Niche modeling of dengue fever using remotely sensed environmental factors and boosted regression trees

Jeffrey Ashby, Max J. Moreno-Madriñán, Constantin T. Yiannoutsos, Austin Stanforth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Dengue fever (DF), a vector-borne flavivirus, is endemic to the tropical countries of the world with nearly 400 million people becoming infected each year and roughly one-third of the world's population living in areas of risk. The main vector for DF is the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also the same vector of yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. To gain an understanding of the spatial aspects that can affect the epidemiological processes across the disease's geographical range, and the spatial interactions involved, we created and compared Bernoulli and Poisson family Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) models to quantify the overall annual risk of DF incidence by municipality, using the Magdalena River watershed of Colombia as a study site during the time period between 2012 and 2014. A wide range of environmental conditions make this site ideal to develop models that, with minor adjustments, could be applied in many other geographical areas. Our results show that these BRT methods can be successfully used to identify areas at risk and presents great potential for implementation in surveillance programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number328
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Boosted regression tree
  • Dengue
  • GIS
  • Neglected tropical diseases
  • Remote sensing
  • Vector modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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