Navigation Links
Warming trend may contribute to malaria's rise

Could global warming be contributing to the resurgence of malaria in the East African Highlands?

A widely-cited study published a few years ago said no, but new research by an international team that includes University of Michigan theoretical ecologist Mercedes Pascual finds that, while other factors such as drug and pesticide resistance, changing land use patterns and human migration also may play roles, climate change cannot be ruled out.

"Our results do not mean that temperature is the only or the main factor driving the increase in malaria, but that it is one of many factors that should be considered," Pascual said. The new study is slated to be published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

After being nearly or completely eradicated in many parts of the world, malaria still affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide and has been on the rise in some highland regions and desert fringes. Because the life cycle of the mosquito that transmits malaria and the microorganism that causes the disease are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature, some scientists have speculated that rising average temperatures may be making conditions more favorable for mosquitoes and pathogen development, leading in turn to the surge in malaria cases.

But a 2002 study found no significant changes in average temperature in the highlands of East Africa, where malaria has become a serious public health problem, prompting its authors to dismiss the malaria-climate link. Not all scientists were convinced, however, and the topic has been hotly debated over the past four years.

Pascual revisited the question, using updated temperature data and improved analysis techniques. The result?

"I did find evidence for an increase in temperature, which the authors of the previous paper said was not there," Pascual said. The increase was small---half a degree over the period from 1950 to 2002---but using a math ematical model, Pascual and coworkers showed that even such slight warming could have biological consequences.

"We showed that a small increase in temperature can lead to a much larger increase in the abundance of mosquitoes," she said. "And because mosquito abundance is generally quite low in these highland regions, any increase in abundance can be an important factor in transmission of the disease."

In the current study, the researchers looked only at the link between temperature and mosquito abundance, not at malaria statistics. In future work, Pascual plans to incorporate malaria data and to explore the interaction of various factors that may affect the spread of malaria.

"I think it's reasonable to assume that these factors are not independent," Pascual said. "It's important to understand how they interact and also to see if we can determine their relative importance. This is a very polarized field, in terms of supporting or not supporting the role of climate versus other factors. We don't want to contribute to the polarization, which I think is very unproductive in terms of the science. I hope we can move from this sort of debate into a more constructive one about interactions and relative roles of all the factors that may be contributing to the resurgence of malaria."


'"/>

Source:University of Michigan


Related biology news :

1. Warming oceans threaten Antarctic glaciers
2. World shark attacks dipped in 2005, part of long-term trend
3. Variation in HIVs ability to disable host defenses contributes to rapid evolution
4. Jumping genes contribute to the uniqueness of individual brains
5. Agricultural antibiotic use contributes to super-bugs in humans
6. Molecular cabal contributes to stroke damage
7. Infections could contribute to adult brain tumours
8. Behavioral studies show UV contributes to marsupial color vision
9. UCI scientists find chlorine may contribute to ozone formation
10. Scientists work to identify genes that contribute to early heart attack risk
11. Protein averts cell suicide but might contribute to cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/19/2017)... The global military biometrics market ... by the presence of several large global players. The ... major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS Technology, ... 61% of the global military biometric market in 2016. ... military biometrics market boast global presence, which has catapulted ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event in ... and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and Smart ... the expo portion of the event and feature a ... on trending topics within 3D printing and smart manufacturing. ... will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob K. ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% ... Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market ... landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 ... enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity ... for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a ... of a nationwide oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which ... growing need for communication among health care professionals to enhance ... physicians, nurses, office staff, and other health care professionals to ... for breast cancer. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator ... osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem Biopharma, ... The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held on ... DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: