Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (10): 1229-1237.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020264

• Original Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effect of climate change and economic development on hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome

Xiang Hou1, Tuo Feng1, Ning Han1, Jing Wang1, Xiaoning Chen1, Xiaolei An1, Lei Xu2,*(), Qiyong Liu2,*(), Gang Chang1,*()   

  1. 1 Shaanxi Key Laboratory for Animal Conservation, Shaanxi Institute of Zoology, Xi’an 710032;
    2 State Key Laboratory of Infections Disease Prevention and Control, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 102206
  • Received:2020-07-03 Accepted:2020-10-08 Online:2020-10-20 Published:2020-10-20
  • Contact: Lei Xu,Qiyong Liu,Gang Chang


Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is a natural focus disease transmitted via contact with infected rodents and is a global public health threat. Using statistical models and wavelet analysis, we analyzed the effects that rodent density, climate and economic variations on HFRS cases in the Huyi District of Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province from 1984-2016. We found that the outbreak history could be divided into two periods, each of which with a different major reservoir. We found that Rattus norvegicus may have replaced Apodemus sagrarius as the major reservoir of HFRS around 2002, using wavelet analysis. Generalized additive models show that incidence of HFRS was positively associated with Apodemus sagrarius densities from 1984 to 2001 (F2.06,9.02 = 102.415, P < 0.01) and with Rattus norvegicus densities from 2002 and 2016 (F1.67,9.02 = 73.929, P < 0.01). We also found that the shift in major reservoir for HFRS was associated with local climate variation (quantified by annual average temperature), and economic activity (quantified by gross domestic product, GDP). We found negative correlations between temperature and incidence of HFRS (F2.93,9.02 = 12.164, P < 0.01) and between GDP and incidence of HFRS (F1.70,9.02 = 2.917, P < 0.05). We used a structural equation model to demonstrate this shift in reservoir through direct and indirect pathways, and found that temperature had a direct negative effect on HFRS incidence and an indirect positive effect via Rattus norvegicus. GDP has a direct negative effect on HFRS incidence. This study has demonstrated how changes in climate and economic factors have affected outbreak of HFRS. Knowledge of these effects can contribute in helping develop better strategies for controlling the spread of HFRS.

Key words: climate change, economic development, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), rodent density, generalized additive model, structural equation model, wavelet analysis