The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is one of the most invasive disease vectors worldwide. The species is a competent vector of dengue, chikungunya, Zika viruses and other severe parasites and pathogens threatening human health. The capacity of this mosquito to colonize and establish in new areas (including temperate regions) is enhanced by its ability of producing diapausing eggs that survive relatively cold winters. The main drivers of population dynamics for this mosquito are water and air temperature and photoperiod. In this paper, we present a mechanistic model that predicts the potential distribution, abundance and activity of Asian tiger mosquito in Europe. The model includes a comprehensive description of: i) the individual life-history strategies, including diapause, ii) the influence of weather-driven individual physiological responses on population dynamics and iii) the density-dependent regulation of larval mortality rate. The model is calibrated using field data from several locations along an altitudinal gradient in the Italian Alps, which enabled accurate prediction of cold temperature effects on population abundance, including identification of conditions that prevent overwintering of the species. Model predictions are consistent with the most updated information on species’ presence and absence. Predicted population abundance shows a clear south-north decreasing gradient. A similar yet less evident pattern in the activity of the species is also predicted. The model represents a valuable tool for the development of strategies aimed at the management of Ae. albopictus and for the implementation of effective control measures against vector-borne diseases in Europe.

Development and calibration of a model for the potential establishment and impact of Aedes albopictus in Europe

Calvitti M.;Moretti R.;Ponti L.;
2020

Abstract

The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is one of the most invasive disease vectors worldwide. The species is a competent vector of dengue, chikungunya, Zika viruses and other severe parasites and pathogens threatening human health. The capacity of this mosquito to colonize and establish in new areas (including temperate regions) is enhanced by its ability of producing diapausing eggs that survive relatively cold winters. The main drivers of population dynamics for this mosquito are water and air temperature and photoperiod. In this paper, we present a mechanistic model that predicts the potential distribution, abundance and activity of Asian tiger mosquito in Europe. The model includes a comprehensive description of: i) the individual life-history strategies, including diapause, ii) the influence of weather-driven individual physiological responses on population dynamics and iii) the density-dependent regulation of larval mortality rate. The model is calibrated using field data from several locations along an altitudinal gradient in the Italian Alps, which enabled accurate prediction of cold temperature effects on population abundance, including identification of conditions that prevent overwintering of the species. Model predictions are consistent with the most updated information on species’ presence and absence. Predicted population abundance shows a clear south-north decreasing gradient. A similar yet less evident pattern in the activity of the species is also predicted. The model represents a valuable tool for the development of strategies aimed at the management of Ae. albopictus and for the implementation of effective control measures against vector-borne diseases in Europe.
Ae. albopictus; Demographic model; Population dynamics; Stage-structured population
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/53070
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