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Warming trend may contribute to malaria's rise

ematical model, Pascual and coworkers showed that even such slight warming could have biological consequences.

"We showed that a small increase in temperature can lead to a much larger increase in the abundance of mosquitoes," she said. "And because mosquito abundance is generally quite low in these highland regions, any increase in abundance can be an important factor in transmission of the disease."

In the current study, the researchers looked only at the link between temperature and mosquito abundance, not at malaria statistics. In future work, Pascual plans to incorporate malaria data and to explore the interaction of various factors that may affect the spread of malaria.

"I think it's reasonable to assume that these factors are not independent," Pascual said. "It's important to understand how they interact and also to see if we can determine their relative importance. This is a very polarized field, in terms of supporting or not supporting the role of climate versus other factors. We don't want to contribute to the polarization, which I think is very unproductive in terms of the science. I hope we can move from this sort of debate into a more constructive one about interactions and relative roles of all the factors that may be contributing to the resurgence of malaria."


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Source:University of Michigan


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