Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Report highlights diseases from the environment

07.03.2005


While many infectious diseases are caused by human-to-human transmission, others are caused by microorganisms that exist in the outside environment. Scientists from a variety of fields, including medicine and the environment, must work together to address the challenges posed by these environmental pathogens, according to a new report, From Outside to Inside: Environmental Microorganisms as Human Pathogens, released today by the American Academy of Microbiology.



"The key difference between environmental pathogens and other human pathogens is their ability to survive and thrive outside the host. Their widespread occurrence in the environment makes them difficult to monitor and control," says Gerard Cangelosi of the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute at the University of Washington, one of the authors of the report. "The fields of medical and environmental microbiology need to be better integrated to stimulate the type of work that is required to combat environmental pathogens effectively, and the development and improvement of surveillance and reporting strategies should be a top priority."

Environmental pathogens are defined as microorganisms that normally spend a substantial part of their lifecycle outside human hosts, but when introduced to humans cause disease with measurable frequency. They are carried in the water, soil, air, food and other parts of the environment and can affect almost every individual on the planet. Some examples of environmental pathogens include Legionella pneumophila (the cause of Legionnaires disease, often found in air conditioning systems), West Nile virus, and Cryptosporidium parvum (a parasite that can be found in food, drinking water and recreational waters).


In addition to better integration of medical and environmental research, the report recommends more effective monitoring of pathogens in the environment to allow researchers to better understand the incidence and persistence of pathogens in areas that are considered to be at risk for harboring these organisms. Multidisciplinary research must also be fostered to better predict how changes in the environment may affect the frequency of environmental diseases.

"These threats to human health can only be assessed in a comprehensive multidisciplinary context in which ecology, epidemiology, and emerging areas in environmental engineering and microbiology are integrated. This combined approach can yield immediate and long-term health benefits by mitigating established environmental risks, identifying risky situations for disease emerging and finding the causes of diseases of unknown etiology," says Cangelosi.

The report is the result of a colloquium convened by the Academy in February 2004 to discuss environmental pathogens and the current state of research on these organisms. Scientists with expertise in infectious diseases, food microbiology, bacteriology, molecular biology, microbial ecology, pathogenic mycology and other areas in the microbiological sciences participated. Participants considered the knowledge gaps related to the incidence and epidemiology of environmental infectious diseases, dynamics of human pathogens in the environment, ways to alleviate environmental infectious diseases, research needs in the field and education and communication issues.

Angelo R. Bouselli | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asm.org
http://www.asm.org/Academy/index.asp?bid=2093

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>