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Special Issue "Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission"

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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Jeffrey Shaman

Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 West 168th Street, Allan Rosenfield Building, Room 1104C, New York, NY 10032, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: large-scale climate dynamics; tropical meteorology; climate prediction; monsoons; the hydrologic cycle; land surface processes; hillslope hydrology; infectious disease transmission and epidemiology; mosquito-borne disease; mosquito ecology; modeling and prediction of infectious disease

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The broader environment is known generally to affect the survival, transmission and seasonality of water-borne, air-borne and vector-borne pathogens. However, very often the specific mechanisms through which environmental conditions modulate pathogen dynamics are little understood. A better characterization of these drivers of infectious disease transmission requires consideration of factors such as climate, meteorology, water and air chemistry, land use and agricultural practices, the built environment, the indoor environment, and sanitation practices, as well as synergies among these potential drivers.
For this special issue we invite submissions that examine the effects of these environmental determinants on disease system dynamics, including pathogen survival, vector survival, vector behavior, host survival, host immune function, host behavior, and modes of transmission. Implications for the control and prediction of infectious disease may also be addressed.

Dr. Jeffrey Shaman
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • pathogen
  • environment
  • infectious disease
  • survival
  • transmission
  • vector
  • water
  • land use
  • meteorology
  • climate

Published Papers (31 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Knowledge of the Population about Visceral Leishmaniasis Transmission in Endemic Areas near the Banks of the Mossoró River in Northeastern Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3343-3357; doi:10.3390/ijerph120303343
Received: 18 September 2014 / Revised: 5 February 2015 / Accepted: 11 February 2015 / Published: 19 March 2015
PDF Full-text (788 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is an anthropozoonosis with high prevalence and incidence in the Northeastern region of Brazil. This study aimed to determine whether people living near the Mossoró River in the city of Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte, have knowledge of VL and
[...] Read more.
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is an anthropozoonosis with high prevalence and incidence in the Northeastern region of Brazil. This study aimed to determine whether people living near the Mossoró River in the city of Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte, have knowledge of VL and to characterize the environmental properties of this region. Questionnaires were administered to 478 residents in three neighborhoods near the Mossoró River, addressing the population’s knowledge about VL and environmental characteristics. Most survey participants were female, with ages between 18 and 40 years, 53.8% had completed primary education, and 61.5% owned pet dogs (p < 0.05). The majority (95.9%) showed little knowledge about the characteristics inherent to sandflies, and 85.3% were unaware of the environments preferred by this vector (p < 0.05). Sewage from the homes of respondents was mainly dumped into the river (44.6%), and 76.6% of the respondents complained about the accumulation of garbage in the streets (p < 0.05). The association between education and knowledge about the transmission of VL and preferred vector locations was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The lack of knowledge in the population about VL and the residential environment indicates a risk of maintaining sand fly habitats and hence disease transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Identifying Meteorological Drivers for the Seasonal Variations of Influenza Infections in a Subtropical City — Hong Kong
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(2), 1560-1576; doi:10.3390/ijerph120201560
Received: 29 October 2014 / Revised: 12 January 2015 / Accepted: 22 January 2015 / Published: 28 January 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1322 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Compared with temperate areas, the understanding of seasonal variations of influenza infections is lacking in subtropical and tropical regions. Insufficient information about viral activity increases the difficulty of forecasting the disease burden and thus hampers official preparation efforts. Here we identified potential meteorological
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Compared with temperate areas, the understanding of seasonal variations of influenza infections is lacking in subtropical and tropical regions. Insufficient information about viral activity increases the difficulty of forecasting the disease burden and thus hampers official preparation efforts. Here we identified potential meteorological factors that drove the seasonal variations in influenza infections in a subtropical city, Hong Kong. We fitted the meteorological data and influenza mortality data from 2002 to 2009 in a Susceptible-Infected-Recovered model. From the results, air temperature was a common significant driver of seasonal patterns and cold temperature was associated with an increase in transmission intensity for most of the influenza epidemics. Except 2004, the fitted models with significant meteorological factors could account for more than 10% of the variance in additional to the null model. Rainfall was also found to be a significant driver of seasonal influenza, although results were less robust. The identified meteorological indicators could alert officials to take appropriate control measures for influenza epidemics, such as enhancing vaccination activities before cold seasons. Further studies are required to fully justify the associations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Agricultural and Management Practices and Bacterial Contamination in Greenhouse versus Open Field Lettuce Production
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 32-63; doi:10.3390/ijerph120100032
Received: 6 October 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 23 December 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to gain insight into potential differences in risk factors for microbial contamination in greenhouse versus open field lettuce production. Information was collected on sources, testing, and monitoring and if applicable, treatment of irrigation and harvest rinsing water.
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to gain insight into potential differences in risk factors for microbial contamination in greenhouse versus open field lettuce production. Information was collected on sources, testing, and monitoring and if applicable, treatment of irrigation and harvest rinsing water. These data were combined with results of analysis on the levels of Escherichia coli as a fecal indicator organism and the presence of enteric bacterial pathogens on both lettuce crops and environmental samples. Enterohemorragic Escherichia coli (EHEC) PCR signals (vt1 or vt2 positive and eae positive), Campylobacter spp., and Salmonella spp. isolates were more often obtained from irrigation water sampled from open field farms (21/45, 46.7%) versus from greenhouse production (9/75, 12.0%). The open field production was shown to be more prone to fecal contamination as the number of lettuce samples and irrigation water with elevated E. coli was significantly higher. Farmers comply with generic guidelines on good agricultural practices available at the national level, but monitoring of microbial quality, and if applicable appropriateness of water treatment, or water used for irrigation or at harvest is restricted. These results indicate the need for further elaboration of specific guidelines and control measures for leafy greens with regard to microbial hazards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Diversity of Bacterial Communities of Fitness Center Surfaces in a U.S. Metropolitan Area
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12544-12561; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212544
Received: 16 October 2014 / Revised: 26 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 November 2014 / Published: 3 December 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Public fitness centers and exercise facilities have been implicated as possible sources for transmitting community-acquired bacterial infections. However, the overall diversity of the bacterial community residing on the surfaces in these indoor environments is still unknown. In this study, we investigated the overall
[...] Read more.
Public fitness centers and exercise facilities have been implicated as possible sources for transmitting community-acquired bacterial infections. However, the overall diversity of the bacterial community residing on the surfaces in these indoor environments is still unknown. In this study, we investigated the overall bacterial ecology of selected fitness centers in a metropolitan area (Memphis, TN, USA) utilizing culture-independent pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA genes. Samples were collected from the skin-contact surfaces (e.g., exercise instruments, floor mats, handrails, etc.) within fitness centers. Taxonomical composition revealed the abundance of Firmicutes phyla, followed by Proteobacter and Actinobacteria, with a total of 17 bacterial families and 25 bacterial genera. Most of these bacterial genera are of human and environmental origin (including, air, dust, soil, and water). Additionally, we found the presence of some pathogenic or potential pathogenic bacterial genera including Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Klebsiella, and Micrococcus. Staphylococcus was found to be the most prevalent genus. Presence of viable forms of these pathogens elevates risk of exposure of any susceptible individuals. Several factors (including personal hygiene, surface cleaning and disinfection schedules of the facilities) may be the reasons for the rich bacterial diversity found in this study. The current finding underscores the need to increase public awareness on the importance of personal hygiene and sanitation for public gym users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
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Open AccessArticle Muddying the Waters: A New Area of Concern for Drinking Water Contamination in Cameroon
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12454-12472; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212454
Received: 5 September 2014 / Revised: 5 November 2014 / Accepted: 14 November 2014 / Published: 28 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1870 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In urban Maroua, Cameroon, improved drinking water sources are available to a large majority of the population, yet this water is frequently distributed through informal distribution systems and stored in home containers (canaries), leaving it vulnerable to contamination. We assessed where
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In urban Maroua, Cameroon, improved drinking water sources are available to a large majority of the population, yet this water is frequently distributed through informal distribution systems and stored in home containers (canaries), leaving it vulnerable to contamination. We assessed where contamination occurs within the distribution system, determined potential sources of environmental contamination, and investigated potential pathogens. Gastrointestinal health status (785 individuals) was collected via health surveys. Drinking water samples were collected from drinking water sources and canaries. Escherichia coli and total coliform levels were evaluated and molecular detection was performed to measure human-associated faecal marker, HF183; tetracycline-resistance gene, tetQ; Campylobacter spp.; and Staphylococcus aureus. Statistical analyses were performed to evaluate the relationship between microbial contamination and gastrointestinal illness. Canari samples had higher levels of contamination than source samples. HF183 and tetQ were detected in home and source samples. An inverse relationship was found between tetQ and E. coli. Presence of tetQ with lower E. coli levels increased the odds of reported diarrhoeal illness than E. coli levels alone. Further work is warranted to better assess the relationship between antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and other pathogens in micro-ecosystems within canaries and this relationship’s impact on drinking water quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Survival of Salmonella enterica in Aerated and Nonaerated Wastewaters from Dairy Lagoons
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(11), 11249-11260; doi:10.3390/ijerph111111249
Received: 25 September 2014 / Revised: 20 October 2014 / Accepted: 21 October 2014 / Published: 29 October 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (315 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Salmonella is the most commonly identified foodborne pathogen in produce, meat and poultry. Cattle are known reservoirs of Salmonella and the pathogen excreted in feces ends up in manure flush lagoons. Salmonella enterica survival was monitored in wastewater from on-site holding lagoons equipped
[...] Read more.
Salmonella is the most commonly identified foodborne pathogen in produce, meat and poultry. Cattle are known reservoirs of Salmonella and the pathogen excreted in feces ends up in manure flush lagoons. Salmonella enterica survival was monitored in wastewater from on-site holding lagoons equipped or not with circulating aerators at two dairies. All strains had poor survival rates and none proliferated in waters from aerated or settling lagoons. Populations of all three Salmonella serovars declined rapidly with decimal reduction times (D) of <2 days in aerated microcosms prepared from lagoon equipped with circulators. Populations of Salmonella decreased significantly in aerated microcosms (D = 4.2 d) compared to nonaerated waters (D = 7.4 d) and in summer (D = 3.4 d) compared to winter (D = 9.0 d). We propose holding the wastewater for sufficient decimal reduction cycles in lagoons to yield pathogen-free nutrient-rich water for crop irrigations and fertilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Climatic Factors and Community — Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Skin and Soft-Tissue Infections — A Time-Series Analysis Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 8996-9007; doi:10.3390/ijerph110908996
Received: 23 June 2014 / Revised: 22 August 2014 / Accepted: 26 August 2014 / Published: 29 August 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (557 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Skin and soft tissue infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (SA-SSTIs) including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have experienced a significant surge all over the world. Changing climatic factors are affecting the global burden of dermatological infections and there is a lack of information on
[...] Read more.
Skin and soft tissue infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (SA-SSTIs) including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have experienced a significant surge all over the world. Changing climatic factors are affecting the global burden of dermatological infections and there is a lack of information on the association between climatic factors and MRSA infections. Therefore, association of temperature and relative humidity (RH) with occurrence of SA-SSTIs (n = 387) and also MRSA (n = 251) was monitored for 18 months in the outpatient clinic at a tertiary care hospital located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. The Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method was used for antibiotic susceptibility testing. Time-series analysis was used to investigate the potential association of climatic factors (weekly averages of maximum temperature, minimum temperature and RH) with weekly incidence of SA-SSTIs and MRSA infections. The analysis showed that a combination of weekly average maximum temperature above 33 °C coinciding with weekly average RH ranging between 55% and 78%, is most favorable for the occurrence of SA-SSTIs and MRSA and within these parameters, each unit increase in occurrence of MRSA was associated with increase in weekly average maximum temperature of 1.7 °C (p = 0.044) and weekly average RH increase of 10% (p = 0.097). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Identification of Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli Strains from Avian Organic Fertilizers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 8924-8939; doi:10.3390/ijerph110908924
Received: 11 March 2014 / Revised: 18 July 2014 / Accepted: 22 July 2014 / Published: 28 August 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (444 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Brazilian poultry industry generates large amounts of organic waste, such as chicken litter, which is often used in agriculture. Among the bacteria present in organic fertilizer are members of the Enterobacteriaceae family. The objective of this study was to detect the presence
[...] Read more.
The Brazilian poultry industry generates large amounts of organic waste, such as chicken litter, which is often used in agriculture. Among the bacteria present in organic fertilizer are members of the Enterobacteriaceae family. The objective of this study was to detect the presence of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) strains in avian organic fertilizer, and assess the potential damage they can cause in humans due to antimicrobial resistance. The presence of DEC pathotypes and phylogenetic groups were detected by multiplex-PCR. Phenotypic assays, such as tests for adhesion, cytotoxicity activity, biofilm formation and especially antimicrobial susceptibility, were performed. Fifteen DEC strains from 64 E. coli were isolated. Among these, four strains were classified as enteropathogenic (EPEC; 6.2%), three strains as Shiga toxin-producing (STEC; 4.7%), 10 strains as enteroaggregative (EAEC; 12.5%), but two of these harbored the eaeA gene too. The low number of isolated strains was most likely due to the composting process, which reduces the number of microorganisms. These strains were able to adhere to HEp-2 and HeLa cells and produce Shiga-toxins and biofilms; in addition, some of the strains showed antimicrobial resistance, which indicates a risk of the transfer of resistance genes to human E. coli. These results showed that DEC strains isolated from avian organic fertilizers can cause human infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Importance of Wetlands Management for West Nile Virus Circulation Risk, Camargue, Southern France
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 7740-7754; doi:10.3390/ijerph110807740
Received: 12 June 2014 / Revised: 24 July 2014 / Accepted: 28 July 2014 / Published: 4 August 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (480 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To assess environmental and horse-level risk factors associated with West Nile Virus (WNV) circulation in Camargue, Southern France, a serosurvey was conducted on non-vaccinated horses (n = 1159 from 134 stables) in 2007 and 2008. Fifteen Landsat images were examined to quantify
[...] Read more.
To assess environmental and horse-level risk factors associated with West Nile Virus (WNV) circulation in Camargue, Southern France, a serosurvey was conducted on non-vaccinated horses (n = 1159 from 134 stables) in 2007 and 2008. Fifteen Landsat images were examined to quantify areas with open water and flooded vegetation around sampled horses. Mean percentages of areas of open water and flooded vegetation, as well as variations in these percentages between 3 periods (November to February = NOT, March to July = END and August to October = EPI), were calculated for buffers of 2 km radius around the stables. Results of the final logistic regression showed that the risk of WNV seropositivity in horses decreased with their date of acquisition and age. Results also demonstrated the significant role of environmental variables. Horse serological status was associated with variations of open water areas between the NOT (November to February) and END (March to July) periods, as well as between END and EPI (August to October). WNV spillover was found more intense in areas where water level decreased strongly from winter to spring and from spring to summer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
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Open AccessArticle Identifying Determinants of Oncomelania hupensis Habitats and Assessing the Effects of Environmental Control Strategies in the Plain Regions with the Waterway Network of China at the Microscale
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(6), 6571-6585; doi:10.3390/ijerph110606571
Received: 21 March 2014 / Revised: 4 June 2014 / Accepted: 5 June 2014 / Published: 23 June 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1203 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aims to identify the landscape ecological determinants related to Oncomelania hupensis distribution, map the potential high risk of O. hupensis habitats at the microscale, and assess the effects of two environmental control strategies. Sampling was performed on 242 snail sites and
[...] Read more.
This study aims to identify the landscape ecological determinants related to Oncomelania hupensis distribution, map the potential high risk of O. hupensis habitats at the microscale, and assess the effects of two environmental control strategies. Sampling was performed on 242 snail sites and 726 non-snail sites throughout Qianjiang City, Hubei Province, China. An integrated approach of landscape pattern analysis coupled with multiple logistic regression modeling was applied to investigate the effects of environmental factors on snail habitats. The risk probability of snail habitats positively correlated with patch fractal dimension (FD), paddy farm land proportion, and wetness index but inversely correlated with categorized normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and elevation. These findings indicate that FD can identify irregular features (e.g., irrigation ditches) in plain regions and that a moderate NDVI increases the microscale risk probability. Basing on the observed determinants, we predicted a map showing high-risk areas of snail habitats and simulated the effects of conduit hardening and paddy farming land rotation to dry farming land. The two approaches were confirmed effective for snail control. These findings provide an empirical basis for health professionals in local schistosomiasis control stations to identify priority areas and promising environmental control strategies for snail control and prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Relationship between the Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) Bioluminescence Assay and the Presence of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Vegetative Cells
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(6), 5708-5719; doi:10.3390/ijerph110605708
Received: 8 April 2014 / Revised: 15 May 2014 / Accepted: 20 May 2014 / Published: 28 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: The Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence assay was utilized in laboratory evaluations to determine the presence and concentration of vegetative and spore forms of Bacillus anthracis Sterne 34F2. Methods: Seventeen surfaces from the healthcare environment were selected for evaluation. Surfaces were
[...] Read more.
Background: The Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence assay was utilized in laboratory evaluations to determine the presence and concentration of vegetative and spore forms of Bacillus anthracis Sterne 34F2. Methods: Seventeen surfaces from the healthcare environment were selected for evaluation. Surfaces were inoculated with 50 µL of organism suspensions at three concentrations of 104, 106, 108 colony forming units per surface (CFU/surface) of B. anthracis. Culture-based methods and ATP based methods were utilized to determine concentrations. Results: When all concentrations were evaluated together, a positive correlation between log-adjusted CFU and Relative Light Units (RLU) for endospores and vegetative cells was established. When concentrations were evaluated separately, a significant correlation was not demonstrated. Conclusions: This study demonstrated a positive correlation for ATP and culture-based methods for the vegetative cells of B. anthracis. When evaluating the endospores and combining both metabolic states, the ATP measurements and CFU recovered did not correspond to the initial concentrations on the evaluated surfaces. The results of our study show that the low ATP signal which does not correlate well to the CFU results would not make the ATP measuring devises effective in confirming contamination residual from a bioterrorist event. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle A Bayesian Approach to Estimate the Prevalence of Schistosomiasis japonica Infection in the Hubei Province Lake Regions, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(7), 2799-2812; doi:10.3390/ijerph10072799
Received: 1 April 2013 / Revised: 26 June 2013 / Accepted: 27 June 2013 / Published: 5 July 2013
PDF Full-text (358 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A Bayesian inference model was introduced to estimate community prevalence of Schistosomiasis japonica infection based on the data of a large-scale survey of Schistosomiasis japonica in the lake region in Hubei Province. A multistage cluster random sampling approach was applied to the endemic
[...] Read more.
A Bayesian inference model was introduced to estimate community prevalence of Schistosomiasis japonica infection based on the data of a large-scale survey of Schistosomiasis japonica in the lake region in Hubei Province. A multistage cluster random sampling approach was applied to the endemic villages in the lake regions of Hubei Province in 2011. IHA test and Kato-Katz test were applied for the detection of the S. japonica infection in the sampled population. Expert knowledge on sensitivities and specificities of IHA test and Kato-Katz test were collected based on a two-round interview. Prevalence of S. japonica infection was estimated by a Bayesian hierarchical model in two different situations. In Situation 1, Bayesian estimation used both IHA test data and Kato-Katz test data to estimate the prevalence of S. japonica. In Situation 2, only IHA test data was used for Bayesian estimation. Finally 14 cities and 46 villages from the lake regions of Hubei Province including 50,980 residents were sampled. Sensitivity and specificity for IHA test ranged from 80% to 90% and 70% to 80%, respectively. For the Kato-Katz test, sensitivity and specificity were from 20% to 70% and 90% to 100%, respectively. Similar estimated prevalence was obtained in the two situations. Estimated prevalence among sampled villages was almost below 13% in both situations and varied from 0.95% to 12.26% when only using data from the IHA test. The study indicated that it is feasible to apply IHA test only combining with Bayesian method to estimate the prevalence of S. japonica infection in large-scale surveys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Impact of Chlorine Dioxide Gas Sterilization on Nosocomial Organism Viability in a Hospital Room
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2596-2605; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062596
Received: 7 April 2013 / Revised: 3 June 2013 / Accepted: 10 June 2013 / Published: 21 June 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (316 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To evaluate the ability of ClO2 to decontaminate pathogens known to cause healthcare-associated infections in a hospital room strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Mycobacterium smegmatis, and Staphylococcus aureus were spot placed in duplicate pairs at
[...] Read more.
To evaluate the ability of ClO2 to decontaminate pathogens known to cause healthcare-associated infections in a hospital room strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Mycobacterium smegmatis, and Staphylococcus aureus were spot placed in duplicate pairs at 10 sites throughout a hospital room and then exposed to ClO2 gas. Organisms were collected and evaluated for reduction in colony forming units following gas exposure. Six sterilization cycles with varied gas concentrations, exposure limits, and relative humidity levels were conducted. Reductions in viable organisms achieved ranged from 7 to 10-log reductions. Two sterilization cycles failed to produce complete inactivation of organisms placed in a bathroom with the door closed. Reductions of organisms in the bathroom ranged from 6-log to 10-log reductions. Gas leakage between hospital floors did not occur; however, some minor gas leakage from the door of hospital room was measured which was subsequently sealed to prevent further leakage. Novel technologies for disinfection of hospital rooms require validation and safety testing in clinical environments. Gaseous ClO2 is effective for sterilizing environmental contamination in a hospital room. Concentrations of ClO2 up to 385 ppm were safely maintained in a hospital room with enhanced environmental controls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle A Rainfall- and Temperature-Driven Abundance Model for Aedes albopictus Populations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1698-1719; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051698
Received: 2 March 2013 / Revised: 9 April 2013 / Accepted: 12 April 2013 / Published: 26 April 2013
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (1325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The mosquito Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) is an invasive species which has colonized Southern Europe in the last two decades. As it is a competent vector for several arboviruses, its spread is of increasing public health concern,
[...] Read more.
The mosquito Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) is an invasive species which has colonized Southern Europe in the last two decades. As it is a competent vector for several arboviruses, its spread is of increasing public health concern, and there is a need for appropriate monitoring tools. In this paper, we have developed a modelling approach to predict mosquito abundance over time, and identify the main determinants of mosquito population dynamics. The model is temperature- and rainfall-driven, takes into account egg diapause during unfavourable periods, and was used to model the population dynamics of Ae. albopictus in the French Riviera since 2008. Entomological collections of egg stage from six locations in Nice conurbation were used for model validation. We performed a sensitivity analysis to identify the key parameters of the mosquito population dynamics. Results showed that the model correctly predicted entomological field data (Pearson r correlation coefficient values range from 0.73 to 0.93). The model’s main control points were related to adult’s mortality rates, the carrying capacity in pupae of the environment, and the beginning of the unfavourable period. The proposed model can be efficiently used as a tool to predict Ae. albopictus population dynamics, and to assess the efficiency of different control strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Higher Mosquito Production in Low-Income Neighborhoods of Baltimore and Washington, DC: Understanding Ecological Drivers and Mosquito-Borne Disease Risk in Temperate Cities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1505-1526; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041505
Received: 8 February 2013 / Revised: 20 March 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 12 April 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mosquito-vectored pathogens are responsible for devastating human diseases and are (re)emerging in many urban environments. Effective mosquito control in urban landscapes relies on improved understanding of the complex interactions between the ecological and social factors that define where mosquito populations can grow. We
[...] Read more.
Mosquito-vectored pathogens are responsible for devastating human diseases and are (re)emerging in many urban environments. Effective mosquito control in urban landscapes relies on improved understanding of the complex interactions between the ecological and social factors that define where mosquito populations can grow. We compared the density of mosquito habitat and pupae production across economically varying neighborhoods in two temperate U.S. cities (Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC). Seven species of mosquito larvae were recorded. The invasive Aedes albopictus was the only species found in all neighborhoods. Culex pipiens, a primary vector of West Nile virus (WNV), was most abundant in Baltimore, which also had more tire habitats. Both Culex and Aedes pupae were more likely to be sampled in neighborhoods categorized as being below median income level in each city and Aedes pupae density was also greater in container habitats found in these lower income neighborhoods. We infer that lower income residents may experience greater exposure to potential disease vectors and Baltimore residents specifically, were at greater risk of exposure to the predominant WNV vector. However, we also found that resident-reported mosquito nuisance was not correlated with our measured risk index, indicating a potentially important mismatch between motivation needed to engage participation in control efforts and the relative importance of control among neighborhoods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Climate Change is Likely to Worsen the Public Health Threat of Diarrheal Disease in Botswana
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1202-1230; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041202
Received: 20 January 2013 / Revised: 15 February 2013 / Accepted: 7 March 2013 / Published: 26 March 2013
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (1110 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Diarrheal disease is an important health challenge, accounting for the majority of childhood deaths globally. Climate change is expected to increase the global burden of diarrheal disease but little is known regarding climate drivers, particularly in Africa. Using health data from Botswana spanning
[...] Read more.
Diarrheal disease is an important health challenge, accounting for the majority of childhood deaths globally. Climate change is expected to increase the global burden of diarrheal disease but little is known regarding climate drivers, particularly in Africa. Using health data from Botswana spanning a 30-year period (1974–2003), we evaluated monthly reports of diarrheal disease among patients presenting to Botswana health facilities and compared this to climatic variables. Diarrheal case incidence presents with a bimodal cyclical pattern with peaks in March (ANOVA p < 0.001) and October (ANOVA p < 0.001) in the wet and dry season, respectively. There is a strong positive autocorrelation (p < 0.001) in the number of reported diarrhea cases at the one-month lag level. Climatic variables (rainfall, minimum temperature, and vapor pressure) predicted seasonal diarrheal with a one-month lag in variables (p < 0.001). Diarrheal case incidence was highest in the dry season after accounting for other variables, exhibiting on average a 20% increase over the yearly mean (p < 0.001). Our analysis suggests that forecasted climate change increases in temperature and decreases in precipitation may increase dry season diarrheal disease incidence with hot, dry conditions starting earlier and lasting longer. Diarrheal disease incidence in the wet season is likely to decline. Our results identify significant health-climate interactions, highlighting the need for an escalated public health focus on controlling diarrheal disease in Botswana. Study findings have application to other arid countries in Africa where diarrheal disease is a persistent public health problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
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Open AccessArticle Antimicrobial Resistance in Enterococcus spp. Isolated from Environmental Samples in an Area of Intensive Poultry Production
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 1020-1036; doi:10.3390/ijerph10031020
Received: 15 January 2013 / Revised: 20 February 2013 / Accepted: 4 March 2013 / Published: 12 March 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (342 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Enterococcus spp. from two poultry farms and proximate surface and ground water sites in an area of intensive poultry production were tested for resistance to 16 clinical antibiotics. Resistance patterns were compared to assess trends and possible correlations for specific antimicrobials and levels
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Enterococcus spp. from two poultry farms and proximate surface and ground water sites in an area of intensive poultry production were tested for resistance to 16 clinical antibiotics. Resistance patterns were compared to assess trends and possible correlations for specific antimicrobials and levels of resistance. Enterococci were detected at all 12 surface water sites and three of 28 ground water sites. Resistance to lincomycin, tetracycline, penicillin and ciprofloxacin in poultry litter isolates was high (80.3%, 65.3%, 61.1% and 49.6%, respectively). Resistance in the surface water to the same antibiotics was 87.1%, 24.1%, 7.6% and 12.9%, respectively. Overall, 86% of litter isolates, 58% of surface water isolates and 100% of ground water isolates were resistant to more than one antibiotic. Fifty-four different resistance patterns were recognised in isolates obtained from litter and environmental samples and several E. faecium and E. faecalis isolates from litter and environment samples shared the same resistance pattern. Multiple antibiotic resistant (MAR) indices calculated to assess health risks due to the presence of resistant enterococci suggested an increased presence of antibiotics in surface water, likely from poultry sources as no other wastewater contributions in the area were documented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
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Open AccessArticle Fate and Transport of Toxoplasma gondii Oocysts in Seasonally Snow Covered Watersheds: A Conceptual Framework from a Melting Snowpack to the Canadian Arctic Coasts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 994-1005; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030994
Received: 25 January 2013 / Revised: 26 February 2013 / Accepted: 4 March 2013 / Published: 11 March 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (333 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic protozoan that causes serious illness in humans and infects animals worldwide, including the Canadian Arctic. Indeed, high prevalence of infection amongst Inuit has been recorded, possibly due to consumption of raw infected seal meat. Here we explore the
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Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic protozoan that causes serious illness in humans and infects animals worldwide, including the Canadian Arctic. Indeed, high prevalence of infection amongst Inuit has been recorded, possibly due to consumption of raw infected seal meat. Here we explore the hypothesis that T. gondii oocysts contaminate the coastal marine environment via surface runoff from across the boreal watershed, particularly during the snowmelt period. We propose a conceptual framework of the different processes governing the fate and transport of T. gondii oocysts from the melting snowpack to the Canadian arctic coast via the freshwater runoff. This framework identifies the feasibility of a transmission pathway of oocysts from contaminated soil to the marine environment, but also the complexity and multiplicity of mechanisms involved. In addition, the framework identifies knowledge gaps for guiding future studies on T. gondii oocysts. Furthermore, this work could be used as a tool to investigate the possible estuarine contamination by other faeces-borne pathogens transported via the spring freshet in seasonally snow covered watersheds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Coarse and Fine Culturable Fungal Air Concentrations in Urban and Rural Homes in Egypt
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 936-949; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030936
Received: 21 January 2013 / Revised: 25 February 2013 / Accepted: 26 February 2013 / Published: 6 March 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (244 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main objective of the present study was to assess culturable airborne fungal concentrations, and types in different seasons. Two-stage viable impactor samplers were used with malt extract agar medium as the collection media. Culturable airborne fungal concentrations were collected indoors and outdoors
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The main objective of the present study was to assess culturable airborne fungal concentrations, and types in different seasons. Two-stage viable impactor samplers were used with malt extract agar medium as the collection media. Culturable airborne fungal concentrations were collected indoors and outdoors of 43 homes in urban and rural environments from November 2008 to October 2009 in Egypt. Fungal concentrations were significantly higher in the rural environment than the urban environment. The median indoor and outdoor total fungal concentrations were 608 and 675 CFU/m3 in the urban environment and 1,932 and 1,872 CFU/m3 in the rural environment, respectively. The greatest concentrations were found in the autumn and spring season. Indoor and outdoor concentrations were significantly correlated (P < 0.001). The highest concentrations were observed in the fungal size range of <8 µm (fine fraction). The indoor/outdoor (I/O) ratios were not statistically different between seasons. Alternaria, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Penicillium and yeasts were the predominant genera indoors and outdoors, and the abundance of genera varied by season and region. This study is of a potential interest as little reported research on the indoor fungal air quality from Egypt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Ecophysiological and Climatological Effects on Distribution of Vector Species and Malaria Incidence in India
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4704-4714; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124704
Received: 16 August 2012 / Revised: 29 November 2012 / Accepted: 10 December 2012 / Published: 18 December 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The magnitude of regional malaria risk is dependent primarily on the dynamics and distribution of the vector species, which are determined mainly by climate conditions. A coupled model with ecophysiological and climatological factors was developed to estimate the spatiotemporal distribution of the five
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The magnitude of regional malaria risk is dependent primarily on the dynamics and distribution of the vector species, which are determined mainly by climate conditions. A coupled model with ecophysiological and climatological factors was developed to estimate the spatiotemporal distribution of the five species of dominant malaria vectors in monsoon Asia. Here, we examined how the potential distribution obtained from the model could explain trends in malaria incidence observed in India, which has the highest number of confirmed cases of malaria in Asia. Most notably, there was a significant positive correlation between annual malaria incidences and the maximum generation number of vectors for each state (p < 0.001). Malaria incidence tended to increase exponentially as vector generation number increased. In addition, the interannual variation in observed regional malaria incidences was synchronized with that of the potential number of vector generations. The observed seasonal peak of malaria incidences corresponded closely to the simulated appearance period of vector species, except for intensively irrigated areas that experience anthropogenic impacts on hydrologic conditions. Simulated vector distributions effectively expressed spatial and temporal prevalence of malaria in India. This novel approach to modeling based on vector ecology is an effective method for assessing malaria risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Temperature on Growth of Vibrio paraphemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus in Flounder, Salmon Sashimi and Oyster Meat
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4662-4675; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124662
Received: 4 October 2012 / Revised: 4 December 2012 / Accepted: 10 December 2012 / Published: 13 December 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (271 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus are the major pathogenic Vibrio species which contaminate ready-to-eat seafood. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk of human illness resulting from consumption of ready-to-eat seafood such as sashimi and raw oyster meat due to
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Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus are the major pathogenic Vibrio species which contaminate ready-to-eat seafood. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk of human illness resulting from consumption of ready-to-eat seafood such as sashimi and raw oyster meat due to the presence of V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus. We compared the growth kinetics of V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus strains in broth and ready-to-eat seafood, including flounder and salmon sashimi, as a function of temperature. The growth kinetics of naturally occurring V. vulnificus in raw oyster meat was also evaluated. The minimum growth temperatures of V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus in broth were 13 °C and 11 °C, respectively. Overall, significant differences in lag time (LT) and specific growth rate (SGR) values between flounder and salmon sashimi were observed at temperatures ranging from 13 °C to 30 °C (p < 0.05). The growth of naturally occurring V. vulnificus reached stationary phase at ~4 log CFU/g in oysters, regardless of the storage temperature. This data indicates that the population of V. vulnificus in oysters did not reach the maximum population density as observed in the broth, where growth of V. vulnificus and V. parahaemolyticus isolated from oysters grew up to >8 log CFU/mL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle North American Wetlands and Mosquito Control
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4537-4605; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124537
Received: 11 September 2012 / Revised: 21 November 2012 / Accepted: 22 November 2012 / Published: 10 December 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (2818 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wetlands are valuable habitats that provide important social, economic, and ecological services such as flood control, water quality improvement, carbon sequestration, pollutant removal, and primary/secondary production export to terrestrial and aquatic food chains. There is disagreement about the need for mosquito control in
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Wetlands are valuable habitats that provide important social, economic, and ecological services such as flood control, water quality improvement, carbon sequestration, pollutant removal, and primary/secondary production export to terrestrial and aquatic food chains. There is disagreement about the need for mosquito control in wetlands and about the techniques utilized for mosquito abatement and their impacts upon wetlands ecosystems. Mosquito control in wetlands is a complex issue influenced by numerous factors, including many hard to quantify elements such as human perceptions, cultural predispositions, and political climate. In spite of considerable progress during the last decades, habitat protection and environmentally sound habitat management still remain inextricably tied to politics and economics. Furthermore, the connections are often complex, and occur at several levels, ranging from local businesses and politicians, to national governments and multinational institutions. Education is the key to lasting wetlands conservation. Integrated mosquito abatement strategies incorporate many approaches and practicable options, as described herein, and need to be well-defined, effective, and ecologically and economically sound for the wetland type and for the mosquito species of concern. The approach will certainly differ in response to disease outbreaks caused by mosquito-vectored pathogens versus quality of life issues caused by nuisance-biting mosquitoes. In this contribution, we provide an overview of the ecological setting and context for mosquito control in wetlands, present pertinent information on wetlands mosquitoes, review the mosquito abatement options available for current wetlands managers and mosquito control professionals, and outline some necessary considerations when devising mosquito control strategies. Although the emphasis is on North American wetlands, most of the material is applicable to wetlands everywhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Hepatitis A Virus Infection and the Waste Handling Industry: A Seroprevalence Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4498-4503; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124498
Received: 26 October 2012 / Revised: 25 November 2012 / Accepted: 26 November 2012 / Published: 7 December 2012
PDF Full-text (165 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Waste collectors have a theoretical risk of Hepatitis A virus infection. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence and risk factors of hepatitis A virus infection (HAV) among municipal solid waste workers (MSWWs) in a municipality of central Greece. A
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Waste collectors have a theoretical risk of Hepatitis A virus infection. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence and risk factors of hepatitis A virus infection (HAV) among municipal solid waste workers (MSWWs) in a municipality of central Greece. A seroprevalence study of HAV was conducted among 208 employees (100 waste collectors and 108 municipal gardeners) of a municipality in central Greece. Total antibodies against HAV were measured and information regarding potential risk factors was collected through a face to face interview. The prevalence of HAV infection among the municipal waste collectors was 61% vs. 27% among municipal gardeners. Logistic regression analysis showed that exposure to waste (OR = 2.87; 95% CI = 1.24–6.62) and age (OR = 22.57; 95% CI = 7.29–69.88) were independently associated with the anti-HAV positivity. Moreover, waste collectors who reported smoking/drinking/eating during waste collection were at higher risk of HAV infection (RR = 2.84; 95% CI = 1.73–4.63). Stratified analysis among municipal waste collectors indicated an independent association between eating/smoking/ drinking during waste collection and anti-HAV (+) (OR = 3.85; 95% CI = 1.34–11.06). Occupational exposure to waste is a potential risk factor for HAV infection. Smoking/eating/drinking during waste collection could be the mode of hepatitis A virus transmission among municipal waste collectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessArticle Using the Gravity Model to Estimate the Spatial Spread of Vector-Borne Diseases
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4346-4364; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124346
Received: 10 September 2012 / Revised: 13 November 2012 / Accepted: 21 November 2012 / Published: 30 November 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (12331 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The gravity models are commonly used spatial interaction models. They have been widely applied in a large set of domains dealing with interactions amongst spatial entities. The spread of vector-borne diseases is also related to the intensity of interaction between spatial entities, namely,
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The gravity models are commonly used spatial interaction models. They have been widely applied in a large set of domains dealing with interactions amongst spatial entities. The spread of vector-borne diseases is also related to the intensity of interaction between spatial entities, namely, the physical habitat of pathogens’ vectors and/or hosts, and urban areas, thus humans. This study implements the concept behind gravity models in the spatial spread of two vector-borne diseases, nephropathia epidemica and Lyme borreliosis, based on current knowledge on the transmission mechanism of these diseases. Two sources of information on vegetated systems were tested: the CORINE land cover map and MODIS NDVI. The size of vegetated areas near urban centers and a local indicator of occupation-related exposure were found significant predictors of disease risk. Both the land cover map and the space-borne dataset were suited yet not equivalent input sources to locate and measure vegetated areas of importance for disease spread. The overall results point at the compatibility of the gravity model concept and the spatial spread of vector-borne diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
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Open AccessArticle Leptospirosis Outbreaks in Nicaragua: Identifying Critical Areas and Exploring Drivers for Evidence-Based Planning
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3883-3910; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113883
Received: 13 July 2012 / Revised: 21 September 2012 / Accepted: 24 September 2012 / Published: 26 October 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (6182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Leptospirosis is an epidemic-prone zoonotic disease that occurs worldwide. In Central America, leptospirosis outbreaks have been reported in almost all countries; Nicaragua in particular has faced several outbreaks. The objective of this study was to stratify the risk and identify “critical areas” for
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Leptospirosis is an epidemic-prone zoonotic disease that occurs worldwide. In Central America, leptospirosis outbreaks have been reported in almost all countries; Nicaragua in particular has faced several outbreaks. The objective of this study was to stratify the risk and identify “critical areas” for leptospirosis outbreaks in Nicaragua, and to perform an exploratory analysis of potential “drivers”. This ecological study includes the entire country (153 municipalities). Cases from 2004 to 2010 were obtained from the country’s health information system, demographic and socioeconomic variables from its Census, and environmental data from external sources. Criteria for risk stratification of leptospirosis were defined. Nicaragua reported 1,980 cases of leptospirosis during this period, with the highest percentage of cases (26.36%) in León, followed by Chinandega (15.35%). Among the 153 municipalities, 48 were considered critical areas, 85 were endemic and 20 silent. Using spatial and statistical analysis, the variable presenting the most evident pattern of association with critical areas defined by top quintile of incidence rate is the percentage of municipal surface occupied by the soil combination of cambisol (over pyroclastic and lava bedrock) and andosol (over a volcanic ashes foundation). Precipitation and percentage of rural population are also associated with critical areas. This methodology and findings could be used for Nicaragua’s Leptospirosis Intersectoral Plan, and to identify possible risk areas in other countries with similar drivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation into the Effect of Molds in Grasses on Their Content of Low Molecular Mass Thiols
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3789-3805; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113789
Received: 14 September 2012 / Revised: 16 October 2012 / Accepted: 16 October 2012 / Published: 24 October 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1458 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of molds on levels of low molecular mass thiols in grasses. For this purpose, the three grass species Lolium perenne, Festulolium pabulare and Festulolium braunii were cultivated and sampled during four months,
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of molds on levels of low molecular mass thiols in grasses. For this purpose, the three grass species Lolium perenne, Festulolium pabulare and Festulolium braunii were cultivated and sampled during four months, from June to September. The same species were also grown under controlled conditions. High-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection was used for quantification of cysteine, reduced (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG) glutathione, and phytochelatins (PC2, PC3, PC4 and PC5). Data were statistically processed and analyzed. Thiols were present in all examined grass species. The effect of fungicide treatments applied under field conditions on the content of the evaluated thiols was shown to be insignificant. Species influenced (p < 0.05) PC3 and GSSG content. F. pabulare, an intergeneric hybrid of drought- and fungi-resistant Festuca arundinacea, was comparable in PC3 content with L. perenne and F. braunii under field conditions. Under controlled conditions, however, F. pabulare had higher (p < 0.05) PC3 content than did L. perenne and F. braunii. Under field conditions, differences between the evaluated species were recorded only in GSSG content, but only sampling in June was significant. F. pabulare had higher (p < 0.05) GSSG content in June than did L. perenne and F. braunii. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Dengue Risk with Temperature Change
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 1-15; doi:10.3390/ijerph120100001
Received: 16 September 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 23 December 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (814 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Dengue fever (DF) is the most serious mosquito-borne viral disease in the world and is significantly affected by temperature. Although associations between DF and temperatures have been reported repeatedly, conclusions have been inconsistent. Six databases were searched up to 23 March 2014, without
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Dengue fever (DF) is the most serious mosquito-borne viral disease in the world and is significantly affected by temperature. Although associations between DF and temperatures have been reported repeatedly, conclusions have been inconsistent. Six databases were searched up to 23 March 2014, without language and geographical restrictions. The articles that studied the correlations between temperatures and dengue were selected, and a random-effects model was used to calculate the pooled odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals. Of 1589 identified articles, 137 were reviewed further, with 33 satisfying inclusion criteria. The closest associations were observed between mean temperature from the included studies (23.2–27.7 °C) and DF (OR 35.0% per 1 °C; 95% CI 18.3%–51.6%) positively. Additionally, minimum (18.1–24.2 °C) (29.5% per 1 °C; 20.9%–38.1%) and maximum temperature (28.0–34.5 °C) (28.9%; 10.3%–47.5%) were also associated with increased dengue transmission. The OR of DF incidence increased steeply from 22 °C to 29 °C, suggesting an inflexion of DF risk between these lower and upper limits of DF risk. This discovery is helpful for government decision-makers focused on preventing and controlling dengue in areas with temperatures within this range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessReview Water-Related Parasitic Diseases in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1977-2016; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051977
Received: 5 April 2013 / Revised: 1 May 2013 / Accepted: 2 May 2013 / Published: 17 May 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (954 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water-related parasitic diseases are directly dependent on water bodies for their spread or as a habitat for indispensable intermediate or final hosts. Along with socioeconomic development and improvement of sanitation, overall prevalence is declining in the China. However, the heterogeneity in economic development
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Water-related parasitic diseases are directly dependent on water bodies for their spread or as a habitat for indispensable intermediate or final hosts. Along with socioeconomic development and improvement of sanitation, overall prevalence is declining in the China. However, the heterogeneity in economic development and the inequity of access to public services result in considerable burden due to parasitic diseases in certain areas and populations across the country. In this review, we demonstrated three aspects of ten major water-related parasitic diseases, i.e., the biology and pathogenicity, epidemiology and recent advances in research in China. General measures for diseases control and special control strategies are summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessReview Swine Dysentery: Aetiology, Pathogenicity, Determinants of Transmission and the Fight against the Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1927-1947; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051927
Received: 18 March 2013 / Revised: 22 April 2013 / Accepted: 23 April 2013 / Published: 10 May 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Swine Dysentery (SD) is a severe mucohaemorhagic enteric disease of pigs caused by Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, which has a large impact on pig production and causes important losses due to mortality and sub-optimal performance. Although B. hyodysenteriae has been traditionally considered a pathogen mainly
[...] Read more.
Swine Dysentery (SD) is a severe mucohaemorhagic enteric disease of pigs caused by Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, which has a large impact on pig production and causes important losses due to mortality and sub-optimal performance. Although B. hyodysenteriae has been traditionally considered a pathogen mainly transmitted by direct contact, through the introduction of subclinically infected animals into a previously uninfected herd, recent findings position B. hyodysenteriae as a potential threat for indirect transmission between farms. This article summarizes the knowledge available on the etiological agent of SD and its virulence traits, and reviews the determinants of SD transmission. The between-herds and within-herd transmission routes are addressed. The factors affecting disease transmission are thoroughly discussed, i.e., environmental survival of the pathogen, husbandry factors (production system, production stage, farm management), role of vectors, diet influence and interaction of the microorganism with gut microbiota. Finally, prophylactic and therapeutic approaches to fight against the disease are briefly described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Open AccessReview Nature, Nurture and Evolution of Intra-Species Variation in Mosquito Arbovirus Transmission Competence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(1), 249-277; doi:10.3390/ijerph10010249
Received: 10 December 2012 / Revised: 29 December 2012 / Accepted: 9 January 2013 / Published: 11 January 2013
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mosquitoes vary in their competence or ability to transmit arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses). Many arboviruses cause disease in humans and animals. Identifying the environmental and genetic causes of variation in mosquito competence for arboviruses is one of the great challenges in public health. Progress
[...] Read more.
Mosquitoes vary in their competence or ability to transmit arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses). Many arboviruses cause disease in humans and animals. Identifying the environmental and genetic causes of variation in mosquito competence for arboviruses is one of the great challenges in public health. Progress identifying genetic (nature) and environmental (nurture) factors influencing mosquito competence for arboviruses is reviewed. There is great complexity in the various traits that comprise mosquito competence. The complex interactions between environmental and genetic factors controlling these traits and the factors shaping variation in Nature are largely unknown. The norms of reaction of specific genes influencing competence, their distributions in natural populations and the effects of genetic polymorphism on phenotypic variation need to be determined. Mechanisms influencing competence are not likely due to natural selection because of the direct effects of the arbovirus on mosquito fitness. More likely the traits for mosquito competence for arboviruses are the effects of adaptations for other functions of these competence mechanisms. Determining these other functions is essential to understand the evolution and distributions of competence for arboviruses. This information is needed to assess risk from mosquito-borne disease, predict new mosquito-arbovirus systems, and provide novel strategies to mitigate mosquito-borne arbovirus transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
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Open AccessReview Hospital Textiles, Are They a Possible Vehicle for Healthcare-Associated Infections?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3330-3343; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093330
Received: 17 August 2012 / Revised: 3 September 2012 / Accepted: 4 September 2012 / Published: 14 September 2012
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (137 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Textiles are a common material in healthcare facilities; therefore it is important that they do not pose as a vehicle for the transfer of pathogens to patients or hospital workers. During the course of use hospital textiles become contaminated and laundering is necessary.
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Textiles are a common material in healthcare facilities; therefore it is important that they do not pose as a vehicle for the transfer of pathogens to patients or hospital workers. During the course of use hospital textiles become contaminated and laundering is necessary. Laundering of healthcare textiles is most commonly adequate, but in some instances, due to inappropriate disinfection or subsequent recontamination, the textiles may become a contaminated inanimate surface with the possibility to transfer pathogens. In this review we searched the published literature in order to answer four review questions: (1) Are there any reports on the survival of microorganisms on hospital textiles after laundering? (2) Are there any reports that indicate the presence of microorganisms on hospital textiles during use? (3) Are there any reports that microorganisms on textiles are a possible source infection of patients? (4) Are there any reports that microorganisms on textiles are a possible source infection for healthcare workers? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)

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