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      Effect of Climate Change on Lyme Disease Risk in North America

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      EcoHealth

      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          An understanding of the influence of climate change on Ixodes scapularis, the main vector of Lyme disease in North America, is a fundamental component in assessing changes in the spatial distribution of human risk for the disease. We used a climate suitability model of I. scapularis to examine the potential effects of global climate change on future Lyme disease risk in North America. A climate-based logistic model was first used to explain the current distribution of I. scapularis in North America. Climate change scenarios were then applied to extrapolate the model in time and produce forecasts of vector establishment. The spatially modeled relationship between I. scapularis presence and large-scale environmental data generated the current pattern of I. scapularis across North America with an accuracy of 89% (p<0.0001). Extrapolation of the model revealed a significant expansion of I. scapularis north into Canada with an increase in suitable habitat of 213% by the 2080's. Climate change will also result in a retraction of the vector from southern United States, and movement into the central United States. This report predicts the effect of climate change on Lyme disease risk and specifically forecasts the emergence of a tick-borne infectious disease in Canada. Our modeling approach could thus be used to outline where future control strategies and prevention efforts need to be applied.

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          Most cited references45

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              Potential effect of population and climate changes on global distribution of dengue fever: an empirical model.

              Existing theoretical models of the potential effects of climate change on vector-borne diseases do not account for social factors such as population increase, or interactions between climate variables. Our aim was to investigate the potential effects of global climate change on human health, and in particular, on the transmission of vector-borne diseases. We modelled the reported global distribution of dengue fever on the basis of vapour pressure, which is a measure of humidity. We assessed changes in the geographical limits of dengue fever transmission, and in the number of people at risk of dengue by incorporating future climate change and human population projections into our model. We showed that the current geographical limits of dengue fever transmission can be modelled with 89% accuracy on the basis of long-term average vapour pressure. In 1990, almost 30% of the world population, 1.5 billion people, lived in regions where the estimated risk of dengue transmission was greater than 50%. With population and climate change projections for 2085, we estimate that about 5-6 billion people (50-60% of the projected global population) would be at risk of dengue transmission, compared with 3.5 billion people, or 35% of the population, if climate change did not happen. We conclude that climate change is likely to increase the area of land with a climate suitable for dengue fever transmission, and that if no other contributing factors were to change, a large proportion of the human population would then be put at risk.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                EcoHealth
                EcoHealth
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1612-9202
                1612-9210
                March 2005
                January 31 2005
                March 2005
                : 2
                : 1
                : 38-46
                Article
                10.1007/s10393-004-0139-x
                2582486
                19008966
                3ac82d7a-3808-4fb6-a69f-33287912beb0
                © 2005

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