Potential for Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes in temperate climates

Marcus S.C. Blagrove*, Cyril Caminade, Peter J. Diggle, Edward I. Patterson, Ken Sherlock, Gail E. Chapman, Jenny Hesson, Soeren Metelmann, Philip J. McCall, Gareth Lycett, Jolyon Medlock, Grant L. Hughes, Alessandra Della Torre, Matthew Baylis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Mosquito-borne Zika virus (ZIKV) transmission has almost exclusively been detected in the tropics despite the distributions of its primary vectors extending farther into temperate regions. Therefore, it is unknown whether ZIKV's range has reached a temperature-dependent limit, or if it can spread into temperate climates. Using field-collected mosquitoes for biological relevance, we found that two common temperate mosquito species, Aedes albopictus and Ochlerotatus detritus, were competent for ZIKV. We orally exposed mosquitoes to ZIKV and held them at between 17 and 31°C, estimated the time required for mosquitoes to become infectious, and applied these data to a ZIKV spatial risk model. We identified a minimum temperature threshold for the transmission of ZIKV by mosquitoes between 17 and 19°C. Using these data, we generated standardized basic reproduction number R 0 -based risk maps and we derived estimates for the length of the transmission season for recent and future climate conditions. Our standardized R 0 -based risk maps show potential risk of ZIKV transmission beyond the current observed range in southern USA, southern China and southern European countries. Transmission risk is simulated to increase over southern and Eastern Europe, northern USA and temperate regions of Asia (northern China, southern Japan) in future climate scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20200119
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1930
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Provided materials: G.L.H. and A.d.T. Conceived work: M.S.C.B., C.C. and M.B. Competing interests. The authors declare that there are no competing interests. Funding. Experimental work was funded by an MRC Zika Rapid Response award to M.B. (MC_PC_15090). M.S.C.B., C.C., S.M. and M.B. acknowledge funding from the NIHR. The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at


  • Aedes
  • EIP
  • R 0
  • Zika
  • climate change


Dive into the research topics of 'Potential for Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes in temperate climates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this