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 Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

nachricht The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

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: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Energy-Efficient Building Operation: Monitoring Platform MONDAS Identifies Energy-Saving Potential

16.01.2017 | Trade Fair News

Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

16.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

Sensory Stimuli Control Dopamine in the Brain

13.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>