Simulation Modelling of Population Dynamics of Mosquito Vectors for Rift Valley Fever Virus in a Disease Epidemic Setting

Abstract

Background

Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is weather dependent arboviral infection of livestock and humans. Population dynamics of mosquito vectors is associated with disease epidemics. In our study, we use daily temperature and rainfall as model inputs to simulate dynamics of mosquito vectors population in relation to disease epidemics.

Methods/Findings

Time-varying distributed delays (TVDD) and multi-way functional response equations were implemented to simulate mosquito vectors and hosts developmental stages and to establish interactions between stages and phases of mosquito vectors in relation to vertebrate hosts for infection introduction in compartmental phases. An open-source modelling platforms, Universal Simulator and Qt integrated development environment were used to develop models in C++ programming language. Developed models include source codes for mosquito fecundity, host fecundity, water level, mosquito infection, host infection, interactions, and egg time. Extensible Markup Language (XML) files were used as recipes to integrate source codes in Qt creator with Universal Simulator plug-in. We observed that Floodwater Aedines and Culicine population continued to fluctuate with temperature and water level over simulation period while controlled by availability of host for blood feeding. Infection in the system was introduced by floodwater Aedines. Culicines pick infection from infected host once to amplify disease epidemic. Simulated mosquito population show sudden unusual increase between December 1997 and January 1998 a similar period when RVF outbreak occurred in Ngorongoro district.

Conclusion/Significance

Findings presented here provide new opportunities for weather-driven RVF epidemic simulation modelling. This is an ideal approach for understanding disease transmission dynamics towards epidemics prediction, prevention and control. This approach can be used as an alternative source for generation of calibrated RVF epidemics data in different settings.

More information about this article is found hereย https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0108430