Climatic and environmental patterns associated with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Four Corners region, United States.
To investigate climatic, spatial, temporal, and environmental patterns associated with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) cases in the Four Corners region, we collected exposure site data for HPS cases that occurred in 1993 to 1995. Cases clustered seasonally and temporally by biome type and geographic location, and exposure sites were most often found in pinyon-juniper woodlands, grasslands, and Great Basin desert scrub lands, at elevations of 1,800 m to 2,500 m. Environmental factors (e.g., the dramatic increase in precipitation associated with the 1992 to 1993 El Nino) may indirectly increase the risk for Sin Nombre virus exposure and therefore may be of value in designing disease prevention campaigns. (+info)
Long-term studies of hantavirus reservoir populations in the southwestern United States: rationale, potential, and methods.
Hantaviruses are rodent-borne zoonotic agents that cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in Asia and Europe and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in North and South America. The epidemiology of human diseases caused by these viruses is tied to the ecology of the rodent hosts, and effective control and prevention relies on a through understanding of host ecology. After the 1993 HPS outbreak in the southwestern United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiated long-term studies of the temporal dynamics of hantavirus infection in host populations. These studies, which used mark-recapture techniques on 24 trapping webs at nine sites in the southwestern United States, were designed to monitor changes in reservoir population densities and in the prevalence and incidence of infection; quantify environmental factors associated with these changes; and when linked to surveillance databases for HPS, lead to predictive models of human risk to be used in the design and implementation of control and prevention measures for human hantavirus disease. (+info)
Long-term studies of hantavirus reservoir populations in the southwestern United States: a synthesis.
A series of intensive, longitudinal, mark-recapture studies of hantavirus infection dynamics in reservoir populations in the southwestern United States indicates consistent patterns as well as important differences among sites and host-virus associations. All studies found a higher prevalence of infection in older (particularly male) mice; one study associated wounds with seropositivity. These findings are consistent with horizontal transmission and transmission through fighting between adult male rodents. Despite very low rodent densities at some sites, low-level hantavirus infection continued, perhaps because of persistent infection in a few long-lived rodents or periodic reintroduction of virus from neighboring populations. Prevalence of hantavirus antibody showed seasonal and multiyear patterns that suggested a delayed density-dependent relationship between prevalence and population density. Clear differences in population dynamics and patterns of infection among sites, sampling periods, and host species underscore the importance of replication and continuity of long-term reservoir studies. Nevertheless, the measurable associations between environmental variables, reservoir population density, rates of virus transmission, and prevalence of infection in host populations may improve our capacity to model processes influencing infection and predict increased risk for hantavirus transmission to humans. (+info)
Suppression of giardiasis during the intestinal phase of trichinosis in the mouse.
The interaction of the intestinal phases of Giardia muris and Trichinella spiralis was investigated in Swiss albino mice. Intraoesophageal inoculation of G. muris cysts seven days before, or seven days after, similar inoculation of T. spiralis larvae resulted in significant reduction in the numbers of Giardia trophozoites in small bowel and Giardia cysts in stools. This effect was not observed when G. muris cysts were administered after resolution of the intestinal phase of trichinosis. Giardiasis had no effect on trichinosis as assessed by numbers of adult worms in small bowel and larvae in skeletal muscles. Studies of small bowel morphology showed that the intestinal phase of trichinosis was associated with increased numbers of inflammatory cells in the lamina propria, a significant increase in Paneth cells in crypts, and a marked reduction in the villus:crypt ratio of jejunum. These observations suggest that the intestinal phase of trichinosis induced environmental changes in small bowel, perhaps related to inflammation, which resulted in suppression of proliferation of Giardia trophozoites. (+info)
Protective effect of breastfeeding: an ecologic study of Haemophilus influenzae meningitis and breastfeeding in a Swedish population.
BACKGROUND: In Orebro County, Sweden, a 2.5-fold increase in the incidence of Haemophilus influenzae (HI) meningitis was found between 1970 and 1980. In a case-control study of possible risk factors for invasive HI infection conducted in the same area, 1987-1992, breastfeeding was found to be a strong protective factor. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In order to study the relation between incidence rates of HI meningitis between 1956-1992 and breastfeeding rates in the population an ecologic study was performed. RESULTS: A strong (negative) correlation between breastfeeding and incidence of HI infection 5 to 10 years later (rho(xy) (s) approximately -0.6) was seen, whereas no relation seems to exist for the time lag 15 years and beyond. The correlation for contemporary data was intermediate. There were similar results for the breastfeeding proportions at 2, 4 as well as 6 months of age. DISCUSSION: Our ecologic data are consistent with results from our case-control study. The time-lag for the delayed effect on the population level could be estimated although sparse data make the estimates vulnerable to sampling fluctuations. Limitations with ecologic studies are discussed. CONCLUSION: There seems to be an association between high breastfeeding rate in the population and a reduced incidence of HI meningitis 5 to 10 years later. These results do have implications on strategies for breastfeeding promotion, especially in countries where Hib vaccination is too costly and not yet implemented. (+info)
Towards a kala azar risk map for Sudan: mapping the potential distribution of Phlebotomus orientalis using digital data of environmental variables.
The need to define the geographical distribution of Phlebotomus orientalis results from its importance as the dominant vector of kala azar (visceral Iceishmaniasis) in Sudan. Recent epidermics of this disease in southern and eastern Sudan caused an estimated 100000 deaths and have renewed the impetus for defining the ecological boundaries of the vector. This information is an essential prerequisite to the production of a risk map for kala azar. This study uses data on the presence and absence of P. orientalis from 44 collecting sites across the central belt of Sudan. A logistic regression model was used to estimate the probability of the presence of P. orientalis at each collecting site as a function of climatic and environmental variables (rainfall; temperature; altitude; soil type and the satellite-derived environmental proxies - Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and Land Surface Temperature). The logistic regression model indicates mean annual maximum daily temperature and soil type as the most important ecological determinants of P. orientalis distribution. An initial risk map was created in a raster-based geographical information system which delineates the area where P. orientalis may occur. This map was then refined using a mask layer indicating the known rainfall-based boundaries of the distribution of Acacia-Balanites woodland - a woodland type known to be associated with the distribution of this vector. The predictive performance of the risk map is discussed. (+info)
A theoretical and empirical investigation of the invasion dynamics of colicinogeny.
A mathematical model describing the dynamics of a colicinogenic and a colicin-sensitive population propagated under serial transfer culture conditions was formulated. In addition, a series of in vitro invasion experiments using six representatives of the E colicin group was undertaken, together with the estimation of the growth rates and colicinogenic characteristics of the strains. Growth rates among the strains varied by up to 44%. There were 14-fold differences among strains in their lysis rates and there were up to 10-fold differences in the amount of colicin produced per lysed cell. The in vitro serial transfer invasion experiments revealed that regardless of initial frequency all colicinogenic strains succeeded in displacing the sensitive cell populations. The amount of time required for the colicin-sensitive cell population to be displaced declined as the initial frequency of the colicinogenic population increased and strains producing higher titres of colicin tended to displace the sensitive strain more rapidly. Overall, the observed dynamics of the invasion of colicinogenic strains was adequately described by the theoretical model. However, despite there being substantial differences among the strains in their growth rates and colicinogenic characteristics there were relatively few differences, observed or predicted, in the invasion dynamics of the six colicinogenic strains. These results suggest that the characteristics of different colicinogenic strains cannot be used to explain the extensive variation in the relative abundance of different colicins in natural populations of bacteria. (+info)
Selected phenolic compounds in cultivated plants: ecologic functions, health implications, and modulation by pesticides.
Phenolic compounds are widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Plant tissues may contain up to several grams per kilogram. External stimuli such as microbial infections, ultraviolet radiation, and chemical stressors induce their synthesis. The phenolic compounds resveratrol, flavonoids, and furanocoumarins have many ecologic functions and affect human health. Ecologic functions include defense against microbial pathogens and herbivorous animals. Phenolic compounds may have both beneficial and toxic effects on human health. Effects on low-density lipoproteins and aggregation of platelets are beneficial because they reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Mutagenic, cancerogenic, and phototoxic effects are risk factors of human health. The synthesis of phenolic compounds in plants can be modulated by the application of herbicides and, to a lesser extent, insecticides and fungicides. The effects on ecosystem functioning and human health are complex and cannot be predicted with great certainty. The consequences of the combined natural and pesticide-induced modulating effects for ecologic functions and human health should be further evaluated. (+info)