Navigation Links
Scientists make first map of emerging-disease hotpsots
Date:2/20/2008

An international research team has provided the first scientific evidence that deadly emerging diseases have risen steeply across the world, and has mapped the outbreaks main sources. They say new diseases originating from wild animals in poor nations are the greatest threat to humans. Expansion of humans into shrinking pockets of biodiversity and resulting contacts with wildlife are the reason, they say. Meanwhile, richer nations are nursing other outbreaks, including multidrug-resistant pathogen strains, through overuse of antibiotics, centralized food processing and other technologies. The study appears in the Feb. 21 issue of the leading scientific journal Nature.

Emerging diseasesdefined as newly identified pathogens, or old ones moving to new regions--have caused devastating outbreaks already. The HIV/AIDS pandemic, thought to have started from human contact with chimps, has led to over 65 million infections; recent outbreaks of SARS originating in Chinese bats have cost up to $100 billion. Outbreaks like the exotic African Ebola virus have been small, but deadly.

Despite three decades of research, previous attempts to explain these seemingly random emergences were unsuccessful. In the new study, researchers from four institutions analyzed 335 emerging diseases from 1940 to 2004, then converted the results into maps correlated with human population density, population changes, latitude, rainfall and wildlife biodiversity. They showed that disease emergences have roughly quadrupled over the past 50 years. Some 60% of the diseases traveled from animals to humans (such diseases are called zoonoses) and the majority of those came from wild creatures. With data corrected for lesser surveillance done in poorer countries, hot spots jump out in areas spanning sub-Saharan Africa, India and China; smaller spots appear in Europe, and North and South America.

We are crowding wildlife into ever-smaller areas, and human population is increasing, said coauthor Marc Levy, a global-change expert at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), an affiliate of Columbia Universitys Earth Institute. The meeting of these two things is a recipe for something crossing over. The main sources are mammals. Some pathogens may be picked up by hunting or accidental contact; others, such as Malaysias Nipah virus, go from wildlife to livestock, then to people. Humans have evolved no resistance to zoonoses, so the diseases can be extraordinarily lethal. The scientists say that the more wild species in an area, the more pathogen varieties they may harbor. Kate E. Jones, an evolutionary biologist at the Zoological Society of London and first author of the study, said the work urgently highlights the need to prevent further intrusion into areas of high biodiversity. It turns out that conservation may be an important means of preventing new diseases, she said.

About 20 percent of known emergences are multidrug-resistant strains of previously known pathogens, including tuberculosis. Richer nations increasing reliance on modern antibiotics has helped breed such dangerous strains, said Peter Daszak, an emerging-diseases biologist with the Consortium for Conservation Medicine at the Wildlife Trust, another Earth Institute affiliate, who directed the study. Daszak said that some strains, such as lethal variants of the common bacteria e. coli, now spread widely with great speed because products like raw vegetables are processed in huge, centralized facilities. Disease can be a cost of development, he said.

The groups analyses showed also that more diseases emerged in the 1980s than any other decadelikely due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which led to other new diseases in immune-compromised victims. In the 1990s, insect-transmitted diseases saw a peak, possibly in reaction to rapid climate changes that started taking hold then. Team members soon hope to study this possibility and its future implications.

Daszak says the study has immediate uses. The worlds public-health resources are misallocated, he said. Most are focused on richer countries that can afford surveillance, but most of the hotspots are in developing countries. If you look at the high-impact diseases of the future, were missing the point. Team members say nations must share more technology and resources in hotspots to reduce risk. We need to start finding pathogens before they emerge, said Daszak.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kevin Krajick
kkrajick@ei.columbia.edu
212-854-9729
The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists shed light on long-distance signaling in developing neurons
2. Scientists explore consciousness
3. Scientists using laser light to detect potential diseases via breath samples, says new study
4. Scientists move towards stem cell therapy trials to mend shattered bones
5. U-M scientists develop tool to probe role of oxidative stress in aging, disease
6. Scientists Show Stem Cells Dont Cause Cancer
7. Microbial cheaters help scientists ID social genes
8. Scientists solve structure of gene regulator that plays key role in cancer
9. VEGF Neutralization Can Damage Brain Vessels, Say Schepens Eye Research Institute Scientists
10. VEGF neutralization can damage brain vessels, say Schepens Eye Research Institute scientists
11. Precious Time - Scientists discover how long heart failure patients can expect to live
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists make first map of emerging-disease hotpsots
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board of ... its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his ... July 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon assuming ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, ... member of ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. ... and rules. It also provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, ... towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The ... social audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare ... (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 ... characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC), will host its fiscal ... Friday, November 3, 2017, beginning at 7:00 a.m. (CDT) ... a.m. (CDT) / 9:30 a.m. (EDT). In ... guidance for 2018, Hill-Rom executives will also highlight the ... long-range financial outlook through 2020. ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... 27, 2017  Commended for their devotion to personalized service, ... as number one in the South Florida Business Journal,s 50 ... 5000 yearly list, the national specialty pharmacy has found its ... will soon be honored by SFBJ as the 2017 ... Set to receive his award in October, Bardisa said ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... 25, 2017   Montrium , an industry ... today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files & Inspection ... that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected eTMF ... TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European contract research ... increase transparency to enable greater collaboration with sponsors, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: