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Climatic changes increase malicious parasites potency

Climatic changes predict the parasites to become more active and potent attacking the host in a big way. A study highlighted that the frogs when facing unforeseen and surprising changes in the general temperatures experience a larger number of diseases.

Parasitic infections

Parasites are extraordinary living creatures that exist in a close association with a host organism causing it damage. Parasites depend on the host for food and water necessary for its bodily activities. They are minute creatures that lead to illnesses.

Researchers state “Parasites, which include tapeworms, the tiny creatures that cause malaria and funguses, may be more nimble at adapting to climatic shifts than the animals they live on since they are smaller and grow more quickly.”

Thomas Raffel of Oakland University in the United States studying about frogs and fungus felt "Increases in climate variability are likely to make it easier for parasites to infect their hosts," he talked about the report he had prepared with colleagues at the University of South Florida "We think this could exacerbate the effects of some disease".

The study

The scientists used Cuban tree frogs to shifting temperatures and a fungal infection in the confines of 80 laboratory incubators. The frogs were exposed to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a deadly amphibian fungus.

The first experimental study had frogs at 25 degree Celsius temperature for a period of 4 weeks. The frogs showed many infections when they were put under 15 degree temperature regulated incubators flushed with the fungus than the frogs already staying in 15 degree Celsius temperature surroundings."If you shift the temperature a frog is more susceptible to infection than a frog that is already adapted to that temperature," said Raffel.

In an additional test, frogs exposed to conventional everyday temperature changes falling in 15-25 degree Celsius, could resist the fungus much better. Raffel and his team plan to carry out further tests on more parasites and their hosts to corroborate the results. "This study was only done on a single tropical frog species," he asserted.

The scientists felt that there was also a difference between the cold bloodied animals and warm blooded creatures. The U.N. expert panel feels that human suffering will increase as global warming takes place due to fires, droughts, floods, heat waves, storms, and release of greenhouse gases leading to more diseases.

"Few...studies have considered the effects of climate variability or predictability on disease, despite it being likely that hosts and parasites will have differential responses to climatic shifts," wrote the scientists.