Navigation Links
Virginia Tech researcher explores role of human behavior in infectious disease emergence
Date:4/29/2010

After studying the interactions of human and animal populations in Africa, Kathleen Alexander, associate professor of wildlife science in Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources, found powerful evidence of how human behavior can influence the emergence of infectious disease in humans and animals.

Although human behavior is frequently cited as a factor that influences disease emergence events, most behavioral research has focused on the pathogen, the reservoir hosts (animals populations that maintain the pathogen in the environment), or the vectors (agents that transmit pathogens from host to host) of infectious disease. To demonstrate the relationship between human behavior and pathogen emergence, Alexander (http://www.fishwild.vt.edu/faculty/alexander.htm) examined how different human behaviors influence disease transmission between domestic dogs and the African wild dog, an endangered species, in Kenya and Botswana. In Africa, the domestic dog is thought to be the primary source of canine diseases leading to the decline of African wild dog populations.

In the journal article, "Human behavior influences infectious disease emergence at the human-animal interface," (http://www.esajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1890/090057) published in the Ecological Society of America's Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (http://www.frontiersinecology.org/), Alexander explains the significant differences in ranging behavior that she found in domestic dogs in Kenya and Botswana, which parallel the differences in disease-related mortality in African wild dog populations. The majority of domestic dogs in Kenya spend the day with grazing cattle, accompanied by herders, whereas in Botswana, most domestic dogs remain in the village, since cattle are normally left to graze unattended. As a result, African wild dogs have much higher disease mortality rates in Kenya, where they have more contact with domestic dogs.

These range differences in domestic dogs are associated with animal husbandry practices that vary between cultures. Using this investigation and similar cases in which human culture has influenced disease emergence, Alexander illustrates the implications of human behavior on infectious disease research and control, and explains how some animal illnesses can be spread to humans. "By promoting infectious disease emergence, human behavior may be the key that unlocks the proverbial Pandora's Box, allowing infectious diseases to emerge," Alexander remarked.

"We are increasingly seeing the threat that zoonotic disease emergence [animal diseases that can be passed to humans] poses to human health. One of the key drivers of emerging infectious disease is human behavior. What people do and how they do it in their environment will strongly shape the risk of pathogen exposure," Alexander said. "We need to better understand human culture and behavior in this context so we are better able to predict where the next pandemic might begin. At present, we can only wait for the next outbreak."


'/>"/>

Contact: Lynn Davis
davisl@vt.edu
540-231-6157
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Bad carbs not the enemy, University of Virginia professor finds
2. Wireless Public Safety Solution From BIO-key(R) and DaProSystems Links Virginia Law Enforcement Agencies
3. Virginia Tech plant scientist leads study on genomics of parasitic plants
4. Motorola Biometric Identification System Selected by West Virginia State Police
5. Flowers fragrance diminished by air pollution, University of Virginia study indicates
6. Motorola Biometric Identification System Selected by West Virginia State Police
7. CSC Identity Labs Headquarters Relocates to West Virginia
8. Taste, odor intervention improves cancer therapy, according to Virginia Tech, Wake Forest study
9. Nine Additional Virginia Law Enforcement Agencies Deploy BIO-key(R) and DaPro Systems Solution
10. Virginia Tech graduate student receives first Rachel Carson award for scientific excellence
11. Nine Additional Virginia Law Enforcement Agencies Deploy BIO-key(R) and DaPro Systems Solution
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Virginia Tech researcher explores role of human behavior in infectious disease emergence
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 First quarter ... (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was ... (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 ... 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... DUBLIN , April 15, 2016 ... of the,  "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ,The global gait ... CAGR of 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. ... movement angles, which can be used to compute ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... BOCA RATON, Florida , March 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect ... Synthetic DNA in ink used in a variety of ... preventing theft. Buyers of originally created collectibles from athletes ... authenticity through forensic analysis of the DNA. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... NeuroTech NYC , the sensor and data driven conferences, will take place on June 7-8, ... UnitedHealth's Vidya Raman-Tangella on incorporating technology -- including AR/VR, machine learning, ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... 2016 Q BioMed Inc. (QBIO), ... Mannin Research Inc. will be attending the Association for ... from May 1-5, 2016 in Seattle Washington ... its vendors and research partners. The meeting provides organizations ... other collaborative opportunities for the MAN-01 program for treatment ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... personalized pain medicine, is excited to announce the launch of the Proove ... health studies, volunteerism, and education to promote the use of personalized medicine for ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Intelligent Implant Systems announced today that the ... for sale in the United States. These components expand the capabilities of the ... one-level sales beginning in October of 2015, the company has seen significant sales growth ...
Breaking Biology Technology: