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Global Warming and Disease Proliferation

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Predicting the impact of global warming on disease proliferationTrinity College Dublin

Scientists have devised a method for predicting how rising global temperatures are likely to affect the severity of diseases mediated by parasites. Their method can be applied widely to different host-pathogen combinations and warming scenarios, and should help to identify which infectious diseases will have worsened or diminished effects with rising temperatures.

The proof-of-concept method, which was road-tested using the water flea (Daphnia magna) and its pathogen (Ordospora colligata) as a model system, uses a long-standing biological concept known as the metabolic theory of ecology to predict how a wide range of processes – all of which influence host-parasite dynamics – are affected by temperature.

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