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Climate change boosts risk of nastier parasites

14 Aug 2012

The Irish Times

HEALTH BRIEFING: PARASITES LOOK set to become more virulent because of climate change, according to a study showing that frogs suffer more infections from a fungus when exposed to unexpected swings in temperatures.

Parasites, which include tapeworms, the tiny organisms that cause malaria and fungi, may be more nimble at adapting to climatic shifts than the animals they live on since they are smaller and grow more quickly, scientists said.

"Increases in climate variability are likely to make it easier for parasites to infect their hosts," Thomas Raffel of Oakland University in the United States said, based on findings about frogs and a sometimes deadly skin fungus.

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