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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 103679, 11 pages
Research Article

A Predictive Spatial Model to Quantify the Risk of Air-Travel-Associated Dengue Importation into the United States and Europe

1School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
2Department of Geography and the Environment, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
3Patterson Laboratories, Section of Integrative Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA

Received 6 July 2011; Accepted 22 December 2011

Academic Editor: Nildimar Honório

Copyright © 2012 Lauren M. Gardner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The number of travel-acquired dengue infections has been on a constant rise in the United States and Europe over the past decade. An increased volume of international passenger air traffic originating from regions with endemic dengue contributes to the increasing number of dengue cases. This paper reports results from a network-based regression model which uses international passenger travel volumes, travel distances, predictive species distribution models (for the vector species), and infection data to quantify the relative risk of importing travel-acquired dengue infections into the US and Europe from dengue-endemic regions. Given the necessary data, this model can be used to identify optimal locations (origin cities, destination airports, etc.) for dengue surveillance. The model can be extended to other geographical regions and vector-borne diseases, as well as other network-based processes.