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Preprints, Working Papers, ... (Preprint) Year : 2024

A scoping review of the impacts of forest dynamics on acari-borne diseases: beyond forest fragmentation


Abstract Background: Forest cover has undergone significant changes, which have accelerated over recent decades. Acari vectors such as ticks and chigger mites are intricately linked to forest ecosystems because of the suitable hosts and microclimates they provide. However, the implications of forest cover change and dynamics on acari vectors and their pathogens remain poorly understood. This study aims to investigate the impacts of forest dynamics on the risk of acari-borne diseases worldwide through a comprehensive review of the literature. Methods: We conducted a scoping review following the PRISMA Method to retrieve citations related to forest dynamics and acari-borne diseases. Eligibility criteria were predefined and relevant data were extracted from selected articles. The analysis employed a descriptive approach and thematic narrative synthesis. Results: Our review reveals that the influence of forest dynamics on acari-borne diseases and related vectors was predominantly discussed within a Western context, particularly with regard to Ixodes ticks and Lyme disease. Four types of forest dynamics have been identified in the literature: deforestation, fragmentation, conversion and reforestation. However, there was no consensus on the impacts of those dynamics on the vectors and their associated pathogens. Studies have reported conflicting findings including: protective or risk effects, nonlinear relationships, dependent effects influenced by additional factors altering relationships or nonsignificant effects. Those outcomes had been reported across different forest dynamics and various locations. Although, there is limited empirical evidence on tropical contexts as well as for reforestation and conversion dynamics, making it difficult to draw conclusions regarding pathogen and vector trends. Differences in results trends emerge when comparing the entire article sample (n = 111) to empirical studies (n = 73), with literature reviews often overestimating the dilution effect observed in empirical research. Finally, our review identifies a notable absence of studies on scrub typhus disease in the context of forest dynamics. Conclusions: This scoping review offers a novel and comprehensive overview of global literature on the impacts of forest dynamics on acari vectors and the infectious agents they transmit. It highlights research gaps and the need for future research targeting specific forest dynamics, particularly chigger mite vectors in a tropical context.
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hal-04542339 , version 1 (11-04-2024)





Nolwenn Blache, Karine Chalvet-Monfray, Christophe Déprés, Serge Morand. A scoping review of the impacts of forest dynamics on acari-borne diseases: beyond forest fragmentation. 2024. ⟨hal-04542339⟩
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