Advertisement

EcoHealth

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 40–48 | Cite as

Influence of Warming Tendency on Culex pipiens Population Abundance and on the Probability of West Nile Fever Outbreaks (Israeli Case Study: 2001–2005)

  • Shlomit Paz
  • Iris Albersheim
Original Contribution

Abstract

Climate change and West Nile fever (WNV) are both subjects of global importance. Many mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, including West Nile virus (WNV), are sensitive to temperature increase. The current study analyzes the lag correlations between weather conditions (especially air temperature) and 1) Culex pipiens mosquito population abundance, and 2) WNF frequency in humans, between 2001 and 2005 in Israel. These 5 years follow a long period with a documented tendency for temperature increase in the hot season in the country. Monthly anomalies of minimum and maximum temperatures, relative seasonal rainfall contribution, mosquito samplings (hazard level), and WNF cases (hospital admission dates and patients’ addresses) were analyzed. Logistic regression was calculated between the climatic data and the mosquito samples, as Spearman correlations and Pearson cross-correlations were calculated between daily temperature values (or daily precipitation amounts) and the hospital admission dates. It was found that the disease appearance reflects the population distribution, while the risk tends to escalate around the metropolis characterized by an urban heat island. Positive anomalies of the temperature during the study period appear to have facilitated the mosquito abundance and, consequently, the disease emergence in humans. An important finding is the potential influence of extreme heat in the early spring on the vector population increase and on the disease’s appearance weeks later. Awareness of such situations at the beginning of the spring may help authorities to reduce the disease risk before it becomes a real danger.

Keywords

West Nile virus Mosquitoes Culex pipiens Climate change 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection for funding this project. Thanks are also due to Dr. D. Gandacu from the Department of Epidemiology, Israeli Ministry of Health, for his kind help with the WNF database. The authors thank Alon Haluzi and Noga Yoselevich from the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Haifa, for their help with preparing the final figures.

References

  1. Alpert P, Ben-Gai T, Baharad A, Benjamini Y, Yekutieli D, Colacino M, et al. (2002) The paradoxical increase of Mediterranean extreme daily rainfall in spite of decrease in total values. Geophysical Research Letters 29:1536; DOI:  10.1029/2001GL013554 [Online June 13, 2002]
  2. Ben-Gai T, Bitan A, Manes A, Alpert P, Rubin S (1999) Temporal and spatial trends of temperature patterns in Israel. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 64:163–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bin H, Grossman Z, Pokamunski S, Malkinson M, Weiss L, Duvdevani P, et al. (2001) WNF in Israel 1999–2000—from geese to humans. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 951:127–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Byrne K, Nichols RA (1999) Culex pipiens in London Underground tunnels: differentiation between surface and subterranean populations. Heredity 82:7–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. CDC (2004) West Nile Virus—Background: History and Distribution. Available: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/background.htm [accessed December 4, 2006]
  6. CDC, Division of Vector-born Infectious Diseases (2007) West Nile Virus—Vertebrate Ecology: Transmission Cycle. Available: http://0-www.cdc.gov.mill1.sjlibrary.org/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/birds&mammals.htm [accessed October 9, 2007]
  7. Cornel AJP, Jupp G, Blackburn NK (1993) Environmental temperature on the vector competence of Culex univittatus (Diptera: Culicidae) for West Nile virus. Journal of Medical Entomology 30:449–456Google Scholar
  8. Dohm DJ, O’Guinn ML, Turell MJ (2002) Effect of environmental temperature on the ability of Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae) to transmit WNV. Journal of Medical Entomology 39:221–225Google Scholar
  9. Dohm DJ, Turell MJ (2001) Effect of incubation at overwintering temperatures on the replication of WNV in New York Culex pipiens (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 38:462–464Google Scholar
  10. Epstein PR (2001) WNV and the climate. Journal of Urban Health 78:367–371Google Scholar
  11. Epstein PR (2005) Climate change and human health. The New England Journal of Medicine 353:1433–1436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Epstein PR, Defilippo C (2001) WNV and drought. Global Change and Human Health 2:105–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gibbs SEJ, Wimberly MC, Madden M, Masour J, Yabsley MJ, Stallknecht DE (2006) Factors affecting the geographic distribution of WNV in Georgia, USA: 2002–2004. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 6:73–82 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Granwehr K, Lillibridge S, Higgs P, Mason J, Aronson G, Campbell A, Barrett (2004) WNV: where are we now? Lance 4:547–556BGoogle Scholar
  15. Hayes C (1989) West Nile fever. In: Arboviruses: Epidemiology and Ecology, vol V, Monath T (editor), Boca Raton, FL: CRC, pp 59–88Google Scholar
  16. Hubalek Z, Halouzka J (1999) WNF—a reemerging mosquito-borne viral disease in Europe. Emerging Infectious Diseases 5:643–650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. IPCC (2007a) Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability Working Group II Contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report—Summary for Policymakers. Available: http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM13apr07.pdf [accessed April 22, 2007]
  18. IPCC (2007b) IPCC WG1 AR4 Final Report—Regional Climate Projections. Available: http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Ch11.pdf [accessed April 11, 2007]
  19. Israel CDC (2004) (ICDC website), WNV. Available: http://www.health.gov.il/wnf/index.html [accessed December 4, 2005]
  20. Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (2006) Israel Annual Statistic Report, 2005— Geographical Distribution of the Population. Available: http://www1.cbs.gov.il/shnaton57/st02_04.pdf [accessed January 9, 2007]
  21. Israel Ministry of Health (2006) Epidemiology Department, WNV databaseGoogle Scholar
  22. Israel Meteorological Service (IMS). Climate information. Available: http://www.ims.gov.il/IMSEng/CLIMATE
  23. Jupp PG (1974) Laboratory studies on the transmission of West Nile by Culex (Culex) univittatus Theobald; factors influencing the transmission rate. Journal of Medical Entomology 11:455–458Google Scholar
  24. Lanciotti RS, Roehrig JT, Deubel V, Smith J, Parker M, Steele K, et al. (1999) Origin of the WNV responsible for an outbreak of encephalitis in the northeastern United States. Science 286:2333–2337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lindsay SW, Birle MH (1996) Climate change and malaria transmission, Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 90:573–588Google Scholar
  26. Marsh MM, Gross JM Jr (2001) Environmental Geography—Science, Land Use and Earth Systems, New York: John Wiley & Sons, pp 202–203Google Scholar
  27. Mclean R, Ubico SR, Docherty DE, Hansen WR, Sileo L, McNamara TS (2001) West Nile virus transmission and ecology in birds. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 951:54–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McMichael AJ (2003) Global climate change and health: an old story writ large. In: McMichael AJ, Campbell-Lendrum DH, Corvalán, CF, Ebi KL, Githeko AK, Scheraga JD, et al. (eds) Climate Change and Human Health—Risks and Responses, Geneva: WHO, pp 1–17Google Scholar
  29. Nash D, Mostashari F, Fine A, Miller J, O’Leary D, Murray K, et al. (2001) The outbreak of WNV infection in the New York City area in 1999. The New England Journal of Medicine 344:807–814CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Orshan L, Kelbert M, Pener H (2005) Patterns of insecticide resistance in larval Culex pipiens populations in Israel: dynamics and trends. Journal of Vector Ecology 30:289–294Google Scholar
  31. Pats JA, Githeko AK, McCarty JP, Hussain S, Confalonieri U, de Wet N (2003) Climate change and infection disease. In: McMichael AJ, Campbell-Lendrum DH, Corvalán CF, Ebi KL, Githeko AK, Scheraga JD, et al. (eds), Climate Change and Human Health—Risks and Responses, Geneva: WHO, pp 103–132Google Scholar
  32. Paz S (2006) The WNV outbreak in Israel (2000) from a new perspective: the regional impact of climate change. International Journal of Environmental Health Research 15:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Paz S, Bisharat N, Paz E, Kidar O, Cohen D (2007) Climate change and the emergence of Vibrio vulnificus disease in Israel. Environmental Research 103:390–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Paz S, Kutiel H (2003) Rainfall regime uncertainty (RRU) in an eastern Mediterranean region—a methodological approach. Israel Journal of Earth Science 52:47–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Paz S, Tourre Y, Planton S (2003) North Africa–West Asia (NAWA) sea-level pressure patterns and its linkages with the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) climate. Geophysical Research Letters 30:1999–2002; DOI:  10.1029/2003GL01786 [Online October 10, 2003]
  36. Reeves WC, Hardy JL, Reisen WK, Milby MM (1994) Potential effect of global warming on mosquito-borne arboviruses. Journal of Medical Entomology 31:323–332Google Scholar
  37. Saaroni H, Ben-Dor E, Bitan A, Potchter O (2000) Spatial distribution and microscale characteristics of the urban heat island in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Landscape and Urban Planning 48:1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Saaroni H, Ziv B, Edelson J, Alpert P (2003) Long term variations in summer temperatures over the eastern Mediterranean. Geophysical Research Letters 30:1946; DOI:  10.1029/2003GL017742 [Online September 24, 2003]
  39. Savage HM, Ceianu C, Nicolescu G, Karabatsos N, Lanciotti R, Vladimirescu A, et al. (1999) Entomologic and avian investigation of an epidemic of WNV fever in Romania in 1996, with serologic and molecular characterization of a virus isolate from mosquitoes. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 61:600–611Google Scholar
  40. Snow KS (1990) Mosquitoes. Slough, UK: Richmond Publishing, pp 1–16Google Scholar
  41. Spigland I, Jasinka-Klinberg W, Hofshi E, Goldblum N (1958) Clinical and laboratory observations in an outbreak of West Nile fever in Israel in 1957. Harefua 54:275–281Google Scholar
  42. Tibbetts J (2007) Driven to extremes health effects of climate change. Environmental Health Perspectives 115:A196–A203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tsai T (2001) Flaviviruses. In: Mandell G, Bennett J, Dolin R (eds), Principles and Practice of Infection Disease, Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone, pp 1714–1736Google Scholar
  44. Tsai TF, Popovici F, Cernescu C, Campbell GL, Nedelcu N (1998) West Nile encephalitis epidemic in southeastern Romania. Lancet 352:767–771CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Turell MJ, O’Guinn ML, Dohm DJ, Jones JW (2001) Vector competence of North American mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) for WNV. Journal of Medical Entomology 38:130–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Weinberger M, Pitlik SD, Gandacu D, Lang R, Nassar F, Ben-David D (2001) WNF outbreak, Israel, 2000: epidemiologic aspects. Emerging Infectious Diseases 7:686–691Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental StudiesUniversity of HaifaMt. CarmelIsrael

Personalised recommendations