniasis (also known as black fever), have given way to diseases associated with high human stress, such as dengue fever, chikungunya and zika.

Hot from the press! New paper published today @natureustainab where we found that the human footprint is not only an important predictor of the occurrence of vector-borne diseases, but there are also specific human footprint thresholds that various diseases occupy.🧵

— Eloise Skinner (@DrEloiseSkinner) March 14, 2023

Vector-borne diseases threaten more than 1/2 of the world’s population. New research in @natureustainab highlights the main reasons and considerations for the decision. @StanfordEarth

— Stanford Global Health Innovation Center (@StanfordCIGH) March 13, 2023

Human impact on the earth

“People are really good at changing the Earth. Up to 95% of the earth’s surface has been modified in some way by humans. We know that by changing the surface of the Earth, we are also changing the species community that includes plants. , animals and insects. What we didn’t know until recently is how these changes in species affect disease risk for humans.”

Dr. Skinner explained that the results of the study enhance the ability to anticipate these shifts and will support a dynamic public health infrastructure that can adapt to changes in incidence over space and time.

Vector-borne diseases are a global problem

Vector-borne diseases (VDVs) are highly responsive to environmental changes, but such responses are known to be difficult to isolate because pathogen transmission depends on a combination of environmental and social responses of vectors and hosts that can vary between species.

With more than half of the world’s population at risk of contracting a vector-borne disease, Dr. Skinner and the research team realized that environmental changes that affect each disease’s unique transmission cycle present various challenges.

She said: “Vectors and pathogens often occupy their own unique niche, with each cycle of transmission responding distinctly to changing environments. With increased human pressure, one would expect shifts in the incidence of various diseases. For example, dengue fever is a highly urbanized disease.” Malaria is on the brink of deforestation, but how urban does an area have to be for dengue to become a threat?

These are some of the questions the team has been looking to answer, shedding light on thresholds for land-use change that could lead to dramatic changes in infectious disease burden and public health needs.

For the first time, the team was able to define clear thresholds for human exposure caused by specific diseases.

Comparing six vector-borne diseases in Brazil, the team found that during a critical period when the human signature changed from moderate (4-7) to high (7-12) to severe (>12), the incidence suddenly switched from malaria. , cutaneous leishmaniasis and leishmaniasis, visceral leishmaniasis, dengue, chikungunya and Zika (arthropod viruses transmitted by the urban mosquito Aedes aegypti).

“These diseases require strong vector control, diagnosis, and environmental management,” said Dr. Skinner. “Because medical and chemical approaches alone have not been able to sustainably eradicate these diseases, managing the social and environmental conditions that promote pathogen transmission, is a critical task. frontier for planetary health. And when combined with climate pressures, human pressure poses a significant risk of disease occurrence and transmission, and thus poses a serious threat to human well-being and the environment.

She added: “Brazil was an ideal location for a case study to assess human impact on disease transmission because it is a large and environmentally, socially and economically diverse country with many dynamic geographical regions, intense and changing pressures on land use, and a high incidence of multiple diseases. with contrast media and a multi-year disease surveillance system.”


I am the author for Gaming Ideology and loves to play Battle Royale games and loves to stream and write about them. I am a freelancer and now is the permanent member of Gaming Ideology.

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