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Mosquito-borne diseases such as yellow fever, dengue, and West Nile are rapidly emerging across the globe. Their emergence is often aided by the growth of their vector population, or the organisms that transmit the virus to the host. Urbanization and land use often destroys the habitat of the virus and its vector. However, the virus and its vector often survive despite the changes to its environment. The goal of this paper is to find out exactly how urbanization and changes in land use affect mosquito-borne viruses and how these viruses survive despite the destruction of their habitats. To understand how mosquitoes are affected by urbanization, I analyzed several observational studies on mosquito vector populations in different environments. I also studied several journal articles which specifically evaluated particular mosquito-borne diseases and examined how land use and climate affect the spread of disease. I also considered articles which offered theories on land use and disease emergence and presented solutions to prevent future epidemics. From these articles, I found that mosquito-borne viruses and their vectors are highly adaptable. Due to urbanization, some mosquito species become anthropophilic, they prey specifically on humans, and accordingly, the virus prefers humans over animals as their hosts. Urbanization often promotes mosquito population growth, thereby promoting virus population growth. From understanding how urbanization affects virus and vector populations, we can minimize disease emergence and prevent viruses and their vectors from becoming anthropophilic.

Publication Date


Subject Major(s)

Biology, Virology, Environmental Science, Epidemiology


mosquito-borne viruses, disease emergence, urbanization, land use, vector species, mosquitoes, anthropophilic


Environmental Health | Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology | Other Immunology and Infectious Disease | Virus Diseases | Viruses

Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Faye O. Prichard


© The Author(s)

The Impact of Urbanization on Mosquito-Borne Viruses