Effects of conservation management of landscapes and vertebrate communities on Lyme borreliosis risk in the United Kingdom

Millins, C. , Gilbert, L., Medlock, J., Hansford, K., Thompson, D. B.A. and Biek, R. (2017) Effects of conservation management of landscapes and vertebrate communities on Lyme borreliosis risk in the United Kingdom. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 372(1722), 20160123. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2016.0123) (PMID:28438912) (PMCID:PMC5413871)

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Abstract

Landscape change and altered host abundance are major drivers of zoonotic pathogen emergence. Conservation and biodiversity management of landscapes and vertebrate communities can have secondary effects on vector-borne pathogen transmission that are important to assess. Here we review the potential implications of these activities on the risk of Lyme borreliosis in the United Kingdom. Conservation management activities include woodland expansion, management and restoration, deer management, urban greening and the release and culling of non-native species. Available evidence suggests that increasing woodland extent, implementing biodiversity policies that encourage ecotonal habitat and urban greening can increase the risk of Lyme borreliosis by increasing suitable habitat for hosts and the tick vectors. However, this can depend on whether deer population management is carried out as part of these conservation activities. Exclusion fencing or culling deer to low densities can decrease tick abundance and Lyme borreliosis risk. As management actions often constitute large-scale perturbation experiments, these hold great potential to understand underlying drivers of tick and pathogen dynamics. We recommend integrating monitoring of ticks and the risk of tick-borne pathogens with conservation management activities. This would help fill knowledge gaps and the production of best practice guidelines to reduce risks.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Biek, Dr Roman and Thompson, Professor Des B Angus and Gilbert, Dr Lucy and Millins, Dr Caroline
Authors: Millins, C., Gilbert, L., Medlock, J., Hansford, K., Thompson, D. B.A., and Biek, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8436
ISSN (Online):1471-2970
Published Online:24 April 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 372(1722):20160123
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
500191BBSRC Doctoral Training Grant 2009-15Massimo PalmariniBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/F016786/1MVLS III - CENTRE FOR VIRUS RESEARCH