The construction of human disease ecologies through cultural transmission: A Nivacle example The construction of human disease ecologies through cultural transmission: A Nivacle example This study examines the role of cultural transmission in the construction of human disease ecologies and the co-evolution of humans and their pathogens using a comparative study of tuberculosis (TB) in the Paraguayan Chaco. This dissertation will specifically address: how do different degrees of effective cultural transmission from outside groups change disease ecology in Nivacle communities? Drawing on niche construction theory, the study will use a conceptual framework of human disease ecology that includes the sociocultural niche (beliefs, behavior, and features of the built and sociopolitical environment that are barriers or enablers to the spread of TB), the genetic diversity of TB strains, culturally perceived disease phenotypes, and the moderating effects of other environmental factors such as diet and co-infections. Phase I of the study compares the disease ecology of two Nivacle communities with different degrees of cultural transmission using a health census, semi-structured interviews, a locally derived symptom survey and cultural consensus survey about TB, time allocation observations, quantitative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) of TB DNA, 24-hour dietary recalls, anthropometrics, and analysis of fecal samples for helminth loads. A condensed health census and cultural consensus survey about TB will be administered in four other indigenous communities to highlight cultural differences where there is equal institutional support. In the final phase, the PI will collect a second round of quantitative data in the two Nivacle communities to examine seasonal differences, and the overall strain diversity of the Chaco will be investigated to provide better context.
|Effective start/end date||11/15/11 → 8/31/13|
- Wenner-Gren Foundation: $24,833.00
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