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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Concepts in Huanglongbing Epidemiology

item Gottwald, Timothy
item Bergamin Filho, A.
item Bassanezi, R.
item Irey, M.
item Zhao, X.
item Aubert, B.

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/7/2006
Publication Date: 12/10/2006
Citation: Gottwald, T.R., Bergamin Filho, A., Bassanezi, R., Irey, M., Zhao, X., Aubert, B. 2006. Concepts in Huanglongbing Epidemiology. Meeting Abstract.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Huanglongbing (HLB) was discovered in Brazil and Florida in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Previously, very few quantitative epidemiological studies had been conducted, and thus the increase and spread of the disease remains incompletely characterized. The perennial nature of the disease necessitates a dedication to data collection over multiple years, to obtain spatio-temporal data sufficient to understand increase and spread of the disease. In most areas, removing HLB-diseased trees in the attempt to control or contain the disease is one of the main disease mitigation strategies. This makes tracking disease increase and spread very difficult or impossible. This limitation has been coupled with the inability, until recently, of detection by PCR, requiring a reliance on visual assessment for disease monitoring. Monitoring the occurrence of HLB by visual symptoms alone is problematic. The lag in time between transmission by psyllid vectors or propagation and the onset of symptoms can be quite variable and quantifying the severity of disease symptoms in individual trees is not a true indication of pathogen incidence. Additionally, due to the temporal variation in symptom expression, trees infected at the same time may express symptoms over one or more years. Considering the above caveats, epidemiological data has been collected from a few locations in Reunion Island (RI), southern China (LCF, LARI), Taiwan, The Philippines and more recently in São Paulo, Brazil and southern Florida, USA. However, to date an assessment of disease progression has only been accomplished in China and Reunion Island and resulted in an estimated reduced longevity of HLB-infected sweet orange and mandarin groves. HLB epidemics are multiyear in duration, but rarely progress to an asymptote before removal of the planting occurs. Therefore, both the exponential and the logistic models adequately described disease progress over time. In the LCF plot, an asymptote was reached after 13 yrs. However, for groves that became unproductive, disease incidence never reached asymptotic levels prior to removal, but logistic model predictions calculated that HLB would reach asymptotic disease after 7 and 13 years. Spatial analysis of the incidence of HLB visual symptoms has been less problematic and was undertaken to better understand the relationships among infected trees near to and at distance from each other and thereby gain some understanding of vector spread of HLB. Combined interpretations of spatial analyses indicate two spatial mechanisms of vector spread of HLB, within local areas and over longer distances. In most cases vectors apparently spread the disease to either adjacent or nearby trees. Spatial autocorrelation also identifies a prevalence of reflected clusters or areas of aggregation that are discontinuous with the main cluster. These are interpreted as indicative of the presence of secondary foci that are quite prevalent and are at a distance of about 25-50 m from the main cluster of disease and each other. Such a pattern of widely spaced foci perhaps indicates a spatial mechanism associated with longer distance vector movement. Longer regional scale vector transmission has not been investigated.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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