Impact of Land-use Change on Dengue and Malaria in Northern Thailand
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- Vanwambeke, S.O., Lambin, E.F., Eichhorn, M.P. et al. EcoHealth (2007) 4: 37. doi:10.1007/s10393-007-0085-5
Land-use change, a major constituent of global environmental change, potentially has significant consequences for human health in relation to mosquito-borne diseases. Land-use change can influence mosquito habitat, and therefore the distribution and abundance of vectors, and land use mediates human–mosquito interactions, including biting rate. Based on a conceptual model linking the landscape, people, and mosquitoes, this interdisciplinary study focused on the impacts of changes in land use on dengue and malaria vectors and dengue transmission in northern Thailand. Extensive data on mosquito presence and abundance, land-use change, and infection risk determinants were collected over 3 years. The results of the different components of the study were then integrated through a set of equations linking land use to disease via mosquito abundance. The impacts of a number of plausible scenarios for future land-use changes in the region, and of concomitant behavioral change were assessed. Results indicated that land-use changes have a detectable impact on mosquito populations and on infection. This impact varies according to the local environment but can be counteracted by adoption of preventive measures.