Arctic parasitology: why should we care?

Trends Parasitol. 2011 Jun;27(6):239-45. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Mar 16.


The significant impact on human and animal health from parasitic infections in tropical regions is well known, but parasites of medical and veterinary importance are also found in the Arctic. Subsistence hunting and inadequate food inspection can expose people of the Arctic to foodborne parasites. Parasitic infections can influence the health of wildlife populations and thereby food security. The low ecological diversity that characterizes the Arctic imparts vulnerability. In addition, parasitic invasions and altered transmission of endemic parasites are evident and anticipated to continue under current climate changes, manifesting as pathogen range expansion, host switching, and/or disease emergence or reduction. However, Arctic ecosystems can provide useful models for understanding climate-induced shifts in host-parasite ecology in other regions.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild / parasitology*
  • Arctic Regions / epidemiology
  • Climate Change
  • Disease Reservoirs / parasitology
  • Disease Vectors
  • Food Parasitology
  • Humans
  • Meat / parasitology
  • Parasitic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Parasitic Diseases / transmission*
  • Parasitic Diseases, Animal / epidemiology
  • Parasitic Diseases, Animal / transmission*
  • Public Health*
  • Water / parasitology


  • Water