Review

Climate Change and Infectious Diseases: From Evidence to a Predictive Framework

Science  02 Aug 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6145, pp. 514-519
DOI: 10.1126/science.1239401

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Abstract

Scientists have long predicted large-scale responses of infectious diseases to climate change, giving rise to a polarizing debate, especially concerning human pathogens for which socioeconomic drivers and control measures can limit the detection of climate-mediated changes. Climate change has already increased the occurrence of diseases in some natural and agricultural systems, but in many cases, outcomes depend on the form of climate change and details of the host-pathogen system. In this review, we highlight research progress and gaps that have emerged during the past decade and develop a predictive framework that integrates knowledge from ecophysiology and community ecology with modeling approaches. Future work must continue to anticipate and monitor pathogen biodiversity and disease trends in natural ecosystems and identify opportunities to mitigate the impacts of climate-driven disease emergence.

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