Project  NIH Madagascar

Identifying ecological and evolutionary drivers of infectious disease transmission pathways in Madagascar

Effect of anthropogenic land-use change on the transmission of infectious agents with zoonotic potential.

Anthropogenic land-cover change affects the community composition of hosts and changes how species interact over time and space. A critical question concerns how land use change alters pathways for the spread of infectious disease, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where these changes are most rapid and impactful on human health. Network analysis provides a way to model changes in connectivity among hosts, with individuals of the same or different species represented as nodes in a transmission potential network (TPN), and the connections among them as edges. Different types of data can be used to generate TPNs for parasites and pathogens with different transmission modes, including shared ectoparasite species to proxy spread of vector borne diseases, and shared non- pathogenic bacteria on the skin (skin microbiome) to represent close contact transmission and environmental overlap.
This research investigates the role of human activities in shaping infectious disease risk in small mammals (tenrecs, rodents, and bats) and domesticated animals and humans in rural Madagascar, coupled with modeling and comparative research at a global scale.

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Project duration : 2019-2024
Geographical area : Madagascar
Funding : National Institutes of Health
Amount for PIMIT : 266 k€
PIMIT coordinator : Pablo TORTOSA (workpackage PI)
Partners :
Duke University, University of California Santa Barbara, Association Vahatra, Dartmouth University, Ben Gurion University
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