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Total project duration:

2 Years

Risk assessment of infectious diseases caused by climate change

The project

The research project "ClimateDeseaseRisk - Modelling of vector-borne diseases" aims to develop a system that can deal with these challenges in the future. The focus is on the development of an integrated risk model for changing vectors in Austria. The aim is to integrate natural and socio-economic factors.

Our activities in the project

JR's tasks in this project range from researching the natural habitat-related factors that influence or promote the occurrence and spread of ticks and tiger mosquitoes to preparing the defined indicators and habitat parameters that are to be incorporated into the modelling of the spread of ticks and tiger mosquitoes and into risk modelling. Various data sources are integrated and combined, including observation statistics of ticks and mosquitoes, spatial modelling parameters and indicators as well as climate data.

Keine Datei zugewiesen.

Bundesministerium für Finanzen

Pentamap GmbH

Österreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit GmbH

Bundesministerium für Soziales, Gesundheit, Pflege und Konsumentenschutz

Disaster Competence Network Austria - Kompetenznetzwerk für Katastrophenprävention

GeoSphere Austria - Bundesanstalt für Geologie, Geophysik, Klimatologie und Meteorologie

Project details

New "exotic" vectors (arthropods) are in the process of establishing themselves in Austria or have already done so. These vectors also increase the risk that previously non-endemic pathogens are introduced into our latitudes and that these can be transmitted by the new vectors, but also by native vectors. In the planned research project "ClimateDeseaseRisk - Modelling vector-borne diseases", a system is to be developed that can deal with these challenges in the future. Both mosquitoes and ticks will be used as examples. However, the system can be adapted to other vectors and pathogens with minor adjustments.


Mosquitoes: The aim is to create risk maps that show where overwintering populations of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) can form in Austria. This allows countermeasures to be taken to control these mosquitoes in regions with a high risk of colonisation. Literature data describing the limiting factors for the survival of tiger mosquitoes is used to create these risk maps. Meteorological data and habitat parameters are also included in the modelling. Furthermore, data on the current distribution of the tiger mosquito from an active (Austria-wide monitoring programme for the detection of foreign mosquito species by AGES) and a passive monitoring programme (citizen science project "Mosquito Alert") are used. Based on this and on literature data, the risk of the occurrence of autochthonous cases of pathogens transmitted by tiger mosquitoes such as dengue, chikungunya or Zika viruses will be modelled.


Ticks: The monitoring of ticks is carried out as part of citizen science. A corresponding smartphone app is being developed as part of the project. Reports of supposedly new ticks are already providing evidence of Hyalomma sp. The targeted application of the app is intended to raise awareness of ticks and new tick species. The tick app to be developed will be used to record tick activity "in real time" and integrate it into a virtual map. The data will be compared with bird migration data and data from farm and wild animals and a risk assessment for the occurrence of new tick species and their pathogens will be provided.


Risk assessment: The measures recommended by international experts to control arthropods are often associated with high workloads and therefore high costs. For this reason, there is often a reluctance to apply them. However, this inaction or late action is also associated with costs, such as reduced quality of life for the population or increased health costs. For this reason, the costs of various control measures are to be compared with the costs of inaction in order to determine the optimum approach from a cost-benefit perspective.


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