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 Annex.

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 spread.

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.

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