Modeling Temperature Effects on Vector-Borne Disease Dynamics
El Moustaid, Fadoua
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Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) cause significant harm to humans, plants, and animals worldwide. For instance, VBDs are very difficult to manage, as they are governed by complex interactions. VBD transmission depends on the pathogen itself, vector-host movement, and environmental conditions. Mosquito-borne diseases are a perfect example of how all these factors contribute to changes in VBD dynamics. Although vectors are highly sensitive to climate, modeling studies tend to ignore climate effects. Here, I am interested in the arthropod small vectors that are sensitive to climate factors such as temperature, precipitation, and drought. In particular, I am looking at the effect of temperature on vector traits for two VBDs, namely, dengue, caused by a virus that infects humans and bluetongue disease, caused by a virus that infects ruminants. First, I collect data on mosquito traits' response to temperature changes, this includes adult traits as well as juvenile traits. Next, I use these traits to model mosquito density, and then I incorporate the density into our mathematical models to investigate the effect it has on the basic reproductive ratio R0, a measure of how contagious the disease is. I use R0 to determine disease risk. For dengue, my results show that using mosquito life stage traits response to temperature improves our vector density approximation and disease risk estimates. For bluetongue, I use midge traits response to temperature to show that the suitable temperature for bluetongue risk is between 21.5 �C and 30.7 �C. These results can inform future control and prevention strategies.
- Doctoral Dissertations