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Malaria and Leishmaniasis Carriers and Climate Changes

#G-1664


Study of Ecological Characteristics of Malaria and Leishmaniasis Carriers in Relation with Global Climate Changes in Georgian Region of Southern Caucasus

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
  • ENV-MRA/Modelling and Risk Assessment/Environment

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
18.08.2008

Leading Institute
Georgian Academy of Sciences / Institute of Zoology, Georgia, Tbilisi

Collaborators

  • University of Notre Dame / Department of Biological Sciences, USA, IN, Notre Dame

Project summary

At present effect of climate changes on malaria spreading and its carriers takes on special significance all over the world.

Geographic distribution of obligate transmissible diseases coincides with the natural habitat of specific disease carriers. Within the given geographical landscape at the presence of favorable environmental conditions circulation of causative agents lasting for an indefinite time is provided. The data existed concerning mentioned issue enable us to determine the role of disease carriers (gnats, phlebotomies, ticks, etc.) during circulation of pathogenic microorganisms under natural conditions.

At present the ecosystem is under rapid and uncontrolled human impact. Ecological changes related to global warming affect thermal regime of biotopes of bloodsucking arthropods, which are significant for transmission of various pathogenic microorganisms. In this connection in recent years special attention has been paid to the study of pathogenic microorganism carriers that cause different human and animal infections. It should be mentioned that pathogenic microorganisms could be successfully applied for bioterrorism. Georgia as the region of Southern Caucasus is characterized by rich and perse fauna of disease carriers (gnats, phlebotomies, etc.).

In recent years statistical data of World Health Organization (WHO) has stated the outbreak of transmissible diseases in various regions of the world. Malaria is one of the most dangerous diseases. In more than 100 countries people suffer from malaria and the risk of infestation with it threatens more than 2 billion people worldwide. The tendency of broadening of disease geography is also noted. In recent years substantial factor for resumption of malaria, besides declining in living standards and absence of prophylactic measures, are emigrational processes.

Georgia borders with those countries (Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia) where malaria and leishaniesis are endemic. It constitutes a threat of infestation with this disease in case it is brought within the borders of the country. This process is stimulated by the rich fauna of malaria carriers and the optimum temperature regime of places of their population. In recent years one of the most important factors of possible new outbreak of malaria is activation of migration processes in addition to sharp decline in living standards and absence of preventive measures. Measures carried out earlier via application of pesticides to control transmissive disease carriers proved to be a failure.

Countermeasures against the transmissive diseases used earlier via various pesticides appeared inefficient. Their long-term administration caused resistance of carriers and according to French scientist Rem Shoven, ecological catastrophe. Global warming observing the last time provides wide spreading of transmissible diseases because it stimulates activity of carriers.

The most complete data about the effect of climate global warming on the carriers of transmissible diseases occur concerning malaria. Within temperate zone of Europe malaria was eliminated in 60s of 20th century, but in Caucasian countries local accidents of malaria are still registered. Potential danger of transmission resumption and emergence of epidemiological outbreaks on sanitize (restored) territories exist. There are no data about changes of specific and karyotypic composition of An. maculipennis complex.

Along with climate warming and increasing of sum precipitations the area of anophelegenic reservoirs will be increased, which leads to the increase of number of malaria carriers, extension of seasons of mosquito (Phlebotomies) activity and malaria transmission. With the increase of air temperature earlier dates of phenological events, decrease of diurnal temperature fluctuations, and increase of mean precipitation intensity will be occurred. Climate changes will influence directly the epidemiological and entomological situations by human transmissible climate-dependant diseases.

Due to increase of air temperature number of areas of propagation of disease carriers will be increased, character of aquatic vegetation will be changed, salinity of reservoirs will be reduced and they will become optimal for development of Anopheles larvae. Global warming process affects life cycles of both, endophilic and exophilic species of malaria and other transmissible disease carriers. In whole Transcaucasian epidemiological situation may be characterized as unfavorable.

The main goal of presented project is to study the reasons of changes of fauna and specific composition of malaria, leishmaniasis and other transmissible disease carriers in relation with global warming process; application of only biological agents of larva-phages and entomopathogenic nematodes to control disease carriers. Entomopathogenic nematodes will be used for the first time.

Taking into account the great interest in economical development of countries, it is obvious the role of populations of disease carriers of harmful pathogenic microorganisms, for which frontiers are not obstacle.

The project is aimed to solve the following tasks:

  1. Study of the reasons of fauna changing and specific composition of main disease carriers in relation with global warming; material collection.
  2. Determination of specific composition and the dominant species of disease carriers by vertical zoning of the area.
  3. Study of ecological characteristics of biotopes of the basic malaria carriers, effect of temperature regime on development of disease carriers. Establishment of phenological dates in connection with global warming.
  4. Isolation of strains – arboviruses; serological reactions.
  5. Mapping of habitats of main carriers of malaria and leishmaniasis by various landscapes in Southern regions of the Caucasus in Georgia.
  6. Conduction of preventive measures via bioagents – entemopathogenic nematodes.
  7. Establishment of the duration of a season of effective infestation and transmission of malaria by vertical zoning from 200 to 1200 m a.s.l.
  8. Determination of the duration of sporogonium cycle along vertical zoning of the area (flat, submontane, low-montane areas).
  9. Organization and conduction of trainings, workshops, publishing of booklets for specialists and people.

Results obtained on the basis of scientific and practical researches through project fulfillment will be realized by corresponding interested organizations during disease outbreaks caused by various pathogenic microorganisms.


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