Angelo G. Solimini, Mattia Manica, Roberto Rosà, Alessandra della Torre & Beniamino Caputo
Outbreaks of arbovirus infections vectored by invasive Aedes albopictus have already occurred and are predicted to become increasingly frequent in Southern Europe. We present a probabilistic model to assess risk of arbovirus outbreaks based on incident cases worldwide, on the probability of arrival of infected travelers, and on the abundance of the vector species. Our results show a significant risk of Chikungunya outbreak in Rome from mid June to October in simulations with high human biting rates (i.e. when ≥50% of the population is bitten every day). The outbreak risk is predicted to be highest for Chikungunya and null for Zika. Simulated increase of incident cases in selected endemic countries has no major impact on the outbreak risk. The model correctly estimated the number of imported cases and can be easily adapted to other urban areas where Ae. albopictus is the only potential vector present.