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Institute of Infectology (IMED)

Urban-rural differentiation and zoonotic risk assessment of Aedes, Anopheles and Culex vector dispersal


Duration: 01.10.2023 - 30.09.2026

Funding: Federal Ministry of Health

Joint project: 01259204/1

The incidence of mosquito-borne diseases in Europe is expected to continue to increase with climate change. Changes in temperature, precipitation, humidity, and land use are projected to cause potential disease vectors to expand. Cities are responding to climate change and associated extreme events with adaptation measures including the creation of green space and water bodies, which in turn can affect vector dispersal. 

The current state of knowledge on spatially differentiated vector dispersal and mosquito burden in urban and suburban areas is insufficient. A profound understanding of spatial differentiation can be the basis for improved surveillance and more efficient control of mosquitoes and thus contribute to vector-sensitive urban planning and prevention of vector-borne diseases. 

In the interdisciplinary research project URBAN-RURAL-Zoonoses the distribution of mosquitoes in the city of Augsburg and its surroundings will be investigated in order to perform a spatially differentiated risk assessment of the occurrence of potential vectors along the urban-rural gradient. For this purpose, potential breeding habitats and the adult distribution of mosquitoes along the urban-rural gradient will be investigated in field studies at selected sites and local climatic and environmental conditions will be measured and recorded. Based on the results of the field surveys, the habitats of the studied species will be characterized and suitable or unsuitable urban and rural habitats will be identified. A spatially differentiated statistical analysis using the results of the field investigations and other spatial climate and environmental datasets as well as non-climatic influencing variables allows an estimation of the risk potential for the entire study region. The results are analyzed in detail with respect to intra-urban differences as well as urban-surrounding contrasts to assess the importance of urban areas as vector habitats.

Projekt partner

Prof. Dr. Elke Hertig
Regionaler Klimawandel und Gesundheit, Medizinische Fakultät, Universität Augsburg

Involved Scientists

Dr. Mandy Schäfer
Christian Voll

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