Thursday, February 21, 2008

Where be the bugs?   posted by Razib @ 2/21/2008 03:28:00 AM

Cool paper in Nature, Global trends in emerging infectious diseases. Not cool because infectious diseases are great, but I believe they've been (and are) major evolutionary pressures on our species. Great map too. From the legend:

a) zoonotic pathogens from wildlife
b) zoonotic pathogens from non-wildlife
c) drug-resistant pathogens
d) vector-borne pathogens

Not surprised about the intersection with world population density. Just by inspection, the Indo-Gangetic plain looks to be the "winner" here! Though it does seem that Sub-Saharan Africa holds its own in terms of representing above its population-weight class in the wild-life derived and vector-born pathogen categories. Might we be able to chalk that up to a long history of coevolution between the African ecosystem and hominid species? Domesticated animals seem to be more of an issue in the old Eurasian Oikumene as you would expect. For more precision on the global trends and correlates, check out their regressions.