Anthropogenic Factors And Primate Disease

Given the tendency of the human species to directly and often dramatically alter and impact their environment, the potential for disease to affect humans, their domestic stock, and adjacent wildlife is high, and can have significant conservation, economic, and health effects (Daszak et al., 2000; Cleaveland et al., 2001, 2002). Indeed, nearly 61% of human diseases can also infect animals (Taylor et al., 2001). The connection between emerging human diseases and wildlife has been widely discussed (e.g., Daszak et al., 2000, Jessup, 2003) and descriptive accounts indicate that human movement into new habitats can be linked to human disease emergence (Peters et al., 1994; Mahy and Murphy, 1998;

Daszak et al., 2000). From a literature-based database of infectious disease pathogens, it was found that viral pathogen emergence in humans and domestic animals was twice as likely when there were wildlife hosts (Cleaveland et al., 2001). Literature reviews also indicate that anthropogenic alteration is the most important variable associated with wildlife disease outbreaks (Dobson and Foufopolous, 2001).

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