Microclimatic temperatures increase the potential for vector-borne disease transmission in the Scandinavian climate

Najmul Haider, Carsten Thure Kirkeby, Birgit Kristensen, Lene Jung Kjær, Jens Havskov Sørensen, Rene Bødker

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    We quantified the difference between the meteorological temperature recorded by the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) weather stations and the actual microclimatic temperatures at two or three different heights at six potential insect habitats. We then compared the impact of the hourly temperature on the extrinsic incubation period (EIP) of six pathogens. Finally, we developed a regression model, enabling us to predict the microclimatic temperatures of different habitats based on five standard meteorological parameters readily available from any meteorological institution. Microclimatic habitats were on average 3.5–5 °C warmer than the DMI recorded temperatures during midday and 1–3 °C cooler at midnight. The estimated EIP for five of the six microclimatic habitats was shorter than the estimates based on DMI temperatures for all pathogens studied. The microclimatic temperatures also predicted a longer season for virus development compared to DMI temperatures. Based on DMI data of hourly temperature, solar radiation, wind speed, rain and humidity, we were able to predict the microclimatic temperature of different habitats with an R2 of 0.87–0.96. Using only meteorological temperatures for vector-borne disease transmission models may substantially underestimate both the daily potential for virus development and the duration of the potential transmission season.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8175
    JournalScientific Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Bibliographical note

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


    • Entomology
    • Infectious diseases
    • Public health


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