Discovering environmental management opportunities for infectious disease control

Ludovica Beltrame*, Hannah Rose Vineer, Josephine G. Walker, Eric R. Morgan, Peter Vickerman, Thorsten Wagener

*Corresponding author for this work

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Climate change and emerging drug resistance make the control of many infectious diseases increasingly challenging and diminish the exclusive reliance on drug treatment as sole solution to the problem. As disease transmission often depends on environmental conditions that can be modified, such modifications may become crucial to risk reduction if we can assess their potential benefit at policy-relevant scales. However, so far, the value of environmental management for this purpose has received little attention. Here, using the parasitic disease of fasciolosis in livestock in the UK as a case study, we demonstrate how mechanistic hydro-epidemiological modelling can be applied to understand disease risk drivers and the efficacy of environmental management across a large heterogeneous domain. Our results show how weather and other environmental characteristics interact to define disease transmission potential and reveal that environmental interventions such as risk avoidance management strategies can provide a valuable alternative or complement to current treatment-based control practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6442
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date19 Mar 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 19 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is funded as part of the Water Informatics Science and Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training (WISE CDT) under EPSRC grant no. EP/L016214/1. Partial support for T.W. was provided by a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. H.R.V. was funded by the BBSRC LoLa Consortium, “BUG: Building Upon the Genome” (Project reference: BB/M003949/1) and the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Infection and Global Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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