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The Influence of Global Environmental Change on Infectious Disease Dynamics: Workshop Summary (2014)

The twentieth century witnessed an era of unprecedented, large-scale, anthropogenic changes to the natural environment. Understanding how environmental factors directly and indirectly affect the emergence and spread of infectious disease has assumed global importance for life on this planet. While the causal links between environmental change and disease emergence are complex, progress in understanding these links, as well as how their impacts may vary across space and time, will require transdisciplinary, transnational, collaborative research. This research may draw upon the expertise, tools, and approaches from a variety of disciplines. Such research may inform improvements in global readiness and capacity for surveillance, detection, and response to emerging microbial threats to plant, animal, and human health.

The Influence of Global Environmental Change on Infectious Disease Dynamics is the summary of a workshop hosted by the Institute of Medicine Forum on Microbial Threats in September 2013 to explore the scientific and policy implications of the impacts of global environmental change on infectious disease emergence, establishment, and spread. This report examines the observed and potential influence of environmental factors, acting both individually and in synergy, on infectious disease dynamics. The report considers a range of approaches to improve global readiness and capacity for surveillance, detection, and response to emerging microbial threats to plant, animal, and human health in the face of ongoing global environmental change.

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