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Lehrstuhl für Biogeografie

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Tjaden, N*; Thomas, S M; Fischer, D; Suk, JE; Sudre, B; Beierkuhnlein, C; Semenza, JC: Climate change will expand the global potential for Chikungunya in the 21st century
Vortrag, IECID 2017 Impact of Environmental Changes on Infectious Diseases, Trieste: 17.05.2017 - 19.05.2017

The arrival and rapid spread of the mosquito-borne viral disease Chikungunya across the Americas is one of the most significant public health developments of recent years, preceding and mirroring the subsequent spread of Zika. Globalization in trade and travel led to the importation of these viruses into the region, but climatic conditions strongly affect efficiency of their transmission in local settings. Notably, temperature and rainfall influence the distribution and abundance of mosquito populations, while temperature also affects transmission potential. In order to anticipate global regions at-risk of Chikungunya and to facilitate preparedness for future outbreaks, here we present global correlative niche models for autochthonous Chikungunya transmission. These models were used as the basis for projections under the representative concentration pathway 4.5 and 8.5 climate change scenarios. In a further step, Maps of hazard, accounting for population densities, were derived from that. The baseline models successfully identify current areas of active Chikungunya transmission, such as South and Central America, the Caribbean and India, while noting high suitability across much of Australia, west and central Africa, and southeast Asia. The models also identify moderate suitability in some areas of the southeastern United States and continental Europe. Projections under the RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios suggest the likelihood of expansion of at-risk areas for transmission in many parts of the world, including China, sub-Saharan Africa, South America, the United States and continental Europe. This study delivers a clearer picture by detecting spatio-temporal trends of potential Chikungunya transmission facing climate change. The models presented here can be used to inform public health preparedness planning in a highly interconnected world. Keywords: Chikungunya, Climate change, Environmental niche model, Mosquito-borne disease
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