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 Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

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: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Reptile vocalization is surprisingly flexible

30.05.2017 | Life Sciences

EU research project DEMETER strives for innovation in enzyme production technology

30.05.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>