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Genetics: A New Landscape for Medical Geography

Citation

Carrel, Margaret A. & Emch, Michael E. (2013). Genetics: A New Landscape for Medical Geography. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 103(6), 1452-1467. PMCID: PMC3928082

Abstract

The emergence and reemergence of human pathogens resistant to medical treatment will present a challenge to the international public health community in the coming decades. Geography is uniquely positioned to examine the progressive evolution of pathogens across space and through time and to link molecular change to interactions between population and environmental drivers. Landscape as an organizing principle for the integration of natural and cultural forces has a long history in geography and, more specifically, in medical geography. Here, we explore the role of landscape in medical geography, the emergent field of landscape genetics, and the great potential that exists in the combination of these two disciplines. We argue that landscape genetics can enhance medical geographic studies of local-level disease environments with quantitative tests of how human–environment interactions influence pathogenic characteristics. In turn, such analyses can expand theories of disease diffusion to the molecular scale and distinguish the important factors in ecologies of disease that drive genetic change of pathogens.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00045608.2013.784102

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2013

Journal Title

Annals of the Association of American Geographers

Author(s)

Carrel, Margaret A.
Emch, Michael E.

PMCID

PMC3928082