Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Climate and cholera: an increasingly important link

28.08.2002


The link between climate and cholera, a serious health problem in many parts of the world, has become stronger in recent decades, say researchers from the University of Michigan, the University of Barcelona and the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh.



Their research will be published in the online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.

In a previous study published in the journal Science, the researchers found evidence that El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a major source of climate variability from year to year, influences cycles of cholera. In that work, they looked only at climate and disease data from Bangladesh for the past two decades. In the new research, they compared those results with data from Bangladesh for the periods 1893-1920 and 1920-1940 to see whether the coupling between climate variability and cholera cycles has become stronger in recent decades. Their examination of the data, which relied on a suite of techniques called time series analysis, suggests that it has.


“What is new in this work is not showing that ENSO plays a role in the variability of cholera, but that the role of ENSO has intensified,” says Mercedes Pascual, an assistant professor in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. In addition, the link is strongest following ENSO events, with cholera increasing after warm events and decreasing after cold events. In the years between events, the climate-cholera connection breaks down.

Scientists who study climate change predict that ENSO will become stronger and more variable in coming years under a global warming scenario, so understanding how its connection to human disease changes will be increasingly important, says Pascual.

Cholera, an intestinal infection with symptoms that may include diarrhea, vomiting and leg cramps, is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. People usually get the disease by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

The greater role of ENSO in cholera dynamics probably reflects known changes in ENSO itself, the researchers believe. Since the late 1970s, there has been a tendency toward warmer ENSO events, in conjunction with global warming. Because the disease-causing bacterium lives in brackish water and thrives in warm temperatures, it may be particularly sensitive to climate patterns. People also may be more likely to come in contact with contaminated water in warmer weather.

Other diseases, such as malaria and dengue, may be similarly affected by climate variability, says Pascual. But because other factors, such as patterns of immunity, also lead to cycles in disease dynamics, Pascual and her colleagues are working on methods to sort out the relative roles of climate and intrinsic factors such as temporary immunity.


Contact: Nancy Ross-Flanigan
Phone: (734) 647-1853
E-mail: rossflan@umich.edu

Nancy Ross-Flanigan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu/~newsinfo

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>