Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ecology drives the worldwide distribution of human diseases

15.06.2004


Mounting evidence suggests that ecological and climatic conditions influence the emergence, spread, and recurrence of infectious diseases. Global climate change is likely to aggravate climate-sensitive diseases in unpredictable ways.




Increasingly, public health programs aimed at preventing and controlling disease outbreaks are considering aspects of the ecology of infectious diseases--how hosts, vectors, and parasites interact with each other and their environment. The hope is that by understanding how ecological factors impact the global distribution of parasitic and infectious diseases, public health officials can predict and contain future outbreaks.

Even though parasitic and infectious organisms account for a major fraction of the biological diversity on the planet, few studies have analyzed the factors affecting the spatial distribution of these organisms or attempted to quantify their contribution to biodiversity. In this issue, Vanina Guernier, Michael Hochberg, and Jean-Francois Guegan address the influence of ecological factors on the biological diversity and distribution of parasitic and infectious diseases. After compiling epidemiological data on 332 different human pathogens across 224 countries, Guernier et al. used sophisticated statistical modeling methods to identify and characterize the influence of a number of potential contributing factors on species richness. They found that climatic factors are the most important determinant of the global distribution of human pathogens.


The finding has important implications for predicting and managing future infectious disease outbreaks. These results counter the conventional assumption that socioeconomic conditions are the most important factor in controlling disease, indicating that global climate change could have far more significant effects on global patterns of disease, with diseases once relegated to the tropics migrating to temperate zones, for example. Identifying the links between ecology and disease, however, could lay the foundation for effective preventive strategies.


Citation: Guernier V, Hochberg ME, Guegan J-F (2004) Ecology drives the worldwide distribution of human diseases. PLoS Biol 2(6):e141. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020141.

CONTACT:
Vanina Guernier
IRD
Unite de Genetique des Maladies Infectieuses
Montpellier, France
33-0-4-6741-6205
guernier@mpl.ird.fr

Susanne DeRisi | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plosbiology.org/plosonline/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0020141

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>