Weather may influence transmission of West Nile, chikungunya, and other viral disease

According to Virginia Tech scientists, mosquitoes reared in cooler temperatures have weaker immune systems, making them more susceptible to dangerous viruses and more likely to transmit them to people.

The connection between temperature and the mosquito’s immune system, published Friday (May 31, 2013) in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, is significant in light of global climate change, said researchers Kevin Myles and Zach Adelman, associate professors of entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and affiliates of the Fralin Life Science Institute.

“Our data offers a plausible hypothesis for how changes in weather influence the transmission of these diseases and will likely continue to do so in the future,” Myles said.

A variety of weather anomalies may occur with global changes in climate. However, predicting what these weather anomalies will be is difficult due to the enormous complexity involved.

via Weather may influence transmission of West Nile, chikungunya, and other viral disease.

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