Wetlands as sites of exposure to water-borne infectious diseases

Bonnie T. Derne, Philip Weinstein, Colleen L. Lau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Wetlands provide many essential and important ecosystem services to humans, resulting in our considerable reliance on and exposure to various wetland environments. A subset of microorganisms and invertebrates commonly found in wetlands can cause diseases in humans, some of which are responsible for significant disease burden globally. As past disease outbreaks and emergence arising from wetlands have shown, the combination of predicted intensification of extreme weather events, human needs for land and natural resources, and biodiversity loss in the future are likely to drive the transmission of infectious diseases, resulting in an increasing burden of water-borne diseases, particularly where sanitation infrastructure is poor. The importance of preventing contamination, providing adequate sanitation and preserving or restoring healthy, service-providing ecosystems as strategies for risk mitigation are therefore underlined. A greater understanding of the complexities of wetland ecosystems and the interlinked environmental, microbiological and human factors that lead to infection risk should therefore be an objective of future research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWetlands and Human Health
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9789401796095
ISBN (Print)9789401796088
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


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