Local climate influences dengue transmission

Feb 17, 2009

Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that dengue transmission in Puerto Rico is dependent upon local climate and short-term changes in temperature and precipitation. Details are published February 17 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

"Previous studies have shown that there are biological relationships between temperature, precipitation and dengue transmission, but empirical evidence of these relationships is inconsistent," says Michael Johansson, a postdoctoral fellow with the CDC's National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne and Enteric Diseases Dengue Branch in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

"This finding on how local climate moderates the relationship between temperature, precipitation and dengue incidence helps explain previous discrepancies," he says. "It also suggests that the effects of global climate change on dengue transmission will be local rather than global."

The study looked at 20 years of data from 77 municipalities in Puerto Rico to demonstrate how local climate alters the patterns of disease transmission. The researchers found that even in a relatively small geographical area there were differences in the relationship between weather and dengue transmission.

For example, in the southwestern coast, where it is hot and dry, precipitation played a very strong role and temperature a lesser role in dengue transmission. In these dry areas, the lack of water limits mosquito reproduction. In contrast, in the cooler central mountains, temperature is more important and precipitation less important because the lower temperatures there slow mosquito and virus development.

Dengue is a disease caused by any one of four closely related viruses (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, or DENV-4). The viruses are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The dengue viruses are the most widely distributed and damaging arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) affecting humans. The viruses and their predominant mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, are endemic to most of the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, where they cause seasonal epidemics varying in size. In Puerto Rico, thousands of dengue cases and several dengue-related deaths are reported every year.

Citation: Johansson MA, Dominici F, Glass GE (2009) Local and Global Effects of Climate on Dengue Transmission in Puerto Rico. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 3(2): e382. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000382, dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0000382

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Doctors' checklist could help decrease length of COPD patients' hospital stay

Related Stories

California beaches reopen after goo cleanup

1 hour ago

Seven miles of Southern California beach shut down for three days by an invasion of oily goo were reopened Friday evening after health officials declared the sand and water safe following a cleanup.

Self-folding robot walks, swims, climbs, dissolves

1 hour ago

A demo sparking interest at the ICRA 2015 conference in Seattle was all about an origami robot that was worked on by researchers. More specifically, the team members are from the computer science and artificial ...

Recommended for you

'Ebola will return', veteran scientist warns

1 hour ago

Congolese expert Jean-Jacques Muyembe may be little known to the public, but he has been one of the world's top Ebola investigators since the first epidemic erupted in central Africa in 1976.

Score IDs patients with upper extremity DVT at low risk

16 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For patients with upper-extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT), six easily available factors can be used to create a score that identifies those at low risk of adverse events during the first ...

Combined drug treatment combats kidney disease

May 29, 2015

A recent discovery by drug researchers whereby coupling specific cell membrane receptors has altered kidney cell function has triggered a re-think of how to treat chronic kidney disease (CKD) more effectively.

Active substance targeting dreaded hospital germs

May 29, 2015

In the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), scientists have conducted clinical studies on an active substance against the dreaded hospital pathogen Staphylococcus aureus: a highly effective protein from bacteriophages ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.