MS02 - MEPI-1
Cartoon Room 2 (#3147) in The Ohio Union

Climate and vector-borne disease: insights from mathematical modeling

Monday, July 17 at 04:00pm

SMB2023 SMB2023 Follow Monday during the "MS02" time block.
Room assignment: Cartoon Room 2 (#3147) in The Ohio Union.
Note: this minisymposia has multiple sessions. The other session is MS01-MEPI-1 (click here).

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Michael Robert, Zhuolin Qu, Christina Cobbold


Many vector-borne diseases are emerging in previously naive areas, while other regions are experiencing a rapid intensification of endemic diseases. Although there are a number of factors driving the spread and intensity of vector-borne diseases, it is likely that climate is one of the primary drivers. Vector-borne diseases are particularly influenced by climate and changes therein because precipitation, temperature, and humidity play critical roles in vector life cycles, and these meteorological variables can also have an impact on pathogen life cycles and pathogen transmission. While it is widely accepted that changes in climate are influencing changes in vector-borne disease emergence, spread, and intensity, many questions remain about how these changes are impacting different diseases. Mathematical modeling is a particularly useful tool for investigating how meteorological variables influence different components of the vector life cycle, as well as the pathogen transmission cycle. Additionally, models can help us better understand how future changes in climate may impact disease transmission and how mitigation strategies may slow or prevent current and future spread. In this minisymposium, we focus on studies of climate and vector-borne disease through the lens of mathematical modeling. The minisymposium feature speakers utilizing various different modeling approaches to investigate questions about a number of different diseases.

Carrie Manore

Los Alamos National Laboratory (Theoretical Biology and Biophysics)
"Coupling Earth Systems, Vector Population, and Disease Transmission Models to Predict Mosquito-borne Disease Under Climate Change"
Understanding the non-linear impacts of climate change on climate-driven pathogens such as mosquito-borne disease is an ongoing challenge. Recent research has shown that temperature will change vector species and virus distributions and dynamics. To further understand how temperature, along with changes in water availability, and human populations, will change the dynamics and ranges of West Nile virus and dengue, we developed a suite of coupled models to simulate disease spread across the Americas. This includes a global climate and earth systems model, mosquito population dynamics model, and disease transmission model with host species (e.g. humans and birds) driven by the climate model output and historical data. I will present the mosquito and disease transmission models along with our new tiling method for spatial partitioning along with validation results and challenges.

Nusrat Tabassum

Texas Tech University (Applied Mathematics)
"Stage-Structured Mosquito Larval Competition: Implications for Aedes Albopictus and Aedes Aegypti Population Dynamics"
Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, two invasive mosquito species that are responsible for spreading a number of viral diseases, are a major danger to global public health. Their ability to reproduce in diverse container habitats, where competition influences population dynamics, is correlated with their capacity to successfully colonize new regions. This competition may influence the distribution and abundance of the species, thereby influencing the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases. The goal of this study is to examine the effects of environmental factors such as temperature and population density on the competitive dynamics between these two species in their larval phases. A stage-structured larval competition model has been developed to analyze both inter and intra-specific competition. Our model permits temperature-dependent competition and carrying capacity variations. We have used sensitivity analysis to evaluate the model’s efficacy and empirical observations to characterize how temperature influences the survival rate, growth rate, and development time of mosquito larvae. We have also conduct a stability analysis of the model to determine if mosquito species can persist under different environmental conditions. This helps to understand how competition between mosquito larvae is influenced by environmental factors, which in turn influences temperature-dependent viral transmission, and also allows us to predict and respond to outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases.
Additional authors: Kyle Dahlin, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, USA; Amanda N. Laubmeier, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Texas Tech University, USA

Luis Fernando Chaves

Indiana University - Bloomington (Environmental and Occupational Health)
"Nonlinear impacts of climatic variability on vector population dynamics"
Mosquitoes and other vectors have complex life cycles, often including ontogenetic niche shifts. Under such circumstances changing environments could influence insect vector density-dependent regulation and propensity to sudden changes in abundance. Here, I will review results from modelling several mosquito species where field observed density-dependent regulation is strong. For most species, and settings, low environmental kurtosis was a good predictor of sharp changes in the abundance of mosquitoes. The identification of density-independent (i.e., exogenous) variables forcing sharp changes in disease vector populations using the exogenous factors statistical properties, especially higher order moments of their distribution, could be useful to assess the impacts of changing climate patterns on the transmission of vector-borne diseases.

Suzanne Robertson

Virginia Commonwealth University (Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics)
"The impact of changes in avian phenology in a stage-structured model for West Nile virus transmission"
West Nile virus (WNV) has remained an annual public health concern in the United States since its introduction in 1999, yet the ecological triggers leading to seasonal outbreaks are not well understood. Nestlings, birds within the first couple of weeks of hatching, are extremely vulnerable to mosquitoes and may receive a disproportionately high number of mosquito bites compared to other bird life stages. While total avian population size typically increases throughout the season, nestling abundance declines at the end of the brooding season. This temporal variation in host stage abundance can play an important role in structuring WNV transmission. The nesting curve of a species may differ regionally due to climate, and within a region, year to year differences in temperature may also result in year to year variation in the nesting curve of a given species. We use a stage-structured differential equation model for WNV incorporating vector preference for specific host life stages to investigate the impact of changes in the phenology of avian nesting and vector growth due to climate change on enzootic WNV transmission.

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