Climate Change and Vector-Borne Diseases: Methodological Approaches


At the end of this Curricular Unit the participants should have acquired advanced knowledge on the main insect-borne diseases and its transmission mechanisms in order to , based on various "hands on" methodologies, be able to:
1. Design and implement methods for collecting environmental information and bionomical parameters of insects with medical importance.
2. Use autonomously GIS tools for modelling vectors distribution.
3. Develop predictive models for current and future geographic distributions of insect-vectors of human diseases and discuss the results in terms of their epidemiological consequences.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Carla Sousa


Weekly - Se a UC for oferecida como opcional, o horário será disponibilizado no 2º semestre

Total - 34

Teaching language



Not applicable


• Wernsdorfer W.H. (1988). Malaria. Principles and practice of malariology. Churchill Livingstone Inc. London. UK.
• Franklin, J. and Miller, J.A. (2009) Mapping species distributions: spatial inference and prediction. Cambridge University Press Cambridge.
• Elith, J. and Leathwick, J. (2009) Species distribution models: ecological explanation and prediction across space and time. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 40, 677697. [free access]

Teaching method

• Lectures and theoreticpra-ctical classes.
• Tutorial guidance.
Course will be composed by 5 theoretical lectures; and 7 theoretical-practical classes where the demonstrative and active methods will be applied. There will also be tutorial sessions to support self-study, the solution of the practical exercises and preparation of the written assignment.

Evaluation method

1. Moodle-based practical exercises or questionnaires, which represent 25% of the final grade.
2. Development of a predictive model vectors distribution according to data provided by teachers, presented in the form of a written work of about 2000 ± 200 words (excluding graphs and bibliography). It represents 75% of the final grade.

Subject matter

I. Main insect vectors of human diseases: their biology, ecology and distribution.
II. Modes of transmission of the main pathologies and relevance of entomology in its epidemiology.
III. Introduction to the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and examples of its application in modelling the distribution of insect vectors of diseases.
IV. Effects of environmental variables in the bionomics of vectors, using as model: the mosquitoes.
V. Collection and preparation of biological and environmental data required for modelling vectors distribution.
VI. Implementation of a predictive statistical model for the distribution of vectors and its validation methods.
VII. Scenarios of climate change and biological changes resulting from the first. Modelling of vectors future distributions vs climate changes.
VIII. Impact of future vectors distribution in the epidemiology of the diseases they transmit.


Programs where the course is taught: