Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Global Warming: Promoting Mosquito Expansion?

Aedes aegypti mosquito; cdc.gov
Here is an interesting study by Lozano-Fuentes and colleagues that was just published in this month's American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. They looked at the presence of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes across a number of communities at different elevations in Mexico and found that the mosquitoes were present at elevations as high as 2,130 meters, over 300 meters higher than previously described in Mexico. The authors posit that global warming may increase the geographic range of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, thereby putting previously protected populations at risk of mosquito-borne illnesses. Their results are intriguing (although by no means conclusive) and contribute to the growing body of literature examining the effects of climate change on emerging infectious diseases.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are an important vector for a number of viruses, including dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. Conceivably, if the geographic range of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes expands more people will be at risk for these serious infections. The ongoing dengue outbreak in Madeira and recent reports of infections in the United States illustrate the need for further research into the relationship between climate change and emerging infectious diseases, and underscores the need for robust surveillance for all emerging mosquito-borne infections.

No comments:

Post a Comment