Divergent impacts of warming weather on wildlife disease risk across climates

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Climate change appears to be provoking changes in the patterns and intensity of infectious diseases. For example, when conditions are cool, amphibians from warm climates experience greater burdens of infection by chytrid fungus than hosts from cool regions. Cohen et al. undertook a global metanalysis of 383 studies to test whether this “thermal mismatch” hypothesis holds true over the gamut of host-pathogen relationships. The authors combined date and location data with a selection of host and parasite traits and weather data. In the resulting model, fungal disease risk increased sharply under cold abnormalities in warm climates, whereas bacterial disease prevalence increased sharply under warm abnormalities in cool climates. Warming is projected to benefit helminths more than other parasites, and viral infections showed less obvious relationships with climate change. Science , this issue p. [eabb1702][1] ### INTRODUCTION Infectious disease outbreaks among wildlife have surged in recent decades alongside global climate change. However, the circumstances under which climate change is most likely to promote or inhibit infectious disease remain unknown for several reasons. First, researchers know little about how climate change will alter disease risk across hosts and parasites with diverse life history traits (e.g., host thermal biology, habitat, and parasite transmission mode). Second, …

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