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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #322868

Research Project: Biting Arthropod Surveillance and Control

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Title: Rift valley fever in the US: Commerce networks, climate, and susceptible vector and host populations

item Gibson, Seth
item Linthicum, Kenneth - Ken
item ANYAMBA, ASSAF - Goddard Space Flight Center
item MONAGHAN, ANDREW - National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/11/2016
Publication Date: 2/11/2016
Citation: Britch, S.C., Linthicum, K., Anyamba, A., Monaghan, A.J. 2016. Rift valley fever in the US: Commerce networks, climate, and susceptible vector and host populations [abstract]. American Mosquito Control Association Annual Meeting. February 7-11, 2016, Savannah, Georgia. Asbtract No. 6.

Interpretive Summary: This presentation describes new research designed to protect the US from the arrival of exotic mosquito-borne diseases such as Rift Valley fever, an important disease of livestock and humans from Africa. Information on mosquito populations routinely sampled by mosquito and vector control agencies in the US is compared to weather and other environmental factors to develop a system that tracks environmental changes to alert public health agencies when mosquito populations are likely to peak. US locations where mosquito populations are peaking are analyzed for connectivity to African regions where Rift Valley fever may be active, which will guide targeted control of mosquito populations and surveillance for the presence of exotic viruses in mosquitoes.

Technical Abstract: Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne hemorrhagic viral disease with substantial negative impacts on public and animal health in its endemic range of sub-Saharan Africa. Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) could enter the United States and lead to widespread morbidity and mortality in humans, domestic livestock, and wild ungulates, with high economic loss. Some US mosquito species have been identified as potentially competent vectors for RVFV, some US regions have favorable climate for mosquito development and possibly RVFV transmission in months with historically intense RVFV activity in the endemic range, and connectivity exists between RVFV endemic regions and the US. To reduce the likelihood of RVFV introduction to the US, and to understand the capacity of the virus to spread geographically if introduced, we investigated techniques to identify key US locations vulnerable to RVFV incursion based on historical population dynamics of potentially competent US mosquito vectors and their relationship to historical meteorological and satellite environmental data, based on patterns of US climate during RVF outbreaks in endemic regions, and based on connectivity to RVF endemic regions. We derived indices of environmental patterns that historically precede unusually high populations of potential US mosquito vectors of RVFV with lead times of weeks to months. Combined with monitoring of RVF activity in endemic regions and nodes of connectivity, environmental monitoring in the US in high risk locations could be used to guide targeted surveillance and control of potential US RVFV mosquito vectors.