Kang JY, Aldstadt J
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Jul 15;14(7). pii: E792.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that is endemic in tropical and subtropical countries. Many individual-level simulation models have been developed to test hypotheses about dengue virus transmission. Often these efforts assume that human host and mosquito vector populations are randomly or uniformly distributed in the environment. Although, the movement of mosquitoes is affected by spatial configuration of buildings and mosquito populations are highly clustered in key buildings, little research has focused on the influence of the local built environment in dengue transmission models. We developed an agent-based model of dengue transmission in a village setting to test the importance of using realistic environments in individual-level models of dengue transmission. The results from one-way ANOVA analysis of simulations indicated that the differences between scenarios in terms of infection rates as well as serotype-specific dominance are statistically significant. Specifically, the infection rates in scenarios of a realistic environment are more variable than those of a synthetic spatial configuration. With respect to dengue serotype-specific cases, we found that a single dengue serotype is more often dominant in realistic environments than in synthetic environments. An agent-based approach allows a fine-scaled analysis of simulated dengue incidence patterns. The results provide a better understanding of the influence of spatial heterogeneity on dengue transmission at a local scale.