Assessing climate change impact on ecosystems and infectious disease: Important roles for genomic sequencing and a one health perspective

Kenneth B. Yeh, Jeanne M. Fair, Woutrina Smith, Teresa Martinez Torres, Julie Lucas, Corina Monagin, Richard Winegar, Jacqueline Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Changes in the Earth's climate and weather continue to impact the planet's ecosystems, including the interface of infectious disease agents with their hosts and vectors. Environmental disasters, natural and human-made activities raise risk factors that indirectly facilitate infectious disease outbreaks. Subsequently, changes in habitat, displaced populations, and environmental stresses that affect the survival of species are amplified over time. The recurrence and spread of vector-borne (e.g., mosquito, tick, aphid) human, animal, and plant pathogens to new geographic locations are also influenced by climate change. The distribution and range of humans, agricultural animals and plants, wildlife and native plants, as well as vectors, parasites, and microbes that cause neglected diseases of the tropics as well as other global regions are also impacted. In addition, genomic sequencing can now be applied to detect signatures of infectious pathogens as they move into new regions. Molecular detection assays complement metagenomic sequencing to help us understand the microbial community found within the microbiomes of hosts and vectors, and help us uncover mechanistic relationships between climate variability and pathogen transmission. Our understanding of, and responses to, such complex dynamics and their impacts can be enhanced through effective, multi-sectoral One Health engagement coupled with applications of both traditional and novel technologies. Concerted efforts are needed to further harness and leverage technology that can identify and track these impacts of climate changes in order to mitigate and adapt to their effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number90
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Biosecurity
  • Climate change impact
  • Genome
  • Infectious disease
  • One Health
  • Sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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