, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 187–194 | Cite as

Avian Influenza (H5N1) and the Evolutionary and Social Ecology of Infectious Disease Emergence

  • Durrell D. KapanEmail author
  • Shannon N. Bennett
  • Brett N. Ellis
  • Jefferson Fox
  • Nancy D. Lewis
  • James H. Spencer
  • Sumeet Saksena
  • Bruce A. Wilcox


The recent ascendance of the H5N1 subtype of avian influenza (AI) as the world’s most prominent emerging disease threat presents an opportunity to examine the determinants of infectious disease emergence, particularly because H5N1’s perceived epidemic potential has not been realized. Although social and ecological conditions may seem highly conducive to an AI epidemic in humans, adaptations necessary for efficient human–human transmission have not yet occurred. What are the ecological conditions that increase the probability of emergence? How does an increase in cross-species exposure affect the probability of an evolutionary host switch by H5N1? Can the higher order drivers of change in these conditions be studied to help understand and ultimately manage the risk of infectious disease emergence? Although there exists a large literature on the threat of an AI epidemic, this article aims to synthesize epidemiological, evolutionary, social, and ecologic perspectives into an...


West Nile Virus Avian Influenza Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Disease Emergence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported in part by NIH 5 P20 RR-018727-04 and AI-65359 (PSWRCE).


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Copyright information

© EcoHealth Journal Consortium 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Durrell D. Kapan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shannon N. Bennett
    • 2
  • Brett N. Ellis
    • 5
  • Jefferson Fox
    • 3
  • Nancy D. Lewis
    • 3
  • James H. Spencer
    • 4
  • Sumeet Saksena
    • 3
  • Bruce A. Wilcox
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Conservation and Research Training, Pacific Biosciences Research CenterUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology, and Pharmacology, Asia-Pacific Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious DiseasesSchool of Medicine, University of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Research ProgramEast-West Center, University of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  4. 4.Globalization Research Center, Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  5. 5.Center for Infectious Disease Ecology, Asia-Pacific Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious DiseasesUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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