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 Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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 evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>