Leishmaniasis Beyond East Africa

Caitlin M. Jones, Susan C Welburn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Climate change is having a substantial impact on our environment and ecosystems and has altered the way humans live, access, and utilize resources with increased risk of zoonotic infectious disease encounters. As global temperatures continue to increase, they impact on public health, migration, food security and land conflict, and as new environments become favorable, exposure to disease carrying vectors. Increased forests or natural habitat clearance for land repurposing, urbanization, road building, and water management are related to an increase in emerging vector borne parasitic diseases. The East African region remains one of the most impacted regions globally for leishmaniasis, a vector borne disease that impacts significantly on the health, wellbeing and livelihoods of affected communities and for which a lack of reporting and control interventions hinder progress toward elimination of this neglected tropical disease. As our world continues to transform, both politically and climatically, it is essential that measures are put in place to improve surveillance and disease management with implementation of control measures, including vector control, especially in low- and middle-income countries that are expected to be most impacted by changes in climate. Only through effective management, now, can we be sufficiently resilient to preventing the inevitable spread of vectors into suitable habitat and expansion of the geographical range of leishmaniasis. This review offers a current perspective on Leishmaniasis as an endemic disease in East Africa and examines the potential of the recent emergence of Leishmania infection in hitherto unaffected regions to become a public health concern if no disease management is achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number618766
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • leishmaniasis
  • climate
  • epidemiology
  • Africa
  • visceral
  • cutaneous
  • vector

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