We reviewed the literature on the role of temperature in transmission of zoonotic arboviruses. Vector competence is affected by both direct and indirect effects of temperature, and generally increases with increasing temperature, but results may vary by vector species, population, and viral strain. Temperature additionally has a significant influence on life history traits of vectors at both immature and adult life stages, and for important behaviors such as blood-feeding and mating. Similar to vector competence, temperature effects on life history traits can vary by species and population. Vector, host, and viral distributions are all affected by temperature, and are generally expected to change with increased temperatures predicted under climate change. Arboviruses are generally expected to shift poleward and to higher elevations under climate change, yet significant variability on fine geographic scales is likely. Temperature effects are generally unimodal, with increases in abundance up to an optimum, and then decreases at high temperatures. Improved vector distribution information could facilitate future distribution modeling. A wide variety of approaches have been used to model viral distributions, although most research has focused on the West Nile virus. Direct temperature effects are frequently observed, as are indirect effects, such as through droughts, where temperature interacts with rainfall. Thermal biology approaches hold much promise for syntheses across viruses, vectors, and hosts, yet future studies must consider the specificity of interactions and the dynamic nature of evolving biological systems.
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