Developing a temperature-driven map of the basic reproductive number of the emerging tick vector of Lyme disease Ixodes scapularis in Canada

Xiaotian Wu, Venkata R. Duvvuri, Yijun Lou, Nicholas H. Ogden, Yann Pelcat, Jianhong Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


A mechanistic model of the tick vector of Lyme disease, Ixodes scapularis, was adapted to a deterministic structure. Using temperature normals smoothed by Fourier analysis to generate seasonal temperature-driven development rates and host biting rates, and a next generation matrix approach, the model was used to obtain values for the basic reproduction number (. R0) for I. scapularis at locations in southern Canada where the tick is established and emerging. The R0 at Long Point, Point Pelee and Chatham sites where I. scapularis are established, was estimated at 1.5, 3.19 and 3.65, respectively. The threshold temperature conditions for tick population survival (. R0=1) were shown to be the same as those identified using the mechanistic model (2800-3100 cumulative annual degree days >0 ° C), and a map of R0 for I. scapularis, the first such map for an arthropod vector, was drawn for Canada east of the Rocky Mountains. This map supports current risk assessments for Lyme disease risk emergence in Canada. Sensitivity analysis identified host abundance, tick development rates and summer temperatures as highly influential variables in the model, which is consistent with our current knowledge of the biology of this tick. The development of a deterministic model for I. scapularis that is capable of providing values for R0 is a key step in our evolving ability to develop tools for assessment of Lyme disease risk emergence and for development of public health policies on surveillance, prevention and control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-61
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2013


  • Climate
  • Lyme
  • Mapping
  • Tick

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Medicine(all)
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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