Simulating spread of Bluetongue Virus by flying vectors between hosts on pasture

Kaare Græsbøll, Rene Bødker, Claes Enøe, Lasse Engbo Christiansen

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    Abstract

    Bluetongue is a disease of ruminants which reached Denmark in 2007. We present a process-based stochastic simulation model of vector-borne diseases, where host animals are not confined to a central geographic farm coordinate, but can be distributed onto pasture areas. Furthermore vectors fly freely and display search behavior to locate areas with hosts. We also include wind spread of vectors, host movements, and vector seasonality. Results show that temperature and seasonality of vectors determines the period in which an incursion of Bluetongue may lead to epidemic spread in Denmark. Within this period of risk the number of infected hosts is affected by temperature, vector abundance, vector behavior, vectors' ability to locate hosts, and use of pasture. These results indicate that restricted grazing during outbreaks can reduce the number of infected hosts and the size of the affected area. The model can be implemented on other vector-borne diseases of grazing animals.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalScientific Reports
    Volume2
    Pages (from-to)863
    Number of pages8
    ISSN2045-2322
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • Computational models
    • Biological models
    • Diseases

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