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:9/22/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... to help you brush more effectively even on the go. Their electric toothbrushes ... gingivitis and gum inflammation, with UV sanitizing technology. Combining leading edge Enke technology ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... Global Lyme Alliance ... research, education and awareness, today announced the appointment of Timothy J. Sellati, Ph.D. ... Sellati has more than 20 years of research experience with Lyme and other ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... The American Addiction Treatment Association (AATA) ... in the addiction treatment industry entitled: Special Investigations Unit (SIU) – What ... state and federal governments are increasingly scrutinizing the addiction treatment industry for fraudulent ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... , ... In addition to sticking with the new years ... and use natural alternatives for all house cleaning products, disinfectants, respiratory relief, and ... the new line of essential oils, are all 100% organic and natural. , ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... RICHMOND, Va. (PRWEB) , ... September 21, 2017 ... ... Richmond with a different approach to addiction recovery at a time when Virginia ... 1,420 deaths resulting from drug overdose, a staggering increase of 38 percent from ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/6/2017)...  Medical professionals are expected to continuously ... their patients. Medical simulations offer clinicians the ... Simulation provides a safe method for teaching ... refine techniques and build confidence, without putting ... such as augmented reality, will now provide ...
(Date:9/5/2017)... 5, 2017  Xyntek Inc. has announced another milestone in their continued growth ... to meet the growing demands of customer engagements regionally.  ... Xyntek's new Midwest office is located at 318 West Adams Street, Suite ... Xyntek's ... ...
(Date:9/1/2017)... , Sept. 1, 2017  Explorers Like Us ( https://explorerslikeus.com/ ... greatest aural experiences — and deliver these experiences as part ... help people feel and heal better. ... While nothing beats a walk, jog ... your mind, Life Environments™ is the next best thing when ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: