1. Epidemiology and Global Health
  2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
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Mapping global environmental suitability for Zika virus

  1. Jane P Messina Is a corresponding author
  2. Moritz UG Kraemer
  3. Oliver J Brady
  4. David M Pigott
  5. Freya M Shearer
  6. Daniel J Weiss
  7. Nick Golding
  8. Corrine W Ruktanonchai
  9. Peter W Gething
  10. Emily Cohn
  11. John S Brownstein
  12. Kamran Khan
  13. Andrew J Tatem
  14. Thomas Jaenisch
  15. Christopher JL Murray
  16. Fatima Marinho
  17. Thomas W Scott
  18. Simon I Hay
  1. University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  2. University of Melbourne, United Kingdom
  3. University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  4. Harvard Medical School, United Kingdom
  5. Harvard Medical School, United States
  6. University of Toronto, Canada
  7. Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany
  8. University of Washington, Seattle, United States
  9. Ministry of Health Brazil, Brazil
  10. University of California Davis, United States
Research Article
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Cite as: eLife 2016;5:e15272 doi: 10.7554/eLife.15272

Abstract

Zika virus was discovered in Uganda in 1947 and is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, which also act as vectors for dengue and chikungunya viruses throughout much of the tropical world. In 2007, an outbreak in the Federated States of Micronesia sparked public health concern. In 2013, the virus began to spread across other parts of Oceania and in 2015, a large outbreak in Latin America began in Brazil. Possible associations with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome observed in this outbreak have raised concerns about continued global spread of Zika virus, prompting its declaration as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization. We conducted species distribution modelling to map environmental suitability for Zika. We show a large portion of tropical and sub-tropical regions globally have suitable environmental conditions with over 2.17 billion people inhabiting these areas.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Jane P Messina

    1. Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
    For correspondence
    1. jane.messina@zoo.ox.ac.uk
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  2. Moritz UG Kraemer

    1. Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  3. Oliver J Brady

    1. Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  4. David M Pigott

    1. Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  5. Freya M Shearer

    1. Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  6. Daniel J Weiss

    1. Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  7. Nick Golding

    1. Department of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  8. Corrine W Ruktanonchai

    1. WorldPop project, Department of Geography and Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  9. Peter W Gething

    1. Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  10. Emily Cohn

    1. Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  11. John S Brownstein

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  12. Kamran Khan

    1. Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  13. Andrew J Tatem

    1. WorldPop project, Department of Geography and Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  14. Thomas Jaenisch

    1. Section Clinical Tropical Medicine, Department for Infectious Diseases, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  15. Christopher JL Murray

    1. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, Seattle, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  16. Fatima Marinho

    1. Secretariat of Health Surveillance, Ministry of Health Brazil, Brasilia, Brazil
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  17. Thomas W Scott

    1. Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of California Davis, Davis, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  18. Simon I Hay

    1. Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    Simon I Hay, Reviewing editor; eLife.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Mark Jit, Reviewing Editor, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Public Health England, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: February 15, 2016
  2. Accepted: April 10, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 19, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: June 1, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2016, Messina et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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