The spread of mosquito-borne viruses in modern times: a spatio-temporal analysis of dengue and chikungunya

Gianluigi Rossi, Surendra Karki, Rebecca Lee Smith, William Marshall Brown, Marilyn O'Hara Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Since the 1970s, mosquito-borne pathogens have spread to previously disease-free areas, as well as causing increased illness in endemic areas. In particular, dengue and chikungunya viruses, transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti and secondarily by Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, represent a threat for up to a third of the world population, and are a growing public health concern.

In this study, we assess the spatial and temporal factors related to the occurrences of historic dengue and chikungunya outbreaks in 76 nations focused geographically on the Indian Ocean, with outbreak data from 1959 to 2009. First, we describe the historical spatial and temporal patterns of outbreaks of dengue and chikungunya in the focal nations. Second, we use a boosted regression tree approach to assess the statistical relationships of nations' concurrent outbreak occurrences and annual occurrences with their spatial proximity to prior infections and climatic and socio-economic characteristics.

We demonstrate that higher population density and shorter distances among nations with outbreaks are the dominant factors that characterize both dengue and chikungunya outbreaks. In conclusion, our analysis provides crucial insights, which can be applied to improve nations' surveillance and preparedness for future vector-borne disease epidemics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSpatial and spatio-temporal epidemiology
Issue numberAugust 2018
Early online date18 Jun 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jun 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Vector-borne diseases
  • Dengue virus
  • Chikungunya virus
  • Indian Ocean;
  • Boosted regression trees


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