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Lecture 4

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ingrid L.Stefanovic

ANTC68 Lecture 4: Tropical Infectious Diseases: Malaria Humid Tropics One of most extensivediverse biomes, yet one of the most threatened due to deforestation High avg temp High rainfall High humidity High species diversity (over 50% of world) Infectious Disease Microorganism Diversity Numerous microhabitats promote speciation Tropical pathogens and vectors generally have very short generation times, thus there is great potential for evolution of new pathogens and vectors Even if not originally adapted to human populations, their short generation times ensure continued opportunities for the evolution of new forms that may be able to cross species boundaries and lead to human infections Vectors able to reproduce effectively year-round in tropics The Wet Season More outbreaks of disease Disease vectors more abundant Humans more exposed to intestinal parasites transmitted by contaminated water or soil Humans spend more time inside, facilitating transmission of respiratory infections Seasonal variations in nutrition (and susceptibility) Human Population in the Tropics Approx. 60 countries with over 2 billion people situated entirely or partly in humid tropics Tropical populations growing rapidly: increases of 1.1-3.8% per year Many tropical countries are poor: infrastructure, housing, transportation Household structure, facilities and location High population density Agricultural practices (& outdoor activities) Deforestation and encroachment Water control projects and sanitation Inadequate health care & drug resistance Low status of women (greater female impoverishment, thus sex trade) Social upheaval, war, conflict Rural-urban migration The Future of Tropical Forests Deforestation due to industry, population increase and human migrationeconomic need (results in driermore flammable land, soil leaching and erosion, landslides, unstable groundgeology) Fragmentation of forests Reduced biological diversity and extinction Climate change related to deforestation (models predict reduced rainfall, increased evaporation, increased reflected light, reduced cloud cover, effects on hydrological cycles, increased atmospheric gases) Shifting of high fertility forest soils to pasture (cattle ranching) Increased shift from communal to private land ownership Need implementation of different subsistence practices - low labour intensivedisease resistant plant species, agroforestry, multi-intercropping Important advantage: tropical forest is more resilient than others and can restore itself quicker Tropical Infectious Diseases
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