De Leo, Giulio; Sokolow, Susanne H.; Garchitorena, Andres; Ngonghala, Calistus; Lund, Andrea; Barry, Michele; Burke, Katherine; Mordecai, Erin A.; Daily, Gretchen; Jones, James H.; Andrews, Jason; Bendavid, Eran; Luby, Steve; LaBeaud, Desiree; Seetah, Krish; Guegan, Jean-Francois; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Wood, Chelsea L.; Jones, Isabel; Bonds, Matthew H. 2017. A novel framework to account for ecological drivers in the control and elimination of environmentally transmitted disease: a modelling study. The Lancet. (Abstract) (Online version)
Popular fears about human infectious disease often focus on pathogens spread by person-to-person contact. By contrast, we show that 70â€“80% of human pathogens are environmentally transmitted (ie, people are infected through contact with free-living stages or environmental reservoirs including soil, water, vectors, food, or non- human hosts in the environment). In fact, environmentally transmitted diseases represent about 40% of today's global burden of human infectious disease (or 150 million disability adjusted life-years). Here, we call for renewed attention to the connection between human health and environmental factors, with a focus on identifying ecological solutions to interrupt transmission.