The Ecology of Pathogen Spillover and Disease Emergence at the Human-Wildlife-Environment Interface
Novel diseases are increasingly emerging into human populations through the complex—and often, unseen—stepwise process of spillover from a combination of wildlife, livestock, vectors, and the abiotic environment. Characterizing and modeling the spillover interface are a key part of how eco-epidemiologists respond to the growing global burden of emerging infectious diseases; but the diversity of pathogen life cycles and transmission modes poses a complex challenge for ecologists and clinicians alike. We review our current understanding of the spillover process and present a framework that relates spillover rates and human-to-human transmissibility to the basic reproduction number (R0). Using pathogens that exemplify important transmission pathways (anthrax, Ebola, influenza, and Zika), we illustrate key aspects of the spillover interface and discuss implications to public health and management of emerging infectious disease.
KeywordsEco-epidemiology Spillover Emerging diseases Anthrax Ebola Vector Host
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This work has been partially supported by NSF CNH 114953, NSF CNH 1518486, and NSF EEID 1518663 (KAA), NSF HSD Grant SES-0729441, NIH MI- DAS project 2U01GM070694-7, NSF PetaApps Grant OCI-0904844, DTRA15R&D Grant HDTRA1-0901-0017, DTRA CNIMS Grant HDTRA1-07-C-0113 (MM,SE), NSF EEID 1617982 (WMG), and NIH 1R01GM117617-01 (JKB). We thank B. Singer for comments on this chapter.
Conflict of Interest
All authors declare they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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