Introduction to Socioecological Dimensions of Infectious Diseases and Health in Southeast Asia
Global changes affect host-pathogen interactions, through the modification of the epidemiological environment (climate, land use, biodiversity), leading to new and sometimes unexpected risks. Epidemics, emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases are outcomes of these changes, and they constitute serious global threats for health. Although some local emergences have a potential for global threat (i.e. SARS, avian influenza, etc.), most of infectious diseases affect rural and poor populations particularly in developing countries, which are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of global change. Southeast Asia is both a hotspot of infectious emerging diseases of potential global pandemics and of biodiversity, particularly at threat due to dramatic changes in land use (Morand et al. 2014). These may explain why international organizations, developmental agencies and non-governmental conservationist organizations have specially focused on Southeast Asia. Infectious diseases are still a major concern in most Southeast-Asian countries (Coker et al. 2011).