Climate and vectorborne diseases

Am J Prev Med. 2008 Nov;35(5):436-50. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.08.030.


Climate change could significantly affect vectorborne disease in humans. Temperature, precipitation, humidity, and other climatic factors are known to affect the reproduction, development, behavior, and population dynamics of the arthropod vectors of these diseases. Climate also can affect the development of pathogens in vectors, as well as the population dynamics and ranges of the nonhuman vertebrate reservoirs of many vectorborne diseases. Whether climate changes increase or decrease the incidence of vectorborne diseases in humans will depend not only on the actual climatic conditions but also on local nonclimatic epidemiologic and ecologic factors. Predicting the relative impact of sustained climate change on vectorborne diseases is difficult and will require long-term studies that look not only at the effects of climate change but also at the contributions of other agents of global change such as increased trade and travel, demographic shifts, civil unrest, changes in land use, water availability, and other issues. Adapting to the effects of climate change will require the development of adequate response plans, enhancement of surveillance systems, and development of effective and locally appropriate strategies to control and prevent vectorborne diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthropod Vectors*
  • Communicable Diseases / transmission*
  • Greenhouse Effect*
  • Humans