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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  3. Abstract Background Water resources development promotes agricultural expansion and food security. But are these benefits offset by increased infectious disease risk? Dam construction on the Senegal River in 1986 was followed by agricultural expansion and increased transmission of human schistosomes. Yet the mechanisms linking these two processes at the individual and household levels remain unclear. We investigated the association between household land use and schistosome infection in children. Methods We analyzed cross-sectional household survey data ( n  = 655) collected in 16 rural villages in August 2016  across demographic, socio-economic and land use dimensions, which were matched to Schistosoma haematobium ( nmore » = 1232) and S. mansoni ( n  = 1222) infection data collected from school-aged children. Mixed effects regression determined the relationship between irrigated area and schistosome infection presence and intensity. Results Controlling for socio-economic and demographic risk factors, irrigated area cultivated by a household was associated with an increase in the presence of S. haematobium infection (odds ratio [ OR ] = 1.14; 95% confidence interval [95% CI ]: 1.03–1.28) but not S. mansoni infection ( OR  = 1.02; 95% CI : 0.93–1.11). Associations between infection intensity and irrigated area were positive but imprecise ( S. haematobium: rate ratio [ RR ] = 1.05; 95% CI : 0.98–1.13, S. mansoni : RR  = 1.09; 95% CI : 0.89–1.32). Conclusions Household engagement in irrigated agriculture increases individual risk of S. haematobium but not S. mansoni infection. Increased contact with irrigated landscapes likely drives exposure, with greater impacts on households relying on agricultural livelihoods.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  4. Secor, W. Evan (Ed.)
    Schistosome parasites infect more than 200 million people annually, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, where people may be co-infected with more than one species of the parasite. Infection risk for any single species is determined, in part, by the distribution of its obligate intermediate host snail. As the World Health Organization reprioritizes snail control to reduce the global burden of schistosomiasis, there is renewed importance in knowing when and where to target those efforts, which could vary by schistosome species. This study estimates factors associated with schistosomiasis risk in 16 villages located in the Senegal River Basin, a region hyperendemic formore »Schistosoma haematobium and S . mansoni . We first analyzed the spatial distributions of the two schistosomes’ intermediate host snails ( Bulinus spp. and Biomphalaria pfeifferi , respectively) at village water access sites. Then, we separately evaluated the relationships between human S . haematobium and S . mansoni infections and (i) the area of remotely-sensed snail habitat across spatial extents ranging from 1 to 120 m from shorelines, and (ii) water access site size and shape characteristics. We compared the influence of snail habitat across spatial extents because, while snail sampling is traditionally done near shorelines, we hypothesized that snails further from shore also contribute to infection risk. We found that, controlling for demographic variables, human risk for S . haematobium infection was positively correlated with snail habitat when snail habitat was measured over a much greater radius from shore (45 m to 120 m) than usual. S . haematobium risk was also associated with large, open water access sites. However, S . mansoni infection risk was associated with small, sheltered water access sites, and was not positively correlated with snail habitat at any spatial sampling radius. Our findings highlight the need to consider different ecological and environmental factors driving the transmission of each schistosome species in co-endemic landscapes.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 27, 2022
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2022
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 17, 2022
  7. null (Ed.)
    Dams enable the production of food and renewable energy, making them a crucial tool for both economic development and climate change adaptation in low- and middle-income countries. However, dams may also disrupt traditional livelihood systems and increase the transmission of vector- and water-borne pathogens. These livelihood and health impacts diminish the benefits of dams to rural populations dependent on rivers, as hydrological and ecological alterations change flood regimes, reduce nutrient transport and lead to the loss of biodiversity. We propose four agricultural innovations for promoting equity, health, sustainable development, and climate resilience in dammed watersheds: (1) restoring migratory aquatic species,more »(2) removing submerged vegetation and transforming it into an agricultural resource, (3) restoring environmental flows and (4) integrating agriculture and aquaculture. As investment in dams accelerates in low- and middle-income countries, appropriately addressing their livelihood and health impacts can improve the sustainability of modern agriculture and economic development in a changing climate.« less
  8. We consider disordered solids in which the microscopic elements can deform plastically in response to stresses on them. We show that by driving the system periodically, this plasticity can be exploited to train in desired elastic properties, both in the global moduli and in local “allosteric” interactions. Periodic driving can couple an applied “source” strain to a “target” strain over a path in the energy landscape. This coupling allows control of the system’s response, even at large strains well into the nonlinear regime, where it can be difficult to achieve control simply by design.

  9. Abstract

    Infectious pathogens can disrupt the microbiome in addition to directly affecting the host. Impacts of disease may be dependent on the ability of the microbiome to recover from such disturbance, yet remarkably little is known about microbiome recovery after disease, particularly in nonhuman animals. We assessed the resilience of the amphibian skin microbial community after disturbance by the pathogen,Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis(Bd). Skin microbial communities of laboratory-reared mountain yellow-legged frogs were tracked through three experimental phases: prior to Bd infection, after Bd infection (disturbance), and after clearing Bd infection (recovery period). Bd infection disturbed microbiome composition and altered the relative abundancesmore »of several dominant bacterial taxa. After Bd infection, frogs were treated with an antifungal drug that cleared Bd infection, but this did not lead to recovery of microbiome composition (measured as Unifrac distance) or relative abundances of dominant bacterial groups. These results indicate that Bd infection can lead to an alternate stable state in the microbiome of sensitive amphibians, or that microbiome recovery is extremely slow—in either case resilience is low. Furthermore, antifungal treatment and clearance of Bd infection had the additional effect of reducing microbial community variability, which we hypothesize results from similarity across frogs in the taxa that colonize community vacancies resulting from the removal of Bd. Our results indicate that the skin microbiota of mountain yellow-legged frogs has low resilience following Bd-induced disturbance and is further altered by the process of clearing Bd infection, which may have implications for the conservation of this endangered amphibian.

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