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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 #326905

Research Project: Biting Arthropod Surveillance and Control

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Title: Biologically Informed Individual-based Network Model for Rift Valley Fever in the US and Evaluation of Mitigation Strategies

item SCOGLIO, CATERINA - Kansas State University
item BOSCA, CLAUDIO - Kansas State University
item RIAD, MAHBUBUL - Kansas State University
item SAHNEH, FARYAD - Kansas State University
item Gibson, Seth
item Cohnstaedt, Lee
item Linthicum, Kenneth - Ken

Submitted to: PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2016
Publication Date: 9/23/2016
Citation: Scoglio, C.M., Bosca, C., Riad, M.H., Sahneh, F.D., Britch, S.C., Cohnstaedt, L.W., Linthicum, K. 2016. Biologically Informed Individual-based Network Model for Rift Valley Fever in the US and Evaluation of Mitigation Strategies. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162759.

Interpretive Summary: Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a severe viral disease affecting livestock and humans in Africa that has shown the potential to expand its range, most recently to the Arabian Peninsula. Although Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) may be transmitted by direct contact with infected tissues, mosquitoes are mainly responsible for initiating and propagating explosive outbreaks driven by periodic cycles of extreme rainfall. Several species of mosquitoes common in the US are capable of transmitting RVFV in laboratory trials, and there are plausible scenarios for RVFV entering the US from international commerce and infecting, initially, a small focal population of domestic livestock such as cattle. In this study we applied a modeling technique to investigate patterns of RVFV transmission by mosquitoes to other cattle populations from these initial infections, using real-world cattle operation and mosquito population data from Riley County, Kansas.

Technical Abstract: Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic disease endemic in Sub-Saharan Africa with periodic outbreaks in human and animal populations. Mosquitoes are the primary disease vectors; however, Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) can also spread by direct contact with infected tissues. The transmission cycle is complex, involving humans, livestock, and multiple species of mosquitoes. The epidemiology of RVFV in endemic areas is strongly affected by climatic conditions and environmental variables. In this research, we adapt and use a network-based modeling framework to simulate the transmission of RVFV among hypothetical cattle operations in Kansas, US. Our model considers geo-located livestock populations at the individual level while incorporating the role of mosquito populations and the environment at a coarse resolution. Extensive simulations show the flexibility of our modeling framework when applied to specific scenarios to quantitatively evaluate the efficacy of mosquito control and livestock movement regulations in reducing the extent and intensity of RVF outbreaks in the United States.