Identifying climate-sensitive infectious diseases in animals and humans in Northern regions
AuthorOmazic, Anna; Bylund, Helena; Boqvist, Sofia; Hogberg, Anne-Marie; Björkman, Camilla; Tryland, Morten; Evengård, Birgitta; Koch, Anders; Berggren, C.; Malogolovkin, A; Kolbasov, D; Pavelko, N; Thierfelder, Tomas; Albihn, Ann
Results - In total, 1275 nominated abstracts were read and categorised using predefined criteria. Results showed that arthropod vector-borne diseases in particular are recognised as having potential to expand their distribution towards Northern latitudes and that tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis, midge-borne bluetongue and the parasitic infection fasciolosis can be classified as climate-sensitive. Many of the other potential CSIs considered are affected by extreme weather events, but could not be clearly classified as climate-sensitive. An additional literature search comparing awareness of climate influences on potential CSIs between 1997–2006 and 2007–2016 showed an increase in the number of papers mentioning effects of climate change.
Conclusions - The four CSIs identified in this study could be targeted in a systematic surveillance programme in Northern regions. It is evident that climate change can affect the epidemiology and geographical range of many infectious diseases, but there were difficulties in identifying additional CSIs, most likely because other factors may be of equal or greater importance. However, climate-ecological dynamics are constantly under change, and therefore diseases may fall in or out of the climate-sensitive definition over time. There is increasing awareness in the literature of the effects of climate change on infectious diseases over time.