Nelson Institute professor calls for increased research on environmental disruption and disease dynamics

Nelson Institute professor and director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Global Health Institute (GHI), Jonathan Patz is among a group of researchers calling for interdisciplinary collaboration to better understand the roots of zoonotic diseases.

Published March 5 in The Lancet Planetary Health,  the call-to-action and research paper titled, “Land use-induced spillover: A call-to-action to safeguard environmental, animal, and human health” details why diseases move from animals into human populations. The paper describes the infect-shed-spill-spread cycle and how that can be interrupted to decrease zoonotic diseases. It also showcases the impact climate change and deforestation have on increasing the infect-shed-spill-spread cycle.

“We have an opportunity for even earlier prevention by broadening our focus to include relationships between environmental disruption and disease dynamics even before the first human is infected,” Patz said.

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