Logo of envhperEnvironmental Health PerspectivesBrowse ArticlesAbout EHPGeneral InformationAuthorsMediaProgramsPartnerships
Environ Health Perspect. 2001 Mar; 109(Suppl 1): 141–161.
PMCID: PMC1240549
Research Article

Climate change and mosquito-borne disease.


Global atmospheric temperatures are presently in a warming phase that began 250--300 years ago. Speculations on the potential impact of continued warming on human health often focus on mosquito-borne diseases. Elementary models suggest that higher global temperatures will enhance their transmission rates and extend their geographic ranges. However, the histories of three such diseases--malaria, yellow fever, and dengue--reveal that climate has rarely been the principal determinant of their prevalence or range; human activities and their impact on local ecology have generally been much more significant. It is therefore inappropriate to use climate-based models to predict future prevalence.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (2.0M).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Taubes G. Apocalypse not. Science. 1997 Nov 7;278(5340):1004–1006. [PubMed]
  • Longstreth J. Public health consequences of global climate change in the United States--some regions may suffer disproportionately. Environ Health Perspect. 1999 Feb;107 (Suppl 1):169–179. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lindzen RS. Can increasing carbon dioxide cause climate change? Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Aug 5;94(16):8335–8342. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Patz JA, Epstein PR, Burke TA, Balbus JM. Global climate change and emerging infectious diseases. JAMA. 1996 Jan 17;275(3):217–223. [PubMed]
  • McMichael AJ, Patz J, Kovats RS. Impacts of global environmental change on future health and health care in tropical countries. Br Med Bull. 1998;54(2):475–488. [PubMed]
  • Epstein PR. Climate and health. Science. 1999 Jul 16;285(5426):347–348. [PubMed]
  • Kovats RS, Haines A, Stanwell-Smith R, Martens P, Menne B, Bertollini R. Climate change and human health in Europe. BMJ. 1999 Jun 19;318(7199):1682–1685. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Craig MH, Snow RW, le Sueur D. A climate-based distribution model of malaria transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. Parasitol Today. 1999 Mar;15(3):105–111. [PubMed]
  • Jones MD, Reiter P. Entrainment of the pupation and adult activity rhythms during development in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Nature. 1975 Mar 20;254(5497):242–244. [PubMed]
  • O'Meara GF, Evans LF, Jr, Gettman AD, Cuda JP. Spread of Aedes albopictus and decline of Ae. aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) in Florida. J Med Entomol. 1995 Jul;32(4):554–562. [PubMed]
  • Lindsay SW, Birley MH. Climate change and malaria transmission. Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1996 Dec;90(6):573–588. [PubMed]
  • Jetten TH, Focks DA. Potential changes in the distribution of dengue transmission under climate warming. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1997 Sep;57(3):285–297. [PubMed]
  • Patz JA, Martens WJ, Focks DA, Jetten TH. Dengue fever epidemic potential as projected by general circulation models of global climate change. Environ Health Perspect. 1998 Mar;106(3):147–153. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Molineaux L. The pros and cons of modelling malaria transmission. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1985;79(6):743–747. [PubMed]
  • Molineaux L, Dietz K. Review of intra-host models of malaria. Parassitologia. 1999 Sep;41(1-3):221–231. [PubMed]
  • Nájera JA. A critical review of the field application of a mathematical model of malaria eradication. Bull World Health Organ. 1974;50(5):449–457. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Dye C. The analysis of parasite transmission by bloodsucking insects. Annu Rev Entomol. 1992;37:1–19. [PubMed]
  • Rogers DJ, Randolph SE. The global spread of malaria in a future, warmer world. Science. 2000 Sep 8;289(5485):1763–1766. [PubMed]
  • Dye C, Reiter P. Climate change and malaria: temperatures without fevers? Science. 2000 Sep 8;289(5485):1697–1698. [PubMed]
  • Siegel RE, Poynter FN. ROBERT TALBOR, CHARLES II, AND CINCHONA A CONTEMPORARY DOCUMENT. Med Hist. 1962 Jan;6(1):82–85. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Dobson MJ. Bitter-sweet solutions for malaria: exploring natural remedies from the past. Parassitologia. 1998 Jun;40(1-2):69–81. [PubMed]
  • Dobson M. Marsh fever: the geography of malaria in England. J Hist Geogr. 1980;6(4):357–389. [PubMed]
  • Dobson MJ. History of malaria in England. J R Soc Med. 1989;82 (Suppl 17):3–7. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Dobson MJ. Malaria in England: a geographical and historical perspective. Parassitologia. 1994 Aug;36(1-2):35–60. [PubMed]
  • Reiter P. From Shakespeare to Defoe: malaria in England in the Little Ice Age. Emerg Infect Dis. 2000 Jan-Feb;6(1):1–11. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • RUSSELL PF. World-wide malaria distribution, prevalence, and control. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1956 Nov;5(6):937–965. [PubMed]
  • CROSNIER R. Considérations présentes sur le paludisme métropolitain; caractères et incidences. Rev Pathol Gen Physiol Clin. 1953 Nov;53(652):1299–1307. [PubMed]
  • LAIGRET J. Remarques d'ordre général concernant la régression du paludisme dans nos pays. Rev Pathol Gen Physiol Clin. 1953 Nov;53(652):1308–1312. [PubMed]
  • SIMIC C. Le paludisme en Yougoslavie. Bull World Health Organ. 1956;15(3-5):753–766. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Brown AW, Haworth J, Zahar AR. Malaria eradication and control from a global standpoint. J Med Entomol. 1976 May 29;13(1):1–25. [PubMed]
  • Bruce-Chwatt LJ. Malaria and its control: present situation and future prospects. Annu Rev Public Health. 1987;8:75–110. [PubMed]
  • Fisk GH. MALARIA AND THE ANOPHELES MOSQUITO IN CANADA. Can Med Assoc J. 1931 Dec;25(6):679–683. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Stewart DA. Malaria in Canada. Can Med Assoc J. 1932 Feb;26(2):239–241. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Reiter P. Global-warming and vector-borne disease in temperate regions and at high altitude. Lancet. 1998 Mar 14;351(9105):839–840. [PubMed]
  • Mouchet J, Manguin S, Sircoulon J, Laventure S, Faye O, Onapa AW, Carnevale P, Julvez J, Fontenille D. Evolution of malaria in Africa for the past 40 years: impact of climatic and human factors. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1998 Jun;14(2):121–130. [PubMed]
  • Mouchet J, Faye O, Juivez J, Manguin S. Drought and malaria retreat in the Sahel, west Africa. Lancet. 1996 Dec 21;348(9043):1735–1736. [PubMed]
  • Gunawardena DM, Wickremasinghe AR, Muthuwatta L, Weerasingha S, Rajakaruna J, Senanayaka T, Kotta PK, Attanayake N, Carter R, Mendis KN. Malaria risk factors in an endemic region of Sri Lanka, and the impact and cost implications of risk factor-based interventions. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1998 May;58(5):533–542. [PubMed]
  • Walsh JF, Molyneux DH, Birley MH. Deforestation: effects on vector-borne disease. Parasitology. 1993;106 (Suppl):S55–S75. [PubMed]
  • Loevinsohn ME. Climatic warming and increased malaria incidence in Rwanda. Lancet. 1994 Mar 19;343(8899):714–718. [PubMed]
  • Epstein PR. Global warming and vector-borne disease. Lancet. 1998 Jun 6;351(9117):1737–1738. [PubMed]
  • Haines A. Global warming and vector-borne disease. Lancet. 1998 Jun 6;351(9117):1737–1738. [PubMed]
  • Nelson HE. Disease, demography, and the evolution of social structure in Highland New Guinea. J Polyn Soc. 1971;80(2):204–216. [PubMed]
  • PETERS W, CHRISTIAN SH, JAMESON JL. Malaria in the highlands of Papua and New Guinea. Med J Aust. 1958 Sep 27;2(13):409–416. [PubMed]
  • PETERS W, CHRISTIAN SH. Studies on the epidemiology of malaria in New Guinea. 4. Unstable highland malaria--the clinical picture. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1960 Nov;54:529–536. [PubMed]
  • Mouchet J, Laventure S, Blanchy S, Fioramonti R, Rakotonjanabelo A, Rabarison P, Sircoulon J, Roux J. La reconquête des Hautes Terres de Madagascar par le paludisme. Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 1997;90(3):162–168. [PubMed]
  • MATSON AT. The history of malaria in Nandi. East Afr Med J. 1957 Aug;34(8):431–441. [PubMed]
  • Malakooti MA, Biomndo K, Shanks GD. Reemergence of epidemic malaria in the highlands of western Kenya. Emerg Infect Dis. 1998 Oct-Dec;4(4):671–676. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Shanks GD, Biomndo K, Hay SI, Snow RW. Changing patterns of clinical malaria since 1965 among a tea estate population located in the Kenyan highlands. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2000 May-Jun;94(3):253–255. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hay SI, Myers MF, Burke DS, Vaughn DW, Endy T, Ananda N, Shanks GD, Snow RW, Rogers DJ. Etiology of interepidemic periods of mosquito-borne disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Aug 1;97(16):9335–9339. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Matola YG, White GB, Magayuka SA. The changed pattern of malaria endemicity and transmission at Amani in the eastern Usambara mountains, north-eastern Tanzania. J Trop Med Hyg. 1987 Jun;90(3):127–134. [PubMed]
  • Ellman R, Maxwell C, Finch R, Shayo D. Malaria and anaemia at different altitudes in the Muheza district of Tanzania: childhood morbidity in relation to level of exposure to infection. Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1998 Oct;92(7):741–753. [PubMed]
  • MEYUS H, LIPS M, CAUBERGH H. [The current state of the problem of highland malaria in Ruanda-Urundi]. Ann Soc Belg Med Trop (1920) 1962 Oct 31;42:771–782. [PubMed]
  • Lindblade KA, Walker ED, Onapa AW, Katungu J, Wilson ML. Land use change alters malaria transmission parameters by modifying temperature in a highland area of Uganda. Trop Med Int Health. 2000 Apr;5(4):263–274. [PubMed]
  • Gascon J, Pluymaekaers J, Bada JL. Changing pattern of malaria in Nyarutovu(Rwanda) Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1984;78(3):421–422. [PubMed]
  • Coosemans M, Wery M, Storme B, Hendrix L, Mfisi B. Epidemiologie du paludisme dans la plaine de la Ruzizi, Burundi. Ann Soc Belg Med Trop. 1984 Jun;64(2):135–158. [PubMed]
  • Roberts DR, Laughlin LL, Hsheih P, Legters LJ. DDT, global strategies, and a malaria control crisis in South America. Emerg Infect Dis. 1997 Jul-Sep;3(3):295–302. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Monath TP. Yellow fever: Victor, Victoria? Conqueror, conquest? Epidemics and research in the last forty years and prospects for the future. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1991 Jul;45(1):1–43. [PubMed]
  • Robertson SE, Hull BP, Tomori O, Bele O, LeDuc JW, Esteves K. Yellow fever: a decade of reemergence. JAMA. 1996 Oct 9;276(14):1157–1162. [PubMed]
  • Foster KR, Jenkins MF, Toogood AC. The Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic of 1793. Sci Am. 1998 Aug;279(2):88–93. [PubMed]
  • Monath TP, Nasidi A. Should yellow fever vaccine be included in the expanded program of immunization in Africa? A cost-effectiveness analysis for Nigeria. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1993 Feb;48(2):274–299. [PubMed]
  • Reiter P, Cordellier R, Ouma JO, Cropp CB, Savage HM, Sanders EJ, Marfin AA, Tukei PM, Agata NN, Gitau LG, et al. First recorded outbreak of yellow fever in Kenya, 1992-1993. II. Entomologic investigations. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1998 Oct;59(4):650–656. [PubMed]
  • McFarland JM, Baddour LM, Nelson JE, Elkins SK, Craven RB, Cropp BC, Chang GJ, Grindstaff AD, Craig AS, Smith RJ. Imported yellow fever in a United States citizen. Clin Infect Dis. 1997 Nov;25(5):1143–1147. [PubMed]
  • Nasidi A, Monath TP, DeCock K, Tomori O, Cordellier R, Olaleye OD, Harry TO, Adeniyi JA, Sorungbe AO, Ajose-Coker AO, et al. Urban yellow fever epidemic in western Nigeria, 1987. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1989 May-Jun;83(3):401–406. [PubMed]
  • Miller BR, Monath TP, Tabachnick WJ, Ezike VI. Epidemic yellow fever caused by an incompetent mosquito vector. Trop Med Parasitol. 1989 Dec;40(4):396–399. [PubMed]
  • Reiter P, Sprenger D. The used tire trade: a mechanism for the worldwide dispersal of container breeding mosquitoes. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1987 Sep;3(3):494–501. [PubMed]
  • Hawley WA, Reiter P, Copeland RS, Pumpuni CB, Craig GB., Jr Aedes albopictus in North America: probable introduction in used tires from northern Asia. Science. 1987 May 29;236(4805):1114–1116. [PubMed]
  • Reiter P. Aedes albopictus and the world trade in used tires, 1988-1995: the shape of things to come? J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1998 Mar;14(1):83–94. [PubMed]
  • Davis AJ, Jenkinson LS, Lawton JH, Shorrocks B, Wood S. Making mistakes when predicting shifts in species range in response to global warming. Nature. 1998 Feb 19;391(6669):783–786. [PubMed]
  • Monath TP. Facing up to re-emergence of urban yellow fever. Lancet. 1999 May 8;353(9164):1541–1541. [PubMed]
  • Martens WJ. Health impacts of climate change and ozone depletion: an ecoepidemiologic modeling approach. Environ Health Perspect. 1998 Feb;106 (Suppl 1):241–251. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ehrenkranz NJ, Ventura AK, Cuadrado RR, Pond WL, Porter JE. Pandemic dengue in Caribbean countries and the southern United States--past, present and potential problems. N Engl J Med. 1971 Dec 23;285(26):1460–1469. [PubMed]
  • Gahlinger PM, Reeves WC, Milby MM. Air conditioning and television as protective factors in arboviral encephalitis risk. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1986 May;35(3):601–610. [PubMed]
  • Rigau-Pérez JG. The early use of break-bone fever (Quebranta huesos, 1771) and dengue (1801) in Spanish. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1998 Aug;59(2):272–274. [PubMed]
  • Halstead SB, Papaevangelou G. Transmission of dengue 1 and 2 viruses in Greece in 1928. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1980 Jul;29(4):635–637. [PubMed]
  • Adhami J, Reiter P. Introduction and establishment of Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus skuse (Diptera: Culicidae) in Albania. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1998 Sep;14(3):340–343. [PubMed]
  • Moore CG, Mitchell CJ. Aedes albopictus in the United States: ten-year presence and public health implications. Emerg Infect Dis. 1997 Jul-Sep;3(3):329–334. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Dalla Pozza GL, Romi R, Severini C. Source and spread of Aedes albopictus in the Veneto region of Italy. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1994 Dec;10(4):589–592. [PubMed]
  • Romi R, Sabatinelli G, Savelli LG, Raris M, Zago M, Malatesta R. Identification of a North American mosquito species, Aedes atropalpus (Diptera: Culicidae), in Italy. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1997 Sep;13(3):245–246. [PubMed]
  • Romi R, Pierdominici G, Severini C, Tamburro A, Cocchi M, Menichetti D, Pili E, Marchi A. Status of malaria vectors in Italy. J Med Entomol. 1997 May;34(3):263–271. [PubMed]
  • Zucker JR. Changing patterns of autochthonous malaria transmission in the United States: a review of recent outbreaks. Emerg Infect Dis. 1996 Jan-Mar;2(1):37–43. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Robert V, Gazin P, Boudin C, Molez JF, Ouedraogo V, Carnevale P. La transmission du paludisme en zone de savane arborée et en zone rizicole des environs de Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso). Ann Soc Belg Med Trop. 1985;65 (Suppl 2):201–214. [PubMed]
  • Reiter P. The action of lecithin monolayers on mosquitoes. III. Studies in irrigated rice-fields in Kenya. Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1980 Oct;74(5):541–557. [PubMed]

Articles from Environmental Health Perspectives are provided here courtesy of National Institute of Environmental Health Science


Save items

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    NCBI Bookshelf books that cite the current articles.
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...