Local environmental and meteorological conditions influencing the invasive mosquito Ae. albopictus and arbovirus transmission risk in New York City

Little, Eliza Anastazia Hazel; Bajwa, Waheed; Shaman, Jeffrey L.

Ae. albopictus, an invasive mosquito vector now endemic to much of the northeastern US, is a significant public health threat both as a nuisance biter and vector of disease (e.g. chikungunya virus). Here, we aim to quantify the relationships between local environmental and meteorological conditions and the abundance of Ae. albopictus mosquitoes in New York City. Using statistical modeling, we create a fine-scale spatially explicit risk map of Ae. albopictus abundance and validate the accuracy of spatiotemporal model predictions using observational data from 2016. We find that the spatial variability of annual Ae. albopictus abundance is greater than its temporal variability in New York City but that both local environmental and meteorological conditions are associated with Ae. albopictus numbers. Specifically, key land use characteristics, including open spaces, residential areas, and vacant lots, and spring and early summer meteorological conditions are associated with annual Ae. albopictus abundance. In addition, we investigate the distribution of imported chikungunya cases during 2014 and use these data to delineate areas with the highest rates of arboviral importation. We show that the spatial distribution of imported arboviral cases has been mostly discordant with mosquito production and thus, to date, has provided a check on local arboviral transmission in New York City. We do, however, find concordant areas where high Ae. albopictus abundance and chikungunya importation co-occur. Public health and vector control officials should prioritize control efforts to these areas and thus more cost effectively reduce the risk of local arboviral transmission. The methods applied here can be used to monitor and identify areas of risk for other imported vector-borne diseases.

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Also Published In

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

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Academic Units
Environmental Health Sciences
Published Here
October 5, 2017