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Neglected tropical diseases' regulation as an ecosystem service, under land-use change and human adaptability scenarios, in alto Xingu-MT-Brazil communities


We aim to improve the competencies of the Genetics Department (LGN/ESALQ/USP) with the inclusion of the 'Ecosystem Health (human, animal, vegetal and environmental)' dimension in the approach given to the adaptive human strategies associated to food security and nutrition, local knowledge and perceptions related to the natural resources, migration, subsistence strategies and their associated territoriality, developed by the Laboratório de Ecogenética de Resíduos Agroindustriais e Ecologia Evolutiva Humana. This laboratory integrates the Thematic Project Xingu - Integrando o planejamento do uso da terra e a governância de água na Amazônia: em busca da melhoria da segurança hídrica na fronteira agrícola do Mato Grosso. Considering the importance that the Leishmaniases have in the Xingu region, this proposal represents a strategy to incorporate the timing and capital themes 'Disease Regulation Ecosystem Service' and 'Global Environmental Change (Land Use and Climate) Adaptation' in the Xingu Project. The longstanding academic experience Prof. Manuel Cesario has started with the development of health systems for the communities of the Xingu Park, at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (1985-1988) and, in 1991, at the Brazilian Health Ministry's COSAI. His doctoral work at the University of Edinburgh (1993-1997) addressed ecosystem services as biodiversity conservation strategies and his Sabbatical Leave at the University of Oxford (2005-2006) resulted in the coordination (2011-2014) of the FAPESP 08/58.156-8 Thematic Project on early warning systems for (re)emerging neglected tropical diseases in South-western Amazonia. The research activities here proposed include the pilot collection and identification of Leishmaniases' vectors in sentinel sites to be defined among the municipalities of Canarana, Água Boa e Querência (MT), together with the acquisition of primary micro-climate data, as well as the retrospective survey of secondary data on land use/cover changes and human Leishmaniases' occurrence. This will allow extrapolating information on vector-borne diseases' regulation as an ecosystem service, under a scenario of land use/cover and human adaptability changes, in Alto Xingu-MT communities. Additionally, Prof. Cesario will coordinate the identification of the protozoa species present in the phlebotomine (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) collected in Assis Brasil-AC (envisaged for the last year of the Thematic Project which he coordinates) - the most important link between climate change, these neglected tropical diseases, and the human adaptive strategies in the tri-national frontier of South-western Amazonia. This identification will be made through molecular biology analysis (PCR) to be undertaken in the LGN/ESALQ/USP laboratories that will benefit from its competencies' improvement through the acquisition of the PCR technique for Bartonella bacilliformis identification, not yet available in Brazil. This technology transfer will be possible through the partnership with the Humboldt Institute of the Peruvian University Cayetano Eredia, already developed by Prof. Cesario with support of the Swiss Network for International Studies - SNIS. Other activities to be undertaken include delivering talks and short-courses on 'Ecosystem Health (human, animal, vegetal and environmental)' and 'Disease Regulation Ecosystem Service' dimensions in the theme 'Global Environmental Change (Land Use and Climate) Adaptation', contributing to undergraduate ESALQ/USP courses and to disciplines of the joint ESALQ-CENA/USP Applied Ecology Programme (CAPES 7), as well as to supervise MSc students, co-supervise PhD proponents, integrate related follow-up committees at both levels, and participate in MSc and PhD vivas in the latter Programme. (AU)