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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(6), 609; doi:10.3390/rs9060609

Analyzing the Potential Risk of Climate Change on Lyme Disease in Eastern Ontario, Canada Using Time Series Remotely Sensed Temperature Data and Tick Population Modelling

1
Department of Geography and Planning, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada
2
Public Health Risk Sciences Division, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, 3200 rue Sicotte, CP 5000, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 7C6, Canada
3
Department of Mathematics, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai 201306, China
4
Laboratory for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nils Chr. Stenseth, Bing Xu and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 15 March 2017 / Revised: 19 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing Applications to Human Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3831 KB, uploaded 15 June 2017]   |  

Abstract

The number of Lyme disease cases (Lyme borreliosis) in Ontario, Canada has increased over the last decade, and that figure is projected to continue to increase. The northern limit of Lyme disease cases has also been progressing northward from the northeastern United States into southeastern Ontario. Several factors such as climate change, changes in host abundance, host and vector migration, or possibly a combination of these factors likely contribute to the emergence of Lyme disease cases in eastern Ontario. This study first determined areas of warming using time series remotely sensed temperature data within Ontario, then analyzed possible spatial-temporal changes in Lyme disease risk in eastern Ontario from 2000 to 2013 due to climate change using tick population modeling. The outputs of the model were validated by using tick surveillance data from 2002 to 2012. Our results indicated areas in Ontario where Lyme disease risk changed from unsustainable to sustainable for sustaining Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick) populations. This study provides evidence that climate change has facilitated the northward expansion of black-legged tick populations’ geographic range over the past decade. The results demonstrate that remote sensing data can be used to increase the spatial detail for Lyme disease risk mapping and provide risk maps for better awareness of possible Lyme disease cases. Further studies are required to determine the contribution of host migration and abundance on changes in eastern Ontario’s Lyme disease risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lyme disease; climate change; Ixodes scapularis; MODIS temperature product; remote sensing; mathematic population modeling Lyme disease; climate change; Ixodes scapularis; MODIS temperature product; remote sensing; mathematic population modeling
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cheng, A.; Chen, D.; Woodstock, K.; Ogden, N.H.; Wu, X.; Wu, J. Analyzing the Potential Risk of Climate Change on Lyme Disease in Eastern Ontario, Canada Using Time Series Remotely Sensed Temperature Data and Tick Population Modelling. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 609.

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