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The ecology of Anopheles mosquitoes under climate change: case studies from the effects of deforestation in East African highlands

Authors

  • Yaw A. Afrane,

    1. Climate and Human Health Research Unit, Centre for Global Health Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kisumu, Kenya.
    2. School of Health Sciences, Bondo University, Bondo, Kenya.
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  • Andrew K. Githeko,

    1. Climate and Human Health Research Unit, Centre for Global Health Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kisumu, Kenya.
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  • Guiyun Yan

    1. Program in Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California
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Dr. Yaw A. Afrane, Climate and Human Health Research Unit, Centre for Global Health Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, P.O. Box 1578, Kisumu 40100, Kenya. yaw_afrane@yahoo.com

Abstract

Climate change is expected to lead to latitudinal and altitudinal temperature increases. High-elevation regions such as the highlands of Africa and those that have temperate climate are most likely to be affected. The highlands of Africa generally exhibit low ambient temperatures. This restricts the distribution of Anopheles mosquitoes, the vectors of malaria, filariasis, and O'nyong'nyong fever. The development and survival of larval and adult mosquitoes are temperature dependent, as are mosquito biting frequency and pathogen development rate. Given that various Anopheles species are adapted to different climatic conditions, changes in climate could lead to changes in species composition in an area that may change the dynamics of mosquito-borne disease transmission. It is important to consider the effect of climate change on rainfall, which is critical to the formation and persistence of mosquito breeding sites. In addition, environmental changes such as deforestation could increase local temperatures in the highlands; this could enhance the vectorial capacity of the Anopheles. These experimental data will be invaluable in facilitating the understanding of the impact of climate change on Anopheles.

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