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Compounding Effects of Climate Warming and Antibiotic Resistance.


Bacteria have evolved diverse mechanisms to survive environments with antibiotics. Temperature is both a key factor that affects the survival of bacteria in the presence of antibiotics and an environmental trait that is drastically increasing due to climate change. Therefore, it is timely and important to understand links between temperature changes and selection of antibiotic resistance. This review examines these links by synthesizing results from laboratories, hospitals, and environmental studies. First, we describe the transient physiological responses to temperature that alter cellular behavior and lead to antibiotic tolerance and persistence. Second, we focus on the link between thermal stress and the evolution and maintenance of antibiotic resistance mutations. Finally, we explore how local and global changes in temperature are associated with increases in antibiotic resistance and its spread. We suggest that a multidisciplinary, multiscale approach is critical to fully understand how temperature changes are contributing to the antibiotic crisis.

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