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Cycles of Cutaneous leishmaniasis are linked to climate

Cutaneous leishmaniasis occurs in cycles that are related to temperature and the El Nio Southern Oscillation. Luis Chaves and Mercedes Pascual from the University of Michigan studied monthly data, between 1991 and 2001, of the incidence of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Costa Rica.

Using mathematical models they were able to show that this disease has cycles of approximately 3 y that are related to temperature and indices of the El Nio Southern Oscillation, including the sea surface temperature. Using such a model they could predict the incidence of cutaneous leishmaniasis up to 12 months ahead, with an accuracy of between 72% and 77%.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is one of the main emerging diseases in the Americas. As in other vector-transmitted diseases, its transmission is sensitive to the environment, but this is the first study to look at the interannual patterns of cycling of the disease.


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Contact: Andrew Hyde
press@plos.org
44-122-346-3330
Public Library of Science
14-Aug-2006


Page: 1

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