Mercedes PASCUAL


Climate forcing and the population dynamics of infectious diseases in changing human landscapes


Abstract: Among infectious diseases, water-borne and vector-borne infections are those potentially most susceptible to climate forcing because of the environmental nature of their transmission routes. This talk presents two case studies on the influence of climate variability on such diseases, the first one on cholera in Bangladesh, and the second one on desert malaria in northwest India.  Results illustrate the clear role played by climate variability as a major driver of the population dynamics of both diseases, while also underscoring the increasing need to understand this role in the context of changing human ‘landscapes’.  For cholera, the influence of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and flooding is examined in the megacity of Dhaka.  For desert malaria in India, the influence of rainfall is considered together with how this influence is modified by irrigation-based development.  Evidence is presented for a complex interaction between intervention levels and climate forcing in a long-lasting transition between rainfall-driven epidemics and sustainable elimination.

Updated on 06/02/2014