Modelling hotspots of the two dominant Rift Valley fever vectors (Aedes vexans and Culex poicilipes) in Barkédji, Sénégal


Talla C, Diallo D, Dia I, Ba Y, Ndione JA, Morse AP, Diop A, Diallo M


Climatic and environmental variables were used successfully by using models to predict Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus outbreaks in East Africa. However, these models are not replicable in the West African context due to a likely difference of the dynamic of the virus emergence. For these reasons specific models mainly oriented to the risk mapping have been developed. Hence, the areas of high vector pressure or virus activity are commonly predicted. However, the factors impacting their occurrence are poorly investigated and still unknown. In this study, we examine the impact of climate and environmental factors on the likelihood of occurrence of the two main vectors of RVF in West Africa (Aedes vexans and Culex poicilipes) hotspots. 

We used generalized linear mixed models taking into account spatial autocorrelation, in order to overcome the default threshold for areas with high mosquito abundance identified by these models. Getis’ Gi*(d) index was used to define local adult mosquito abundance clusters (hotspot). 

For Culex poicilipes, a decrease of the minimum temperature promotes the occurrence of hotspots, whereas, for Aedes vexans, the likelihood of hotspot occurrence is negatively correlated with relative humidity, maximum and minimum temperatures. However, for the two vectors, proximity to ponds would increase the risk of being in an hotspot area. 

These results may be useful in the improvement of RVF monitoring and vector control management in the Barkedji area.


Parasites and Vectors



Research Themes:

Vector Biology & Climate Modelling