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Spatio-temporal dynamics of dengue and chikungunya

Understanding arboviral transmission patterns to improve surveillance and control
PhD ceremony:M.F. Vincenti Gonzalez
When:December 12, 2018
Supervisors:prof. dr. A.W. (Alex) Friedrich, prof. M.E. Grillet
Co-supervisor:dr. A. (Adriana) Tami
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG
Spatio-temporal dynamics of dengue and chikungunya

Spatio-temporal dynamics of dengue and chikungunya: Understanding arboviral transmission patterns to improve surveillance and control

Dengue is one of the fastest spreading vector-borne diseases (VBD) worldwide that poses an important burden on concerned populations. In Venezuela, control of this infection and of its mosquito vector (Aedes aegypti) has proven challenging. Currently, dengue control methods rely mostly on vector reduction; however, these activities have demonstrated to be largely unsuccessful. Globally, there is a call for action to change how surveillance and control of dengue and other VBD (such as chikungunya and Zika), are currently performed since the classical approach seems not sufficient to effectively reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by these diseases.

The research described in this thesis is focused on the identification and characterization of the spatial and temporal determinants of dengue virus (DENV) and chikungunya virus (CHIKV) transmission. The thesis emphasizes the spatial and spatio-temporal patterns of disease prevalence/incidence and their determinants and the influence of climate fluctuations on the temporal patterns of dengue.

The results obtained in this thesis provide important evidence about the dengue and chikungunya spatial and temporal patterns in Venezuela. It also highpoints the relevance that geographical information systems and spatial analysis have on the surveillance and control of vector-borne diseases. The elaboration of a combined program of control of mosquito-borne diseases which includes the spatial and temporal analysis of the patterns of disease transmission will help to identify the most vulnerable and high-risk zones for transmission and may reduce morbidity, mortality and the burden of these diseases on the population and health care centers.