Modelling the effects of global climate change on Chikungunya transmission in the 21 st century

N.B. Tjaden, J.E. Suk, D. Fischer, Stephanie Margarete Thomas, Carl Beierkuhnlein, J.C. Semenza*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


The arrival and rapid spread of the mosquito-borne viral disease Chikungunya across the Americas is one of the most significant public health developments of recent years, preceding and mirroring the subsequent spread of Zika. Globalization in trade and travel can lead to the importation of these viruses, but climatic conditions strongly affect the efficiency of transmission in local settings. In order to direct preparedness for future outbreaks, it is necessary to anticipate global regions that could become suitable for Chikungunya transmission. Here, we present global correlative niche models for autochthonous Chikungunya transmission. These models were used as the basis for projections under the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 climate change scenarios. In a further step, hazard maps, which account for population densities, were produced. The baseline models successfully delineate current areas of active Chikungunya transmission. Projections under the RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios suggest the likelihood of expansion of transmission-suitable areas in many parts of the world, including China, sub-Saharan Africa, South America, the United States and continental Europe. The models presented here can be used to inform public health preparedness planning in a highly interconnected world.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3813
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • chikungunya
  • Climate change
  • GeoHealth
  • geo-health
  • species distribution model
  • ecological niche models
  • Risk mapping
  • ITC-CV


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