Current and future distribution of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region

Abstract : Background: Aedes-borne diseases as dengue, zika, chikungunya and yellow fever are an emerging problem worldwide , being transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Lack of up to date information about the distribution of Aedes species hampers surveillance and control. Global databases have been compiled but these did not capture data in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR), and any models built using these datasets fail to identify highly suitable areas where one or both species may occur. The first objective of this study was therefore to update the existing Ae. aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762) and Ae. albopictus (Skuse, 1895) compendia and the second objective was to generate species distribution models targeted to the EMR. A final objective was to engage the WHO points of contacts within the region to provide feedback and hence validate all model outputs. Methods: The Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus compendia provided by Kraemer et al. (Sci Data 2:150035, 2015; Dryad Digit Repos, 2015) were used as starting points. These datasets were extended with more recent species and disease data. In the next step, these sets were filtered using the Köppen-Geiger classification and the Mahalanobis distance. The occurrence data were supplemented with pseudo-absence data as input to Random Forests. The resulting suit-ability and maximum risk of establishment maps were combined into hard-classified maps per country for expert validation. Results: The EMR datasets consisted of 1995 presence locations for Ae. aegypti and 2868 presence locations for Ae. albopictus. The resulting suitability maps indicated that there exist areas with high suitability and/or maximum risk of establishment for these disease vectors in contrast with previous model output. Precipitation and host availability, expressed as population density and night-time lights, were the most important variables for Ae. aegypti. Host availability was the most important predictor in case of Ae. albopictus. Internal validation was assessed geographically. External validation showed high agreement between the predicted maps and the experts' extensive knowledge of the terrain. Conclusion: Maps of distribution and maximum risk of establishment were created for Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopic-tus for the WHO EMR. These region-specific maps highlighted data gaps and these gaps will be filled using targeted monitoring and surveillance. This will increase the awareness and preparedness of the different countries for Aedes borne diseases.
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Els Ducheyne, Nhu Tran Minh, Nabil Haddad, Ward Bryssinckx, Evans Buliva, et al.. Current and future distribution of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region. International Journal of Health Geographics, BioMed Central, 2018, 17 (1), ⟨10.1186/s12942-018-0125-0⟩. ⟨pasteur-02009405⟩

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