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Durham University

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Publication details for Prof Steve Lindsay

Ramesh, A., Bristow, J., Kovats, S., Lindsay, S.W., Haslam, D., Schmidt, E. & Gilbert, C. (2016). The impact of climate on the abundance of Musca sorbens, the vector of trachoma. Parasites & Vectors 9(1): 48.

Author(s) from Durham


Background: To assess the extent to which climate may affect the abundance of Musca sorbens, a putative vector
of trachoma.
Data sources: Studies were identified by systematically searching online databases including CAB abstracts,
Embase, Global Health, Medline, Web of Science and BIOS Online, references from key articles, and the websites of
relevant international agencies.
Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted of field and laboratory studies that reported the impact of
climate factors (e.g., temperature, humidity) on the synanthropic fly Musca sorbens. Data were systematically
extracted and studies assessed for quality by two readers. Study results were reported narratively.
Results: A total of 16 studies met the inclusion criteria but only three evaluated associations between climatic/
abiotic factors and M. sorbens. Limited evidence indicates that M. sorbens abundance has an optimal temperature
and humidity range. Thirteen studies reported seasonal patterns but no consistent pattern was found between
season and the abundance of M. sorbens.
Conclusions: The evidence base regarding the effect of climatic factors on M. sorbens is limited, so it is difficult to
construct a biological model driven by climate for this species. A multivariate statistical approach based on the
climate of sites where M. sorbens is found may better capture its complex relationship with climatic factors as well
as aid in mapping the global range of M. sorbens.