Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Climate and Cholera: an increasingly important link

13.09.2002


A study by the coordinator of the Research Group on Climate at the Barcelona Science Park, University of Barcelona, Dr Xavier Rodó, and other researchers at the University of Michigan and the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh, provides evidence not only that climatic variation associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) affects the appearance of cholera epidemics, as shown by a previous publication in Science by the same group, but also that the relationship has become stronger in the past few years, in parallel with the intensification of ENSO caused by climatic change. The study is to be published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) on 17 September.



The relation between infectious diseases and climate has been a subject of controversy in the scientific community in recent years. According to Rodó, this study “is one of the first demonstrations of the possible effects of climatic change on the incidence of infectious diseases”. In addition, the study has led to the development of a new statistical tool that has enabled researchers to show that the correlation between cholera and climate is three times as strong as that shown by earlier statistical studies.

The study was performed in cooperation with Mercedes Pascual at the University of Michigan and George Fuchs and Anwaral S. G. Faruque at the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh.


In the earlier study, published in Science (8 September, 2000), the authors found evidence that ENSO influenced the cholera cycles using climate and epidemic data from the area of Bangladesh for the last two decades. In contrast, in the paper to be published on 17 September, the authors have enlarged the earlier study with new statistical tests also based on data for the period 1893-1940. Their aim was to see whether the influence of climate on the cholera cycles had become more intense in recent years.

The statistical study revealed a very high correlation between the effects of ENSO and the appearance of cholera epidemics in recent times, and a weaker or absent correlation in the historic data. This shows that the incidence of cholera is associated with the climatic change induced by ENSO. After warm periods, the incidence of the disease increases, while it decreases markedly after cold ENSO episodes.

This correlation is also revealed by a predictive model that was developed during the study, which could be used to plan health measures in the areas affected.

The authors emphasise that these results probably reflect the changes caused by the joint action of ENSO and planetary warming. However, this correlation between the variation shown by ENSO and climatic change has yet to be demonstrated, and it remains a source of controversy among scientists. Nevertheless, it has been shown that since the end of the 1970’s, in parallel with planetary warming, the warm periods induced by ENSO have been progressively more intense. In South-East Asia, the regional rise in regional temperature as a result of climatic change and ENSO can lead to the proliferation of bacteria that inhabit salty waters and thrive at high temperatures. These findings, together with the fact that people tend to have more contact with water during hot periods, may explain the higher correlation between ENSO and cholera in recent decades.


*Cholera is an acute infectious disease of the small intestine, caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae and characterized by profuse watery diarrhoea, vomiting and leg cramps. It is transmitted via contaminated food and water, and is present in more than 75 countries.

Rosina Malagrida | alfa

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections
17.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Tiny magnetic implant offers new drug delivery method
14.02.2017 | University of British Columbia

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>