How will climate change pathways and mitigation options alter incidence of vector-borne diseases? A framework for leishmaniasis in South and Meso-America

Purse, Bethan V.; Masante, Dario; Golding, Nicholas; Pigott, David; Day, John C.; Ibañez-Bernal, Sergio; Kolb, Melanie; Jones, Laurence. 2017 How will climate change pathways and mitigation options alter incidence of vector-borne diseases? A framework for leishmaniasis in South and Meso-America. PLoS ONE, 12 (10), e0183583. 22, pp.

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The enormous global burden of vector-borne diseases disproportionately affects poor people in tropical, developing countries. Changes in vector-borne disease impacts are often linked to human modification of ecosystems as well as climate change. For tropical ecosystems, the health impacts of future environmental and developmental policy depend on how vector-borne disease risks trade off against other ecosystem services across heterogeneous landscapes. By linking future socio-economic and climate change pathways to dynamic land use models, this study is amongst the first to analyse and project impacts of both land use and climate change on continental-scale patterns in vector-borne diseases. Models were developed for cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis in the Americas—ecologically complex sand fly borne infections linked to tropical forests and diverse wild and domestic mammal hosts. Both diseases were hypothesised to increase with available interface habitat between forest and agricultural or domestic habitats and with mammal biodiversity. However, landscape edge metrics were not important as predictors of leishmaniasis. Models including mammal richness were similar in accuracy and predicted disease extent to models containing only climate and land use predictors. Overall, climatic factors explained 80% and land use factors only 20% of the variance in past disease patterns. Both diseases, but especially cutaneous leishmaniasis, were associated with low seasonality in temperature and precipitation. Since such seasonality increases under future climate change, particularly under strong climate forcing, both diseases were predicted to contract in geographical extent to 2050, with cutaneous leishmaniasis contracting by between 35% and 50%. Whilst visceral leishmaniasis contracted slightly more under strong than weak management for carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem services, future cutaneous leishmaniasis extent was relatively insensitive to future alternative socio-economic pathways. Models parameterised at narrower geographical scales may be more sensitive to land use pattern and project more substantial changes in disease extent under future alternative socio-economic pathways.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Emmett
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Health
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 27 Oct 2017 10:06 +0 (UTC)

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