Climate Change and the Neglected Tropical Diseases
Climate change is expected to impact across every domain of society, including health. The majority of the world's population is susceptible to pathological, infectious disease whose life cycles are sensitive to environmental factors across different physical phases including air, water and soil. Nearly all so-called neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) fall into this category, meaning that future geographic patterns of transmission of dozens of infections are likely to be affected by climate change over the short (seasonal), medium (annual) and long (decadal) term. This review offers an introduction into the terms and processes deployed in modelling climate change and reviews the state of the art in terms of research into how climate change may affect future transmission of NTDs. The 34 infections included in this chapter are drawn from the WHO NTD list and the WHO blueprint list of priority diseases. For the majority of infections, some evidence is available of which environmental factors contribute to the population biology of parasites, vectors and zoonotic hosts. There is a general paucity of published research on the potential effects of decadal climate change, with some exceptions, mainly in vector-borne diseases.