Aznar, Victoria Romeo
Lloyd, Alun L.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
The success of control programs for mosquito‐borne diseases can be enhanced by crucial information provided by models of the mosquito populations. Models, however, can differ in their structure, complexity, and biological assumptions, and these differences impact their predictions. Unfortunately, it is typically difficult to determine why two complex models make different predictions because we lack structured side‐by‐side comparisons of models using comparable parameterization. Here, we present a detailed comparison of two complex, spatially explicit, stochastic models of the population dynamics of Aedes aegypti, the main vector of dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. Both models describe the mosquito's biological and ecological characteristics, but differ in complexity and specific assumptions. We compare the predictions of these models in two selected climatic settings: a tropical and weakly seasonal climate in Iquitos, Peru, and a temperate and strongly seasonal climate in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Both models were calibrated to operate at identical average densities in unperturbed conditions in both settings, by adjusting parameters regulating densities in each model (number of larval development sites and amount of nutritional resources). We show that the models differ in their sensitivity to environmental conditions (temperature and rainfall) and trace differences to specific model assumptions. Temporal dynamics of the Ae. aegypti populations predicted by the two models differ more markedly under strongly seasonal Buenos Aires conditions. We use both models to simulate killing of larvae and/or adults with insecticides in selected areas. We show that predictions of population recovery by the models differ substantially, an effect likely related to model assumptions regarding larval development and (direct or delayed) density dependence. Our methodical comparison provides important guidance for model improvement by identifying key areas of Ae. aegypti ecology that substantially affect model predictions, and revealing the impact of model assumptions on population dynamics predictions in unperturbed and perturbed conditions. Show more
Journal / seriesEcosphere
Pages / Article No.
SubjectAedes aegypti; Model comparison; Mosquito-borne diseases; Population dynamics; Spatial model; Vector control
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