Malaria is a deadly parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes that infects millions of individuals worldwide each year. Though much research has focused on the role of climate on the transmission of this parasite, this study is the first to specifically highlight the importance of daily temperature fluctuations.
Lead by post-doctoral researcher Krijn Paaijmans and professors Andrew Read and Matthew Thomas, a team of Penn State researchers found that daily temperature variations greatly influence multiple factors involved in malaria transmission. These factors include, but are not limited to, parasite infection and development as well as mosquito development.
In contrast to rates observed at equivalent constant mean temperatures, daily temperature fluctuation around low mean temperatures generally acts to speed up rate processes, whereas fluctuation around high mean temperatures tends to slow these processes down. Notably, even small changes in these factors can have significant affects on malaria transmission, therefore making daily temperature fluctuations a critical focus for future transmission potential studies.
Synopsis written by Alexia Karanikas
Written By: Paaijmans KP, Blanford S, Bell AS, Blanford JI, Read AF, & Thomas MB
Journal: 34: 15135-15139
Journal Reference: 34: 15135-15139
Paper Id: 10.1073/pnas.1006422107