Nové infekční choroby

Dnešní krize biodiverzity se netýká jen ztráty biotopů a vymírání druhů. Je to také krize nově se vynořujících nakažlivých chorob (EID), jako jsou HIV u lidí, Ebola u lidí a goril, západonilský virus a ptačí chřipka u lidí a ptáků, chytridiomykóza u obojživelníků a psinka u lvounů. Existují všechny důvody brát tyto případy vážně, protože se zdá, že EID mají dlouhou vývojovou historii.

Je to dáno tím, že mnohé patogeny jsou s to nakazit celou řadu hostitelů, ale přitom se vyvinuly v místech, kde žijí jen někteří z nich. Zároveň mají patogeny specializované nástroje, jak přecházet z hostitele na hostitele. Přenáší-li se například nějaký patogen hmyzem žijícím v korunách stromů, náchylní hostitelé se nenakazí, pokud se nikdy neodpoutají od země.

Pro člověka jsou HIV, Ebola, západonilský virus a ptačí chřipka jen posledními v dlouhé řadě EID. Když se naši předkové před více než milionem let přestěhovali z afrického lesa na savanu, stali se rychle účinnými predátory. A jelikož se o kořist dělili s dosavadními masožravci, přenesly se na ně tasemnice, které původně žily pouze v těle hyen, kočkovitých šelem a afrických loveckých psů.

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