Infectious disease

Today's powerpoint file

Please bring data slides from Powerpoint file for today's in-class exercise

Major transitions since the advent of agriculture:

10,000 - 5,000 years ago: agriculture enabled sylvatic enzootic microbes to make contact with Homo sapiens

3,000 - 2,000 years ago: Early Eurasian civilizations came into military and commercial contact

500 - 200 years ago: European expansionism caused transoceanic spread

Today: Fourth great transitional (e.g., Legionnaire's disease, Lyme disease, Ebola, HIV/AIDS, BSE, West Nile virus, SARS, tuberculosis, cholera, dengue fever, malaria)

Biblical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse represented, two millennia ago in the eastern Mediterranean region, the four main recurring scourges faced by humans. They were conceptualized in population-level terms, a perspective largely lacking today.

Success stories rooted in research, education, and action

Causal links between infectious disease and the other spikes are difficult to separate and quantify (thus, usually we will call them correlates instead of causes)



Poor sanitation (often results from inadequate infrastructure)

Proximity to animals

Regional warming

Outcomes include extinction of species, reduced human life span, and increased mortality rates


Links to vegetation management

Role of interactions, synergy, cumulative effects largely unknown

Additional Information (also see assigned readings):

Butler C.D., C.F. Corvalan, and H.S. Koren (2005) Human health, well-being, and global ecological scenarios. Ecosystems 8:153-162.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Epstein, P. (2002) Climate change and infectious disease: stormy weather ahead? Epidemiology 13:373-375.

Harvell, C.D., C.E. Mitchell, J.R. Ward, S. Altizer, A.P. Dobson, R.S. Ostfeld, and M.D. Samuel (2002) Climate warming and disease risks for terrestrial and marine biota. Science 296:2158-2162.

Kolivras, K.N and Comrie, A.C. (2004) Climate and infectious disease in the southwestern United States. Progress in Physical Geography 28:387-398.

Kremen, C. And R.S. Ostfeld (2005) A call to ecologists: measuring, analyzing, and managing ecosystem services. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10:540-548.

Lederberg, J. (1997) Infectious disease as an evolutionary paradigm. Emerging Infectious Diseases 3:417-423.

McMichael, A.J. (2004) Environmental and social influences on emerging infectious diseases: past, present and future. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, B 359:1049-1058.

Morse, S.S. (1995) Factors in the emergence of infectious diseases. Emerging Infectious Diseases 1:7-15.

Patz, J.A. (2002) A human disease indicator for the effects of recent global climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 99:12506-12508.

Patz, J.A., D. Campbell-Lendrum, T. Holloway, and J.A. Foley (2005) Impact of regional climate change on human health. Nature 438:310-317.

Torchin, M.E. and C.E. Mitchell (2004) Parasites, pathogens, and invasions by plants and animals. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9:183-190.

United States government's website on pandemic flu

Woolhouse, M.E.J. and S. Gowtage-Sequeria (2005) Host range and emerging and reemerging pathogens. Emerging Infectious Diseases 11:1842-1847.

Woolhouse, M.E.J., D.T. Haydon, and R. Antia (2005) Emerging pathogens: the epidemiology and evolution of species jumps. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20:238-244.