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Vector-borne diseases and climate change: a European perspective

Description

Climate change is expected to lead to a further shift of specific tick species to higher latitudes and altitudes and also continue to play a role in the expansion of the A. albopictus tiger mosquito and of sandfly species in Europe in terms of geographical distribution. Thus effective prevention and control of vector-borne diseases will be a key factor via integrated surveillance of human cases and invasive and endemic mosquito species.

Climate change is also thought to have been a factor in the expansion of other important disease vectors in Europe: Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which transmits diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya, and Phlebotomus sandfly species, which transmits diseases including Leishmaniasis.

In addition, highly elevated temperatures in the summer of 2010 have been associated with an epidemic of West Nile Fever in Southeast Europe and subsequent outbreaks have been linked to summer temperature anomalies. Future climate-sensitive health impacts are challenging to project quantitatively, in part due to the intricate interplay between non-climatic and climatic drivers, weather-sensitive pathogens and climate-change adaptation. Moreover, globalisation and international air travel contribute to pathogen and vector dispersion internationally.

Climate change is projected to lead to a further shift of specific tick species to higher latitudes and altitudes and to continue to play a role in the expansion of geographical distribution of the Aedes albopictus mosquito and of sandfly species in Europe. Integrated surveillance of human cases and invasive and endemic mosquito species will be a cornerstone for effective prevention and control of vector-borne diseases.

Monitoring forecasts of meteorological conditions can help detect epidemic precursors of vector-borne disease outbreaks and serve as early warning systems for risk reduction.

Reference information

Source:
FEMS microbiliogy Letters, Oxford University Press
Contributor:
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Published in Climate-ADAPT Jun 28 2019   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Feb 22 2021

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