The project officially started on January 1st
2003 and continued for three and a half years, ending on the 30th
of June 2006. A detailed list of research activities can be found
in the Technical
Links to Annual reports and the Final Technical Report as well
as peer-reviewed publications derived from the project can be
found on the Publications page.
See also the Final Workshop page for
further information on progress.
The project was the first to attempt to comprehensively address
a range of related questions regarding the risk of zoonotic
disease transmission associated with rodents in rural/peri-urban
areas. The state of knowledge about disease transmission risks
between rodents and humans was advanced through the proposed
project by providing information on how these diseases are sustained
and spread in the environment. It is not known whether climatic
and ecological change is increasing the prevalence of these
diseases within rodent reservoirs or whether anthropogenic change
is increasing human exposure to reservoir populations. Similarly,
an important factor related to transmission of infectious diseases
is population density, implying that increasing outbreaks of
disease may be related to increasing contact between the rural
origin of diseases and peri-urban areas where diseases can easily
Studying the epidemiology of zoonotic diseases
within the context of improving resource management of natural
capital is a unique approach to developing predictive modelling
tools for risk management strategies. The state of knowledge is
developed by creating predictive tools about disease transmission
risks and testing strategies aimed at reducing disease risks.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) allow the user to correlate
and prioritise factors of change in the environment. A predictive
modelling tool based on GIS can be developed to help determine
which ecological criteria are important in the persistence of
rodent-borne disease. With knowledge of the impact which these
diseases have upon people's livelihoods, risk management strategies
can be developed to reduce the likelihood of disease outbreaks.
The project proposes to test some potential strategies in collaboration
with African communities to reduce the impact of these diseases
on people's livelihoods.