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Using the intrinsic growth rate of the mosquito population improves spatio-temporal dengue risk estimation

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number105519
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>19/05/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Acta Tropica
Number of pages11
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date8/05/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Understanding geographic population dynamics of mosquitoes is an essential requirement for estimating the risk of mosquito-borne disease transmission and geographically targeted interventions. However, the use of population dynamics measures, such as the intrinsic growth rate, as predictors in spatio-temporal point processes has not been investigated before. In this work we compared the predictive accuracy of four spatio-temporal log-Gaussian Cox models: (i) With no predictors; (ii) mosquito abundance as predictor; (iii) intrinsic growth rate as predictor; (iv) intrinsic growth rate and mosquito abundance as predictors. This analysis is based on Aedes aegypti mosquito surveillance and human dengue data obtained from the urban area of Caratinga, Brazil. We used a statistical Moran Curve approach to estimate the intrinsic growth rate and a zero inflated Poisson kriging model for estimating mosquito abundance at locations of dengue cases. The incidence of dengue cases was positively associated with mosquito intrinsic growth rate and this model outperformed, in terms of predictive accuracy, the abundance and the null models. The latter includes only the spatio-temporal random effect but no predictors. In the light of these results we suggest that the intrinsic growth rate should be investigated further as a potential tool for predicting the risk of dengue transmission and targeting health interventions for vector-borne diseases.