Collaborative project: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Khon Kaen University Thailand, Asian Institute of Technology Thailand, University of Health Sciences, Laos, Baldwin Wallace University, US, Institute Pasteur Paris France, University of Umeå, Sweden. Budget 1.25 Million USD.
Consortium PI Hans Overgaard
Climate change is currently one of the most important emerging global concerns. It affects health directly by exposure to climatic extremes and indirectly through impacts on water quality and quantity, temperature, social infrastructure or through direct effects on secondary organisms, such as disease vectors. Assessing potential health impacts of climate change and climate variability requires understanding of the vulnerability of a population and its capacity to respond to new conditions. Laos and Thailand, the two study countries, are both vulnerable, in various ways, to the direct effects of climate change, such as floods and droughts and several indirect effects that increase their vulnerability. Dengue, Zika and chikungunya are arboviruses transmitted by mosquito vectors. Higher temperatures affect mosquito and virus development, and rainfall may increase mosquito proliferation. So far, no comprehensive models measure climate-induced vulnerability, vector ecology, and socio-economic conditions, with disease dynamics and their impact on dengue incidence. Dengue is often mapped on a global scale, but its distribution is often driven by local spatiotemporal patterns influenced by fine-scale, socio-economic, environmental, virological, and demographic factors. In this project, disease surveillance, mosquito infestation, meteorology, socioeconomics, knowledge, attitudes and practices, and land cover analyses will be combined with future climatic scenarios and population growth trends to predict potential changes in dengue risk factors and community vulnerabilities in border areas of these two countries. Assessing these factors is instrumental to developing adaptation strategies at local and regional levels. Outputs will add new knowledge on climate-induced vulnerability and its impact on dengue transmission. Results obtained for dengue, may also be applicable to Zika and chikungunya.