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Department of Biogeography

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Tjaden, NB; Caminade, C; Beierkuhnlein, C; Thomas, S M: Modelling Mosquito-Borne Diseases in a Changing Climate: Current State-of-the-Art and Challenges in Cross-Disciplinary Research.
Poster, National Symposium on Zoonoses Research, Berlin: 2018-10-17 - 2018-10-19

Background and objectives: Vector-borne diseases are on the rise globally. As consequences of climate change become evident, climate-based models of disease risk are of growing importance. For this, different concepts and approaches have emerged from different fields. Materials and methods: Looking at the recent literature published in 2014–2017 from a European perspective, we review the current state-of-the-art in both mechanistic and correlative disease modelling, data driving them, vectors and diseases covered, and climate models applied to assess future risk. Results: We find that modelling techniques have advanced considerably, especially in terms of using ensembles of climate models and scenarios. However, effects of extreme weather events, precipitation regimes and seasonality on vector-borne diseases are still poorly studied. Thorough validation of models is still a challenge and complicated by a lack of field- and laboratory data. On a larger scale, the main challenges today lie in cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral transfer of data and methods. Conclusion: Technical limitations aside, communication will be key for future improvements in modelling vector-borne diseases. Most models are primarily limited through (non-) availability of the necessary calibration data. Modellers need to make more clear what is needed to those who are in the position to produce the data in question.
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