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. 2019 Sep;4(9):1508-1515.
doi: 10.1038/s41564-019-0476-8. Epub 2019 Jun 10.

The current and future global distribution and population at risk of dengue

  • PMID: 31182801
  • PMCID: PMC6784886
  • DOI: 10.1038/s41564-019-0476-8
Free PMC article

The current and future global distribution and population at risk of dengue

Jane P Messina et al. Nat Microbiol. 2019 Sep.
Free PMC article


Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that has spread throughout the tropical world over the past 60 years and now affects over half the world's population. The geographical range of dengue is expected to further expand due to ongoing global phenomena including climate change and urbanization. We applied statistical mapping techniques to the most extensive database of case locations to date to predict global environmental suitability for the virus as of 2015. We then made use of climate, population and socioeconomic projections for the years 2020, 2050 and 2080 to project future changes in virus suitability and human population at risk. This study is the first to consider the spread of Aedes mosquito vectors to project dengue suitability. Our projections provide a key missing piece of evidence for the changing global threat of vector-borne disease and will help decision-makers worldwide to better prepare for and respond to future changes in dengue risk.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing interests.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1. Probability of occurrence of dengue in 2015.
ac, Maps displaying global probability data (a) as well as data for North America and parts of Central America and the Caribbean (b) and North Africa, the Middle East and Europe (c). Values range from 0 (grey, unsuitable environment) to 1 (red, suitable environment).
Fig. 2
Fig. 2. Environmental suitability for dengue occurrence according to RCP6.0 and SSP2.
ac, Projected data shown for 2020 (a), 2050 (b) and 2080 (c). df, Changes in areas classified as at-risk (using the suitability threshold of 0.467).
Fig. 3
Fig. 3. Projected changes in the risk of dengue occurrence.
ac, There are predicted changes in the land area (a) and population (b,c) at risk of dengue in the future. Mean and 95% credible intervals are shown for each ensemble of 100 BRT models.

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