The annual, temporal and spatial pattern of Setaria tundra outbreaks in Finnish reindeer: a mechanistic transmission model approach

Najmul Haider*, Sauli Laaksonen, Lene Jung Kjær, Antti Oksanen, Rene Bødker

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Abstract

    In northern Finland (Lapland), reindeer are reared as semi-domesticated animals. The region has a short summer season of 2-3 months, yet reindeer are infected with the mosquito-borne filarioid parasite Setaria tundra. The infection causes peritonitis and perihepatitis, which cause significant economic losses due to reduced body weight of infected animals. The objective of this study was to: (i) describe the spatial and temporal pattern of outbreaks in three different areas across Finnish Lapland; and (ii) construct a temperature-driven mechanistic transmission model to quantify the potential role of temperature on intensity of S. tundra transmission in reindeer. We developed a temperature-driven transmission model able to predict the number of S. tundra potentially transmitted from an infectious reindeer. We applied the model to the years 2004-2015, and compared the predictions to the proportion of reindeer whose livers were condemned due to S. tundra infection at the time of slaughter. The mean proportion of liver condemnation increased in reindeer slaughtered in late autumn/winter compared to earlier dates. The outbreaks were geographically clustered each year but there were no fixed foci where outbreaks occurred. Larger outbreaks were recorded in the southern regions of reindeer-herding areas compared to the central or northern parts of Lapland. Our model showed that temperatures never allowed for transmission of more than a single generation of S. tundra each season. In southern (Kuusamo) and central (Sodankylä) Lapland, our model predicted an increasing trend from 1979 to 2015 for both the duration of the effective transmission period of S. tundra (P <0.001) and for the potential number of L3 S. tundra larvae being transmitted from an infectious reindeer (P <0.001). The effective transmission period for S. tundra in reindeer is very short in Lapland, but it increased over the period studied. Only one generation of S. tundra can be transmitted in one season among reindeer in Lapland. Increasing temperatures may facilitate a range expansion and increasing duration of effective transmission period for S. tundra.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number565
    JournalParasites & Vectors
    Volume11
    Number of pages13
    ISSN1756-3305
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Keywords

    • Climate change
    • Disease outbreak
    • Finland
    • Microclimatic temperature
    • Reindeer
    • Setaria tundra
    • Spatio-temporal distribution

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