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EcoHealth and EIDs - Dynamics between environmental change, development, and EIDs in Asia

Edited by: Delia Grace, Dr Fred Unger, Prof. Xiao-Nong Zhou

Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs), such as avian influenza (H7N9), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and dengue have potential to cause epidemics and pandemics. Southeast Asia and China, where some of these diseases were first recognized, are considered as global “hot spots” for disease emergence. Increases in the rate of emergence of diseases in this region imply conventional approaches to disease emergence are not working. New approaches, such as EcoHealth, that shift from silo thinking to transdiciplinarity, aim for more effective prevention and control of EIDs. The last decade has seen major initiatives to implement EcoHealth in the region.

EcoHealth as an emerging field of research responds to the question of how changes in the earth’s ecosystems can affect human health. EcoHealth examines changes in the biological, physical, social and economic environments and relates these changes to human health. EcoHealth is a subject with six principles including transdisciplinary, participation, gender and social equity, system-thinking, sustainability and research-to-action, and brings together physicians, veterinarians, ecologists, economists, social scientists, decision makers and others to investigate the relations between ecosystems and human health. It aims for innovative, practical solutions that reduce or reverse the negative health effects of ecosystem change and which can bring about improvements to human, animal and ecosystem health.

In this issue we present a series of papers under the theme of "Dynamics between environmental change, development, and EIDs in Asia", in order to showcase existing, but also encourage future, EcoHealth research in Asia and beyond. We anticipate that published research on effectiveness, impact and uptake will lead to a wider acceptance of EcoHealth among policy makers, research communities and stakeholders and contribute to more effective interventions to manage regional and global risks of epidemics or pandemics.

  1. India is a major contributor to the global burden of leprosy and tuberculosis (TB), which adversely affects the poorest tribal communities. Despite prioritisation by disease control programmes, programme perfo...

    Authors: Amar Prakash Maske, Pravin Arun Sawant, Saju Joseph, Uma Satish Mahajan and Abhay Machindra Kudale
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2015 4:33
  2. It is estimated that there are about 74,000 primary multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) patients per year according to the prevalence of MDR-TB of 5.7% among new TB patients in China. Thus, the risks of ...

    Authors: Wei-Bin Li, Yan-Qiu Zhang, Jin Xing, Zhen-Ya Ma, Ya-Hong Qu and Xin-Xu Li
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2015 4:14
  3. Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD) is a febrile illness characterized by hemorrhages, and is reported endemic in the Shimoga district in Karnataka state, India. It is caused by the KFD virus (KFDV) of the family Flavi...

    Authors: Babasaheb V Tandale, Anukumar Balakrishnan, Pragya D Yadav, Noona Marja and Devendra T Mourya
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2015 4:12
  4. Pig rearing is an important income source in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), with many smallholder farmers using traditional free-range pig production systems. Despite the potentially significant h...

    Authors: Stephanie Burniston, Anna L Okello, Boualam Khamlome, Phouth Inthavong, Jeffrey Gilbert, Stuart D Blacksell, John Allen and Susan C Welburn
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2015 4:11
  5. Poultry production cluster (PPC) programs are key strategies in many Asian countries to engage small commercial poultry producers in high-value production chains and to control infectious poultry diseases. Thi...

    Authors: Libin Wang, Edi Basuno, Tuan Nguyen, Worapol Aengwanich, Nyak Ilham and Xiaoyun Li
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2015 4:6
  6. Ecohealth is a comprehensive approach to understanding health at its human, animal and environmental interface in a socio-ecological systems context. This approach was introduced widely in Southeast Asia (SEA)...

    Authors: Hung Nguyen-Viet, Siobhan Doria, Dinh Xuan Tung, Hein Mallee, Bruce A Wilcox and Delia Grace
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2015 4:5
  7. In Asian countries, small-scale rural poultry meat production can face challenges due to food safety policies that limit economic growth and hinder improvement of sanitation and disease prevention. In this stu...

    Authors: Suwit Chotinun, Suvichai Rojanasthien, Fred Unger, Manat Suwan, Pakpoom Tadee and Prapas Patchanee
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2014 3:46
  8. Global health institutions have called for governments, international organisations and health practitioners to employ a human rights-based approach to infectious diseases. The motivation for a human rights ap...

    Authors: Kendyl Salcito, Burton H Singer, Mitchell G Weiss, Mirko S Winkler, Gary R Krieger, Mark Wielga and Jürg Utzinger
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2014 3:39
  9. To date, research has shown an increasing use of the term “ecohealth” in literature, but few researchers have explicitly described how it has been used. We investigated a project on health and environmental sa...

    Authors: Vi Nguyen, Hung Nguyen-Viet, Phuc Pham-Duc, Craig Stephen and Scott A McEwen
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2014 3:36
  10. Clonorchiasis is caused by infection with food-borne liver fluke, namely Clonorchis sinensis, which is also considered to be a neglected tropical disease. It is estimated that over 10 million people are infected ...

    Authors: Men-Bao Qian
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2014 3:33
  11. Poverty and malaria appear to have an intertwined link. This paper aims to define the relationship between poverty and malaria in Yunnan, China, and to make recommendations for future research in this importan...

    Authors: Yan Bi and Shilu Tong
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2014 3:32
  12. Lymphatic filariasis is targeted for elimination in India through mass drug administration (MDA) with diethylcarbamazine (DEC) combined with albendazole (ABZ). For the strategy to be effective, >65% of those l...

    Authors: Mohammad A Hussain, Ashok K Sitha, Subhashisa Swain, Shridhar Kadam and Sanghamitra Pati
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2014 3:31
  13. Malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Northeast India. As there is limited information available on the potential influence of socio-economic variables on malaria risk, the present study was c...

    Authors: Kavita Yadav, Sunil Dhiman, Bipul Rabha, PK Saikia and Vijay Veer
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2014 3:19
  14. Tropical diseases remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Although combined health efforts brought about significant improvements over the past 20 years, communities in resourc...

    Authors: Ernest Tambo, Lin Ai, Xia Zhou, Jun-Hu Chen, Wei Hu, Robert Bergquist, Jia-Gang Guo, Jürg Utzinger, Marcel Tanner and Xiao-Nong Zhou
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2014 3:17
  15. Schistosomiasis japonica is still endemic in the People’s Republic of China (P.R. China) in five provinces of lake and marshland regions and in two provinces of mountainous regions. Studies elucidated that ind...

    Authors: Lu Liu, Guo-Jing Yang, Hong-Ru Zhu, Kun Yang and Lin Ai
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2014 3:16