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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Apr 27;11(4):e0005568. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005568. eCollection 2017 Apr.

Detecting the impact of temperature on transmission of Zika, dengue, and chikungunya using mechanistic models.

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Biology Department, Stanford University, 371 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA, United States of America.
Department of Integrative Biology, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Ave, SCA110 Tampa, FL, United States of America.
Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States of America.
Department of Statistics, Virginia Polytechnic and State University, 250 Drillfield Drive Blacksburg, VA, United States of America.
Department of Geography, University of Florida, Turlington Hall, Gainesville, FL, United States of America.
Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Disease, Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, 501 D.W. Brooks Drive, Athens, GA, United States of America.
Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States of America.
Center for Global Health and Translational Science, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Weiskotten Hall, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, United States of America.
School of Life Sciences, College of Agriculture, Engineering, and Science, University of KwaZulu Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Los Angeles and Department of Biomathematics, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States of America.
Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM, United States of America.
Department of Biology, Indiana University, Jordan Hall 142, Bloomington, IN, United States of America.
Center for Global Health and Translational Sciences, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, United States of America.
Department of Entomology and Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Penn State University, 112 Merkle Lab, University Park, PA, United States of America.
Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI, United States of America.


Recent epidemics of Zika, dengue, and chikungunya have heightened the need to understand the seasonal and geographic range of transmission by Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes. We use mechanistic transmission models to derive predictions for how the probability and magnitude of transmission for Zika, chikungunya, and dengue change with mean temperature, and we show that these predictions are well matched by human case data. Across all three viruses, models and human case data both show that transmission occurs between 18-34°C with maximal transmission occurring in a range from 26-29°C. Controlling for population size and two socioeconomic factors, temperature-dependent transmission based on our mechanistic model is an important predictor of human transmission occurrence and incidence. Risk maps indicate that tropical and subtropical regions are suitable for extended seasonal or year-round transmission, but transmission in temperate areas is limited to at most three months per year even if vectors are present. Such brief transmission windows limit the likelihood of major epidemics following disease introduction in temperate zones.

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