Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Climate-based Model to Predict West Nile Virus Activity

15.07.2004


Cornell University scientists are launching a full-scale study on the influence of climate on mosquito populations that transmit diseases such as West Nile virus (WNV) to humans. Funded by a $495,000 Global Programs grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the three-year project is a collaborative effort involving medical entomologists, climatologists, social scientists and risk analysts, as well as local and state health department officials.



"We propose to develop a system for predicting and monitoring risk of mosquito vectors, West Nile virus transmission and human health risk that will be readily usable by public health professionals for decision-making," says Laura Harrington, Cornell assistant professor of entomology and the project’s principal investigator. "This system will provide a mechanism for early warning of West Nile virus risk and serve as a model for other existing and future vector-borne disease risks for which vectors are already present in the United States. These risks include Rift Valley fever, Japanese encephalitis and Ross River viruses."

Arthur T. DeGaetano, Cornell associate professor of climatology and director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center, is a co-principal investigator.


To develop, refine and validate the system, researchers will focus their efforts on New York state, with the view to making the system adaptable to any region. Harrington and DeGaetano hypothesize that a few key climate factors influence and drive WNV transmission dynamics and these key factors can be modeled to accurately predict the risk of WNV transmission to people.

Harrington and Renee R. Anderson, a Cornell Cooperative Extension associate in Cornell’s Department of Entomology, will determine the effects of temperature on development of key West Nile mosquito vectors in the laboratory and under realistic field conditions. DeGaetano will develop a forecasting model based on climate to predict periods of vector and pathogen abundance and human risk. Lois Levitan, a Cornell senior extension associate and Environmental Risk Analysis

Program leader, will determine the information needs of public health and vector control professionals as it relates to risk analysis. Five public health and vector control officials from across New York state will take part in the project, along with Cornell graduate and undergraduate students.

The study will integrate and expand on data acquired during a 2003 NOAA-funded pilot study. Mosquitoes develop in microhabitats, according to Harrington. The correlation of climate data with microhabitat information provides scientific clues to how mosquito populations develop and age. Older mosquitoes are the carriers of WNV, becoming infected when they feed on "reservoir" animals, such as birds, and undergo an incubation period of the virus lasting five to 14 days. During subsequent blood meals after this incubation period, the mosquitoes inject the virus into humans and animals, where it can multiply and sometimes cause illness. Outdoor temperatures determine both the rate the virus replicates in the mosquito and the rate mosquitoes age.

While mosquitoes can live as long as three or four months in a laboratory, their life span in the wild is much shorter. Thanks to predators and pathogens, the longest the average mosquito can live is probably three to four weeks, says Harrington. During the height of summer heat, a mosquito can age and become a full adult within seven to nine days.

Previous efforts to link climate information and mosquito vector management have failed for a variety of reasons, Harrington says.

"By directly addressing and overcoming the reasons why previous models have failed, the unique group of collaborators assembled for this project will gather the data needed to build realistic, validated and effective models for predicting vector activity and human health risk," she says.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>