Infoscience

Student project

Current and future spatial distribution of ticks (Ixodes ricinus) and of hosted Chlamydia in Switzerland

This project aims to study the spatial distribution of tick, I. ricinus, and emergent Chlamydiales families hosted by them. We used presence data associated with environmental variables to construct habitat suitability indexes by using species distribution modeling from the Maxent software. Most of the variables are climatic coming from the Worldclim website, also available for future climatic predictions. Additionally, the possible evolution of those habitats was estimated considering future climate conditions in 2070. We applied the previous species distribution modeling method with predictive variables to characterize their evolution. Finally, an estimation of the population exposed to this possible emergent threat to the human health under the form of a synthetic index. This index regroups the relative population density with the combination of the possible habitat of the tick and the hosted Chlamydiae. The results showed an expected general presence over the low altitude areas for the tick, but the predictive model failed to clearly identify areas of possible important modification of their suitable habitat. The Chlamydiae also admitted a possible habitat over most of the low altitude, mostly the Plateau. Their future evolution seemed to point out a homogenization of the distribution for those families over the Plateau.

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