Assessing potential countermeasures against the dengue epidemic in non-tropical urban cities

Hiroki Masui, Itsuki Kakitani, Shumpei Ujiyama, Kazuyoshi Hashidate, Masataka Shiono, Kazue Kudo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Dengue is a common mosquito-borne viral disease epidemic especially in tropical and sub-tropical regions where water sanitation is not substantially controlled. However, dengue epidemics sometimes occur in non-tropical urban cities with substantial water sanitary control. Using a mathematical model, we investigate what conditions can be important for a dengue epidemic to occur in an urban city such as Tokyo, where vectors are active only in summer and there are little number of vectors around hosts. Methods: The model, which is a modified Ross-Macdonald model, consists of two sets of host-vector compartments. The two sets correspond to high-risk and low-risk areas, and only hosts can move between them. Assuming that mosquitoes have constant activity for only 90 days, we assess five potential countermeasures: (1) restricted movement between the two areas, (2) insecticide application, (3) use of repellents, (4) vector control, and (5) isolation of the infected. Results: The basic reproduction number R 0 and the cumulative number of infected hosts for 90 days are evaluated for each of the five countermeasures. In the cases of Measures 2-5, the cumulative number of the infected for 90 days can be reduced substantially for small R 0 even if R 0>1. Although R 0 for Measure 1 monotonically decreases with the mobility rates, the cumulative number of the infected for 90 days has a maximum at a moderate mobility rate. If the mobility rate is sufficiently small, the restricted movement effectively increases the number density of vectors in the high-risk area, and the epidemic starts earlier in the high-risk area than in the low-risk one, while the growth of infections is slow. Conclusions: Measures 2-5 are more or less effective. However, Measure 1 can have the opposite effect, depending on the mobility rates. The restricted movement results in the formation of a kind of core population, which can promote the epidemic in the entire population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalTheoretical Biology and Medical Modelling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 12


  • Core population
  • Dengue mathematical model
  • Sensitivity analysis


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