Pathogen spillover during land conversion

Faust, C. L. , McCallum, H. I., Bloomfield, L. S.P., Gottdenker, N. L., Gillespie, T. R., Torney, C. J. , Dobson, A. P. and Plowright, R. K. (2018) Pathogen spillover during land conversion. Ecology Letters, 21(4), pp. 471-483. (doi:10.1111/ele.12904) (PMID:29466832)

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Abstract

Pathogen spillover from wildlife to domestic animals and humans, and the reverse, has caused significant epidemics and pandemics worldwide. Although pathogen emergence has been linked to anthropogenic land conversion, a general framework to disentangle underlying processes is lacking. We develop a multi-host model for pathogen transmission between species inhabiting intact and converted habitat. Interspecies contacts and host populations vary with the proportion of land converted; enabling us to quantify infection risk across a changing landscape. In a range of scenarios, the highest spillover risk occurs at intermediate levels of habitat loss, whereas the largest, but rarest, epidemics occur at extremes of land conversion. This framework provides insights into the mechanisms driving disease emergence and spillover during land conversion. The finding that the risk of spillover is highest at intermediate levels of habitat loss provides important guidance for conservation and public health policy.

Item Type:Articles (Letter)
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Faust, Christina and Torney, Dr Colin
Authors: Faust, C. L., McCallum, H. I., Bloomfield, L. S.P., Gottdenker, N. L., Gillespie, T. R., Torney, C. J., Dobson, A. P., and Plowright, R. K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Mathematics
Journal Name:Ecology Letters
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1461-023X
ISSN (Online):1461-0248
Published Online:21 February 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
First Published:First published in Ecology Letters 21(4):471-483
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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