Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
Title: Understanding the spatial and temporal distribution of potential mosquito vectors of Rift Valley fever in the U.S. Authors
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2007
Publication Date: November 4, 2007
Citation: Britch, S.C., Linthicum, K. 2007. Understanding the spatial and temporal distribution of potential mosquito vectors of Rift Valley fever in the U.S.. American Society of Tropical Medicine Hygiene 2007 Conference in Philadelphia, PA on November 4-8, 2007; pgs. 74-75. Technical Abstract: Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic hemorrhagic viral disease confined primarily to sub-Saharan Africa. In RVF endemic regions human and livestock populations suffer prominent health and economic impacts during RVF outbreaks. RVF virus is listed as an overlap Select Agent by both the CDC and APHIS and no approved human or animal vaccines exist for use in the U.S. If introduced into the U.S. RVF could spread rapidly via mosquitoes but could also be transmitted by contact with infected vertebrate tissues or aerosols, potentially affecting humans, wild ungulates, and U.S. livestock industries on a large scale. Several U.S. mosquito species have been identified as competent RVF vectors in the lab. Although the general ranges of these species in the U.S. are known, we describe work underway to better understand environmental factors driving the natural heterogeneity of their spatial and temporal distribution. Using GIS, we are comparing historical relationships between long-term mosquito population surveillance data and satellite climate and environmental data to develop models of mosquito distribution, timing, and abundance in the U.S. We show how both coarse and fine scale population-environment models can be integrated into programs designed to reduce the risk of introduction of RVF into the U.S. and programs designed to detect and contain RVF should it be introduced.