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Large-scale determinants of intestinal schistosomiasis and intermediate host snail distribution across Africa : does climate matter?

Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie and Utzinger, Jürg and Vounatsou, Penelope and Hürlimann, Eveline and Schur, Nadine and Saarnak, Christopher F. L. and Simoonga, Christopher and Mubita, Patricia and Kabatereine, Narcis B. and Tchuem Tchuenté, Louis-Albert and Rahbek, Carsten and Kristensen, Thomas K.. (2013) Large-scale determinants of intestinal schistosomiasis and intermediate host snail distribution across Africa : does climate matter? Acta tropica : Zeitschrift für Tropenwissenschaften und Tropenmedizin, 128 (2). pp. 378-390.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6212294

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Abstract

The geographical ranges of most species, including many infectious disease agents and their vectors and intermediate hosts, are assumed to be constrained by climatic tolerances, mainly temperature. It has been suggested that global warming will cause an expansion of the areas potentially suitable for infectious disease transmission. However, the transmission of infectious diseases is governed by a myriad of ecological, economic, evolutionary and social factors. Hence, a deeper understanding of the total disease system (pathogens, vectors and hosts) and its drivers is important for predicting responses to climate change. Here, we combine a growing degree day model for Schistosoma mansoni with species distribution models for the intermediate host snail (Biomphalaria spp.) to investigate large-scale environmental determinants of the distribution of the African S. mansoni-Biomphalaria system and potential impacts of climatic changes. Snail species distribution models included several combinations of climatic and habitat-related predictors; the latter divided into "natural" and "human-impacted" habitat variables to measure anthropogenic influence. The predictive performance of the combined snail-parasite model was evaluated against a comprehensive compilation of historical S. mansoni parasitological survey records, and then examined for two climate change scenarios of increasing severity for 2080. Future projections indicate that while the potential S. mansoni transmission area expands, the snail ranges are more likely to contract and/or move into cooler areas in the south and east. Importantly, we also note that even though climate per se matters, the impact of humans on habitat play a crucial role in determining the distribution of the intermediate host snails in Africa. Thus, a future contraction in the geographical range size of the intermediate host snails caused by climatic changes does not necessarily translate into a decrease or zero-sum change in human schistosomiasis prevalence.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Biostatistics > Bayesian Modelling and Analysis (Vounatsou)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Eco System Health Sciences > Health Impact Assessment (Utzinger)
UniBasel Contributors:Utzinger, Jürg and Vounatsou, Penelope
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Elsevier Science Publ.
ISSN:0001-706X
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:24 Oct 2017 08:05
Deposited On:18 Jul 2014 09:10

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