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 A new approach to targeting cancer cells
20.05.2019 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht Radioisotope couple for tumor diagnosis and therapy
14.05.2019 | Kanazawa 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: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Synthesis of helical ladder polymers

21.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

Ultra-thin superlattices from gold nanoparticles for nanophotonics

21.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

Chaperones keep the tumor suppressor protein p53 in check: How molecular escorts help prevent cancer

21.05.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>