Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Influence Of Climate Warming On The Increase In Tick-borne Diseases

Date:
December 2, 2008
Source:
CNRS
Summary:
Rises in the ambient temperature modify the behavior of dog ticks and increase their affinity for humans. There is thus a risk that episodes of global warming may be associated with epidemics of tick-borne diseases.

Dog ticks are mainly prevalent during the spring. They do not usually bite humans. Under the effect of warmth, it was as if the ticks had gone mad and started to bite humans.
Credit: iStockphoto

Rises in the ambient temperature modify the behavior of dog ticks and increase their affinity for humans. There is thus a risk that episodes of global warming may be associated with epidemics of tick-borne diseases.

This work, carried out by the Unité de recherche sur les maladies infectieuses et tropicales émergentes (CNRS/ IRD/ Université de la Méditerranée) is headed by Didier Raoult.

Dog ticks are mainly prevalent during the spring.  They do not usually bite humans.  The few cases of such bites have been observed during the summer when the ticks were exposed to very high temperatures.  These parasites are vectors of bacteria (rickettsioses) which are the agents for serious infectious diseases in humans such as Rickettsia conorii, or Mediterranean spotted fever.

The team led by Raoult in the Unité de recherche sur les maladies infectieuses et tropicales émergentes, has recently demonstrated the role of climate warming in the increase in tick-borne diseases.  Their study showed that rickettsioses were more common and more severe during the very hot summers of 2003 and 2005, and that a minor epidemic developed in the spring of 2007, which was the warmest in 50 years.

The researchers thus developed an experimental model.  One group of ticks was incubated for 24 hours at 40°C and another group at 25°C.  Both groups were then put in contact with humans.  The results were unquestionable: the affinity of dog ticks for humans was much greater after the parasites had been  kept at a temperature of 40°. Thus the affinity of this group of ticks for humans was disturbed by the rise in temperature. Under the effect of warmth, it was as if the ticks had gone mad and started to bite humans.

These findings may explain the seasonal incidence of bites in high summer, and the increasing number of cases that occur during excessively hot periods.  Episodes of global warming may therefore be associated with epidemics of diseases vectored by ticks whose behavior has been affected by the ambient temperature.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CNRS. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Parola et al. Warmer Weather Linked to Tick Attack and Emergence of Severe Rickettsioses. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2008; 2 (11): e338 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000338

Cite This Page:

CNRS. "Influence Of Climate Warming On The Increase In Tick-borne Diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081129100146.htm>.
CNRS. (2008, December 2). Influence Of Climate Warming On The Increase In Tick-borne Diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081129100146.htm
CNRS. "Influence Of Climate Warming On The Increase In Tick-borne Diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081129100146.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins