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Urbanization and the ecology of wildlife diseases

Summary: Urbanization and the ecology of
wildlife diseases
Catherine A. Bradley and Sonia Altizer
Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Urbanization is intensifying worldwide, with two-thirds
of the human population expected to reside in
cities within 30 years. The role of cities in human infec-
tious disease is well established, but less is known about
how urban landscapes influence wildlife­pathogen
interactions. Here, we draw on recent advances in wild-
life epidemiology to consider how environmental
changes linked with urbanization can alter the biology
of hosts, pathogens and vectors. Although urbanization
reduces the abundance of many wildlife parasites, trans-
mission can, in some cases, increase among urban-
adapted hosts, with effects on rarer wildlife or those
living beyond city limits. Continued rapid urbanization,
together with risks posed by multi-host pathogens for
humans and vulnerable wildlife populations, emphasize
the need for future research on wildlife diseases in urban


Source: Altizer, Sonia M.- Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology