Present and future climatic suitability for dengue fever in Africa

Sintayehu, Dejene W.; Tassie, Nega; Boer, Willem F. de


The number of dengue fever incidence and its distribution has increased considerably in recent years in Africa. However, due to inadequate research at the continental level, there is a limited understanding regarding the current and future spatial distribution of the main vector, the mosquitoAedes aegypti, and the associated dengue risk due to climate change. To fill this gap we used reported dengue fever incidences, the presence of Ae. aegypti, and bioclimatic variables in a species distribution model to assess the current and future (2050 and 2070) climatically suitable areas. High temperatures and with high moisture levels are climatically suitable for the distribution of Ae. aegypti related to dengue fever. Under the current climate scenario indicated that 15.2% of the continent is highly suitable for dengue fever outbreaks. We predict that climatically suitable areas for Ae. aegypti related to dengue fever incidences in eastern, central and western part of Africa will increase in the future and will expand further towards higher elevations. Our projections provide evidence for the changing continental threat of vector-borne diseases and can guide public health policy decisions in Africa to better prepare for and respond to future changes in dengue fever risk.