Geographical maps indicating the value of the basic reproduction number, R0, can be used to identify areas of higher risk for an outbreak after an introduction. We develop a methodology to create R0 maps for vector-borne diseases, using bluetongue virus as a case study. This method provides a tool for gauging the extent of environmental effects on disease emergence. The method involves integrating vector-abundance data with statistical approaches to predict abundance from satellite imagery and with the biologically mechanistic modelling that underlies R0. We illustrate the method with three applications for bluetongue virus in the Netherlands: 1) a simple R0 map for the situation in September 2006, 2) species-specific R0 maps based on satellite-data derived predictions, and 3) monthly R0 maps throughout the year. These applications ought to be considered as a proof-of-principle and illustrations of the methods described, rather than as ready-to-use risk maps. Altogether, this is a first step towards an integrative method to predict risk of establishment of diseases based on mathematical modelling combined with a geographic information system that may comprise climatic variables, landscape features, land use, and other relevant factors determining the risk of establishment for bluetongue as well as of other emerging vector-borne diseases.
Hartemink, N., Purse, B. V., Meiswinkel, R., Brown, H. E., de Koeijer, A. A., Elbers, A. R. W., Boender, G. J., Rogers, D. J., & Heesterbeek, J. A. P. (2009). Mapping the basic reproduction number (Ro) for vector-borne diseases: A case study on bluetongue virus. Epidemics, 1(3), 153-161. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epidem.2009.05.004