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Department of Biogeography

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Beierkuhnlein, C*; Thomas, S M; Fischer, D: Climate Change and globalisation as drivers of invasive aedine disease vectors in Europe
Talk, 41. Jahresversammlung der Gesellschaft für Ökologie von Deuschland, Österreich und der Schweiz (GFÖ), Oldenburg: 2011-09-05 - 2011-09-09

Invasive mosquitoes such as Aedes albopictus and Aedes japonicus received much attention due to the possible expansion of new vector-borne infectious diseases to Europe. Ae. albopictus is in a rapid extension of its dispersal area: originally native in South-East Asia, it became a “global player” during the last decades and is now widely established in Southern Europe. This potential vector of various infectious diseases (e.g. Chikungunya, Dengue and West-Nile) is listed as one of the 100 “Worlds Worst Invaders”. Moreover, Ae. japonicus was recently found in Germany and Switzerland. Especially the interplay between climate change and globalisation is of outmost interest for the introduction and establishment of these disease vectors. Whereas introduction and spread of vector species is mostly supported by human activities such as trade and traffic, colonization and establishment with successful reproduction is mainly dependent on suitable environmental conditions affected by climate change. Of further interest are the pathogens, which may be imported by infected travellers coming from endemic areas. A growing number of dengue cases have been reported at higher latitudes, for instance, as a consequence of increased international travel and intensified and frequent outbreaks around the world. Here we modelled a bioclimatic envelope of Ae. albopicuts and connected the results to future climatic conditions in Europe using regional climate change projections. Furthermore, the major thermal constraints of dengue virus are estimated and transferred to the expected future climatic conditions. These results are combined with possible dispersal mechanisms of vector and pathogen: introduction pathways such as harbours, airports and highways. Combining climate projections for vector and pathogen and their dispersal mechanisms may contribute to the identification of risk areas.
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