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Due to global changes, mosquito-borne viral diseases are increasing their distribution and incidence, causing a relevant health and economic impact. This project studies the relationship between biodiversity patterns (vertebrates, vectors, and viruses) and the risk of transmission of zoonotic viral diseases. There is currently uncertainty about the attenuating or promoting effects of species diversity on the infection chain in enzootic and epizootic cycles (dilution effect hypothesis). Based on a similar fieldwork protocol in Mexico (Yucatan), France (Camargue), and Germany (Hamburg), the project will study the effect of anthropization and the reduction of vertebrate diversity on the risk of transmission of flaviviruses (West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus, Usutu virus) through mosquito sampling, bird censuses, feeding preferences, and viral screening. The global project will work through the analysis of different organizational (vertebrate hosts, insects, viruses, human population), spatial (continental, regional, local, organism), and temporal (current conditions/future projections) scales. This will be done through an integrated series of empirical studies (laboratory and field experiments) and the development of geographic, climatic, and mathematical models. The results of DiMoC will inform health, environmental, and development policies to prevent and mitigate local or regional outbreaks.

Fundings: ANR and Biodiversa
Workpackage manager: David Roiz
Participating countries: Germany, Belgium, France and México
Duration: 2020 – 2023

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