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Spotlight on LMICs – Transdisciplinarity: A Key Strategy for Emerging and Re-emerging After a Pandemic

Diseases thought to have been left behind in the early 20th century have begun to re-emerge over the past few years, especially in vulnerable populations and low-income and middle-income countries, and their frequency is increasing. The reasons for the re-emergence of diseases that had been under control or substantially declining are myriad. However, a change in the health-care framework derived from a global understanding of disease emergence and a transdisciplinary and integrated One Health approach is needed to improve pandemic prevention.

The authors of the publication, “Reflections on the COVID-19 Pandemic from Ecology and One Health,” consider the emergence and re-emergence of diseases following the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying the factors that favor this situation with an ecological, evolutionary, and one-health lens. The authors take a step further to discuss the limitations of approaching the complexity of emerging and re-emerging infections from one or two disciplines, and highlight the need for inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to understand, confront and prevent future pandemics.

The chapter discusses among other topics:

  • Modern societies as a breeding ground for emerging diseases with a look at the effects of deforestation and loss of biodiversity; water, air, and soil pollution; lack of proper sanitation; land use changes; and antimicrobial resistance.
  • Coronaviruses as sentinels of environmental changes with a review the impacts of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, α-CoV, β-CoV, γ-CoV, hcov-nl63 and hcov-229e.
  • Coronaviruses as sentinels of environmental changes with a review the impacts of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, α-CoV, β-CoV, γ-CoV, hcov-nl63 and hcov-229e.
  • Intersectoral cooperation for understanding the complex interactions underlying the emergence of diseases.

Dr. Suzan is a part of the Health Knowledge-Action Network of Future Earth. His research is focused on identifying micro and macro ecological and evolutionary relationships by addressing how infections relate with land-use changes and biodiversity loss and how infections are boosted or reduced by the assemblage of host and non-host species resulting from the development of modern societies. Dr. Suzan is a professor and researcher within the School of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics at National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Suzan G., Marcé Santa E, Rico O, and Ojeda Flores R. (2023). Reflexiones de la Pandemia de Covid-19 desde la Ecología y Una Salud. Ecología, Medio Ambiente y Sustentabilidad (pp. 61-83). Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 2023.

Spotlight on the LMICs (low- and middle- income countries) is a new Future Earth series that shines a light on the wide range of research currently being conducted in LMICs or by scientists from LMIC regions who are a part of the Future Earth Network. It provides a bridge for collaboration and is designed to promote meaningful discussion with those working
within or across those regions and spaces.

Do you have a recent publication within the Global South that you would like spotlighted? Share your publication with Makyba Charles-Ayinde at for a possible feature!