Global climate change might expand the distribution of vector-borne pathogens in both time and space, thereby exposing host populations to longer transmission seasons, and immunologically naive populations to newly introduced pathogens. In the African highlands, where cool temperatures limit malaria parasite development, increases in temperature might enhance malaria transmission. St Louis encephalitis viral replication and the length of the transmission season depend upon ambient temperature. Warming temperatures in the American southwest might place at risk migratory, non-immune elderly persons that arrive in early fall to spend the winter. Warm temperatures might intensify or extend the transmission season for dengue fever. Immunologists should examine this interplay between human immunocompetence and vector-borne disease risks in a warmer world.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy