Gates alumna published in Nature

  • December 3, 2010
Gates alumna published in Nature

Dr Tiffany Bogich has co-authored a paper on zoonotic disease.

A Gates alumna has co-authored a paper in Nature this week on her research into where the next infectious disease to be passed from animals to humans will come from.

The paper, Impacts of biodiversity and the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases, coauthored by Dr Tiffany Bogich [2006], was published on 2 December. It reviews the evidence for whether declines in biodiversity affect the transmission of infectious diseases. It concludes that “preserving intact ecosystems and their biodiversity should generally reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases”.

Dr Bogich’s collaboration on the paper came through her work with the EcoHealth Alliance, a non-governmental organisation based in New York. The organisation is in the second year of a five-year funded USAID project which is trying to develop and improve global-scale risk models to better predict where the next zoonotic disease will come from. It is also working on the ground to improve capacity in developing countries where this risk is thought to be greatest. Surveillance for new pathogens is currently being conducted in approximately 24 countries, with a focus on potential diseases coming from bats, rodents and primates.

The modeling work uses the same global-scale approach as her PhD work, which looked at how to best predict animal extinction based on global changes in land use.

Case study

Picture credit: Renjith Krishnan and www.freedigitalphotos.net

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