The Rise of Non-native Vectors and Reservoirs of Human Diseases
Globalisation has led to unprecedented changes in the distribution and incidence of human diseases. Pathogens, animal vectors, and reservoir species have been unintentionally displaced across natural geographic boundaries, resulting in serious human suffering and enormous economic costs. Non-native diseases can also threaten ecosystems and put ecosystem services and human well-being at risk. Introduced species and environmental interactions have caused manifold new risks and challenges for public health. Mosquitoes and ticks are the most important non-native vectors of human diseases, although many different species can serve as non-native reservoir hosts. In addition to imports as contaminants with cargo, the pet trade is an important pathway of introduction for non-native vectors and reservoirs. Evidence suggests that global environmental change will further facilitate emerging outbreaks of non-native human diseases, some of which may be re-emerging old foes. The complex interrelationships between native and non-native hosts, vectors, and pathogens entail inherent uncertainties and make predictions about future outbreaks very challenging. Natural ecosystems provide a regulating service for human well-being, and the loss of biodiversity therefore represents a serious threat to human health. The linkages between humans, animals, and environmental health are becoming more apparent and call for collaborative efforts (‘One Health’) towards a more responsible ecosystem stewardship.
KeywordsArthropods One World One Health Public health Reservoirs Vector-borne diseases Zoonoses
We acknowledge funding by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund (project “Alien Health,” project number KR13AC6K11141), and thank one referee for relevant suggestions that helped to improve the paper.
- Campbell LP, Luther C, Moo-Llanes D et al (2015) Climate change influences on global distributions of dengue and chikungunya virus vectors. Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci 370:20140135Google Scholar
- Gallien S, Taieb F, Hamane S et al (2013) Autochthonous falciparum malaria possibly transmitted by luggage-carried vector in Paris, France, February 2013. Euro Surveill 18(40):pii = 20600Google Scholar
- Muro A, Genchi C, Cordero M, Simón F (1999) Human dirofilariasis in the European Union. Trends Parasitol 15:386–389Google Scholar
- Nentwig W, Mebs D, Vilà M (2017) Impacts of non-native animals and plants to human health. In: Vilà M, Hulme PE (eds) Impact of biological invasions on ecosystem services. Springer, Cham, pp 277–293Google Scholar
- Parmakelis A, Russello MA, Caccone A et al (2008) Historical analysis of a near disaster: Anopheles gambiae in Brazil. Am J Trop 78:176–178Google Scholar
- Pecorari M, Longo G, Gennari W et al (2009) First human case of Usutu virus neuroinvasive infection, Italy, August–September 2009. Euro Surveill 14(50):pii:19446Google Scholar
- Roth A, Mercier A, Lepers C et al (2014) Concurrent outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus infections – an unprecedented epidemic wave of mosquito-borne viruses in the Pacific 2012–2014. Euro Surveill 19(41):pii = 20929Google Scholar
- Schindler S, Staska B, Adam M et al (2015) Alien species and public health impacts in Europe: a synthesis. NeoBiota 27:1–23Google Scholar
- Scholte E-J, Ibáñez-Justicia A, Stroo A et al (2014) Mosquito collections on incoming intercontinental flights at Schiphol International airport, the Netherlands, 2010–2011. J Eur Mosquito Control Assoc 32:17–21Google Scholar
- Staples JE, Shankar M, Sejvar JJ et al (2014) Initial and long-term costs of patients hospitalized with West Nile Virus disease. Am J Trop Med Hyg 90:402–409Google Scholar
- Vázquez A, Jimenez-Clavero MA, Franco L et al (2011) Usutu virus—potential risk of human disease in Europe. Euro Surveill 16(31):pii = 19935Google Scholar
- Witt ABR (2017) Use of non-native species for poverty alleviation in developing economies. In: Vilà M, Hulme PE (eds) Impact of biological invasions on ecosystem services. Springer, Cham, pp 295–310Google Scholar