Research Topic

Disease Ecology: Novel Concepts and Methods to Track and Forecast Disease Emergence, Transmission, Spread and Endemization

About this Research Topic

Even with recent advances in technology and medicine, human and animal diseases have remained elusive and difficult to manage. Historically, medicine alone was regarded as the panacea for disease management. However, factors that influence infections and disease outbreaks are diverse and complex, and their convergence seems to confound traditional medical strategies of disease management. In this era, we are faced with numerous pathogens, mostly unknown, of high risk to international public health. Our growing challenge is to understand, anticipate and contain the emergence, transmission and spread of infectious diseases in a highly inter-connected world.

The overarching goal for any disease intervention strategy is prevention and control. The need for new concepts, strategies, and methods to tackle disease menace has never been more urgent as it is now. The field of disease ecology has already paved the way, having embraced the application of various techniques from multiple disciplines to explain how host traits, behavior, ecology and ecosystems are interlinked to a pathogen and the course of a disease. However, there are several growing areas in disease ecology that need further development. For instance, there is a need to address issues related to mechanisms of disease 'endemization'; factors that trigger a pathogen to emerge or re-emerge, infect hosts or novel hosts, and spread into new regions; how immunology interacts with host ecology to influence pathogen evolution, adaptation and virulence; how rates of host-switching influence pathogen transmission dynamics; how inter-species contact rates (multi-host contact networks) influence the transmission and spread of a pathogen; and how landscape connectivity or isolation influences emerging zoonoses, strains and gene variations.

This Research Topic encourages the development and blending of new concepts and diverse techniques to advance the detection, characterization, surveillance, forecasting and modeling of emerging pathogens. We welcome original research articles, reviews and empirical studies presenting new concepts and methods to improve knowledge and management of pathogen transmission in multi-host populations.

We encourage submissions on the following sub-topics:

Host– Pathogen Interactions
Factors that drive infections in multi-host systems such as habitat overlap, host behavior, movement, human-wildlife-livestock interface, and the effects of host immunity and genetics

Metapopulation Dynamics
How the geographical isolation/fragmentation of host populations influences disease or pathogen occurrence, evolution and spread

Zoonosis
Application of the ‘One Health/Global Health’ concept to infectious diseases, neglected tropical diseases, non-communicable diseases, parasites, bacteria, helminths, viruses and antimicrobial resistance

Epidemiology of Emerging Infectious Diseases
Disease forecasting and modeling, pathogen detection and characterization, surveillance, disease outbreaks, nature of endemic diseases, reservoirs, geographical spread, and phylodynamics


Keywords: Emerging Diseases, Anti-microbial resistance, Zoonoses, Virus, Bacteria, Parasites


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Even with recent advances in technology and medicine, human and animal diseases have remained elusive and difficult to manage. Historically, medicine alone was regarded as the panacea for disease management. However, factors that influence infections and disease outbreaks are diverse and complex, and their convergence seems to confound traditional medical strategies of disease management. In this era, we are faced with numerous pathogens, mostly unknown, of high risk to international public health. Our growing challenge is to understand, anticipate and contain the emergence, transmission and spread of infectious diseases in a highly inter-connected world.

The overarching goal for any disease intervention strategy is prevention and control. The need for new concepts, strategies, and methods to tackle disease menace has never been more urgent as it is now. The field of disease ecology has already paved the way, having embraced the application of various techniques from multiple disciplines to explain how host traits, behavior, ecology and ecosystems are interlinked to a pathogen and the course of a disease. However, there are several growing areas in disease ecology that need further development. For instance, there is a need to address issues related to mechanisms of disease 'endemization'; factors that trigger a pathogen to emerge or re-emerge, infect hosts or novel hosts, and spread into new regions; how immunology interacts with host ecology to influence pathogen evolution, adaptation and virulence; how rates of host-switching influence pathogen transmission dynamics; how inter-species contact rates (multi-host contact networks) influence the transmission and spread of a pathogen; and how landscape connectivity or isolation influences emerging zoonoses, strains and gene variations.

This Research Topic encourages the development and blending of new concepts and diverse techniques to advance the detection, characterization, surveillance, forecasting and modeling of emerging pathogens. We welcome original research articles, reviews and empirical studies presenting new concepts and methods to improve knowledge and management of pathogen transmission in multi-host populations.

We encourage submissions on the following sub-topics:

Host– Pathogen Interactions
Factors that drive infections in multi-host systems such as habitat overlap, host behavior, movement, human-wildlife-livestock interface, and the effects of host immunity and genetics

Metapopulation Dynamics
How the geographical isolation/fragmentation of host populations influences disease or pathogen occurrence, evolution and spread

Zoonosis
Application of the ‘One Health/Global Health’ concept to infectious diseases, neglected tropical diseases, non-communicable diseases, parasites, bacteria, helminths, viruses and antimicrobial resistance

Epidemiology of Emerging Infectious Diseases
Disease forecasting and modeling, pathogen detection and characterization, surveillance, disease outbreaks, nature of endemic diseases, reservoirs, geographical spread, and phylodynamics


Keywords: Emerging Diseases, Anti-microbial resistance, Zoonoses, Virus, Bacteria, Parasites


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

25 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

25 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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