Challenges in predicting climate and environmental effects on vector-borne disease episystems in a changing world.

TitleChallenges in predicting climate and environmental effects on vector-borne disease episystems in a changing world.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsTabachnick, WJ
JournalThe Journal of experimental biology
Volume213
Issue6
Pagination946-54
Date Published2010 Mar 15
ISSN1477-9145
KeywordsAnimals, Arthropod Vectors, Climate, Climate change, Communicable Diseases, Disease Outbreaks, Environment, Humans, World Health
Abstract

Vector-borne pathogens cause enormous suffering to humans and animals. Many are expanding their range into new areas. Dengue, West Nile and Chikungunya have recently caused substantial human epidemics. Arthropod-borne animal diseases like Bluetongue, Rift Valley fever and African horse sickness pose substantial threats to livestock economies around the world. Climate change can impact the vector-borne disease epidemiology. Changes in climate will influence arthropod vectors, their life cycles and life histories, resulting in changes in both vector and pathogen distribution and changes in the ability of arthropods to transmit pathogens. Climate can affect the way pathogens interact with both the arthropod vector and the human or animal host. Predicting and mitigating the effects of future changes in the environment like climate change on the complex arthropod-pathogen-host epidemiological cycle requires understanding of a variety of complex mechanisms from the molecular to the population level. Although there has been substantial progress on many fronts the challenges to effectively understand and mitigate the impact of potential changes in the environment on vector-borne pathogens are formidable and at an early stage of development. The challenges will be explored using several arthropod-borne pathogen systems as illustration, and potential avenues to meet the challenges will be presented.

Alternate JournalJ. Exp. Biol.