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Land-Use Change and Emerging Infectious Disease on an Island Continent

National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia
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These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(7), 2699-2719; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10072699
Received: 7 April 2013 / Revised: 7 June 2013 / Accepted: 14 June 2013 / Published: 28 June 2013
A more rigorous and nuanced understanding of land-use change (LUC) as a driver of emerging infectious disease (EID) is required. Here we examine post hunter-gatherer LUC as a driver of infectious disease in one biogeographical region with a compressed and documented history—continental Australia. We do this by examining land-use and native vegetation change (LUCC) associations with infectious disease emergence identified through a systematic (1973–2010) and historical (1788–1973) review of infectious disease literature of humans and animals. We find that 22% (20) of the systematically reviewed EIDs are associated with LUCC, most frequently where natural landscapes have been removed or replaced with agriculture, plantations, livestock or urban development. Historical clustering of vector-borne, zoonotic and environmental disease emergence also follows major periods of extensive land clearing. These advanced stages of LUCC are accompanied by changes in the distribution and density of hosts and vectors, at varying scales and chronology. This review of infectious disease emergence in one continent provides valuable insight into the association between accelerated global LUC and concurrent accelerated infectious disease emergence. View Full-Text
Keywords: emerging infectious disease; zoonoses; wildlife; livestock; vector; environment; land-use; Australia emerging infectious disease; zoonoses; wildlife; livestock; vector; environment; land-use; Australia
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McFarlane, R.A.; Sleigh, A.C.; McMichael, A.J. Land-Use Change and Emerging Infectious Disease on an Island Continent. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 2699-2719.

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