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Transmission of West Nile and five other temperate mosquito-borne viruses peaks at temperatures between 23-26ºC

Citation

Shocket, Marta et al. (2020), Transmission of West Nile and five other temperate mosquito-borne viruses peaks at temperatures between 23-26ºC, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5068/D1VW96

Abstract

The temperature-dependence of many important mosquito-borne diseases has never been quantified. These relationships are critical for understanding current distributions and predicting future shifts from climate change. We used trait-based models to characterize temperature-dependent transmission of 10 vector–pathogen pairs of mosquitoes (Culex pipiens, Cx. quinquefascsiatus, Cx. tarsalis, and others) and viruses (West Nile, Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, Sindbis, and Rift Valley Fever viruses), most with substantial transmission in temperate regions. Transmission is optimized at intermediate temperatures (23–26ºC) and often has wider thermal breadths (due to cooler lower thermal limits) compared to pathogens with predominately tropical distributions (in previous studies). The incidence of human West Nile virus cases across US counties responded unimodally to average summer temperature and peaked at 24ºC, matching model-predicted optima (24–25ºC). Climate warming will likely shift transmission of these diseases, increasing it in cooler locations while decreasing it in warmer locations.

Methods

Mosquito and virus trait data were digitized from previously published papers (see eLife publication for full citations). Encephalitis case data were obtained from the CDC website. 

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1518681

National Science Foundation, Award: DMS-1750113

National Institutes of Health, Award: R35GM133439