Study sheds light on disease-carrying mosquitoes and climate change

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Scientists analyze mosquitoes // Credit CDC 2023
Scientists analyze mosquitoes // Credit CDC 2023

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A study from the University of Florida shows that mosquitoes can adapt to climate change, and this adaptation may have changes on the spread of harmful diseases.

Matthew Thomas is the director of the Invasion Science Research Institute at the University of Florida.

His team studied the Yellow Fever Mosquito, which is responsible for transmitting diseases like dengue, zika, yellow fever, and more. They analyzed how the mosquito adapts to different temperatures.

“The dynamics and distribution of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases is strongly influenced by the environment, so as the environments change, though, for example, climate change, then we expect risk to change.”

The results showed that temperature tolerance of mosquitos, together with other key traits such as survival and reproduction, could shift in response to temperature within just 10 short, mosquito generations.

What does this mean?

“We don’t necessarily have the answers, but it points to how we might do more research to have better-informed predictions to determine risk.”

Thomas emphasizes that there will be winners and losers, and disease spread is influenced by socioeconomic elements.

 

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