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Disease as a stabilizing factor in the protection of landscape: The leishmaniases as models

Ashford, R.W. (2007) 'Disease as a stabilizing factor in the protection of landscape: The leishmaniases as models'. Ecohealth, Vol 4, Issue 1, pp. 99-103.

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Abstract

It is suggested that disease limits populations only under exceptional circumstances, when other population-limiting factors are inoperative. This is precisely the situation with human populations, which have grown well (perhaps as much as three logs) beyond sustainability. It is inconceivable that any self-regulatory mechanism will bring human populations down to a level compatible with the survival of other large mammals, so the only hope for environmental survival is disease. In this essay, I discuss the inexorable rise of human populations and our seeming escape from all normal boundaries to population growth, apart, perhaps, from diseases. I then provide examples of how the various leishmaniases have affected and constrained human populations, or have failed to do so, providing an example of how diseases may ultimately protect landscapes from anthropogenic change.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: leishmaniasis human population overpopulation population regulation kala azar
Subjects: WA Public Health > Statistics. Surveys > WA 950 Theory or methods of medical statistics. Epidemiologic methods
WB Practice of Medicine > Medical Climatology > WB 700 Medical climatology. Geography of disease
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 715 Visceral leishmaniasis
WR Dermatology > Parasitic Skin Diseases > WR 350 Tropical diseases of the skin. Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis. Leishmaniasis
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Molecular & Biochemical Parasitology Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-006-0077-x
Depositing User: Ms Julia Martin
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2010 11:42
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:01
URI: http://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/1161

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