Deanna Csomo McCool | March 12, 2021
As temperatures warm from climate change, interventions that control the spread of the tropical disease schistosomiasis could become less effective, depending on the timing of the treatment, new research from the University of Notre Dame shows.
Schistosomiasis is a worm infection transmitted from snails to humans in mostly tropical and subtropical parts of the world, with 90 percent of infections occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. The disease is second only to malaria in its global impact.
Research from the lab of Jason Rohr, the Ludmilla F., Stephen J. and Robert T. Galla College Professor of Biological Sciences, and collaborators, published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), demonstrated three significant findings. First, interventions that target the free-living parasite or snail stage of the life cycle alter seasonal disease dynamics. Additionally, they are more effective at cooler than warmer times of the year, and therefore will often be less effective with global warming.
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