The landscape epidemiology of echinococcoses

Infect Dis Poverty. 2016 Feb 19;5:13. doi: 10.1186/s40249-016-0109-x.

Abstract

Echinococcoses are parasitic diseases of major public health importance globally. Human infection results in chronic disease with poor prognosis and serious medical, social and economic consequences for vulnerable populations. According to recent estimates, the geographical distribution of Echinococcus spp. infections is expanding and becoming an emerging and re-emerging problem in several regions of the world. Echinococcosis endemicity is geographically heterogeneous and over time it may be affected by global environmental change. Therefore, landscape epidemiology offers a unique opportunity to quantify and predict the ecological risk of infection at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Here, we review the most relevant environmental sources of spatial variation in human echinococcosis risk, and describe the potential applications of landscape epidemiological studies to characterise the current patterns of parasite transmission across natural and human-altered landscapes. We advocate future work promoting the use of this approach as a support tool for decision-making that facilitates the design, implementation and monitoring of spatially targeted interventions to reduce the burden of human echinococcoses in disease-endemic areas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Echinococcosis / epidemiology*
  • Echinococcosis / parasitology
  • Echinococcosis / prevention & control
  • Echinococcus / classification
  • Echinococcus / genetics
  • Echinococcus / isolation & purification
  • Echinococcus / physiology*
  • Global Health
  • Humans