This bibliography is still a work in progress.  Below are over 1200 references compiled from multiple different sources. We plan to remove some that are only tangentially related to planetary health and then constantly update them via a combination of automated searches followed by evaluation by a staff member of the PHA for relevance. The bibliography will be searchable by topic, author, or date to facilitate quick capture of relevant literature for a particular project or question. 

If you are aware of a reference related to planetary health that you have noticed is missing, please bring it to our attention. Contact:

Cline BL, Richards FO, el MA A, el S H. 1983 Nile Delta schistosomiasis survey: 48 years after Scott. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. [Internet]. 1989;41 :56-62. Publisher's VersionAbstract

To determine whether the sharply declining Schistosoma haematobium infection rates in parts of the Nile Delta could be generalized to the entire region, and to update the status of S. mansoni infection rates, a large scale survey was undertaken in 1983 in 70 of the 71 districts of the Nile Delta. In a house-to-house survey, greater than 91% of the sample population of 16,675 participated by providing stool and/or urine specimens which were examined qualitatively by Kato thick smear and sedimentation techniques, respectively. After the 1935 survey by Scott, the prevalence of S. mansoni appeared to change little, from 33% in 1935 to 39% in 1983, but a more sensitive diagnostic technique in 1983 strongly suggested that the actual prevalence had decreased between the 2 surveys. In contrast, the prevalence of S. haematobium infection decreased from 56% to 5%, with a similar decline in all 8 governorates. The dramatic decline in S. haematobium prevalence has been accompanied temporally with a sharp decrease in the population density of Bulinus truncatus. S. mansoni has become the predominant human schistosome species in the Nile Delta.


Jak M. A "One Health'' Approach to Address Emerging Zoonoses: The HALI Project in Tanzania. PLoS Med [Internet]. 2009;6 :12. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Every day thousands die from under-diagnosed diseases that have arisen at the human–animal–environment interface, especially diarrheal and respiratory diseases in developing countries. Water resources in these countries are particularly crucial as humans and animals depend on safe water for health and survival, and sources of clean water are dwindling due to demands from agriculture and global climate change. Water scarcity means that people and animals use the same water sources for drinking and bathing which results in serious contamination of drinking water and increased risk of zoonotic diseases. The interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health is at the heart of One Health, an increasingly important prism through which governments, nongovernmental organizations, and practitioners view human health. The authors present an example of how this approach is being applied in a project in Tanzania. This summary is not an official abstract. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract

Termote C, Meyi MB, Djailo BD, Huybregts L, Lachat C, Kolsteren P, Damme PV. A Biodiverse Rich Environment Does Not Contribute to a Better Diet: A Case Study from DR Congo. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2012;7 (1) :e30533. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The potential of biodiversity to increase and sustain nutrition security is increasingly recognized by the international research community. To date however, dietary assessment studies that have assessed how biodiversity actually contributes to human diets are virtually absent. This study measured the contribution of wild edible plants (WEP) to the dietary quality in the high biodiverse context of DR Congo. The habitual dietary intake was estimated from 2 multiple-pass 24 h dietary recalls for 363 urban and 129 rural women. All WEP were collected during previous ethnobotanical investigations and identified and deposited in the National Botanical Garden of Belgium (BR). Results showed that in a high biodiverse region with precarious food security, WEP are insufficiently consumed to increase nutrition security or dietary adequacy. The highest contribution came from Dacryodes edulis in the village sample contributing 4.8% of total energy intake. Considering the nutrient composition of the many WEP available in the region and known by the indigenous populations, the potential to increase nutrition security is vast. Additional research regarding the dietary contribution of agricultural biodiversity and the nutrient composition of WEP would allow to integrate them into appropriate dietary guidelines for the region and pave the way to domesticate the most interesting WEP. 

Fèvre EM, Picozzi K, Fyfe J, Waiswa C, Odiit M, Coleman PG, Welburn SC. A burgeoning epidemic of sleeping sickness in Uganda. The Lancet [Internet]. 2005;366 :745-747. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The epidemic of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense sleeping sickness in eastern Uganda, which began in 1998 as a result of movements of the livestock reservoir of the parasite, has continued to spread. An additional 133 000 people have been put at risk of infection in Kaberamaido, another newly affected district. The few resources committed to control interventions in Soroti district have failed to contain the epidemic. The high prevalence of the parasite in cattle presents a significant risk for transmission to human beings and further spread of this neglected zoonotic disease. Targeted interventions are urgently needed to control epidemics and reduce the high mortality resulting from sleeping sickness.

Almada AA, Golden CD, Osofsky SA, Myers SS. A case for Planetary Health/Geohealth. GeoHealth [Internet]. 2017;1 (2) :75-78. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Concern has been spreading across scientific disciplines that the pervasive human transformation of Earth's natural systems is an urgent threat to human health. The simultaneous emergence of “GeoHealth” and “Planetary Health” signals recognition that developing a new relationship between humanity and our natural systems is becoming an urgent global health priority—if we are to prevent a backsliding from the past century's great public health gains. Achieving meaningful progress will require collaboration across a broad swath of scientific disciplines as well as with policy makers, natural resource managers, members of faith communities, and movement builders around the world in order to build a rigorous evidence base of scientific understanding as the foundation for more robust policy and resource management decisions that incorporate both environmental and human health outcomes.

Craig MH, Snow RW, Sueur DC. A Climate-based Distribution Model of Malaria Transmission in Sub-Saharan Africa. Parasitology Today [Internet]. 1999;15 :7. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Malaria remains the single largest threat to child survival in SSA, warranting long-term investment for control. The authors describe a numerical approach to defining malaria transmission distribution based upon climate-associated biological constraints on parasite and vector development as the basis for predicting impact of climate change on transmission. This summary is not an official abstract. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract

Brownstein JS, Holford TR, Fish D. A Climate-Based Model Predicts the Spatial Distribution of the Lyme Disease Vector Ixodes scapularis in the United States. Environmental Health Perspectives [Internet]. 2003;111 :1152. Publisher's VersionAbstract

An understanding of the spatial distribution of the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, is a fundamental component in assessing human risk for Lyme disease in much of the United States. Although a county-level vector distribution map exists for the United States, its accuracy is limited by arbitrary categories of its reported presence. It is unknown whether reported positive areas can support established populations and whether negative areas are suitable for established populations. The steadily increasing range of I. scapularis in the United States suggests that all suitable habitats are not currently occupied. Therefore, we developed a spatially predictive logistic model for I. scapularis in the 48 conterminous states to improve the previous vector distribution map. We used ground-observed environmental data to predict the probability of established I. scapularis populations. The autologistic analysis showed that maximum, minimum, and mean temperatures as well as vapor pressure significantly contribute to population maintenance with an accuracy of 95% (p < 0.0001). A cutoff probability for habitat suitability was assessed by sensitivity analysis and was used to reclassify the previous distribution map. The spatially modeled relationship between I. scapularis presence and large-scale environmental data provides a robust suitability model that reveals essential environmental determinants of habitat suitability, predicts emerging areas of Lyme disease risk, and generates the future pattern of I. scapularis across the United States. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]Copyright of Environmental Health Perspectives is the property of Superintendent of Documents and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts)

Lim SS, Vos T, Flaxman AD, Danaei G, Shibuya K, Adair-Rohani H, AlMazroa MA, Amann M, Anderson HR, Andrews KG, et al. A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet [Internet]. 2012;380 :2224-2260. Publisher's VersionAbstract


Quantification of the disease burden caused by different risks informs prevention by providing an account of health loss different to that provided by a disease-by-disease analysis. No complete revision of global disease burden caused by risk factors has been done since a comparative risk assessment in 2000, and no previous analysis has assessed changes in burden attributable to risk factors over time.


We estimated deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs; sum of years lived with disability [YLD] and years of life lost [YLL]) attributable to the independent effects of 67 risk factors and clusters of risk factors for 21 regions in 1990 and 2010. We estimated exposure distributions for each year, region, sex, and age group, and relative risks per unit of exposure by systematically reviewing and synthesising published and unpublished data. We used these estimates, together with estimates of cause-specific deaths and DALYs from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, to calculate the burden attributable to each risk factor exposure compared with the theoretical-minimum-risk exposure. We incorporated uncertainty in disease burden, relative risks, and exposures into our estimates of attributable burden.


In 2010, the three leading risk factors for global disease burden were high blood pressure (7·0% [95% uncertainty interval 6·2–7·7] of global DALYs), tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke (6·3% [5·5–7·0]), and household air pollution from solid fuels (4·3% [3·4–5·3]). In 1990, the leading risks were childhood underweight (7·9% [6·8–9·4]), household air pollution from solid fuels (HAP; 6·8% [5·5–8·0]), and tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke (6·1% [5·4–6·8]). Dietary risk factors and physical inactivity collectively accounted for 10·0% (95% UI 9·2–10·8) of global DALYs in 2010, with the most prominent dietary risks being diets low in fruits and those high in sodium. Several risks that primarily affect childhood communicable diseases, including unimproved water and sanitation and childhood micronutrient deficiencies, fell in rank between 1990 and 2010, with unimproved water and sanitation accounting for 0·9% (0·4–1·6) of global DALYs in 2010. However, in most of sub-Saharan Africa childhood underweight, HAP, and non-exclusive and discontinued breastfeeding were the leading risks in 2010, while HAP was the leading risk in south Asia. The leading risk factor in Eastern Europe, Andean Latin America, and southern sub-Saharan Africa in 2010 was alcohol use; in most of Asia, most of Latin America, North Africa and Middle East, and central Europe it was high blood pressure. Despite declines, tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke remained the leading risk in high-income north America and western Europe. High body-mass index has increased globally and it is the leading risk in Australasia and southern Latin America, and also ranks high in other high-income regions, North Africa and Middle East, and Oceania.


Worldwide, the contribution of different risk factors to disease burden has changed substantially, with a shift away from risks for communicable diseases in children towards those for non-communicable diseases in adults. These changes are related to the ageing population, decreased mortality among children younger than 5 years, changes in cause-of-death composition, and changes in risk factor exposures. New evidence has led to changes in the magnitude of key risks including unimproved water and sanitation, vitamin A and zinc deficiencies, and ambient particulate matter pollution. The extent to which the epidemiological shift has occurred and what the leading risks currently are varies greatly across regions. In much of sub-Saharan Africa, the leading risks are still those associated with poverty and those that affect children.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Turner BL, Kasperson RE, Matson PA, McCarthy JJ, Corell RW. A framework for vulnerability analysis in sustainability science, in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 100: 8074-79. ; 2003. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Global environmental change and sustainability science increasingly recognize the need to address the consequences of changes taking place in the structure and function of the biosphere. These changes raise questions such as: Who and what are vulnerable to the multiple environmental changes underway, and where? Research demonstrates that vulnerability is registered not by exposure to hazards (perturbations and stresses) alone but also resides in the sensitivity and resilience of the system experiencing such hazards. This recognition requires revisions and enlargements in the basic design of vulnerability assessments, including the capacity to treat coupled human–environment systems and those linkages within and without the systems that affect their vulnerability. A vulnerability framework for the assessment of coupled human–environment systems is presented.

Research on global environmental change has significantly improved our understanding of the structure and function of the biosphere and the human impress on both (1). The emergence of “sustainability science” (24) builds toward an understanding of the human–environment condition with the dual objectives of meeting the needs of society while sustaining the life support systems of the planet. These objectives, in turn, require improved dialogue between science and decision making (58). The vulnerability of coupled human–environment systems is one of the central elements of this dialogue and sustainability research (6911). It directs attention to such questions as: Who and what are vulnerable to the multiple environmental and human changes underway, and where? How are these changes and their consequences attenuated or amplified by different human and environmental conditions? What can be done to reduce vulnerability to change? How may more resilient and adaptive communities and societies be built?

Answers to these and related questions require conceptual frameworks that account for the vulnerability of coupled human–environment systems with diverse and complex linkages. Various expert communities have made considerable progress in pointing the way toward the design of these frameworks (1011). These advances are briefly reviewed here and, drawing on them, we present a conceptual framework of vulnerability developed by the Research and Assessment Systems for Sustainability Program ( that produced the set of works in this Special Feature of PNAS. The framework aims to make vulnerability analysis consistent with the concerns of sustainability and global environmental change science. The case study by Turner et al. (12) in this issue of PNAS illustrates how the framework informs vulnerability assessments.

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