PhD forsvar af Anna-Sofie Stensgaard 24/3 13.00 – University of Copenhagen

17. marts 2011

PhD forsvar af Anna-Sofie Stensgaard 24/3 13.00

The ecology of infectious diseases: Patterns, determinants and distributions of parasitic infections in Africa

Tid: 24. Marts 2011, kl. 13:00 
Sted: Auditorium AKB-02 August Krogh Instituttet,
Universitetsparken 15, 2100 Ø.
Vejledere: Prof. Carsten Rahbek and Assoc. Prof. Thomas K. Kristensen, KU 
Panel: Prof. Jacobus Boomsma (Chairman), Prof. Joanne P. Webster (Imperial College, London) og Assoc. Prof. Rob Dunn (North Carolina State University, USA)

An important group of human parasitoses have transmission pathways closely linked to freshwater snails and mosquitoes. The occurrence and prevalence of these diseases exhibit pronounced geographical variation evident at many spatial scales, and is particularly important to define in order to identify communities requiring treatment. The overall aim of this thesis is to contribute to a better understanding of the drivers of the variation in parasitic infection prevalence and distribution of these diseases in Africa.
These diseases are particularly interesting in an ecological context, because they involve at least three different species. The complex interactions between the species involved in disease transmission and numerous environmental factors together determine the spatial patterns of disease. To improve the understanding of these interactions and investigate the emerging patterns of disease, I embrace an ecological perspective and a systems level approach. The relative importance of climatic and other environmental factors in determining the continental scale distribution patterns of the snail-parasite system of intestinal schistosomiasis is examined. The potential influence of species interactions and overlap in geographical distributions is investigated at country-level scales, and detailed disease risk maps of malaria and lymphatic filariasis generated.