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Environmental concerns increasing infectious disease in amphibians, other animals
Date:7/18/2012

apparent in many animal species, including humans, as environmental changes and stresses grow, they said.

Among the observations in this report:

  • Infectious disease around the world is increasing at an unprecedented rate.

  • Natural stresses such as competition and predation have been joined by human-induced stresses, ranging from pollution to global warming.

  • These forces can reduce immune competence in amphibians, even as climate change, invasive species and other factors increase pathogen spread, persistence, growth and mortality.

  • Some amphibians deal with stress by hormonal changes such as increased production of glucocorticoids, but on a sustained basis, that approach can further suppress their immune system.

  • Warmer winters and night-time temperatures may reduce the cycle of pathogen die-offs that would naturally occur in colder regions.

These forces are complex, the researchers noted. The effects of climate change on amphibian disease, for instance, my cause some pathogens to increase in prevalence and severity, while others decline.

Understanding the driving forces behind these changes, the scientists said, will be important not only to address amphibian declines but also to deal with emerging infections in many other plants and animals, including humans. Such impacts can affect wildlife conservation, economic growth and human health.


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Contact: Andrew Blaustein
blaustea@science.oregonstate.edu
541-737-3705
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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