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University of Liverpool (2018)

Ecological and epidemiological consequences of rapid urbanisation at wildlife-livestock-human interfaces (Nairobi Kenya)

Hassell, JM

Titre : Ecological and epidemiological consequences of rapid urbanisation at wildlife-livestock-human interfaces (Nairobi Kenya)

Auteur : Hassell, JM

Etablissement de soutenance : University of Liverpool.

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2018

Résumé partiel
Urbanization is characterized by rapid intensification of agriculture, socioeconomic change, and ecological fragmentation, which can have profound impacts on the distributional ecology of host populations and epidemiology of infectious disease within them. In this thesis, results from a large-scale field study conducted in Nairobi, Kenya are used to explore how anthropogenic and ecological changes associated with urbanisation influence the structure of sympatric wildlife, livestock and human host populations, and dictate bacterial epidemiology in wildlife hosts. As likely points of contact (and thus parasite transmission) between vertebrate wildlife, livestock, and humans, household ‘interfaces’ were chosen as sampling units. The ecological and sociological status of households was characterised through ecological surveys, questionnaire data and geospatial mapping, and faecal samples were collected from wildlife occurring within the household compound, and livestock and human inhabitants. Escherichia coli was isolated from faecal samples, and characterised both phenotypically (through antimicrobial sensitivity testing) and genetically (through whole genome sequencing). In the first part of this thesis I consider the influence of urban land-use change on the structure of host populations at household interfaces. Using unsupervised machine learning I describe variation in the host composition of wildlife-livestockhuman interfaces and, through multivariate regression analysis, demonstrate that citywide variation in ecological and anthropogenic factors (such as biotic habitat diversity and wealth) drive structural changes in wildlife, livestock and human populations across the urban landscape of Nairobi. Utilising commensal E. coli as an exemplar organism, I proceed to explore epidemiological connectivity between wildlife, livestock and humans at household interfaces, and link epidemiological processes in urban wildlife to their drivers across the urban landscape.

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