Incorporating vector ecology and life history into disease transmission models: Insights from tsetse(Glossina spp.)
English S., Barreaux AMG., Bonsall MB., Hargrove JW., Keeling MJ., Rock KS., Vale GA.
Accurate models are crucial for predicting the spread of vector-borne diseases, and for developing appropriate control policies. Simple models often ignore finer details of vector biology, commonly due to lack of pertinent field data. However, for tsetse (Glossina spp), vectors of the parasites causing debilitating human and livestock trypanosomiasis in Africa, extensive field and laboratory data facilitate improved models and predictions of vector control outcomes. We review studies on the effects of environmental temperature, and fly age and sex, on survival and reproduction in tsetse, savannah species particularly–emphasizing the extreme maternal investment and sensitivity of early life stages to high temperatures. We consider implications of these results for predictive models of tsetse populations, and of the transmission and control of African trypanosomiasis. We discuss how further research on vectors, and improved models of vector populations and disease dynamics, can lead to improved predictions of vector abundance and disease spread.