Image Credit: oleypauline is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Landscape connectivity is important for different ecological processes, including the spread of diseases, and understanding it is important to identify how pathogens move, allowing the organization of preventive measures.
To better understand the effects of ecological connectivity on yellow fever virus in Brazil, the movement of cases in nonhuman primates was modeled. Each case was considered as a node, and the dispersion between nodes, as links. The results showed that on average the yellow fever virus spread 1.42 km per day, and the best model indicates that the virus spreads mainly through roads adjacent to forest areas, and along forest edges.
By analyzing landscape connectivity, we provide the first evidence that highly fragmented landscapes with a large road network and long distances from forest edges facilitate the spread of the virus, and that maintaining large patches of forest can help inhibit this spread.