The extent to which humans facilitate zoonotic transmission of infectious diseases is unclear. Human encroachment into wildlife habitats as a consequence of expanding urbanization, cropland area and intensive animal farming is hypothesized to favour the emergence of zoonotic diseases. Here we analyse comprehensive, high-resolution datasets on forest cover, cropland distribution, livestock density, human population, human settlements, bat species’ distribution and land-use changes in regions populated by Asian horseshoe bats (>28.5 million km2)—the species that most commonly carry severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related coronaviruses. We identify areas at risk of SARS-related coronavirus outbreaks, showing that areas in China populated by horseshoe bats exhibit higher forest fragmentation and concentrations of livestock and humans than other countries. Our findings indicate that human–livestock–wildlife interactions in China may form hotspots with the potential to increase SARS-related coronavirus transmission from animals to humans.

Land-use change and the livestock revolution increase the risk of zoonotic coronavirus transmission from rhinolophid bats

Rulli M. C.;D'Odorico P.;Galli N.;
2021

Abstract

The extent to which humans facilitate zoonotic transmission of infectious diseases is unclear. Human encroachment into wildlife habitats as a consequence of expanding urbanization, cropland area and intensive animal farming is hypothesized to favour the emergence of zoonotic diseases. Here we analyse comprehensive, high-resolution datasets on forest cover, cropland distribution, livestock density, human population, human settlements, bat species’ distribution and land-use changes in regions populated by Asian horseshoe bats (>28.5 million km2)—the species that most commonly carry severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related coronaviruses. We identify areas at risk of SARS-related coronavirus outbreaks, showing that areas in China populated by horseshoe bats exhibit higher forest fragmentation and concentrations of livestock and humans than other countries. Our findings indicate that human–livestock–wildlife interactions in China may form hotspots with the potential to increase SARS-related coronavirus transmission from animals to humans.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1209194
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