Treeless Tropics, More Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes?

Treeless Tropics, More Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes?

Deforestation doesn't just strip the landscape. In tropical regions, it may also lead to more disease-carrying mosquitoes, University of Florida researchers say.

"Converting pristine tropical forests into areas for agriculture or other uses creates a habitat for the mosquitoes that transmit human diseases," lead study author Nathan Burkett-Cadena said in a university news release. He's an assistant professor of entomology.

The scientists don't say why those mosquitoes might thrive without extensive tree coverage, but they note that deforested areas are warmer and drier than similar pristine forests.

For their report, the researchers analyzed 17 studies from around the world. They found a strong link between deforestation in tropical habitats and higher concentrations of mosquitoes that carry diseases transmittable to people.

Almost 57 percent of mosquito species in deforested areas were confirmed carriers of human disease, compared with about 28 percent of mosquito species in forested areas, the investigators said.

They also found that mosquito species capable of carrying multiple human diseases favored deforested habitats. These include Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which transmit the dengue, West Nile, yellow fever and Zika viruses.

"The last couple of decades have seen an increase in efforts looking into the association between deforestation and specific diseases," said study co-author Dr. Amy Vittor.

"Here we're taking a global view, comparing the distribution of mosquito species capable of carrying disease in deforested and forested areas in the tropics," added Vittor, an assistant professor in the division of infectious diseases and global medicine.

The findings were published recently in the journal Basic and Applied Ecology.

More information

The World Health Organization has more on mosquito-borne diseases.


Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Mental Health Does Not Come With A Manual, It Comes With Friends & Family Support That Never Gives Up!
Join now

Related Content

Addiction To Cocaine Sees Promising Cure In Near Future In Preventing Overdose
Addiction To Cocaine Sees Promising Cure In Near Future In Preventing Overdose

A radical gene therapy for drug addiction has been shown to dampen down cravings...

Read more
How Therapy Dogs Are Providing Significant Benefits To Children With ADHD
How Therapy Dogs Are Providing Significant Benefits To Children With ADHD

For children struggling with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), vi...

Read more
The 4 Mistakes People With Anxiety Make & How To Prevent Them From Happening
The 4 Mistakes People With Anxiety Make & How To Prevent Them From Happening

I recently wrote a well-received post about five mistakes that people with depre...

Read more
Did You Know That 20% Autism Patients Were ALSO Diagnosed With Depression?
Did You Know That 20% Autism Patients Were ALSO Diagnosed With Depression?

Almost 20% of young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also were diagnos...

Read more
Is There Anyone Else Out There With Bipolar Disorder & OCD Symptoms?
Is There Anyone Else Out There With Bipolar Disorder & OCD Symptoms?

It's not at all uncommon that I hear obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms as part ...

Read more
Signs Your Parent May Actually Have A Personality Disorder & How To...
Signs Your Parent May Actually Have A Personality Disorder & How To...

Have you always struggled in your relationship with your parent? Maybe your rela...

Read more