Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Satellite images predict hantaviral transmission risk

03.12.2002


Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutions report that satellite imagery could be used to determine areas at high-risk for exposure to Sin Nombre virus (SNV), a rodent-born disease that causes the often fatal hantaviral pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in humans. According to the researchers, satellite imaging detects the distinct environmental conditions that may serve as a refuge for the disease-carrying deer mice. Higher populations of infected deer mice increase the risk of HPS to humans. Their findings are published in the study, “Satellite Imagery Characterizes Local Animal Reservoir Populations of Sin Nombre Virus in Southwestern United States,” which will appear in the December 2, 2002, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.



Gregory E. Glass, PhD, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said, “This is an important finding because, at a practical level, it provides a way to monitor the environment for the risk of an infectious disease before an outbreak occurs. At a more basic level it gives us a way to better understand why outbreaks happen when and where they do.”

Before satellite imaging was used to predict high-risk areas, the only SNV tracking method was through rodent sampling or follow-up to human cases of disease. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers used Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) satellite data from 1997 and 1998 to identify environments associated with human risk of HPS caused by rodent SNV. LANDSAT 5 TM imagery was obtained for a study area in the southwestern United States where HPS was initially recognized in 1993. The images were processed and HPS risk maps were generated. Logistic regression was used to estimate risk using the digital numbers in each of the three TM bands. The researchers teamed with workers from the University of New Mexico, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center to validate the analysis. Field and laboratory studies of collected rodents were performed in 1998 and 1999. The sample consisted of 15,042 rodents. Researchers tested the deer mice for SNV and then compared their findings to their satellite projected images.


The prevalence of SNV infection in deer mouse populations varied among sites. Researchers found that high-risk sites were ecologically distinct from low-risk sites and SNV infection was prevalent among deer mice in high-risk areas. Woody plants, such as Ponderosa pine and Pinon pine, dominated high-risk sites. Low-risk sites usually contained snakeweed, saltbush, Creosote bush, sagebrush, tumbleweed, and mesquite.

Dr. Glass said, “Future studies could characterize the ecological dynamics of local environmental conditions and monitor SNV transmission in deer mouse populations and then compare theses sites with lower-risk locations. This approach will help identify the environmental determinants of SNV persistence in the environment. The sites may provide important insights into identifying the environmental conditions that lead to increased levels of SNV in reservoir populations and the subsequent increased risk of human disease.”


####
Joshua B. Fine, DVM, and Timothy M. Shields, MA, with the School’s Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, and Jonathan A. Patz, MD, MPH, with the School’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, co-authored the study.

Additional co-authors were Terry L. Yates, John B. Kendall, Andrew G. Hope, Cheryl A. Parmenter, C.J. Peters, Thomas G. Ksiazek, Chung-Sheng Li, and James N. Mills.

Research was supported by an Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and NASA. Additional support was received from a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Field studies were supported by NOAA and the Museum of Southwestern Biology.

Information on automatic e-mail delivery of science and medical news releases from Johns Hopkins University is available at www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/listserv.html

Kenna L. Brigham | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhsph.edu
http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/listserv.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>