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:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... The ... from offices headquartered in Hamilton County, is embarking on a charity drive with ... in finding new homes for orphaned or neglected senior dogs in the Cincinnati ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Peter Zipp Insurance, an ... around the greater Phoenix metropolitan region, is announcing a charity event to provide ... the Homeless Youth Connection is to promote community awareness of the ongoing needs ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... The Compretta Insurance Agency, ... residential clients in and around the Hancock County area, is announcing the launch of ... Food Pantry. , The Hancock County Food Pantry has worked for more than 30 ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... services to families and business owners in and around central Kansas, is joining ... to at-risk youth in the region. , Headquartered in Wichita, Youth Horizons works ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Students attending Envision’s summer 2017 National ... hands-on experience in an emergency medical simulation, When Care is Hours Away. This ... medical skills that are critical success in a future career and beyond. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016 KEY FINDINGS ... share of the market in 2016 and is expected ... be attributed to a large number of surgical procedures ... the largest share in the patient temperature management market.) ... as reducing loss of blood during surgeries, lowering the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Endodontic Supplies ... ... the worldwide markets for Endodontic Supplies in US$ Thousand. The report provides separate ... , Europe , Asia-Pacific , ... and forecasts are provided for the period 2015 through 2022. Also, a six-year ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... CITY , Dec. 8, 2016 ... US patents for improving the accuracy, reproducibility and ... images in long and small bone orthopaedic applications. ... approach to creating personalized orthopaedic restorations based on ... personalized orthopaedic restorations, the company harnesses the world,s ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: