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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

Print version ISSN 1726-4634


CABANIEL S, Gilberto et al. Impacto de los eventos de El Niño Southern oscillation (ENSO) sobre la leishmaniosis cutánea en Sucre, Venezuela, a través del uso de información satelital, 1994 - 2003. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2005, vol.22, n.1, pp.32-37. ISSN 1726-4634.

Objectives: To determine the possible impact of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on cutaneous leishmaniasis in Sucre, Venezuela, for the 1994-2003 period. Materials and Methods: Climatic data was obtained using remote systems, and it was classified according to the National Oceanograhic and Atmospheric Administration criteria for El Niño, Neutral, or La Niña periods, using the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) as a variability indicator. Cutaneous leishmaniasis data was obtained from the Environmental Sanitation Management Office in Sucre. Comparisons of annual variations and deviations from average trends were performed for cutaneous leishmaniasis incidence and climatic variability, and regression models were also used. Results: Between 1994 and 2003, 2212 cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis cases were recorded. Three important El Niño phases were observed: 1994-1995, 1997-1998, and 2001-2003, being the one in 1997-1998 the most relevant one, which was followed by a chilly and rainy season in 1999 (La Niña). During 1999-2000, 360 cutaneous leishmaniasis cases were recorded in Sucre, with an important variability within a year, and a 66,7% increase in cutaneous leishmaniasis cases (F= 10,06, p= 0,0051) associated with the presence of a weak La Niña phenomenon (not too cold and rainy). Models showed that with higher SOI values, there was a reduced incidence of cutaneous leishmaniasis (r 2 = 0,3308; p= 0,0504). The increase with respect to the average trend in rain was associated with increases in trends for cutaneous leishmaniasis in the period from 1994 to 2003 (p= 0,0358). Conclusions: These data reflect the importance of ENSO upon cutaneous leishmaniasis incidence, opening a new research line, with a possible impact on prediction and monitoring, which is relevant for public health.

Keywords : Cutaneous Leishmaniasis; Environment; Geographical Information Systems; Climate Changes; El Niño Southern Oscillation.

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