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Effects of historic and projected climate change on the range and impacts of an emerging wildlife disease

Price, S; Leung, W; Owen, C; Puschendorf, R; Sergeant, C; Cunningham, A; Balloux, F; ... Nichols, R; + view all (2019) Effects of historic and projected climate change on the range and impacts of an emerging wildlife disease. Global Change Biology , 25 (8) pp. 2648-2660. 10.1111/gcb.14651. Green open access

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Abstract

The global trend of increasing environmental temperatures is often predicted to result in more severe disease epidemics. However, unambiguous evidence that temperature is a driver of epidemics is largely lacking, because it is demanding to demonstrate its role among the complex interactions between hosts, pathogens and their shared environment. Here we apply a three-pronged approach to understand the effects of temperature on ranavirus epidemics in UK common frogs, combining in vitro, in vivo and field studies. Each approach suggests that higher temperatures drive increasing severity of epidemics. In wild populations, ranavirosis incidents were more frequent and more severe at higher temperatures, and their frequency increased through a period of historic warming in the 1990s. Laboratory experiments using cell culture and whole animal models showed that higher temperature increased ranavirus propagation, disease incidence, and mortality rate. These results, combined with climate projections, predict severe ranavirosis outbreaks will occur over wider areas and an extended season, possibly affecting larval recruitment. Since ranaviruses affect a variety of ectothermic hosts (amphibians, reptiles and fish), wider ecological damage could occur. Our three complementary lines of evidence present a clear case for direct environmental modulation of these epidemics and suggest management options to protect species from disease.

Type: Article
Title: Effects of historic and projected climate change on the range and impacts of an emerging wildlife disease
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14651
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14651
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Ranavirus, temperature, virulence, climate change, emerging infectious disease, host-pathogen interactions, common frog, Rana temporaria, amphibian population decline
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072219
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