Project

BIODIV-AFREID : Should we worry ?

Goal: Biodiversity in Afrotropical forests is declining dramatically due to deforestation and intensified bushmeat trade. At the same time there is an increased frequency of outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases (EID) that have a natural reservoir in wild small mammals. The effect of biodiversity changes on the risk of spillover of these EID to humans is not yet clear. Higher biodiversity may reduce transmission rates in the small mammal community or may facilitate it. Biodiversity changes may also be associated with changes in human behaviour that affect contact rates with wildlife. BIODIV-AFREID will explore these relations in different forest sites in DR Congo and Côte d'Ivoire. We will investigate a range of viral pathogens but with a focus on three contrasting EID that are of major concerns: Monkeypoxvirus, Ebola virus and Coronavirus. We will :
- Describe the biodiversity of small mammal communities in selected sites.
- Study the presence and prevalence of the viruses in these communities.
- Test hypotheses about dilution and amplification effects.
- Test hypotheses about the ecological and anthropological conditions that facilitate spillover to humans.

This project is funded by the EU-Biodiversa programs.

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Nicolas Laurent
added a project goal
Biodiversity in Afrotropical forests is declining dramatically due to deforestation and intensified bushmeat trade. At the same time there is an increased frequency of outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases (EID) that have a natural reservoir in wild small mammals. The effect of biodiversity changes on the risk of spillover of these EID to humans is not yet clear. Higher biodiversity may reduce transmission rates in the small mammal community or may facilitate it. Biodiversity changes may also be associated with changes in human behaviour that affect contact rates with wildlife. BIODIV-AFREID will explore these relations in different forest sites in DR Congo and Côte d'Ivoire. We will investigate a range of viral pathogens but with a focus on three contrasting EID that are of major concerns: Monkeypoxvirus, Ebola virus and Coronavirus. We will :
- Describe the biodiversity of small mammal communities in selected sites.
- Study the presence and prevalence of the viruses in these communities.
- Test hypotheses about dilution and amplification effects.
- Test hypotheses about the ecological and anthropological conditions that facilitate spillover to humans.
This project is funded by the EU-Biodiversa programs.