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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Biodiversa BioRodDis

Objectives and Work-Packages

BioRodDis project aims at elucidating the interlinkages between biodiversity and diseases at local and European scales using standardized assessments of biodiversity and disease risks. We will address this issue by integrating new key research directions, i.e. host microbiome and multiple pathogen diversity levels on one hand, seasonal and multi-annual dynamics on the other hand, including climate change scenarios, and interactions with socioeconomic contexts. These scientific questions are an essential prerequisite to improve existing modelling of the relationship between biodiversity and diseases, and to develop a framework, which enables to provide predictions with regard to the human and animal health impacts of ecosystem management practices, biological conservation strategies and/or climate changes on human and animal health.


                                                                                                                            Fieldwork in Antwerpen zoo, @v_colombo

Due to the complexity of this health and environmental issue, a multi-disciplinary approach and a close dialogue between disciplines (inter-disciplinarity) are essential to improve the understanding and management of these zoonoses. BioRodDis proposes a reflexive dimension on the inter-disciplinarity operated and the difficulties encountered in the project in order to identify the locks or levers for future projects. Trans-disciplinarity is also at the heart of BioRodDis, through the definition of a common conceptual framework of health ecology, based on shared theories, concepts and approaches.

As such, these questions must and will be addressed in collaboration with main local and European stakeholders and policy makers.


We aim to tackle these complex questions by focusing on the dynamics of rodent-borne diseases throughout Europe. Rodents have long been recognized as important reservoirs of infectious agents, with a high transmission potential for humans and domestic animals. About 10% of rodent species are reservoirs of 66 infectious zoonoses agents, including bacteria (genus Anaplasma, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, Leptospira, Borrelia), viruses (Orthohantaviruses, Tick-borne encephalitis, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis), protozoa (genus Babesia, Cryptosporidia, Toxoplasma) and helminths (genus Ecchinoccocus, Toxocaria, Fasciolia). Interactions between these pathogens have rarely been investigated, and pathogen / microbiome studies are still in their infancy.



We will focus on forests and urban parks as environments where rodents are abundant, human/domestic wildlife interactions are plausible to occur, and efforts are undertaken to preserve biodiversity. Forests and large urban green spaces are also interesting ecosystems to consider because they are both put forward for their contribution to human well-being in addition to other ecosystem services (e.g. provisioning and regulating services). As such, it is essential to carefully assess the drivers that shape the risks of infectious diseases in these ecosystems, and to establish science-policy interfaces enabling the design of win-win strategies (prevention, ecosystem management practice implementation) in support of nature–health benefits.

Tournage - 1 (4) - copie

BioRodDis is based on the Four Work-packages described below :