Modelling habitat suitability of the dengue mosquito vector (Aedes aegypti) in Madeira Island

Authors: César Capinha, Institute for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University NOVA of Lisbon, José Santos*, Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, Universidade de Lisboa, Jorge Rocha, Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, Universidade de Lisboa, Carla Sousa, Institute for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University NOVA of Lisbon
Topics: Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Dengue, Ae. aegypti, Madeira Island, Spatial Modeling
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 6:20 PM
Room: Lafayette, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 41st Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Aedes aegypti, the main vector of this disease, is also one of the main vectors of other arboviruses such as yellow fever and Zika. This specie was detected in Madeira Island in 2005, and in 2012 was responsible for the transmission of an outbreak of dengue that caused 2187 infected persons. As we do not yet have an effective vaccine or antiviral medication specifically for these diseases, prevention measures focus on direct vector control. Thus, as a way of making combat more effective, it becomes relevant to identify the behavior of the species in space. Through data obtained from a set of species capture traps and a set of variables of climatic and sociodemographic variables, modeling was carried out with two prepositions: 1) identify the spatial probability of specie presence 2) identify the relationships between the specie distribution and the conditioning factors. For these purposes, we use boosting regression trees, a machine-learning algorithm that combines the strengths of two algorithms: regression trees (models that relate a response to their predictors by recursive binary splits) and boosting (an adaptive method for combining many simple models to give improved predictive performance). The results showed an association between highly anthropized areas mixed with small green areas. The population and housing density are the variables that most influence the potential suitability of the presence of Ae aegypti. This emphasises that the domestic nature of this species exerts a lot of influence on its distribution.

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