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Fragile Transmission Cycles of Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus may be Disrupted by Predicted Climate Change

Sarah E. Randolph and David J. Rogers
Proceedings: Biological Sciences
Vol. 267, No. 1454 (Sep. 7, 2000), pp. 1741-1744
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2665783
Page Count: 4
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Fragile Transmission Cycles of Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus may be Disrupted by Predicted Climate Change
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Abstract

Repeated predictions that vector-borne disease prevalence will increase with global warming are usually based on univariate models. To accommodate the full range of constraints, the present-day distribution of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEv) was matched statistically to current climatic variables, to provide a multivariate description of present-day areas of disease risk. This was then applied to outputs of a general circulation model that predicts how climatic variables may change in the future, and future distributions of TBEv were predicted for them. The expected summer rise in temperature and decrease in moisture appears to drive the distribution of TBEv into higher-latitude and higher-altitude regions progressively through the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s. The final toe-hold in the 2080s may be confined to a small part of Scandinavia, including new foci in southern Finland. The reason for this apparent contraction of the range of TBEv is that its transmission cycles depend on a particular pattern of tick seasonal dynamics, which may be disrupted by climate change. The observed marked increase in incidence of tick-borne encephalitis in most parts of Europe since 1993 may be due to non-biological causes, such as political and sociological changes.

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