Patterns of ecological change and emerging infectious disease in Australasia

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


An unusually rapid and widespread increase in apparently new and changing
infectious diseases has occurred globally over the past four decades. This has
also been a time of accelerated global ecological change. Associations between
the two phenomena are unclear: emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are reported
more frequently in wealthy countries, with greater capacity for resources
for surveillance and detection than less affluent centres, even though the
latter are often undergoing accelerated socioecological change. Here, a series
of transdisciplinary studies is reviewed that test the hypothesis that specific
ecological change accounts for a significant component of the rise in EIDs in the
Australasian region. Amongst the range of mechanisms, factors such as wildlife
adaptation to changing landscapes and selection for antimicrobial resistance
appear to be of major significance. However, exploring multi-scale complex
relationships is a challenge to epidemiology. The importance of framing the
scale of relationships and limitations of available data are discussed. Despite
obstacles, insight into approaches to mitigating disease risk at a landscape level
is expanding.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth of People, Places and Planet: Reflections based on Tony McMichael's four decades of contribution to epidemiological understanding.
EditorsColin Butler, Jane Dixon, Tony Capon
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherANU E Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781925022414
ISBN (Print)9781925022407
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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