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National Laboratory for Health Security

Disease Ecology and Wildlife Health

Parasites and pathogens, and their complex relationships, are integral and indispensable parts of our earth ecosystems and environment. Our research focuses on infectious diseases that play a major role in the epidemic pathways of wild species and can have a significant impact on wildlife populations. Our multi-disciplinary disease ecology research addresses human health, animal health, ecology and wildlife management problems, offering new perspectives in the monitoring, prediction and control of infectious diseases. Our research aims to investigate the changes in virulence of emerging pathogens with high zoonotic potential (e.g. West Nile fever and avian influenza), the specific environmental and ecological conditions required for their spread and establishment, and the epidemiological role of particular wild host species and arthropod vectors. We will also investigate the epidemiological and public health role of invasive species, the potential emergence of new pathogens not yet identified in our country, their survival, spread and impact on other species and communities, in collaboration with the National Laboratory for Health Security. By developing methodologies, collecting and analysing baseline data, and applying a comprehensive “One Health” approach, we contribute to the successful early detection, prediction, prevention and more effective management of epidemics.