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[The influence of weather conditions on the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases by the example of West Nile fever in Russia].

[Article in Russian]


Climate changes must influence the incidence of vector-borne infections, but their effects cannot be revealed due to lack of long-term observations. The impact of short-term weather changes may be used as a model. In Russia the biggest numbers of clinical cases of mosquito-borne West Nile infection were registered in 1999 in Volgograd and Astrakhan regions. The analysis of climatic dataset since 1900 shows that 1999 was the hottest year in Volgograd in the 20th century due to a very mild winter (December-March) and a rather hot summer (June-September). The author of the article puts forward a hypothesis that high winter temperatures favored the survival of over-wintering mosquito vectors, and high summer temperature facilitated the growth of the virus in the mosquitoes, as well as propagation of the mosquitoes themselves. The author assumes that conventional threshold temperatures for "beneficial for WNF conditions" in Russia are > or = 3 degrees C in winter, and > or = 22 degrees C in summer. These conditions coincided only in 1948 and 1999. In Astrakhan the "beneficial for WNF conditions" were registered in 30 out of 147 years of observation, and in 12 years between 1964 and 2003. This is not surprising that Astrakhan region is endemic for WNF in accordance with clinical and epidemiological data collected since the sixties. These findings give some hints on the WNF predisposing factors, as well as possibility of weather surveillance and prediction of WNF outbreaks in temperate climatic zones such as Southern Russia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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