University of Glasgow School of Biodiversity, One Health, and Veterinary Medicine (SBOHVM) focuses on quantitative infectious disease ecology, especially as it applies to zoonotic pathogens. The Institute brings zoonotic pathogen ecology and mathematical modeling to STOP Spillover and will work with country teams to design and implement studies to assess spillover interventions.
Dr. Dan Haydon is the deputy lead advisor for the consortium in Cote d’Ivoire. Dr. Luca Nelli is leading a research activity in Uganda, where together with researchers at Makerere University he is working towards filling knowledge gaps about bat biology, ecology, and the ecosystem services provided by bats. This research will inform the development of a community-driven participatory bat monitoring system important to understanding spillover risk.Through a series of workshops aimed at providing capacity strengthening in the use of Geographical Information System (GIS), statistical modeling and spatio-temporal analyses, the SBOHVM team is addressing the following objectives:
(i) A systematic literature review of bat ecology and bat-human interactions to identify available evidence and knowledge gaps, with particular reference to Uganda and neighboring countries.
(ii) Development of regional species distribution models, based on existing published data integrated with citizen-science data on spatial distribution of different bat species present in Uganda.
(iii) Identifying local habitat requirements of different bat species, how they may change seasonally and in the longer term, and mapping areas of high suitability for key bat species of high likelihood of generating bat-human interactions.
Additionally, in Sierra Leone the SBOHVM team is providing support for statistical analysis which aims to investigate the effects of environmental variables (temperature, humidity, rainfall, and land-use, among others) on the risk of exposure to Mastomys rodents and Lassa fever. There is more to come on this in future newsletters!