The objectives of this research are to review and assess the current state of knowledge of the association between environmental temperature and gastrointestinal (GI) infections. A review of the published literature was undertaken using standard approaches. Initially, four electronic databases including Embase, Medline, Scopus, and Web of Science were chosen to retrieve studies published from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2017 based on selected keywords used in the primary search. After the elimination of duplicates, the titles were reviewed for relevance to the principal research question. Secondly, the abstracts of titles deemed to be relevant were reviewed for significance and finally the articles were reviewed in their entirety to identify their contribution to the principal research question. Initially, 8201 articles were identified, and eight studies finally met the inclusion criteria. A secondary phase involving scrutiny of the references of key identified articles found three further studies. Consequently, 11 papers were selected for the final review. Current literature confirms a significant association between temperature and infectious gastroenteritis worldwide. Also, a most-likely non-linear correlation between rainfall and GI infections has been identified in that the rate of such infections can be increased with either high or low precipitation. Finally, some studies suggest high relative humidity may not increase the rate of GI infections and some have found it may decrease it. These findings help inform predictions of risk, particularly under future climate change scenarios.
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