Disease Ecology

The Latest

abandoned buildings

The hidden inequality of mosquito bites

Living in a low-income neighborhood means dealing with all manner of injustices that richer people don't have to deal with — from low life expectancy to worse air quality to earsplitting noise to slower Internet speeds.

toilet sampling

In urban Baltimore, poor neighborhoods have more mosquitoes

A new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology reports that in Baltimore, Maryland, neighborhoods with high levels of residential abandonment are hotspots for tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus). This environmental injustice may leave low-income urban residents more vulnerable to mosquito-borne disease.

The Cary Institute teams with IBM Research to address Zika

When the Zika virus arrived in Brazil, it went largely unnoticed until infected infants were born with microcephaly, a neurological disorder marked by a small head caused by severe underdevelopment of brain tissue in utero. As the number of Zika-affected babies grew, the World Health Organization moved quickly to declare Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern.

Tick-borne disease ecology

Video

In this video, Rick Ostfeld explains the ecology of Lyme disease. Discover how acorns and white-footed mice amplify disease risk, why predators like foxes make good neighbors, and the impact climate change and forest fragmentation have on the spread of tick-borne disease. 

Related Projects

Amphibian Disease Ecology

Amphibians are important indicators of ecosystem health but are declining globally. A major contributor to amphibian declines is Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogenic fungus that causes cutaneous infection in many amphibian species.

Macroecology of Infectious Disease

Environmental changes can impact host-parasite interactions by altering fundamental host behaviors, such as competition, predation, foraging, and sociality.  These environmentally-induced changes to wildlife host communities affect the epidemiology of zoonotic pathogens.

The Tick Project

The Tick Project is testing whether environmental interventions can prevent tick-borne diseases in our communities. The need for prevention is stronger than ever, with expanding tick populations and more than 300,000 Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year.

Machine Learning to Predict Zoonotic Disease

Why do the majority of human infectious diseases originate from wildlife? Our lab seeks to identify intrinsic characteristics of wild species (e.g., life history, ecological, physiological traits) that signal their potential to be future reservoirs of zoonotic diseases (human diseases with animal origins).

Infectious Hematopoeitic Necrosis Virus (IHNV)

Infectious Hematopoeitic Necrosis Virus (IHNV) is a rhabdovirus threatening endangered populations of wild salmon and thwarting hatchery-led conservation efforts.

Ecological Complexity, Mosquito Production and Disease Risk

Over the past 50 years, many regions across the globe have experienced a (re)emergence of mosquito-vectored diseases, both due to novel pathogens and those previously eradicated. 

tick collecting

Lyme Disease

Different species of tick hosts tend to have different probabilities of transmitting an infection to a feeding tick. In eastern and central North America, the host most likely to transmit an infection to a feeding tick is the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus), which infects between 40% and 90% of feeding larvae.

Spatio-Temporal Variation in West Nile Virus Intensity

West Nile virus emerged in the western hemisphere during the summer of 1999, reawakening public awareness to the potential severity of vector –borne pathogens.

Biodiversity, Community Ecology, and the Dilution Effect

Biodiversity can protect human health by reducing human exposure to diseases transmitted from wildlife. Environmental changes, such as habitat fragmentation, can increase disease risk by reducing both predators and biodiversity.

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