Climate Change Could Supercharge Threat of Antibiotic Resistance: Study

The ‘associations between antibiotic resistance and temperature could be increasing over time’

The World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have previously sounded alarms about the growing issue of antibiotic resistance—a problem already linked to overprescribing of antibiotics and industrial farming practices. Now, new research shows a link between warmer temperatures and antibiotic resistance, suggesting it could be a greater threat than previously thought on our ever-warming planet.

The study, led by epidemiologists from Harvard Medical School (HMS), Boston Children’s Hospital, and the University of Toronto, was published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change.

“The effects of climate are increasingly being recognized in a variety of infectious diseases, but so far as we know this is the first time it has been implicated in the distribution of antibiotic resistance over geographies,” said Derek MacFadden, an infectious disease specialist and research fellow at Boston Children’s and study co-author.

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