Climate Change and Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases : Future Prospect of Northern Expansion of Aedes albopictus

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Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2011;2(Suppl 1):S7-S7
Director, Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Toyama 1-23-1, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan.

Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, is one of vectors of the dengue and Chikungunya viruses and was common mosquitoes in Southeast Asia, Far East including Japan. During past two decades the distribution areas of Ae. albopictus clearly expand to worldwide by world trading of used tiers. In Japan Aedes albopictus distributed widely in Honshu Island of Japan with its northern limits between 38° to 40° degrees north. The factors affecting distribution of the species in Japan were studied using the GIS and showed an annual mean temperature higher than 11 C° is most related to the northern limit. During 1998–2006, larval surveillance was carried out in more than 30 urban and rural areas in Tohoku district, the northern limit clearly moved to northward. The future expansion of the distribution of Ae. albopictus were analyzed using 1-km mesh climate data prospected by MIROC(K1) model in 2035 and 2100. From these analyses, the distribution of the mosquitoes widely expands in the lowland areas of Aomori Prefecture, most northern Honshu district in 2035. Ae. albopictus will also invade to Hokkaido Island crossing the Tsugaru Strait in 2100. This means that risk areas in dengue and Chikungunya outbreak clearly expand in the northern parts of Japan. The population density of the mosquito is one of the important factors to predict the possibility of outbreak of mosquito borne diseases. Ae. albopictus is not a simple nuisance mosquito, so we should recognize the importance of this mosquito species as an important vector of viral diseases, dengue and chikungunya. The technical report published by ECDC in 2009 entitled “Development of Aedes albopictus risk map” completely adopted our criterion, 11 C° as a northern expansion limit in Europe and North America.

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