Location: Range Management ResearchTitle: Broad-scale climate drivers of a vector-borne livestock disease movement from Mexico into the United States
Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/5/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) is a vector-borne vesicular disease that afflicts livestock and causes trade-disrupting outbreaks in the western US on an approximately decadal cycle. Previous phylogenetic analyses have linked VS outbreaks in the US to viral lineages in the endemic region of southern Mexico, indicating that incursions are caused by periodic northward movement. This study investigates the role of broad-scale climate in the timing of that northward movement from southern Mexico to the US border. Historical records (100+ years) of VS outbreaks in the US and Mexico were compiled from previous literature and compared to climate data. Time series of incursions crossing the US border are modeled with lagged interactions of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation climate teleconnection signals to predict years of potential VS incursion into the US. To elucidate the spatially-explicit relationship between VS northward movement and climate, climate anomaly data were compared to the timing and latitudinal extent of VS outbreaks between the endemic region and the US border. Based on training data from 1906-1999, predictions of VS incursion risk based on multi-year lagged teleconnection indices align with the timing of observed VS outbreaks in the US in the 2000s. In Mexico, regional climate anomalies associated with making aridlands more hospitable for VS vectors coincide with VS cases reported outside of the endemic region. Ultimately, identifying the role broad-scale climate has in driving VS northward movement and multi-year gaps between incursions in the US will allow preparation for potential outbreak mitigation efforts.