Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Epidemiology and Biostatistics

First Advisor

Melissa Nolan


Several vector-borne diseases have recently resurfaced, and many have suddenly spread to new areas in the United States (U.S.) due to climate change and tropicalization. Two vectors of public health importance are Aedes aegyptiand Aedes albopictus. The Southeastern region of the U.S. appears to be a preferential ecological niche for both Aedes species. Aedes aegyptiand Aedes albopictus are highly susceptible to environmental conditions, such as humidity, precipitation, temperature. Remote sensing technology has proven to be useful for estimating vector populations. Miami-Dade County is an established hotspot for disease transmission. Charleston County is newly vulnerable due to similar environmental conditions. We set out to assess the two cities’ Aedes aegyptiand Aedes albopictus populations by looking at these ecological dynamics and land use-land cover characteristics. Our study found that there is a statistically significant association between most our weather variables in Charleston County. In contrast, ‘average weekly minimum temperature’ was the only statistically significant weather variable in Miami-Dade County. Additionally, In the model we found that ‘high intensity developed’ areas (0.0381 p-value) and ‘precipitation’ (<.0001 p-value) were the only variables that had a statistically significant association with mosquito egg abundance. Inconsistencies in observed effects could be due to interactions between multiple climatic factors. There is a clear need for further observational studies of the impact of climate change on mosquito populations particularly in the Southeast region of the U.S.

Included in

Epidemiology Commons