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The thermal mismatch hypothesis explains host susceptibility to an emerging infectious disease.

Cohen, Jeremy M; Venesky, Matthew D; Sauer, Erin L; Civitello, David J; McMahon, Taegan A; Roznik, Elizabeth A; Rohr, Jason R.
Ecol Lett; 20(2): 184-193, 2017 02.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28111904
Parasites typically have broader thermal limits than hosts, so large performance gaps between pathogens and their cold- and warm-adapted hosts should occur at relatively warm and cold temperatures, respectively. We tested this thermal mismatch hypothesis by quantifying the temperature-dependent susceptibility of cold- and warm-adapted amphibian species to the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) using laboratory experiments and field prevalence estimates from 15 410 individuals in 598 populations. In both the laboratory and field, we found that the greatest susceptibility of cold- and warm-adapted hosts occurred at relatively warm and cool temperatures, respectively, providing support for the thermal mismatch hypothesis. Our results suggest that as climate change shifts hosts away from their optimal temperatures, the probability of increased host susceptibility to infectious disease might increase, but the effect will depend on the host species and the direction of the climate shift. Our findings help explain the tremendous variation in species responses to Bd across climates and spatial, temporal and species-level variation in disease outbreaks associated with extreme weather events that are becoming more common with climate change.