Climate change may cause tapeworms and other parasites to become more threatening, according to a new study.
The finding comes after research on frogs showed the amphibians suffered more infections from a fungus when they were exposed to unexpected changes in temperature.
The parasites, which can cause malaria along with funguses, can more easily adapt to climate shifts than host animals, researchers found, and therefore climate change could make it easier for the parasites to lead to infections, Reuters reported.
Climate change has spurred efforts to lower greenhouse emissions and increase green energy development in recent years.
Changes in temperature and rainfall can affect the spread of chytridiomycosis, which is caused by a fungus, New Scientist reported. This disease is becoming rampant among amphibians, a third of which are already threatened by extinction, the article stated.
The study included an experiment taking frogs kept in an environment of 77 degrees Fahrenheit for four weeks to an incubator set at 59 degrees Fahrenheit. The change in temperature caused the frogs to suffer more infections when exposed to the fungus than the frogs already used to living in the 59-degree incubator, Reuters reported.
One of the researchers, Thomas Raffel of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, said frogs and other cold-blooded creatures, such as insects, reptiles and fish, may be more susceptible to parasites in comparison to warm-blooded mammals or birds.