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 Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

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: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>