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A network-patch methodology for adapting agent-based models for directly transmitted disease to mosquito-borne disease.

Abstract

Mosquito-borne diseases cause significant public health burden and are widely re-emerging or emerging. Understanding, predicting, and mitigating the spread of mosquito-borne disease in diverse populations and geographies are ongoing modelling challenges. We propose a hybrid network-patch model for the spread of mosquito-borne pathogens that accounts for individual movement through mosquito habitats, extending the capabilities of existing agent-based models (ABMs) to include vector-borne diseases. The ABM are coupled with differential equations representing 'clouds' of mosquitoes in patches accounting for mosquito ecology. We adapted an ABM for humans using this method and investigated the importance of heterogeneity in pathogen spread, motivating the utility of models of individual behaviour. We observed that the final epidemic size is greater in patch models with a high risk patch frequently visited than in a homogeneous model. Our hybrid model quantifies the importance of the heterogeneity in the spread of mosquito-borne pathogens, guiding mitigation strategies.

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