Climate warming and disease risks for terrestrial and marine biota

C. Drew Harvell, Charles E. Mitchell, Jessica R. Ward, Sonia Altizer, Andrew P. Dobson, Richard S. Ostfeld, Michael D. Samuel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2053 Scopus citations


Infectious diseases can cause rapid population declines or species extinctions. Many pathogens of terrestrial and marine taxa are sensitive to temperature, rainfall, and humidity, creating synergisms that could affect biodiversity. Climate warming can increase pathogen development and survival rates, disease transmission, and host susceptibility. Although most host-parasite systems are predicted to experience more frequent or severe disease impacts with warming, a subset of pathogens might decline with warming, releasing hosts from disease. Recently, changes in El Niño-Southern Oscillation events have had a detectable influence on marine and terrestrial pathogens, including coral diseases, oyster pathogens, crop pathogens, Rift Valley fever, and human cholera. To improve our ability to predict epidemics in wild populations, it will be necessary to separate the independent and interactive effects of multiple climate drivers on disease impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2158-2162
Number of pages5
Issue number5576
StatePublished - Jun 21 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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