Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

CABI Book Chapter

Invasive species and human health.

Book cover for Invasive species and human health.


This book, which consists of 11 chapters, highlights the major impact of invasive alien plants and animals on human health. This includes not only direct effects through contact with the species via bites, wounds and disease, but also indirect effects caused by changes induced in ecosystems by invasive species, such as more water hyacinth increasing mosquito levels and thereby the potential for ma...

Chapter 7 (Page no: 91)

Invasive freshwater invertebrates and fishes: impacts on human health.

Inland waters are subject to more widespread biotic invasions than terrestrial ecosystems. During the last century, 756 aquatic species were introduced in Europe, frequently carrying new parasites for native fauna and humans. The consequences of such invasions are the loss of the invaders' original parasites, the introduction of new parasites, or new intermediate hosts or vectors for existing parasites. Many parasites are water-borne and need aquatic species to complete their transmission cycles. The list of 100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species (Lowe et al., 2000) does not take into account human health problems, so a risk assessment of the consequences of invasive freshwater alien species requires more attention. Here we review the direct and indirect impacts of invasive freshwater alien species on human health. Direct impacts include the injuries or allergies and new contaminants (bacteria, toxins), and their role as intermediate hosts to human parasites. Indirect impacts include the effects of the chemicals needed to control these aliens, changes to ecosystem services making the invaded area less suitable for recreational human use and damage to cultivation/aquaculture affecting human well-being in developing countries. A clear management response is urgently needed to halt their spread and reduce or minimize the risk of human and wildlife disease.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) Poisonous and venomous: marine alien species in the Mediterranean Sea and human health. Author(s): Galil, B.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 16) Invasive alien plant impacts on human health and well-being. Author(s): Lazzaro, L., Essl, F., Lugliè, A., Padedda, B. M., Pyšek, P., Brundu, G.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 34) Human health impact by alien spiders and scorpions. Author(s): Nentwig, W.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 49) Ticks and dust mites: invasive and health-affecting borderline organisms. Author(s): Simoni, S., Grandi, G.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 63) Bugs, ants, wasps, moths and other insect species. Author(s): Roques, A., Preda, C., Augustin, S., Auger-Rozenberg, M. A.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 76) The invasive mosquitoes of medical importance. Author(s): Romi, R., Boccolini, D., Luca, M. di, Medlock, J. M., Schaffner, F., Severini, F., Toma, L.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 108) Risks for human health related to invasive alien reptiles and amphibians. Author(s): Pauwels, O. S. G., Pantchev, N.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 120) Do alien free-ranging birds affect human health? A global summary of known zoonoses. Author(s): Mori, E., Meini, S., Strubbe, D., Ancillotto, L., Sposimo, P., Menchetti, M.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 130) Impact of alien mammals on human health. Author(s): Capizzi, D., Monaco, A., Genovesi, P., Scalera, R., Carnevali, L.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 151) Climate change and increase of impacts on human health by alien species. Author(s): Schindler, S., Rabitsch, W., Essl, F.