Numerous recent studies have illuminated global distributions of human cases of dengue and other mosquito-transmitted diseases, yet the potential distributions of key vector species have not been incorporated integrally into those mapping efforts. Projections onto future conditions to illuminate potential distributional shifts in coming decades are similarly lacking, at least outside Europe. This study examined the global potential distributions of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in relation to climatic variation worldwide to develop ecological niche models that, in turn, allowed anticipation of possible changes in distributional patterns into the future. Results indicated complex global rearrangements of potential distributional areas, which--given the impressive dispersal abilities of these two species--are likely to translate into actual distributional shifts. This exercise also signalled a crucial priority: digitization and sharing of existing distributional data so that models of this sort can be developed more rigorously, as present availability of such data is fragmentary and woefully incomplete.
Keywords: chikungunya; climate change; dengue; mosquitoes; potential distribution.
© 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.