French Guiana Deforestation Linked To Increase In Infectious Tropical Disease

french-guiana

From Science World Report:

“Deforestation by humans in French Guiana has reportedly led to an increase in the number of insects and animals infected with the tropical disease, Buruli ulcer, according to an international team of researchers. The scientists conducted a study to know more about the possible impact of cutting down rain forests on the spread of infectious diseases.

The Washington Post reported that the researchteam went to French Guiana where Buruli ulcer is a common occurrence. The scientists collected 3,000 organisms from 17 places around the country and then examined each for M. ulcerans. Subsequently, it was found that the bacteria can infect a vast range of fish, insects and other invertebrates. Furthermore, the infections were more widespread in the lower levels of the food chain.

The researchers also observed the locations of the organisms they gathered and saw that in areas where deforestation had taken place. There were fewer organisms that lived higher up on the food chain. This, in turn, led to increases in the numbers of lower level organisms that the higher order animals normally preyed upon, and that led to more infections by M. ulcerans in lower order animals as they continued to flourish due to not being preyed upon.”

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