Home Science The Fungus That Killed Frogs—and Led to a Surge in Malaria

The Fungus That Killed Frogs—and Led to a Surge in Malaria

by Shashank
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Bd swept Central America in the 1980s and 2000s, but only recently has an analysis demonstrating its effects on human health been achieved, said lead author of the paper and professor at the University of California, Davis. Environmental and resource economist Michael Springborn said: “The data was there, but it wasn’t readily available,” he says. Over the years, however, county-level disease records were digitized in the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica and Panama, and specific statistical models combined their epidemiology with satellite imagery and ecological surveys to compare land characteristics and An opportunity was provided to clarify the precipitation. Similar to data on amphibian decline.

“I always wondered if I could link [the die-off] For people, more people will care,” Lipps says. “I was confident that I could quantify changes in bugs, frogs, water quality, fish, crabs, shrimp. , because it happened over a very wide area.”

But precisely because Bd swept Central America in a particular pattern, from northwest to southeast, “wave after wave hit county after county over time,” says Springbourne. Before and after the wave of fungus arrived. Health records show that malaria rates were flat in counties (called cantons or districts) before the Bd infection, but then began to rise. At the peak of the disease surge, six years after Bd arrived in the area, malaria cases increased fivefold.

And about eight years after the deadly fungus arrived, they began to decline again. No. While some populations appear to have acquired resistance, most populations have not regained density or diversity. Because the fungus persists in the environment, it remains endangered.

There is a missing piece in the researcher’s analysis. There is no data for the same period. Proof Its mosquito population surged in a way that promoted malaria. The studies they needed regarding mosquito densities during and after Bd’s arrival in his 81 counties in Costa Rica and 55 counties in Panama are completely absent. So it is difficult to say why malaria has declined again, especially since frog populations have not recovered. It is theorized that it may have been due to human intervention, such as distributing Alternatively, the ecosystem may have recovered, with other predator species taking advantage of the vacated niches to reduce mosquito numbers, even though the frogs did not recover.

However, the fact that malaria incidence has fallen again does not negate the significance of the findings. “For the most part, Bd was a story about the impact on amphibians. Basically, wouldn’t it be too bad to lose this charismatic group of organisms?” James, an evolutionary ecologist and professor at Arizona State University P Collins says (Collins has something to do with this work; he oversaw a National Science Foundation grant to Lipps in the 1990s.) Tying the dots to what they actually mean to humans helps us understand the results. Great evidence to understand. ”

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