2.4 Present-Day and Future Population Dynamics of the Dengue Vector Mosquito Aedes aegypti Using a Water Container Energy Balance Model

Monday, 8 January 2018: 10:45 AM
Room 17B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Daniel F. Steinhoff, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and A. J. Monaghan

Dengue infections are estimated to total nearly 400 million per year worldwide, with both the geographic range and the magnitude of infections having increased in the past 50 years. The primary dengue vector mosquito Aedes aegypti is closely associated with humans. It lives exclusively in urban and semi-urban areas, preferentially bites humans, and spends its developmental stages in artificial water containers. Climate regulates the development of Ae. aegypti immature mosquitoes in artificial containers. Potential containers for Ae. aegypti immature development include, but are not limited to, small sundry items (e.g., bottles, cans, plastic containers), buckets, tires, barrels, tanks, and cisterns. Successful development of immature mosquitoes from eggs to larvae, pupae, and adults is largely dependent on the availability of water and the thermal properties of the water in the containers.

An energy balance container model termed the Water Height And Temperature in Container Habitats Energy Model (WHATCH'EM) solves for water temperature and height for user-specified containers with readily available meteorological data. Output from WHATCH’EM is used to estimate development parameters for the immature life stages of the Ae. aegypti mosquito, allowing for assessment of habitat suitability across varying natural environments. Variability amongst different artificial containers (e.g., size, color, material, shape), shading scenarios, and water availability scenarios is also addressed. WHATCH’EM is also coupled with an Ae. aegypti life cycle model to include the effects of the aforementioned factors on survival. Projections of future climate scenarios that take into account changes not only in temperature but also precipitation, humidity, and radiative effects are used in WHATCH’EM to estimate how Ae. aegypti population dynamics may change.

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