Ecology of Infectious Diseases

The Disease Ecology and Computer Modeling Laboratory (DECML) with Rebecca Garabed (Preventive Veterinary Medicine), Ningchuan Xiao (Geography), and Song Liang (Public Health), Mark Moritz (Anthropology) examines the ecology of infectious diseases in different projects in the USA, Cameroon, and Nicaragua. The lab started with a project that examined the epidemiology of infectious diseases in the ecological context of networks of host movements. Specifically, the goal was to understand the transmission and maintenance of Foot and Mouth Disease Viruses (FMDV) in networks of livestock movements in the Far North Region of Cameroon. Because FMD is endemic and vaccinations are not used, the region provides an unprecedented opportunity to examine how different networks of livestock movements affect disease epidemiology.

Data on disease incidence and prevalence was collected for four years in overlapping networks of livestock movement including daily foraging, annual transhumance, regional markets, and transboundary trade. The data is used to develop coupled models including a Susceptible-Infected-Recovered (SIR) model of infections within herds, agent-based models of movement and connectivity between herds within and across networks, and molecular modeling to provide additional data and to validate the other models. We received funding from the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) program at the National Science Foundation for this project and have developed other projects that examine the ecology of other infectious diseases, including cholera.

We have trained many graduate and undergraduate students from across Ohio State University (e.g., anthropology, city and regional planning, computer science, geography, mathematics, nutrition, public health, and veterinary medicine) as well as MA and Ph.D. students from the universities of Maroua and Ngaoundére in Cameroon. 


Pomeroy, Laura W., Mark Moritz, Rebecca Garabed. (in press) Network analyses of transhumance movements indicate that they alone cannot maintain endemic foot-and-mouth disease among mobile pastoralists in Cameroon. Epidemics. x(x)xx-xxx.

Miranda R Bertram, Carla Bravo de Rueda, Rebecca Garabed, Simon Dickmu Jumbo, Mark Moritz, Steven Pauszek, Souley Abdoulkadiri, Luis L Rodriguez, Jonathan Arzt. 2018. Investigating Effects of Transboundary Animal Movement on the Molecular Epidemiology of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus in the Far North Region of Cameroon. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, section Veterinary Infectious Diseases 5(320):1-14.

Oruganti, Pallavi, Rebecca Garabed, Mark Moritz. 2018. Hunters' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices towards Wildlife Diseases in Ohio. Human Dimensions of Wildlife. 23(4):329-340.

Karla Moreno-Torres, Laura W. Pomeroy, Mark Moritz, William Saville, Barbara Wolfe, Rebecca Garabed. 2017. Host Species Heterogeneity in the Epidemiology of Neospora caninum, PLoS ONE 12(8): e0183900.

Jessica Healy-Profitós, Seungjun Lee, Arabi Mouhaman, Rebecca Garabed, Mark Moritz, Barbara Piperata, and Jiyoung Lee. 2016. Neighborhood diversity of potentially pathogenic bacteria in drinking water from the city of Maroua, Cameroon. Journal of Water and Health. 14(3):559-570. 10.2166/wh.2016.204.Jessica

Healy Profitos, Barbara Piperata, Mark Moritz, Jiyoung Lee, Rebecca Garabed Michael Gundich, Arabi Mouhaman, Mouadjamou Ahmadou, Seungjun Lee. 2016. One Health Research in Cameroon: A Critical Role for Anthropologists. Practicing Anthropology. 38(4):27-30. PDF

Hyeyoung Kim, Ningchuan Xiao, Mark Moritz, Rebecca Garabed, Laura Pomeroy. 2016. Simulating the transmission of foot-and-mouth disease among mobile herds in the Far North Region, Cameroon, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation. 19(2):6.

Pomeroy, L. W., S. Bansal, M. Tildesley, K. I. Moreno-Torres, M. Moritz, N. Xiao, T. E. Carpenter, and R. B. Garabed. 2015. Data-Driven Models of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Dynamics: A Review. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. x(x)xx-xxx. 10.1111/tbed.12437.

Ningchuan Xiao, Shanshan Cai, Mark Moritz, Rebecca Garabed, Laura Pomeroy. 2015. Spatial and temporal characteristics of pastoral mobility in the Far North Region, Cameroon: Data analysis and modeling. PlosOne 10(7): e0131697.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131697

Ludi, A., Z. Ahmed, L. W. Pomeroy, S. Pauszek, G. Smoliga, M. Moritz, S. Dickmu, S. Abdoulkadiri, J. Arzt, R. Garabed and L. Rodriguez. 2014. Serotype Diversity of Foot-and-Mouth-Disease Virus in Livestock Without History of Vaccination in the Far North Region of Cameroon. Transboundary and Emerging Disease. 10.1111/tbed.12227.

Healy Profitós, Jessica, Mark Moritz, and Rebecca B. Garabed. 2013.  What to do with chronically sick animals? Pastoralists' Management Strategies in the Far North Region of Cameroon. Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice 3:8. 10.1186/2041-7136-3-8

Moritz, Mark, Daniel Ewing, and Rebecca B. Garabed. 2013. On Not Knowing Zoonotic Diseases: Pastoralists' Ethnoveterinary Knowledge in the Far North Region of Cameroon. Human Organization. 72(1):1-11. View abstract and PDF.