Loss of Biodiversity Leads to Infectious Diseases

Loss of Biodiversity Leads to Infectious DiseasesWashington, Dec 3. -The loss of biodiversity alters ecosystems and helps contagious diseases to spread, according to a study published in the latest issue of Nature.

According to Felicia Keesing of Bard College in the United States and her co-authors, the disappearance of animals and plants tends to be accompanied by a larger incidence of infections, such as occurred with the Nile virus that traveled from Africa to North America.

The same occurred with the pulmonary syndrome by hantavirus, a respiratory disease passed from mice to humans.

In both cases, the expansion of microorganisms was linked to a loss of species; in the first, the loss of birds that transmit the pathogen to the mosquito and in the second case, small mammals, the report adds.

In several cases studied, the species that will disappear from the ecosystem due to a loss of biodiversity are the most capable of reducing the transmission of pathogens.

On the other hand, those that survive are the best transmitters of infections, increasing the possibility of contagion, the scientists believe.

However, even though the researchers don't know why this occurs, it does lead to increase efforts to preserve ecosystems and biodiversity. (Prensa Latina)