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      Applying fuzzy logic to assess the biogeographical risk of dengue in South America

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          Abstract

          Background

          Over the last decade, reports about dengue cases have increase worldwide, which is particularly worrisome in South America due to the historic record of dengue outbreaks from the seventeenth century until the first half of the twentieth century. Dengue is a viral disease that involves insect vectors, namely Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus, which implies that, to prevent and combat outbreaks, it is necessary to understand the set of ecological and biogeographical factors affecting both the vector species and the virus.

          Methods

          We contribute with a methodology based on fuzzy logic that is helpful to disentangle the main factors that determine favorable environmental conditions for vectors and diseases. Using favorability functions as fuzzy logic modelling technique and the fuzzy intersection, union and inclusion as fuzzy operators, we were able to specify the territories at biogeographical risk of dengue outbreaks in South America.

          Results

          Our results indicate that the distribution of Ae. aegypti mostly encompasses the biogeographical framework of dengue in South America, which suggests that this species is the principal vector responsible for the geographical extent of dengue cases in the continent. Nevertheless, the intersection between the favorability for dengue cases and the union of the favorability for any of the vector species provided a comprehensive map of the biogeographical risk for dengue.

          Conclusions

          Fuzzy logic is an appropriate conceptual and operational tool to tackle the nuances of the vector-illness biogeographical interaction. The application of fuzzy logic may be useful in decision-making by the public health authorities to prevent, control and mitigate vector-borne diseases.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Ecology. Species diversity--scale matters.

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            Modelling adult Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus survival at different temperatures in laboratory and field settings

            Background The survival of adult female Aedes mosquitoes is a critical component of their ability to transmit pathogens such as dengue viruses. One of the principal determinants of Aedes survival is temperature, which has been associated with seasonal changes in Aedes populations and limits their geographical distribution. The effects of temperature and other sources of mortality have been studied in the field, often via mark-release-recapture experiments, and under controlled conditions in the laboratory. Survival results differ and reconciling predictions between the two settings has been hindered by variable measurements from different experimental protocols, lack of precision in measuring survival of free-ranging mosquitoes, and uncertainty about the role of age-dependent mortality in the field. Methods Here we apply generalised additive models to data from 351 published adult Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus survival experiments in the laboratory to create survival models for each species across their range of viable temperatures. These models are then adjusted to estimate survival at different temperatures in the field using data from 59 Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus field survivorship experiments. The uncertainty at each stage of the modelling process is propagated through to provide confidence intervals around our predictions. Results Our results indicate that adult Ae. albopictus has higher survival than Ae. aegypti in the laboratory and field, however, Ae. aegypti can tolerate a wider range of temperatures. A full breakdown of survival by age and temperature is given for both species. The differences between laboratory and field models also give insight into the relative contributions to mortality from temperature, other environmental factors, and senescence and over what ranges these factors can be important. Conclusions Our results support the importance of producing site-specific mosquito survival estimates. By including fluctuating temperature regimes, our models provide insight into seasonal patterns of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus population dynamics that may be relevant to seasonal changes in dengue virus transmission. Our models can be integrated with Aedes and dengue modelling efforts to guide and evaluate vector control, better map the distribution of disease and produce early warning systems for dengue epidemics.
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              The history of dengue outbreaks in the Americas.

              Dengue is a viral disease usually transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Dengue outbreaks in the Americas reported in medical literature and to the Pan American Health Organization are described. The outbreak history from 1600 to 2010 was categorized into four phases: Introduction of dengue in the Americas (1600-1946); Continental plan for the eradication of the Ae. aegypti (1947-1970) marked by a successful eradication of the mosquito in 18 continental countries by 1962; Ae. aegypti reinfestation (1971-1999) caused by the failure of the mosquito eradication program; Increased dispersion of Ae. aegypti and dengue virus circulation (2000-2010) characterized by a marked increase in the number of outbreaks. During 2010 > 1.7 million dengue cases were reported, with 50,235 severe cases and 1,185 deaths. A dramatic increase in the number of outbreaks has been reported in recent years. Urgent global action is needed to avoid further disease spread.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                davidrpbio@fcien.edu.uy
                jesusolivero@uma.es
                rrgimenez@uma.es
                jguerrero@fcien.edu.uy
                Journal
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasites & Vectors
                BioMed Central (London )
                1756-3305
                5 September 2019
                5 September 2019
                2019
                : 12
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000000121657640, GRID grid.11630.35, Laboratorio de Desarrollo Sustentable y Gestión Ambiental del Territorio (LDSGAT), Instituto de Ecología y Ciencias Ambientales (IECA), , Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, ; Iguá 4225, 11400 Montevideo, Uruguay
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2298 7828, GRID grid.10215.37, Departamento de Biología Animal, Grupo de Biogeografía, Diversidad y Conservación, , Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, ; Bulevar Louis Pasteur, 31, 29010 Málaga, Spain
                Article
                3691
                10.1186/s13071-019-3691-5
                6727500
                31488198
                © The Author(s) 2019

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                © The Author(s) 2019

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