Assessing the suitability for aedes albopictus and dengue transmission risk in china with a delay differential equation model

Soeren Metelmann*, Xiaobo Liu, Liang Lu, Cyril Caminade, Keke Liu, Lina Cao, Jolyon M. Medlock, Matthew Baylis, Andrew P. Morse, Qiyong Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

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Dengue is considered non-endemic to mainland China. However, travellers frequently import the virus from overseas and local mosquito species can then spread the disease in the population. As a consequence, mainland China still experiences large dengue outbreaks. Temperature plays a key role in these outbreaks: it affects the development and survival of the vector and the replication rate of the virus. To better understand its implication in the transmission risk of dengue, we developed a delay differential equation model that explicitly simulates temperature-dependent development periods and tested it with collected field data for the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. The model predicts mosquito occurrence locations with a high accuracy (Cohen’s κ of 0.78) and realistically replicates mosquito population dynamics. Analysing the infection dynamics during the 2014 dengue outbreak that occurred in Guangzhou showed that the outbreak could have lasted for another four weeks if mosquito control interventions had not been undertaken. Finally, we analyse the dengue transmission risk in mainland China. We find that southern China, including Guangzhou, can have more than seven months of dengue transmission per year while even Beijing, in the temperate north, can have dengue transmission during hot summer months. The results demonstrate the importance of using detailed vector and infection ecology, especially when vector-borne disease transmission risk is modelled over a broad range of climatic zones.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0009153
Number of pages21
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections ( ) at the University of Liverpool in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health or Public Health England. Aedes data collection in this research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81703280 & 81273139). The collaboration of the University of Liverpool with ICDC, China CDC and Jinan University was funded by the UK-China Joint Research and Innovation Partnership Fund PhD Placement Programme (Newton Fund, Grant No. UK-276078284). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Metelmann et al.

Citation: Metelmann S, Liu X, Lu L, Caminade C, Liu K, Cao L, et al. (2021) Assessing the suitability for Aedes albopictus and dengue transmission risk in China with a delay differential equation model. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 15(3): e0009153.



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