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A project proposal submitted to study the effects of climate changes on microbial diseases transmitted to human from agriculture in Sudan.



Prevalence of agriculture microbial borne diseases is more likely to be related to environmental factors and human activities. This project investigates the connections between environmental change, modern agricultural practices and the occurrence of infectious diseases.The transmission of food and agricultural microbial borne diseases is likely to be affected by local environment and man activities, but the extent of the impact is uncertain. This project describes a decision support tool which has been developed to estimate the risk of infection from diseases transmission through quantitative risk assessment for different environmental scenarios. It has been designed for the diverse climatic regions of Sudan, but is not limited to these settings. The decision support tool computes the relative infection risk associated with environment resulting from exposure to a number of human pathogens: Transmission of economic crops diseases (e.g.: Otitis media – Pseudomonas aerognosa from Sorghum bicolor to human) Transmission of vegetables’ diseases and other plants (e.g.: norovirus, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Vibrio (non cholera) and Salmonella Enteritidis. These pathogens can be combined with specific exposure pathways such as drinking water, bathing water, oysters, egg/egg products or chicken fillets.Current and projected climatic conditions for specific regions can also be set. The decision support tool can help prioritise significant pathogen pathways under certain climatic conditions and support the implementation of targeted and effective intervention strategies.

What actions do you propose?

It is very important to find out the influences between environmental change, recent agricultural activities and the incidence of infectious diseases especially those of poverty  and proposes a methodology that can be used to prioritize research on such diseases. Although there is some comprehension of the underlying and growing systemic influence of today's large-scale social and environmental changes on some infectious diseases, the significance and potential future impacts of these changes are poorly understood. Nevertheless, such changes now constitute a significant influence on the working of the Earth's systems that will increase consequences for  occurrence of infectious diseases. Many of these changes will be illustrated in this project. A common theme of this project is bidirectional causation, effectively “trapping” complex, linked eco-social systems in stable traditional agriculture activities that are resistant to intervention of new methods. This project will present the case for a more integrated approach across sectors, research disciplines and diseases taking greater account of the increasingly widespread and systemic influences on disease emergence and spread.

Who will take these actions?

Project Beneficiaries

1- Ministry of High Education:  Karary University, University of Bahri, Al-Neelain University

2- Project post Graduate Students, Three PhD students , Nine MSc students

3- Ministry of Agriculture 

4- Ministry of Health

 Beneficiaries in Action:

A major success for the project will be the stimulating the development of the technology strategy  for detection and identification of environmental impact on agriculture borne diseases Innovation with a view to investing international funds in  the project activities together with additional funding from government departments, particularly the Department of Health and the research councils. In research and academia, the project will help to bring diagnostic and surveillance issues much higher up the research agenda, with the area explored in similar national and international research projects, reports and funding initiatives. The Project also will highlight the importance of social and communicable approaches that have been credited by stakeholders with leading to greater acceptance of the need to integrate natural and social sciences in disease –related work. A barrel research projects at the economics explicitly should be continued to explore this link. A number of the experts that worked on the Project have to continue to research the issues raised during the Project and help lead initiatives and organizations that work on associated areas. The Project will also be credited with highlighting that issues concerning the emergence of agriculture borne diseases in Africa should be seen as a global public good. The extension of the Project into Africa was a novel and previously unexplored idea, which in turn will lead to the support and creation of African Centre for Agriculture Borne Diseases Surveillance directed by African Project team members. Our contribution in this project performs the best interpretations that indicate our aptitude for development.

Where will these actions be taken?

Considering raising threat of emerging agricultural borne diseases to national security as well as economical influences due to affection of livestock, it is mandatory to build strong surveillance system targeting these diseases during different climate scenarios to enable early detection, prompt control and prevention. This goal will not be achieved unless we have a solid base on estimation of the burden of these diseases in agricultural areas of Sudan.

What are other key benefits?

 Covering the hypothesis and nil-hypothesis of the goal, people will understand the main objectives.  An important benefit of the project is derived from the observation that agricultural borne diseases are much more common in rural than urban areas of Sudan where no clinical services. It is conceivable that, although outbreaks may occur periodically during rainy seasons, the control of disease might be easier to overcome than direct medication. The feasibility of the application of procedures to protect the public from transmitted diseases should be a risk/benefit assessment and if the benefit far outweighs the potential hazards then a procedure should be considered for adoption. The Project attempted a grand challenge; to identify future risks from agriculture borne diseases across Sudan and neighborhood and across three disciplines and, thereafter, evaluate the research and technology that might reduce such risks. 

What are the proposal’s costs?

Items Estimated costs

 Samples collections and preparations 500

Samples shipping 1000

Field expenses Transportation 1500

Accommodation 1800

Meals 1800

Public transport 150

Investigator expenses 5000

Laboratory services Materials, Reagents and Supplies for enzyme purification 3000

Bench fees 1500

Analytical Service 300

Indirect expenses (internet, lab services, etc.) 500

Project evaluation reports, corresponding and telecommunication 1000 Publications 1250 Total 12,550 USD

Time line

The research timeframe and estimated time will be divided in four periods during the three years of the project, this depends on the allowed period that given.


Research Part                                                        Notes

1st quarter: in Sudan

The first quarter will be for samples collections and preparations.

Samples will be collected during plantation seasons to investigate the distribution of the diseases among agricultural activities

2nd quarter

using the data collected from Ministry of health, Ministry of Agriculture to create 10 years baseline

3rd quarter

Statistical evaluation, mathematical models, computational simulated programs will be done for future prediction

4th quarter:

Finalizing, releasing, publishing the results with the possibilities of their  implementations


Related proposals


Mankind intervention in local environment represents a potential hazard factors affecting disease emergence(1). There are several driving forces that determine the nature and magnitude of the health risks associated with agricultural development. These may be broadly categorized as environmental, ecological, demographic and socio-economic changes. The term vector-borne diseases is referred to its broad WHO definition, i.e. those diseases whose transmission vitally depends on primary and intermediate vertebrate and invertebrate hosts and animal reservoirs of pathogenic organisms (2). *Agriculture borne diseases can be defined as the diseases that transmitted from agriculture to human, this include crops, seeds, vegetables, vectors, soil, water and plantation processes(3-5).  The environmental exposure pathways of these pathogens affected by their transport, dispersion, fate and are all intricately linked to local climate and weather conditions (6). Also the behaviour, viability, and reproduction rates of pathogenic food and waterborne microbes depend on environmental conditions, evidence of which is reflected in their seasonality(7-9). Similarly, the intensity and frequency of climate changes events related to agricultural processes such as concentrations of water-borne pathogens in surface water and flooding can result in the dispersion of pathogenic microbes, while drought conditions can concentrate pathogens in surface water and determine their fate and viability. An understanding of the transport and survival of microbial pathogens (pathogens hereafter) in agricultural settings is needed o assess the risk of pathogen contamination to water and food resources, and to develop control strategies and treatment options(10). Thus, the environmental exposure routes of food and waterborne pathogens are susceptible to the changing climatic conditions(11, 12). Moreover, new types of pathogens might emerge from a new ecological niche, taking advantage of favourable exposure pathways and both direct and indirect, might differ significantly from past patterns(13). Many diseases can be transmitted by both seeds and soil, hence natural microflora present in soil, water, air, insects, nematodes and mammals can become associated with plants and trigger beneficial of serious responses in them(14). Perhaps the most notable of these pathogens is the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause a weak soft rot of plants such as lettuce(15-17). In people with compromised immune systems, this bacterium is known to infect the urinary tract, lungs, blood, and burns and other wounds(18, 19). Pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter jejuni possess a diverse set of genetic factors that enable pathogenicity, ranging from specialized secretion systems to toxins and adhesins, all of which are involved in manipulating or circumventing the human immune system(20-22).