Laura Rinaldi, BSc, PhD in Veterinary Sciences, AssEVPC, is Associate Professor of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases at the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, Italy. She received the WAAVP Peter Nansen Young Scientist Award 2011. She is President of the International Scientific Society of Geospatial Health; co-founder and Associate Editor of the Journal Geospatial Health and Section Editor of BMC Veterinary Research. Her scientific research and teaching experience mainly focus on epidemiology, diagnosis and control of parasitic infections of livestock and pets. Her main research activities (> 150 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals) focus on the use of geospatial tools and spatial analysis in the epidemiology of parasites.
Laura Rinaldi and Giuseppe Cringoli
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, CREMOPAR Campania Region, Naples, Italy
Geospatial health is now a firmly established approach for geo-positioning, collating, exploring, visualizing and analyzing parasitological data in a spatially explicit manner at various scales (local, regional and area-wide scales). The future of geospatial health is already taking place now with a plethora of technologies, methods, software, models, tools and web-based platforms available for scientists, practitioners, decision-makers and stakeholders working in the field of epidemiology and surveillance of parasitic infections. However, effective health responses depend upon the ability of quality data and sustainable health systems to provide accurate and timely information for action. Use of new technologies supported by mobile-, visual- and electronic-based (m-, v- and e-health) approaches as well as improved strategies of diagnosis are considered research priorities to strengthen the use of geospatial tools for monitoring and modeling parasites of veterinary importance. The overall strengths, weaknesses and challenges of using geospatial tools in veterinary parasitology deserve a SWOT analysis. Finally, recommendations are needed on how to make best use of geospatial tools to have a meaningful impact on control and prevention of parasitic infections in the era of climatic and global changes.