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DEBED

DIVERSITAS ecoHEALTH on Biodiversity and Emerging Diseases

This project is based on studies which have shown that the properties of local species-rich communities would protect against invaders and pathogens. The so-called “dilution effect” theory may represent a “flag” for research on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Alternatively, papers have shown that at broad spatial scales, increased biodiversity is linked to increasing risk of zoonotic diseases in people (diseases from wildlife). There is a need to develop causal inference in emerging disease ecology, in which the dilution effect phenomenon is part of something more complex: what are the main ecological drivers of emerging infectious diseases; and what are the mechanisms underlying the dilution effect?

A first meeting was held back to back with the EcoHealth Conference 2010 in London, United Kingdom on 17-18 August 2010. The group identified topics, which are important issues related to biodiversity change and emerging infectious diseases. A second meeting was held on 18-20 December 2012 to develop some of the topics identified at the first meeting.

DEBED, as part of its activities, developed the BIODIS project investigating three major questions: (1) which life-history characteristics that may confer to hosts better capacity to be "good vessels", (2) how quantifying the parasites capacity to cross species boundaries; and (3) what is the role of biodiversity in transmission of infectious diseases at different spatial scales. BIODIS was granted by the French Center for Synthesis and Analysis of Biodiversity (CESAB) in January 2013. The BIODIS consortium will meet for works sessions several times a year at CESAB in Aix-en-Provence, France, for the period 2013-2015. BIODIS is co-funded by CESAB, DIVERSITAS and the Total Foundation. More on BIODIS.

DEBED Coordinators: Jean-François Guégan, IRD-GEMI, France; and James N. Mills, The Wildlife Disease Association / Emory University, USA

 

BIODIS: Disentangling the linkages between biodiversity and emerging infectious diseases

BIODIS investigates three major questions: (1) which life-history characteristics that may confer to hosts better capacity to be "good vessels", (2) how quantifying the parasites capacity to cross species boundaries; and (3) what is the role of biodiversity in transmission of infectious diseases at different spatial scales. Deliverables include databases and disease modelling, reviews and exploratory articles, actionable public health policy information shared with health-protection agencies and medias; and training of young scientists to this new research area.

BIODIS is a project from the French Center for Synthesis and Analysis of Biodiversity (CESAB) jointly funded by the French Foundation for Biodiversity Research (FRB), DIVERSITAS, and the Foundation TOTAL.

The first meeting of BIODIS was held on 27-31 May 2013 (Aix-en-Provence, France) with the aim of 1) Finalising on-going scientific manuscripts; 2) Brainstorming on different questions identified about the links between biodiversity and health; and 3) Setting priorities for the next meeting.

The second meeting was held on 11-15 November 2013 (Aix-en-Provence, France). This workshop has hosted 12 scientists from a range of disciplines (ecology, evolutionary biology and public health) from France, Italy, Mexico, and USA. This group aims at understanding how biodiversity and infectious diseases can interact together in order to identify the main drivers of pathogen emergence and transmission.

The objectives of this workshop were to:

  • Finalise on-going manuscripts,
  • Brainstorm on different questions identified about the links between biodiversity and infectious diseases and identify data to address these questions,
  • Set up priorities for the next meeting.

The following next steps have been decided: The coordinator of BIODIS, Gabriel Garcia, will start data analysis of the data compile to address the research questions identified during the workshop. In addition, the two following themes will be disentangled: theoretical exploration and design of experimental study of adaptation of multi-host pathogens; and linkages between biological conservation outcomes and infectious disease emergence.

Taking the opportunity of this meeting, Vanessa Ezenwa (University of Georgia, USA) gave a seminar "From host immunity to pathogen invasion: linking helminth co-infection and microparasite dynamics" at the Campus de l'Arbois, Aix-en-Provence University.

BIODIS flyer in English and in French.


BIODIS Coordinator

Gabriel Ernesto García-Peña

c/o MIVEGEC (IRD/CNRS/UM1/UM2) / CESAB
911, avenue Agropolis
BP 64504
34394 Montpellier Cedex 5
France

 

BIODIS participants

  • Simon Blanchet, CNRS, France
  • Vanessa Ezenwa, Montana University , USA
  • Marion Vittecoq, CNRS and la Tour-du-Valat research centre, France
  • Parviez Hosseini, EcoHealth Alliance, USA
  • Felicia Keesing, Bard College, USA
  • Anne-Hélène Prieur-Richard, DIVERSITAS
  • Annapaola Rizzoli, Fondazione Edmud Mach, Italy
  • Benjamin Roche, IRD, France
  • Gerardo Suzan, UNAM, Mexico
  • Gwenaël Vour'ch, INRA, France
  • Carlos Zambrana-Torrelio, EcoHealth Alliance, France
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