Quantitatively predicting the important pathways and hosts for Rift Valley fever virus introduction and transmission in the United States

Monday, November 17, 2014: 11:48 AM
B115-116 (Oregon Convention Center)
Andrew Golnar , Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Gabriel Hamer , Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Globalization and the increasing movement of people and goods world-wide is facilitating the spread of pathogens. Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is an emerging mosquito-borne disease that is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes and utilizes wild and domestic animals as amplification hosts. Should RVFV arrive, diagnosing the disease and controlling the spread of infected vertebrates will take time, therefore, proactive management plans should be created to minimize the time to react and break transmission of the pathogen as mosquito populations vary geographically. The objectives of this project were to 1) implicate potentially important mosquito and vertebrate hosts to RVFV transmission in the U.S. by combining vertebrate competence data, vector competence data and mosquito feeding patterns and 2) predict the most likely pathway and geographic location for RVFV introduction in the U.S. by using direct connections between ports in the U.S. and those in countries with endemic RVFV activity.
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