Effects of climate change on the occurrence and distribution of livestock diseases

Authors Bett, B.; Kiunga, P.; Gachohi, J.; Sindato, C.; Mbotha, D.; Robinson, T.; Lindahl, J.; Grace, D.
Year of Publication 2017
Type of Publication Journal Article
Journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume 137
Issue 1
Pagination 119-129
Open Access No


The planet's mean air and ocean temperatures have been rising over the last century because of increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These changes have substantial effects on the epidemiology of infectious diseases. We describe direct and indirect processes linking climate change and infectious diseases in livestock with reference to specific case studies. Some of the studies are used to show a positive association between temperature and expansion of the geographical ranges of arthropod vectors (e.g. Culicoides imicola, which transmits bluetongue virus) while others are used to illustrate an opposite trend (e.g. tsetse flies that transmit a range of trypanosome parasites in sub-Saharan Africa). We further describe a positive association between extreme events: droughts and El Niflo/southern oscillation (ENSO) weather patterns and Rift Valley fever outbreaks in East Africa and some adaptation practices used to mitigate the impacts of climate change that may increase risk of exposure to infectious pathogens. We conclude by outlining mitigation and adaptation measures that can be used specifically in the livestock sector to minimize the impacts of climate change-associated livestock diseases. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.