Breaking down barriers in One Health: an integrative approach to parasitic diseases from Portugal to Africa

Late Lunch Talk by Ana Figueiredo

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Ana Figueiredo


Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are a worldwide research priority, with significant impacts on human and animal health. The ongoing anthropogenic influence on the ecosystems has triggered changes in land-use and climate, enhancing the introduction and spread of EIDs with zoonotic significance. Due to the complexity of interactions in the human-animal-environment interface, EIDs should be analyzed following the One Health framework, addressing the importance of infectious and parasitic diseases (IPDs). Despite the considerable efforts to tackle this problem in developing countries, given their inadequate sanitary conditions and lower socioeconomic status, the need for further investigation in developed countries is rising due to the increased contact with wild and livestock reservoirs. This project aims to understand the role of wildlife as reservoirs and spreaders of IPDs for livestock and humans, comparing two contrasting socioeconomic and environmental scenarios: Portugal and Mozambique. A multidisciplinary approach, using DNA pathogen characterization, connected with landscape ecology models and the establishment of high-risk infection areas, will allow the implementation of disease surveillance networks to prevent and control IPDs outbreaks. We expect an increased incidence and prevalence of infection in areas with higher wildlife density and where human-animal contacts are more frequent, with an aggravated scenario for Mozambique, due to the limited access to basic needs. Spatial differences in habitat structure, resource availability and urbanization induce modifications in wildlife community structure, which is expected to increase contact and transmission risk. Implementing educational programs as a project outcome is proposed to decrease IPDs impacts on public and animal health.


Ana Figueiredo


This talk will also be available on Zoom. The zoom link will be shared through the CEES seminar mailing list. Contact Tore Wallem if you would like to be forwarded the invitation e-mail.

Published Mar. 15, 2022 10:08 AM - Last modified Mar. 15, 2022 10:08 AM